A Message to the Writer, to be Opened January 1st.

See full issue for 2016 12-26

Hey. Hey, you. Get up.

Unglue your face from the carpet, take your fist out of the turkey and tell the man in your living room who is still dancing even though there’s no music that it’s time to go home. The new year has rang in, and you’re fairly sure you made some bold claims last night about how you were going to grab 2017 by the trump. Well, now 2017 is here, and it looks down upon you with the same placid indifference that 2016 showed to beloved musical icons.

I’m talking of course about your New Years Resolutions. Other, lesser mortals may have made promises about gym memberships, healthy eating, and to stop having faith that The Walking Dead will become interesting again. Not you, though, because you’re a writer. You promised loudly that you were going to write the ever loving crap out of 2017.

Time to cash that mouth cheque, buddy, because time flies- not like a pretty bird, but like a jet liner filled with middle fingers. “Deeds, not words,” is the advice I’d give to normal human beings, but a writer’s deeds are his words, and visa versa. So I will tell you; “Words, not words. You know what I mean, don’t look at me like that.”

Now is the time to write.

The clock is ticking. You only have 365 days left to complete that masterpiece. Now’s the perfect time to start. It’s cold and dark outside, and you already watched all the good TV over christmas. You have no excuses. You’ve drank and ate as much as can reasonably be expected. Now all food looks somehow painful. You never want to see your family and friends again until at least June. There are no distractions.

Now is the time to write.

Hmm, but maybe you said that last year, and all you managed to write was a shopping list for things you never actually bought. Shh, don’t worry about that. Whatever you achieved or didn’t achieve last year is behind you, fading into your rear view mirror like a frustrated chainsaw wielding psycopath. Don’t worry about that. You’re living in the future like a god damned king of space. What doesn’t kill us makes us better writers, as the saying goes. Probably.

Now is the time to write.

But then again, perhaps you ran yourself ragged over the holidays. Perhaps it’s time to put your feet up. Maybe you feel like you need a little time to adjust and get back to reality, some kind of normalcy. Yes, that’s fine. As long as your normal reality is all of the writing all of the time. I’m sorry, did you mean something else? Like what? Your real job? Shut up. How you pay the bills and how you pay your dues are different things and you know it.

This is it. This is the cold light of day. This is where you find out who you are. With the pleasant fugue of merry making stripped away, and the days stretched before you like steel cable, what you reach for now will set the tone for the rest of the year. I suggest you reach for the pen.

Now is the time to write.


Steve Wetherell

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