Thursday, 26 March 2015

Did someone ask you to write books? by Cavan Scott

Yesterday, I popped into my youngest daughter's class for the afternoon. They'd been learning about pirates all term, so she'd asked me to go into school and read a chapter of my Angry Birds Treasure Island book.

Afterwards, the class set about asking me questions they'd prepared that morning.

Right at the end of the Q&A session, a girl at the back put up her hand.

"Did someone ask you to become a writer," she asked, "or did you just decide to do it anyway?"

What a brilliant question!

The great thing about being a writer is that you don't need anyone's permission. If you want to write, just write.

Yes, getting something published can be more difficult. There are a lot of gatekeepers out there, from agents to the publishers themselves, but no one can stop you creating.

I realise that this isn't particularly profound or maybe even original point, but its one I needed yesterday, on one of those days when it feels like you're hitting your head against a particularly thick wall.

In future, on days like that, I'm going to remember that question.

And then write.


Cavan Scott is the author of over 70 books and audio dramas including the Sunday Times Bestseller, Who-ology: The Official Doctor Who Miscellany, co-written with Mark Wright.

He's written for Doctor WhoSkylandersAdventure Time, Angry Birds, Penguins of Madagascar and Warhammer 40,000 among others. He also writes Roger the Dodger and Bananaman for The Beano as well as books for reluctant readers of all ages.

Cavan's website
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Joan Lennon said...

I raise the Klingon author cry - "Today IS a good day to write!"

Stroppy Author said...

'Did someone ask you to be a writer?'
Yes. My first book was commissioned out of the blue. I had never thought about it before. Now I feel like I've just been all compliant and never really chose to do it. Damn.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Cavan - and I think I'll be adopting Joan's cry. (Although, all things equal, I'd prefer not to be a Klingon. My forehead is wrinkly enough already.)

Nick Green said...

I do love the way kids wonder about the world and try to work out how it works. Even their wildest misconceptions bring fascinating insights. I met some readers once, about 7 years old, who were precocious enough to read my first novel and yet naive enough to think I'd written every copy out in longhand. They asked, 'How did you make the letters so neat?'

I kid you not. They must have grown up with computers and printers and all that around them, and yet still had no conception of how you'd make a physical book. In every other respect, they were searingly bright. We take so much for granted.