Diagnosis: Writer

As I promised, here is an essay that went public on this link. The rough translation goes something like this. Perhaps you will agree, perhaps you won’t. 


You start out as a hobby, you want to see if you can write a novel. You read the book and it changed your life, so you’re inspired to try it out, just to see if it’s possible. Um, that movie is nicely put together, you can see the scene change, so I could guess I can write something in that sense. You start and write five pages that day. Interestingly, five pages a day is what I can push past life, work, children, responsibilities. Tomorrow you land seven pages, the next day another five and here are seventeen pages completed. How much I can write daily? You mark the pages and keep the calculations, and that day, as a joke, you write ten pages and it seems like you’ve doubled the work. You catch yourself writing all week, you haven’t missed a day, you get overwhelmed by ideas and inspiration, you rock out on the bus nervously, because you can’t wait to get to your computer and get into that world you create out of thin air. Ego gets you to your head a little bit, in a split second you are a little God because all these characters are alive to you, that world is tangible in your imagination, you breathed life into something that you know is irrelevant to others. Sometimes you notice that your fingers are shaking gotten used to the keyboard, you smile innocently at it because you didn’t think the writing was so addictive. At least it’s free and it’s not fatal, people don’t die of writing, but people die for writing, for art, for culture.

Can I give it to someone to read it? What if he doesn’t like it? What if I can’t write a novel or my critics make me an ignorant fool or whatever? What if, despite everything, I manage to arrange it in such a way to enchant a scene, write a sequel, and then I get invited to sign a contract to shoot a movie, by my design, to literally follow the plot, and not have someone smear my work or words? One in a billion is a chance, but it’s worth a try. You trust in your abilities and it is not difficult for you, because there is nothing invested, nothing wasted, it is certainly fun.

I’m a writer.

For the sake of comparison, for the sake of clarity, let’s split the writers into categories. The writer belongs to the person involved in the writing. An author is a person who has been able to publish a number of manuscripts and is considered an amateur with a predisposition to grow and improve. A literary artist is a person who is considered a veteran who enjoys a reputation and his oeuvre is considered an art.

A blogger can easily be in the same category as a writer because they both do it purely for fun. I have to say, that there are people who write without the ambition to become artists but treat writing exclusively as a hobby and a type of fun. Also, there are writers and authors who also do not aspire to be celebrated and considered artists. Artists belong to the category of people who are specifically engaged in writing and creativity to gain fame and respect.

Everyone writes. Are you sure you have chosen the right company? If you were a banker, wouldn’t it seem that you are occupied by bankers, because wherever you turn, a banker is around you, or a metalworker, a freelance worker, a farmer, an entrepreneur? No, not everyone writes, or at least they don’t write for you, and you who read just about everything that comes to your hand, so what did you expect, to make every piece equal to those artists and novels that attracted you to reading? That novel will never be good because it was written by a beginner who most of the time did not even know what he was doing. He thought he should or he just wanted it because he hadn’t read or seen anything like that before. He wrote what he liked because he thought something like that didn’t exist. Eh, if he knew it was a mistake, that what he was saying in the novel had no logic, that it is contradictory or simply very badly written, eh, if only he knew? Ha, now I recognize who he copied. He read a lot (insert artist’s name here), that’s why his sentences were copied, imitating him, not understanding that style, what the artist wanted to say. Fool, I know better. Plagiarism.

AVKF writer diagnoses abruptly

There are those who think that the first version is the best and that nothing needs to be changed, and this process is actually a mere writing down of an idea, the novel is created after editing. Emotionally attached to the work, they refuse criticism, they refuse to change the letter unless it is an obvious typo, they refuse everything. There are those who know that this novel is nobody’s child, an orphan, looking for a publishing house to adopt it, but first, bring it to a stylist or an editor to edit it. In the end, you get a novel with fewer mistakes, illogicalities, dead sentences, and pages are now glittering with beauty, color or whatever the writer intended to portray. And the editor, he pulls his hair and bends under the table in painful cramps. He says to himself or out loud, “How can you be so illiterate?” The writer does not know the answer.

The problem is finding an editor because if he is good, he already has a job and an option to choose how illiterate his opponent will be. If he is bad, he says everything is great, it is great, pay up bro and lets part ways. So, he does nothing or does too much and the novel is no longer what the writer wrote, but now someone else has written the novel, it is a ghostwriter where an editor boasts about that piece more than the writer himself.

Too many writers, poor quality, there is a mafia working in the shade, only those with money make it or things go favor per favor. “Hey, praise my novel, do me a solid, I’ll pay you back”, I have heard it too many times, and here I am repeating and expecting some lawsuit, threat, insult, you are a writer, think of something new, be creative, original, until it goes to press you have a chance to fix it. Ahm: “I refer to you as an artist, to refer to me as a chief editor? Is that right, huh, bro?” (author’s note: I refer to a common saying ‘You call me Duke, I’ll call you Serdar”  serdar – a noble title. The meaning goes to portray a fake namecalling and giving titles to people who don’t deserve it. So, by saying that a writer called himself an artist and editor call himself a chief editor, it actually shows how little they deserve those titles.)

