I try not to sneer. I really do. And, most of the time, I succeed. I didn’t roll my eyes (much) in English, when I appeared to be one of two people who cottoned on straight away. I don’t make snide remarks under my breath during assembly, as everything is linked back to Catholicism. I manage to restrain myself from going straight to a teacher when I read the tripe which has been uploaded to the school site for use in the magazine (on a side note: was it on today? I really hope not, because if so I didn’t go). Bad grammar I can cope with. All that requires is a little subtle editing when the author isn’t looking. Mary Sues, dry story-lines and improbable happenings however? Those I cannot cope with.

It’s not just about me. I know that my own writing can be god-damned awful. And I know that because I look back on things I wrote last year, and I cannot get over how dull they are. I wrote that? What was I thinking? The difference is this: I am constantly looking for ways to improve my writing. I have three different boards on Pinterest with quotes, guides, and everything else I can think of which could help me to get better. I write every day (albeit rarely more than 100 words). I edit my work to the best of my ability before even considering letting it out into the wild. Above all, I read. I can recognise a badly written character from page two, a dull plot by the end of the first chapter. If you want to have a car crash, do some flipping research and tell me why it happened. The bus just flipped over? That’s the kind of thing which makes me drop a book and never pick it up again. And for God’s sake describe it. Describe the fear, the agony, the fact that more than three flipping minutes have passed. What about the blood? The stench of burning oil? Did no-one scream?

Again: I’m not perfect. My ode isn’t in proper iambic pentameter. I don’t think my story is much good, and I know full well that no-one in their right mind want to read something in the second person. But I try, and I edit, and then I try again. It’s not that this person can’t write. It’s that they’re so eager to do so that they don’t seem to be stopping to check that it’s all good.

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