The Britney Spears school of creative writing

Posted: December 13, 2013 in Regarding writing

A few months ago Britney Spears released a new song entitled ‘Work B*tch’. Now I’m unashamedly a fan of Ms Spears, but even if you’re not, even if you hate the song, it features an important mantra that writers everywhere would do well to take note of.

And, though it is relevant, it’s not the titular “work B*tch” that I’m referring too. Whilst the notion that if you want a Lamborghini and want to live in a big mansion you’ve got to work for it isn’t a bad one, obviously hard work alone doesn’t necessarily result in bestsellerdom, million pound advances and six figure movie deals.

Rather it’s the following lyric that I think is more relevant.

“Work it hard, like it’s your profession”

For many people writing is seen as a hobby, something you potter about at, but I think if you entertain any notion of actually making a career out of it, then you have to treat it like a job, even if it currently doesn’t pay the mortgage.

This means being disciplined, it means setting aside writing time every day if you can, and it means that once you finish a piece of writing you work hard in editing and proofreading it, in polishing it to as high a shine as you can.

Now this might make it seem effectively like you’re working for free, like you’re volunteering in a charity shop, but if writing is what you want to do then you have to treat it like it’s your profession, even before it becomes your profession, and really it shouldn’t matter whether you’re going to be paid £5,000 by a publisher, or you’re going to be lucky to get $10 and a contributor’s copy!

Anyway, stop reading this, you have writing to do, so get to work b*tch!

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