…Authors, beware the shiny Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Syndrome… #TBSU…

…there’s only ever been two people that I really would like to have been rather than myself… the first was Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, my first and everlasting lifelong hero… that switch of character desire vanished when the great man died in 1965, when I was in my teens… it’s not much fun being a dead bloke… the other wannabe-sumb’dy-else phase happened when my other hero arrived on the scene… the comedic God, Billy Connolly… granted, for the initial period of doting on his humour I was more or less constantly in the addictive grasp of chronic Booze-ism…. (I’ve long-since abandoned the pursuit of a premature termination by keeping a wary distance from the electric soup and its various liquid cousins, but that’s a story for another day)… I’m now content to let Master Connolly purvey his craft without any need for me to switch places with him… so the full circle has been taken, and for good or otherwise, I’m left with….me… the thought pleases me… but here’s why I’m trundling on about this today… I’ve picked up on several of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land out there who profess an objective of writing like sumb’dy else… it’s astonishing how these kinda topics come in herds… one week, it’s stuff lamenting a paucity of sales figures… the next it’s competing in polls for this, that, and the other scribblers competitions… this wee while back, it’s been all about wannabe write-alikes to that wee Rowling lassie, or the Jimmy Patterson fella, or some such other ‘famous’ quill-scraper… now, to have the desire to be great novelists is terrific… but not as a surrogate for sumb’dy else… my tuppence worth is this… stop it right now!…cut it out!…  desist!… be yourselves!... write yer own stuff, and if it’s good enuff, the WURLD will beat it’s path to yer door (or not… it is a fickle planet)… daft Scots Author’s mild rant over… get back about yer business, folks, NUTHIN to see here… catch yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

23 responses to “…Authors, beware the shiny Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Syndrome… #TBSU…

  1. You echo what the awesome treehouse writing adventures crew taught me a year ago…’don’t be the next JK Rowling, be the first Dover Whitecliff’. Took awhile for it to sink through this thick skull, but it’s truer than the sky is blue… Thank you, Sir, for the important reminder… And Happy Tuesday to you!


  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Meet New (to me) Authors Blog and commented:
    Be content to be yourself – after all, YOU might be someone else’s role model!!!!! 😀


  3. Great article Seumas. Aping someone else is a big no no. Far to many new writers fall into the trap… 😉


  4. I was also a huge fan of Winston who held the country together with bits of sticky paper almost. My hero is another dead guy Prince Llewleyn who cohesed Wales into one Country and kept his cool while the English King did everything he could to beak it up, even to holding Llewelyn’s bride as hostage. I love the Big Yin for his humour.
    Though I’d like to be as great as any one of them I’d still rather be great as me. At least I can’t be a poor copy of myself and held up as a comparison to one of my greats.
    Keep well Seumas.


  5. After writing for several years, I’ve noticed some similarities between my style and Jim Butcher’s and Robert Heinlein’s, all coincidental. But I don’t make any effort to play up those factors or call myself or my books “the next whatever” or “this meets that.” I don’t want to be the next Butcher or Heinlein. What I would like though, is for people to tell their friends “Oh, you liked The Codex Alera? You should read The Epimetheus Trial!”

    Similarities in moderation lead to recommendations. In excess, to warnings of ripoffs and knockoffs.


  6. It’s difficult to be original but if you already set up to copy somebody else it’s a bit sad. Be yourself, you’re more interesting than any second rate copy of somebody else! Totally agree!


  7. Jane Thorne

    Great post my Scottish friend, well said. 🙂


    • hello , Jane… I didn’t realise I wasn’t already following your blog ( I thought I was )…rectified that now… LUV your post about the car park warden and his kindness …well done ,:)


      • Jane Thorne

        Morning Seumas, I loved your post about all of us being ourselves. I’m sitting here this morning on the Welsh coast, surrounded by the animals here, watching the calves in the field and the clouds skudding across the sky. We create our lives don’t we? Through our thoughts, words and action, so if we try to be someone else, then we miss our own lives. I would love to have Winston Churchill at my dinner table…he was a very spiritual man and lived from the heart. People were drawn to that, even if they didn’t know why. Have a great day up there in bonny Scotland, which is one of my fave places on earth. 🙂


    • …hello, again, Jane… sounds perfect where you are right now, metaphorically as well as literally… I’m not in Scotland, m’Lady… I live in Abu Dhabi in the Middle East,,, been here for 10 years, 25 years in Asia before that, and 10 years in London prior to that… been out of Scotland a loooooooog time , but it’s still in my soul ! 🙂


      • Jane Thorne

        Well I’m blowed, I missed your location! Caught the great Scottish spirit though…I have Scotland and Africa beating in my heart. Once there, never forgotten. Have a good day. 🙂


  8. Nope! Never tried to be someone else. I’m having a hard enough time trying to find out who I am without complicating things, ha ha. One day I’m into my needlecraft things but the next I’m back to writing or painting. So I guess that’s who I am; my husband is correct, I’m a butterfly and my style is my own.


  9. Wise words… Extremely wise. There was a point where I stopped writing because I thought Terry Pratchett had probably written all my books for me. Then it decided that no two people can write the same books. I discovered it’s true. We writers should definitely do our own thing… Once we work out what that is.

    My stuff does get compared to Pratchett occasionally – and Adams and Rowling and Fforde. But mostly people say they haven’t ever read anything like it, which makes me feel I’m finally getting somewhere.




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