Just Stop Writing.

Picture credit to Philip Sharman

You heard me. Just stop.

If any of you reading this are like me at all then you will know the sheer impossibility of doing this. Writing is as part of me as breathing (cheesy but true) and even when the words just don’t come, you come back to it. Again and again. And it’s because we love it. We hate it. It’s writing.

And you might even make it big. That’s not why you write. But you could write something truly great and people all around the world just love what you have written.

You’re at your peak, people know you and your writing. You try your hand at something else. Because that’s what writing is all about isn’t it? Trying new forms and new ways of expression.

Then boom.

You are told to put down your pen (or your laptop or apple mac or whatever) and just stop writing because you’ve had your day. You’re not giving other writers a chance in this new field, so just stop.

This is what author Lynn Shepherd told the Huff Post back in February about Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who, according to the BBC website, said Rowling has:

“sucked the oxygen from the entire publishing and reading atmosphere”, making it harder for aspiring authors to flourish.”

She also said:

“Rowling has no need of either the shelf space or the column inches, but other writers desperately do.”

The author of ‘Literary Mysteries’ (nope, I’ve never heard of it either) admits that popular Rowling should just stick to Children’s fiction, despite having never read any of it.

Sounds like more than a little jealousy. Is it because her own writing career has not took of that she uses Rowling as the scapegoat?

“I can’t think of a faster way to totally tank your career than to piss off a WORLD of readers by looking like a jealous, petty, wannabe hack,” romance writer Tymber Dalton writes.

Author Anne Rice also took to Facebook to say:

“If JK Rowling Cares About writing, She Should Stop Doing It,” says novelist Lynn Shepherd in this vicious, cynical, resentful and thoroughly ugly article. It’s appalling. Never have I seen anything this malicious ever directed towards an actor, a painter, a ballet dancer, an opera singer, a film director. No, this is the kind of petty, spiteful condescending criticism that is for some reason reserved for writers in our world. And that it was written by some one who is a writer herself makes it doubly nasty and shocking. . My very best wishes to JK Rowling and to all authors out there as they face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in their creative journeys. In my life as a novelist, I’ve come to believe we are only in competition with ourselves when we strive to do our best; there is plenty of room for a multitude of successful endeavours in the ever changing world of books and readers, and there always will be.”

Somehow I missed all of this and only caught up on the article now. But is Shepherd wrong? Or is Rowling really taking away all possibilities for other authors? Read the full article here