Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

So you want to be a writer…

At signings, in interviews, and in my inbox, many questions repeatedly boil up to the surface, much like the gritty, warm ooze bubbling beneath the softening head of a ripe boil. One of the most frequently seen Qs is “Do you have any advice for a new writer?”

I usually do, yes. It’s “Read and write a lot.” Sometimes I mention what I think they should read, but not always. The length of my answer usually reflects how hungover I am at the signing, or how much real work I have to do that day, rather than fucking about in my inbox for kicks.

I’ve got a lot of real work to do today. This whole week, actually. It’s mega. Void Stalker reaches halfway.

You’ve probably noticed that I don’t do many Writer Advice Guides on my blog. Other authors often do, and I tend to think they’ve got it covered. There’s also the fact I find writing those guides almost inhumanly boring, which is a vital factor in whether I’ll do a blog post, or go play my 360.

But this post will cover it. It’ll be the thing I link to / the thing I mention / the thing I reference each and every single time in the future that I’m asked if I have any advice for writers.

Yes, I do have some advice.

This is Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey, by Chuck Wendig. Buy it.

Here is where you can buy it: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/05/20/confessions-of-a-freelance-penmonkey-now-available/

Here are some reviews saying it’s amazing: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11424095-confessions-of-a-freelance-penmonkey

“But Aaron, isn’t he your friend? Are you just pimping his work?” 

I’ve known Chuck for about 10 years. We pretty much started writing together, in the foul and treacherous trenches of RPG work, where men were men, women were usually men, and bikinis were made from the finest chainmail. At various times in our friendship, he’s been a nagging editor, my favourite colleague, an intimidating son of a bitch, and a good friend. At various points, I’ve been an unreliable weasel of a co-worker, a whiny bitch, a truly charming hero of the people, and a compiler of songs about werewolves. (One of those isn’t true.) But yeah, he’s my friend. You may have noticed that his blog has been in my link list since forever and ever.

He is also the finest writer I know. I’m not pimping his work. I’m saying “This is the best insight into being a writer” because it’s the best insight into being a writer. I’ve been waiting for Confessions for a long time, mostly for the selfish reason that I can now say “Shut up and read this” to that most annoying of questions.

I can also add “Now I’ve given you the advice, let’s talk about me again.”

I also mentioned Confessions in this month’s SFX magazine, which by the way I’m totally in.

See what I did there? I spread the useful information while also managing to talk about myself. Go team. 

August 22, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized |


  1. What about Stephen King’s – On Writing ( A Memoir of the Craft) ?
    Can aspiring writers learn a thing or two from that piece as well ?

    Comment by Flying_Dutchman | August 22, 2011 | Reply

  2. On Writing is pretty good, but Stephen King has contradicted a lot of it in his own work. Danse Macabre is better.

    “I also mentioned Confessions in this month’s SFX magazine, which by the way I’m totally in.”

    Do they have you listed as ‘New York Times Bestselling Author and SFX Subscriber, Aaron Dembski-Bowden?” I might pick that up on Friday; what’s on the cover this month, blocking the bottom part of the F?

    Also, update you links, man! Katie’s still listed under her maiden name, Mark C Newton has disappeared and GrimDark is (optimistically) down as “monthly.”

    But back to the topic, I’ve just bought Confessions… on the Kindle and you can also get 250 Things You Should Know About Writing (also by Chuck Wendig) for £0.86. I don’t know Chuck Wendig, and I’ve not read either yet, but if you can get two books and change from a fiver, that’s a good deal.

    Comment by G | August 22, 2011 | Reply

  3. I like the cover.

    Comment by Rob Ashley White | August 23, 2011 | Reply

  4. I like the cover. I’m judging it by that.

    Comment by Rob Ashley White | August 23, 2011 | Reply

  5. confessions is fantastic! inspiring helpful and funny.

    Cheers for puttin us onto it, finished it in a matter of hours!

    Comment by Jonathan | August 24, 2011 | Reply

  6. Awesome! The book is in Kindle edition 🙂 I shall purchase this and read it in its entirety. While I write all the time and I’m (self)published, there’s always plenty of room to improve.

    And I can’t wait for Void Stalker :3

    Comment by Christopher Meyer | August 25, 2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: