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#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter - A Venting Ground for the Creative Community

Telegraph

I've been writing in what I guess you'd call a professional standing for about 2 years now. In that time I've learned a lot about the transition from a passionate pass time to an actual career. One the most glaring things I've come to understand is that people will assume that your job is easy, others will just treat you like you've just owned up to being a failure and in some unpleasant cases people will just look at you and say 'well, yeah, but what's your actual job' or words to that effect.

I won't pretend that there aren't a lot of 'writers' out there. The type of people who sit in Costa with their laptops claiming to be hard at work on the next Post Office when actually they're just typing random jargon into a word document when they think people are watching and scrolling through Tumblr when the coast is clear. It's stereotypes like that though which make presenting yourself as a career writer that much more difficult, whether you're a novelist, a screenwriter, a journalist or a poet.

Well, author and frequent Twitter heroine Joanne Harris knows your pain. On Tuesday she set the #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter hashtag in motion and within minutes hundreds of writers were venting their frustrations in tweeted lists. It's trended heavily since then with literary publishers and online book retailers getting in on the act. The tone varied from humorous to indicative of very real, distinct frustration and in some cases the responses featured useful advice on how to react when some of these unpleasant statements actually come up.

Almost directly following on from the original hashtag's success, Harris rolled out the #TenThingsToSayToWriters variation, which was filled with really helpful statements and phrases regarding how to improve your work, how to cope with writer's block and general motivational tips. Both hashtags have done so well that a kind of Twitter writer's club has emerged. It's a shining example of how positive a place Twitter can be when people approach it with the right intent. If you've ever asked a writer what their real job is, or if they enjoy sitting at home all day drinking frappacino, you might want to have a scroll through and build up a better understanding of how close you were to getting punched.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter - A Venting Ground for the Creative Community Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, July 31, 2015 Rating: 5

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