After a few days of silence, I welcome Matthew on the Manicheans once again!!! I think it won’t be the last time we’ll see his talent on this page.
Please follow him on Twitter @Matthew_C_Wood and read his wonderful blog: SunStoppedShining
Without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, Matthew C. Wood!!
“I am the scribe who writes in the night! I am the one who finds people a fright, I am…The Stealth Writer!”
Imagine a funky 1990’s Saturday Morning Cartoon theme here.
He sat in the artificial glow of his bedroom light, surrounded by towers of poorly organised notes and pictures of his family. Nestled in the centre of his apparent chaos was a Laptop Computer, which our hero was currently using to listen to music, hold conversations on Twitter and write a guest post for a good buddy of his all that the same time. He liked to think multi-tasking was a talent of his.
But what this guy thought he could do – and what he really could do late at night – were two totally different things.
Only tonight was no ordinary night. For starters, he had yet to touch a can of Beer.
A conversation had brought about the spark of inspiration in our hero’s creative mind, one which was destined to be brought to life on Office 2007’s idea of paper. Sleep would not come until it had.
Hours passed without notice with nought but the constant clicking of fingers furiously tapping at a keyboard. Everything, even the looming spectre of work early in the morning, was forgotten in the moment.
Soon the clock struck midnight. Dramatic as it sounded – not to mention cliched – he made his finishing touches on the bell’s final toll. A great masterpiece was now ready to go out into the world, surely to become the next great literary achievement of our time.
“Hang on a minute,” Our hero muttered at the dark world beyond his bedroom window, “Nobody told me this would have to be read by…people…”
How often have you completed a written work and been almost petrified by nervousness when you put it out for the world to see? I’ll be honest – I get that way every single time I post up an Episode of The Day the Sun Stopped Shining or, more powerfully, when I let someone have a look at my Work in Progress Novel, The Fallen.
No word of a lie – I’m terrified of hearing that age-old phrase, ‘Don’t give up the day job.’
So how do we overcome those nerves and avoid becoming a Stealth Writer, unseen and unheard by a much louder world?
For me, it’s as simple as checking, double checking, triple and then quadruple checking my work before tightly closing my eyes and hitting ‘send’. Seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen my work get sent anywhere. But I’m serious about becoming a Professional Author one day, so if it has the effect of making people see what I do – I’ll keep blindly hitting that ‘send’ button until Doomsday.
Because the hard truth is a Stealth Writer may evade the world’s radar, but misses the whole point of the mission. We need to be seen and heard, even if that means getting the occasional verbal missile shot at us now and again. That’s if we want anyone but good old Mommy to read our work.
For most of us already Tweeting and platform building away on the Interwebs, this is not much of an issue. So let this message be one for the emerging scribblers out there, who have yet to reveal themselves.
Don’t be a Stealth Writer. In this author at least, there is a kind eye willing to read.