May 10, 2013


By Bernard Schaffer

Writers write.

Writers read.

Writers find inspiration in the work of others and

remain vigilant not to ape anyone else.

Writers seek out criticism from those that

deserve to give it

and they listen.

(Most of the time.)

Writers work alone

without seeking approval from others

and finish with something

before showing it to anyone

because a writer is like a lonesome captain

on a sailboat steering through uncharted waters

expecting to arrive at a lost city of ancient riches.

But nobody wants to hear what you intend to find

expect to find

or say you'll find.

They just want to see it.

When I write, I think about those that came before me

who sat in a chair plinking away at the keys

or loading fresh paper into the typewriter

or putting quill to fresh ink

and I go at every single one of them

like their ghosts were sitting across from me

saying, "Come on, kid, you can hit harder than that."

Not because I don't love them

and not because I don't admire them

and not because I don't appreciate them

but because when I am writing they are my competition

and if you aren't trying to outdo everyone else

then you're just taking up space. 

People often ask me for advice

and I suppose that's the purpose of this column

that I was so graciously asked to contribute to. 

Well, here it is.

Write hard. 

Read hard.

Find an editor who will critique you hard.

And when you find some level of success, repeat those same steps

but on an even greater scale. 

Now go get to it. 
Bernard Schaffer is the author of February 2012 Kindle Top 100 Book Superbia, international best-seller Whitechapel: The Final Stand of Sherlock Holmes, and the Guns of Seneca 6 series. As a teenager, he starred in Nickelodeon's "Don't Just Sit There," musical productions, television commercials, and a skit on Saturday Night Live. He later left acting to pursue a career in law enforcement. Since 1997, Schaffer has worked as a patrolman, detective, and narcotics officer in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In 2012, he released Superbia, a book about a dysfunctional police department that reached the Kindle Top 100. As a result of the Superbia series, he was stripped of his detective rank. Schaffer is the founder of the Kindle All-Stars. The project's first release Resistance Front featured Harlan Ellison and Alan Dean Foster. All profits from that book are being donated to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Official Website  
Amazon Author’s Page for a full list of publications


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