And every word, sentence, paragraph, page, a chapter should be sorted out several times. The editor is the one who scrapes, grinds, hits it with the hammer and does not regret how much power will be injected with each move. It’s all about beauty and quality. The lector (grammar check, logic check, sentence construction) is a professional makeup artist, he likes to make it look like a runway, to slap and seduce. The corrector (second run after lector) is to bring it all to an end and get it approved for print. The breaker (format and break of pages to align them in the way they will be printed) is there to make sure everything is finished, every word, every detail, picture, illustration. It all costs, and no one can say the exact price. You’ll find out when you try. You are left with something, or usually nothing, everything depends on how the publisher introduces you to the market, how many friends you have, and how you promote yourself.

Should I have put this differently, analytically, with arguments? Who will read this? No one is reading today. Even less, you can expect the patience of writers, authors, and editors to point out a mistake in a practical example, give you advice, encourage you, support you. And how are you going to learn? Do you have to do everything on your own, to be self-taught, to make cardinal mistakes, and to suffer insults until you once find what works and start forcing it, and thus make an even bigger mistake again? Is there an end to that? Of course, there is, just stop writing. And how, when you wrote the trilogy, it’s a mistake again, you go to short story contests, you never get the answer from those Dukes and Serdars, your fingers flicker because you got hooked up?

You’re a writer, and you want to become an artist, you have to start writing once. You hear them say that a serious writer starts from the age of forty after he read the library, and you would like to sign a movie tomorrow? Time, you need time and patience, to endure all that brutality, to grow a thicker skin like a shell that will catch the words, but not let them hit you in the heart, in the core. I’m talking about words that are sharper than a sword and all this is a struggle to get to the top if it exists at all. Until you wrote, it seemed so easy, you write a novel and that’s where your duties end. Isn’t that an idyllic job, you do it when it comes to you, when you have inspiration, you pass it on to the editor, and he jumps out of luck when you contact him, because printer is only a machine, the publisher is persona incognita that you don’t even need to hear or know about. And that illusion cannot be further from reality. The editor reviews and note the errors, and returns them to you for repair. You look at your work bleeding with red ink, they are all mistakes, you patch and staple it over and over again until you get the same paper sent back to you.

Great, now I have quality. You’re wrong. You have a neat novel, the quality is debatable because you are not in the race with novels that come out when your will, but compete with all the novels ever printed. You are competing with the memory of the average reader who has gone through hundreds of books with similar material. At the end of that, you get graded with “It’s like a book, it’s not horrible” and that should comfort you. “At least it’s not a harsh criticism” goes through your head, as if you suddenly started to care whether this will be your career or not. “Everything is better than a harsh criticism” by now it is clear that you are still hoping for that movie deal. Not every criticism is malignant, nor is every compliment well-intentioned. And that movie? How did some poorly rated pieces still get their screen adaptations? Quality does not sell. It only affects how long the novel will last. Sales, marketing, Advertising, buy today, get a cup, bookmarker, pendant, wiper for glasses. Buy it, people, buy it! Help a starving artist pay the rent, or electricity bill, to give the child a snack.

diagnosis writer AVKF1

Almost all writers consider themselves artists identifying it with art. Almost all readers think something similar. If you are not an artist, then why are you writing because everything seems like you are a masochist and hurt yourself? It’s true, it’s a long road to an artist, but then again, you have to start somewhere. Not all artists have received movies after books. Not everyone wants it. Not everyone writes for money. Some only write for the sake of money, so they try to write what they can sell. Some want to be writers and do it out of pure love. Maybe it should be separated and properly marked, the meaning of a name and proper title so that everyone knows in which basket to look for their happiness. Structure and classification would eliminate misunderstandings, maybe even create a chain of distribution that you don’t have to realize at the end of the novel that you read commercial, kitsch, and shunned, but a good and quality artwork worthy of your intellect.

And the market and the audience want to reward artists, desperately in need of someone to spark a revolution, to become the great one living in an age when this generation existed. “Ah, how many people have been waiting for that title, let your grandfather tell you?” Or whatever with that sense that tells a long story about the artist. These thoughts make me think of a library, a table and two chairs, all made of mahogany, classical music playing in the background, and gentlemen in fine suits sipping first-class brands as they eloquently consider the oeuvre of a local artist. Yes, this is how I see critics when it comes to art. Is it superfluous for an author or writer, blogger, scribbler to expect a cafe or coffee shop instead of a library, bar stool or booth instead of mahogany, a beer instead of brandy and two young people enthusiastically retelling a book?

I have asked too many questions in the hope of shaking you up a little, to remind you that we are paying too little attention to things. What I wanted to achieve was to bring you closer to reality through the prism of a writer, perhaps an author, maybe an artist. What I can say to writers is to write, but to make more effort not to be left with many mistakes, bad sentences, ambiguities and what is called ‘cropped Latin’ when using a keyboard in another language or on a phone without ticks. For the first time, no one succeeds, so pay attention to how you write, the form and what words you use, because synonymous may work better. Hang out, seek advice. There is always at least one person who understands the love of writing, not necessarily for high-end literature, and how artists are seen. Sometimes it takes years to sort a manuscript, sometimes a decade. The work in your hands is not only yours but is equally divided into all those people who edit, proofread, correct, refract, print and sell it. They all signed it beside you. It is the product of a team of people who love art at the same intensity as you authors, writers and audiences.

It seems I had to tell you this. Maybe it’s better that I didn’t, I don’t know, correct me if I was wrong.

8 thoughts on “Diagnosis: Writer

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