Why most writers suck and always will

“There’s really no shortcuts to this. As smart and talented as you are, you’re still going to have to spend thousands of hours alone in a room mercilessly criticising all your own perceptions.”

Nic Pizzolatto, author of Galveston, writer and showrunner for True Detective

Mercilessly. Criticising. ALL. Your. Own. Perceptions.

The unwillingness to do just that is why most writers suck and always will. Here’s the whole video.


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

9 thoughts on “Why most writers suck and always will

  1. That is the plain and simple truth of it. Everyone talks about wanting to write a novel. They don’t know that once you find something you’re compelled or driven to write, it will become life consuming. If you want to share what you’ve written with the world, it absolutely can’t be done half-ass. Instead of out drinking or watching TV, I spend most evenings reading novels of world class authors for inspiration, and during the day, every day of the week, I write, and toil over what I have written, re-writing and editing, in favor of anything else. I don’t like to be disturbed by petty annoyances, even the news of the world. I wish I had more hours to write, and was better at it, and there was a pill I could take to make me a brilliant writer, and a secret to sell my books without learning marketing and social networking. I just want to write my books without any distractions, because I know that’s what it takes for them to be anywhere close to the authors I admire. When you boil it all down, when you’re really a writer, there is no denying it, there is no other choice—you don’t wish to be doctor, or stock broker, or own a resort in the Bahama’s, or even be retired. All you want to do is to finish that book and write the next one. That is what being a writer is all about.


  2. As a fan of “diamond hard science fiction”, it’s virtually impossible to find anything worth reading. The author has to be extremely critical of his plot and prose AND be a particle physicist who can tell an exciting story without action movie tropes. That narrows it down to about six people. In history.



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