One of the (very, very many) things that make me grind my teeth about social media is when I read those “I am writing. 2000 words done” tweets. As if your success as a writer is measured entirely in word counts. My immediate response (actually, my second response – the first is “Go f*** yourself”) is to think, “But what if every one of those 2000 words is utter shit?”
Of course, what I’m simply covering up with my anger is my own lack of self-discipline. There are plenty of moments in my day when I could do something useful like writing. Take this poor neglected blog. Well, it’s not really a blog at all is it? I call it News, rather grandly, but it’s like that old Carlsberg advert from the eighties, where they portrayed the fictional Customer Complaints Department – a cobweb strewn annex at the end of a dead corridor.
This is like that. There’s tumbleweed in here. And an old copy of Razzle.
Instead of writing I find odd things to buy on Amazon, like fancy coffee filter papers. Or I get distracted by my four year old. Right now, for example, I am sitting at my laptop while trying to blow up a green balloon for him to play with. It’s hanging out of my mouth as I type these very words. Hemingway never did that.
So at least the bell-ends on Twitter who rant about how many words they’re writing are actually doing something. And the first rule for good writing has to be – just write. You can always edit later.
Talking of which, I’m currently editing Featherfall with the help of my friend Matt Lee, who assisted me with Chosen and The Veil. This time he’s gone to town, sending me Word docs with different coloured highlights in, denoting which bits he thinks need attention. He’s a hard task master but it will be worth it in the end, I hope.
I’m wandering. This is meant to be a call to arms. Get writing Ibbotson. Ignore your blog no longer. Just don’t be an arse and post your word count on Twitter.