When the offer to contribute to this blog came, I accepted without hesitation. Then I hesitated. What to deliver that would be worthy? My opinions, (and that is all they are), can be controversial.

I’ve been a little poorly recently. Not been writing much just at a time when I should be writing as hard as I can. Age, you see. Not a lot of time left, and so many books to write.

Because I admin the Writers, Authors, and Readers Facebook page, and belong to a few other writerly groups, Facebook takes up a lot of time. So real writing gets…well… overlooked. I resent that. I resent my own inability to simply refuse to log in and get stuck in. So, with my tongue firmly set in my cheek, (just in case anyone takes offence,) I’ll try to get out of the way one of my pet hates.

I hate writers!
They get together in groups. Pumping egos. Prissing and preening. Like body builders. They read aloud from pompous, pretentious manuscripts. While the rest of the group smirks and nods. Waiting their turn to be pretentious and pompous. Or pouring out their angst in poetic drivel.
I hate writers!
They discuss dead people. Wondering “what they meant by that”. And they prattle and preen and priss. Trying to find meaning in the meaningless. Usually their own. Or maybe Satre or Ayn Rand.
Dammit I hate writers!
Shakespear. Or Shakspeare…or even Shakespeare (depending on your pretensions) was a hack. He gave ’em what they asked for. Blood and gore! Sex’n’drugs’n’rock’n’roll. Glory be! A businessman! An actor! A hack!
I hate writers! AND their grammatically pure, politically correct sop! SSSuffering sssyntax Batman!
Chas Dickens was a hack . He bashed it out on deadlines. Serials in prurient broadsheets. Queen Vic wouldn’t miss an episode so they say. Fans would stop him in the street and shout “What happens next Chas?”
“Buggered if I know”. He’d say in the current Victorian vernacular. “I haven’t written it yet!”
Now that’s a hack!
I HATE writers!
Yeah! But what about Alan Ginsberg eh? EH? What about HIM then?
DUH! Ginsberg was a writer! The Andy Warhol of the alphabet. He didn’t sell anything but GINSBERG.
Writers are good at applying for grants. And getting them. Hacks don’t need grants. Too busy working for a living!
Morris West is a hack. Thomas Keneally. Kate Grenfell is a hack. And Bryce Courtenay. And Margaret Drabble. And Peter Corris. Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Hacks one and all!
Mary Shelly was a hack! Wow she sat up in bed ALL NIGHT to write Frankenstein.
I hate writers!
Twenty years to write their only novel that sells three copies. They put one book on the shelf, and give to to the relatives. And when they go out to dinner they loudly proclaim …”I’m a writer!” DUH!!
And bore you with extracts.
I hate writers! They post their links to Amazon claiming that they have written over sixty books, and when you go to buy one you receive fifty pages of double spaced angst!
I HATE writers!
But I LOVE Hacks!
Barbara Cartland, the undisputed queen of hackery. The only thing she ever wrote was her name on the cover at book signings. There she sat chaising on the longue, holding her pussy. (on her knee George… mind out of the gutter please!) And a gorgeous male assistant sat beside her copying down her babble. 100 million books can’t be wrong. Now THAT”S a hack! And every one with a plot, and more than fifty pages!
Erle Stanley Gardner. Supreme hack! Once voted the world’s best whoduniter!
Bah humbug! I hate writers! And their precious little egos.
Writers never let you sit and read a piece. They lean over your shoulder. And prattle. Or worse. They insist on reading it to you! As if their droning on makes it more worthy! “Do you see what I’m trying to say?” They simper, fixing you with a gaze that says cretin!
If they have to ask they’ve failed. Tough.
I hate writers.
I hate critics worse than writers. (Listen up Facebook fiends! Oh! I meant friends!
But I still hate writers. A lot.
But a hack! A hack is a diamond in the dungheap of literature. Only critics scrape off the cream to get to the shit!
A hack just gets on with the job and doesn’t choke you with adjectives.
WRITERS refuse to prostitute their art by writing fillers for Women’s Weekly. Hacks turn ’em out by the score.
WRITERS dream of cocktail parties with the glitterati. To talk about themselves. Hacks tolerate the odd literary luncheon.. and charge a fee for their wasted time.
Ask a hack what s/he does for a living and the bet is that they’ll say “oh I’m self employed”
If you really push a hack they grudgingly say “oh..I work in publishing” Hacks try not to admit to being writers. Hacks KNOW. Like doctors, or lawyers. Never admit what you do! You’ll be covered like flies over honey! NEVER let a writer know what you do!
“Oh.. I”M a writer too! BLAH!” RUN! Plan your escape route and get the hell out of there fast!
I hate writers!
Okay. You’ve had a chuckle. We’ve all come across the precious little petals at one time or another. Here’s a tip. If you want to be a writer strive to be a hack. Write. Just write.
Don’t crow, or priss or preen. Just write. Join a group by all means. There are some ace/terrific groups. But when you get there learn to avoid the writers! They’ll ruin you! Go to learn the craft. That’s what it is, a craft. A skill. It’s about communication, flying kites, ideas. And you’re going to write a whole lot of crap. But do it anyway! It’s a fine, worthwhile hobby. If you want to sell, make an income, be a hack. Write greeting cards, company reports, love letters, newsletters, anything that pays a dollar. Hack away day and night, make notes, research, mind surf. Burn the midnight oil. Get it down, get it out. Get it in an envelope or post it on the internet, but get it up there no matter how good or bad. Just be a hack.
Say what you want to say in the least number of words. If you want to go all around the houses be a taxi driver.. or you’ll end up being a writer.
And I hate writers!
Me? I’m a straight hack! A thirty five year hack! Poetry, stories, business reports, council reports, minutes of meetings, advertising copy, gags, fillers. And yes, even love letters for the literary inept.
Hacks meet deadlines. They tout for work. They charge a fee, and give value for money. If you want a job done. Hire a hack. And learn to hate writers.
Oh and by the way if you want to learn how to be a hack DON”T read all those books about how to become a successful writer.

About the Author, Graham Whittaker:
A novelist/writer usually goes through many roles and jobs before s/he can make a living from writing. I am no different. At the age of ten I wrote my first published story for an Enid Blyton annual! I was born in a small town on the East Yorkshire coast. A place called Withernsea. My first ‘job’ was delivering newspapers for Mr Lunn at the local newsagency, and at the age of 14 he gave me my first job in the newsagency. After I left home at almost 15 I joined the Royal Navy, and from there traveled the world. Now I live in Townsville in the hot tropics of Australia. Through many jobs and several careers, writing always took first place. Ghostwriting, family biography, advertising brochures, radio, tv- anything that allowed me to create pictures from words. Through all this I never forgot the lighthouse in my home town. Always wanted to write a novel with that beautiful safeguarding “thing” as a main character. Last year I finally found the story. Withernsea, the lighthouse, the people and places where I grew up became the anchoring location for THE GIRL FROM KOSOVO. If you live in Withernsea maybe you will see something of the town as I do. I hope so.


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