Monday, June 29, 2015

8 Really Stupid Reasons To Be a Writer

The last time I posted here I wrote about ten compelling attributes of a writer, and as promised, this time I'm going to write about 8 Really Stupid Reasons To Be a Writer. Let's get started.

1.  Your sole writing credential is that your first name is Tom, John, or Stephen. Or your last name is Clancy, Grisham, or King. You wouldn't like it if they wrote books just because their names were similar to yours, now would you? Having the same name as Tom Clancy, John Grisham, or Stephen King (or even Tom Grisham, John King, or Stephen Clancy--makes no difference), does not mean you should be a writer (although I'm sure many great writers do have either those first or last names). It doesn't guarantee NY Times bestseller status, though. Believe me, if sharing a name with a famous author would help, instead of Deborah Dee Harper, I'd be writing under Harper Dee.

 On the other hand, don't let it stop you if you happen to have those first, last, or convoluted variations of famous authors' names if you can write. Nobody has a lock on certain names, but as a courtesy to famous authors everywhere and to avoid a lawsuit, I'd avoid using the same names if for no other reason than you don't want them mooching off your fame and fortune! And let's face it, if you can truly write and your name is the same as, or similar to, another writer's name, just make sure readers know which one you are when they buy, glance at, or borrow your book. It's common courtesy. Readers will thank you, the famous authors will thank you, and your attorney will thank you.

2.  Your mother/father/wife/husband/child thinks you can write. If my mother thought I could fly an airplane or perform brain surgery and I knew darned well I couldn't, but did it anyway, would you hitch a ride through the friendly skies with me or lend me your brain for eight to ten hours? (Hint: The answer is "Are you nuts?".) So if you can't write (and you know it), don't. Your strengths lie elsewhere and the world is missing a great pilot or brain surgeon because of it. Don't rob the world.