I am weird

This post is as a response / reflection / counterweight to Robert’s previous post.

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Yes. It’s true. I’ve seen that a lot times on twitter. Writers who suffer from the imposter syndrome. Who consider themselves a fraud because “they pretend they can write”, or something along those lines.

In that respect, I am weird. And why? I never have those thoughts.

Maybe it’s because of my total lack of writer’s training. I started writing short stories when I was around 12. For typing lessons I used to copy several of my Mum’s books and I’d change the bits I didn’t like. That sums up my entire writing training. Note, this was 1972, when the internet wasn’t all around. In fact, apart from universities and big companies, no one then had even heard of this internet thing.

When I finally got onto the internet (somewhere around 1993), for my own company, I met people who wrote as a hobby. Each one would post a chapter, in English, on an international hobby writers mailing list. No one had any qualms about being a bad writer, a fraud or an imposter; it was all just for fun and laughs. It was during those years that I published my first short story. Not because I desperately wanted to publish a book, but someone on that list got on my case and kept yapping at me daily for months to publish that story because it was so much fun. That is how I got into self-publishing: I threw together a quick cover, sent that and the word doc off to Smashwords, set the price to ‘Free’ and that was it. (Said story has been downloaded over 110,000 times by now.)

People on Twitter that I see also fret about getting their first book out. That makes me shake my head, knowing how I did mine.

Paul writing in the nude
Writing and having fun

On that mailing list I wrote for fun, not for big dreams and fame and fortune. How different from so many people, those that Robert mentioned, who are worried, who run from writer’s block to writer’s block, in hopes of doing something not entirely wrong with their writing.

Naked Crow book 1

Perhaps this is a sign of the times, where everything and everyone has to be perfect in some way or form. I got my start in a very different way, and I feel lucky about that. I write what I want and I publish it.

If people like it or even love it: great. Then I made people happy.

If no one gives a damn about it: great. Then I made me happy, having the fun and joy while writing it.

That is also how I started Naked Crow, book one, the first foray into Naturist Fiction.

Apparently lots of people like it.

Great.

I’ll keep writing, whether people like it or not. Because, indeed, I’m weird.

3 thoughts on “I am weird”

  1. Great to read this, Paul! Thanks for sharing your history. You made me remember those early printing pages with the perforated sides and the green and white stripes… and mimeographs…

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