This Is My Dictionary


That quote is an honest-to-God quote from an actual self-published book that I actually read.  And yes, it did cost me no pounds and no pence but that is no excuse.

As indie authors, we must consider the impact of our atrocious spelling on our Dear Readers.  To illustrate: in this particular case, I was reading the offending book (and yes, it did offend, mightily) on my flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam.  It was a full flight, everyone packed in arse-to-elbow in seats designed for people with the dimensions of your average pipe cleaner.  I couldn’t sleep, what with two hundred people breathing in my close vicinity, so naturally I started reading.  The plane was quiet, people dozing off to the somnolent drone of the engines.  And then I read that sentence.  Like a reflex hammer on my reading knee, I exploded in a Tourette’s-like outburst and shouted ‘Oh for fuck’s sake!’  I woke up my seat-mates and every sleeping passenger for six rows back.  From then on, as if I’d created some monstrous psychic link with everyone I’d pissed off, whenever I got up to pee or stretch my legs, forty pairs of eyes would snap open and stare balefully at me until I was out of sight.  The trolley dollies smirked at me and ‘forgot’ to give me a hot towelette.  Every time I dozed off, my seat-mates would ‘accidentally’ elbow me.  I was last off the plane because nobody gave way so I could gymnast myself into the minuscule aisle.

It’s a bloody miracle the pilot didn’t come out of his pilot-office or wherever the hell they live and throw me off the plane in mid-air I’m telling you.  All because some fuckwit couldn’t spell ‘guerilla’.

It is time, my wordsmithing friends, for a Writers’ Creed, to go with the Sacred Oath of the Indie Author.

The Writers’ Creed

This is my dictionary.  There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My dictionary is my best friend.  It is my life.  I must master it as I must master my writing.

My dictionary, without me, is still a dictionary.  Without my dictionary, I am useless.  I must consult my dictionary true.  I must wordsmith greater than my indie rivals, who are trying to beat me in the Amazon charts. I must write my book before he writes his.  I will.

My dictionary and I know that what counts in writing is not the number of words we write, the length of our books, nor the covers we design.  We know that it is the spelling that counts.  We will spell.

My dictionary is a book, even as I am a writer.  Thus, I will learn it as a writer.  I will learn its pages, its words, its definitions, its lexicon, its meanings and its spellings.  I will keep it prepared and ready, even as I am prepared and ready.  We will become part of each other.  We will.

Before the Word Processor, I swear this creed.  My dictionary and I are the defenders of my writing.  We are the masters of our story.  We are the saviours of my writing.

So be it, until victory is my published work and there is no writing, but writing!


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