So, I had a bit of a rant on Twitter today. But I thought maybe I’d copy it here too. You know, for posterity. It was triggered by two or three of those awful memes that followed one another this morning. You know the ones – the shit about needing your muse, not writing a word until a sense of shame forces you to address the blank page, all that shit about procrastination. Of course, we all do that stuff – I’m kinda procrastinating right now in a way! – but those things perpetuate this idea of the tortured artist and it pisses me off. People use it as an excuse to avoid the one thing required: Doing the fucking working. So I sort of went off on one a bit. Anyway, here it is – I stand by it.

Here’s the original tweet, and I was smart enough to thread the replies, so you can just follow it all the way down:

 

And here’s the full thing transcribed:

Yeah, you know what? Writing is hard, but you knuckle down and do the fucking work. Stop perpetuating bullshit tortured artist stereotypes.

You think a marine biologist just has a passion for fish and he keeps waiting for some kind of fishy fucking inspiration? No. He studies, he trains, he practices, he does the fucking work. He puts in the hours and he excels in his field. Same with doctors, architects, chefs, every shitdancing career you ever heard of. People got good because they did the fucking work.

Yes, you have to have the passion, you have to do it because it’s in your bones and blood and you can’t not do it. But that’s not enough. One thing every published novelist has in common is that they did the work. They finished the thing. The only thing you have control over is the writing, and getting better at the writing.
Everything else is subject to timing, market, luck, a thousand other things you can’t control.

So do the thing you can control: Do the fucking work.

Yes you need to take time out to be inspired, but then you come home and do the fucking work. Yes we’re all busy and you have to earn a living. Almost all of us have day jobs. We still *make* time to do the fucking work. Otherwise you have passion and angst and fuck all else.

Everybody with any success in any creative endeavour put their head down, stopped flapping their lips, and worked their arses off. So you can whine about how hard it is, you can complain about how the industry is, sure. You can mope and slap the back of your hand to your forehead because you’re *just not feeling it today*. Or you can do the fucking work. You can try and fail and try again.

You put in the hours, you accept the thankless labour, you take all the hits and you keep going. And with every little success you allow yourself a sly little smile and you say, “Yeah, I made that happen.” Then you swallow that shit and get back to work and do better. And keep doing better, because you are working hard. Work smart, work at craft, work at learning, but do the fucking work. Godsdammit.

This rant brought to you by one too many precious diamond tortured artist bullshit fucking memes today. I need another coffee.

Then Iā€™m going to get on with the work.

*puts on loud music*

*makes coffee*

*gets on with the work*


.