We are generations of communicators, inspirers and aspirers. Of sharers, listeners, teachers and pupils. Storytellers and achievers, challengers, risk takers, testers and doers. Of inventors and creators and discoverers. We are all so many things but it bears remembering as obvious as it is that you are you and I am I and they are they.
It likely goes without saying but if you are new here I guess it bears worth repeating, I want to be a writer. While in some regards I may consider myself one I do not yet meet my definition of a writer. I want to be a writer of movies and comics and plays and books and essays and fables and what ever else I dare pen but most importantly though I want to do it everyday and make a living doing the thing I love. Just like so many of us want to do. That is what I mean when I say I want to be a writer.
When I was younger my heroes sat more in the realm of fiction in the likes of Blue Ranger, Spider-Man, Batman, Vinnie, The Hulk, The Masked Rider etc. but they were accompanied by the less fictional likes of Tim Burton, Wes Anderson, Johnny Depp, Lemony Snicket (arguably fictional), Steven Gerard, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. My “heroes” were clearly few and far between nowadays though I have literally hundreds; Scott Snyder, John Wyndham, Natalie Portman, Neil Gaiman, Taika Waititi, Emma Watson, Tom King, Greg Capullo, Mary Shelley, Joelle Jones, Chris Pratt, Alan Moore, Steve McQueen, Rebecca Sugar… The list goes on and on, maybe my definition of hero has changed somewhat but I believe it has grown a hundred fold thanks to the age we find ourselves in. Thanks to the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and others we have a far more varied and instant connection to the ones we admire. A connection that goes beyond the limits of their work into their mindsets, their politics, their experiences, loves and likes and lives. We are able to share in everything with everyone and we are able to engage with our heroes with frequent ease. People I’ve never heard of can become my new obsession within hours because of the amount of material, interactions and information we have about them at our fingertips.
I want to be a writer. To say it again. I want to live like a writer, work like a writer, I want to know what it is to be a writer. How do I get there, how did others do it, what do they do now? So I immerse myself in interviews with writers. I follow and interact with them frequently on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. I want them to tell me how to “be” a writer. I want the answers. I want the life. I want to be a writer. I listen to them, I heed their words, I read them and I take notes. Noting how they came to be, what they did and do and how they live. Of how you need to write for 4 hours a day, bad writing is just as important as good writing, of how sleep isn’t your friend, read as much as you can, make time for family, eat 4 set meals a day, exercise frequently, if tired sleep, don’t regiment yourself, forget about having a social life, eat twice a day, complete 5 pages a day, write down everything, explore the world, never stop reading, never stop writing, never stop…
Everyone has something to say, wisdom to impart and listening to a hundred odd voices is no easy feat, contradictions are abound, why? Because that’s their lives that’s what they did and do. It’s their rules for keeping their life on track and for achieving their goals. More than ever we want to be celebrities or to be our heroes. We have clear visuals of our futures, of what our lives could look like. We are surrounded more than ever by other peoples lives and in a far more intimate way then previously possible. We try to be, we try to imitate rather than listening, internalising and adopting and adapting to suit us. We all have our own rules and ethos’s for life, both subconsciously and consciously and they are an important part of you. I tried writing late into the night/early morning but it just doesn’t work for me but it allowed me to find when to write. I’ve figured out how to regiment my exercise, to limit my snacking, that even if I don’t write as long as I set time aside for my passion I feel better for it. I’m not saying don’t try I am saying do, copy, adopt and adapt. Find what works for you. There are a million and one resources out there now saying how to live, what to eat, what to try, how so and so became x. While many are helpful we must remember they aren’t definitive. It’s just another person behind those words, no matter how famous or important or impressive they may be, take from them what you can but make those words your own.
Its good to want to change and challenge and improve yourself. To listen to others and take on board their advice but it’s so easy to fall into becoming them rather than being you. I’ve fallen victim to it, I am far far from perfect and there is no shame in it. That’s why I’ve created my own set of rules, a set of rules for me but the most important one and the only one I will share is, make your own rules. Listen to others, aspire to be like others but do it your way, carve your own path and always be you. So make your own rules and live your life.