I was reading Chuck Wendig’s post 25 Lies Writers Tell (And Start To Believe) and number 9 really hit home for me.
9. “I Write Only For Me!”
Then don’t write. Sorry to be a hard-ass (ha ha, of course I’m not), but writing is an act of communicating. It’s an argument. It’s a conversation. (And yes, it’s entertainment.) And that necessitates at least one other person on the other end of this metaphorical phone call. You want to do something for yourself, eat a cheeseburger, buy an air conditioner, take a nap. Telling stories is an act we perform for others.
I’ve never written for myself. I write because I want other people to read my stories. I write because I want to share my brain dumpings with others. If I knew with an absolute 100% certainty that I would never be published, never have an audience for my work, I would walk away from it all. I would gather up all of my stories and burn them. I would permanently delete all of my writing folders.
Why? Because writing is hard work. Putting together a coherent, engaging story takes time, talent, and skill. And I’m too lazy to put that amount of physical work into something that only I will ever love.
If I want to tell stories to myself, I tell them to myself in my own head. That way I don’t have to worry about pacing, or dialogue, or continuity. I don’t have to be coherent in my own brain. I don’t have to fret over telling too much instead of showing. And better still, I can actually ENVISION the story instead of having to rely on words which don’t always do a scene justice.
I was just saying to a writer friend that I love to write. I love the rush of a good writing sprint. I love seeing my characters come to life on the page. But I can walk away from it all without going crazy.
Why am I calling it a link souffle? I have no idea. It’s just what popped into my head as I was typing the header.
First off, I really need to step away from ancestry.com. My best friend has an account and she’s letting me build my family tree on it. I’ve literally spent the last three days doing nothing but building my family tree. Or trying to at least. I can get just about every line OUT of the United States, but as soon as I’m across the pond all of the trails turn to dead ends. It’s very frustrating. Especially since my best friend has gotten her husband’s lineage all the way into the 300’s. Back to the Roman legions stationed in Britain. I am jealous.
The first thing on my list of links comes from Ilona Andrews. She’s posted the first chapter of Gunmetal Magic (Andrea’s story) up on her blog. It’s in two parts, so make sure you click both links.
Jim C. Hines has an excellent post up about Amazon and their E-book Pricing. It’s a good reminder that Amazon is not looking out for authors, they’re looking out for Amazon.
J.K. Rowling has signed a deal with Little Brown for her adult novel. As much as I love Jo and the Potter-verse, I’m going to reserve my squeeing over this until I actually read the book. Just because she wrote one of the best children’s/YA series I’ve ever read doesn’t mean she’ll be able to make the leap to adult.
Chuck Wendig has another 25 Things list up. This one is for the “aspiring” writer. His words aren’t just for the so-called aspiring writer, though. Go forth and read him. Warning: Do not read his blog while drinking any sort of liquid unless you are okay with needing to buy a new keyboard.
Also, I would just like to note that I started writing this post at 5PM on Sunday and it is still light outside. I love this time of year.
And don’t forget to enter here for a chance to receive a copy of Seanan McGuire’s Discount Armageddon!
I have a new story (yes, yet another new story) eating my brain, so today’s post is just going to be a bunch of links to other people’s intelligent babblings.
Jim C. Hines talks about how being a Black Belt and Writing are similar. I’ve been seriously considering taking up some form of martial arts, so this was a very interesting post for me.
Over at Black Ink, White Paper Eden Baylee talks about Rude Behaviour on Twitter. Social media can be a new and confusing place for a lot of people. It would be so much better for everyone if people just followed her simple suggestions.
This story from the Atlantic Wire about An Unpublished Novelist’s Week as Fake Cormac McCarthy is a perfect example of what not to do on Twitter.
Yesterday, Ilona Andrews talked about Inspiration and her trick for becoming unstuck from writer’s block. It’s actually a suggestion I’ve never seen before, so next time I run into a wall, I may just employ this technique.
Kameron Hurley talks about Self-Sabotage:
Failure is always easier than success. It’s easy to say that you failed because of some external thing. It’s harder to get up, dust yourself off, and say, “Next time, I’ll do better.”
Amen, sister. Amen.
And, as usual, Mr. Chuck Wendig has several fabulous posts up. The first is last week’s post about 25 Things Writers Should Know About Agents. This week he talks about 25 Things You Should Know About Story Structure.
I’ve been going back and forth in my head about whether or not I want to continue with this blog. I know “everyone says” that having a blog is integral to becoming successful as a writer in this age of social media, but I don’t do a very good job of keeping up with it and I think that might be more of a hindrance than a benefit. I’m not a talkative person and I’m finding it very hard to force myself to be talkative online. It goes against my nature. It also rubs up against my perception that nobody really cares what I have to say so why say it. (Please note that this isn’t a plea for sympathy, I’m simply giving all of the reasons why I’m contemplating this.)
I never have anything I want to talk about or that I think people would be interested in me talking about. I lead a very uninteresting life and I’m pretty sure that me talking about my cats, my husband, or the never-ending home remodel we’re engaged in would get boring very fast. I also don’t think people want me waxing on and on and on about my writing (which is very boring as well). I’m at a point in the publishing process where I can’t really talk about what’s going on for fear of alienating the wrong person by saying the wrong thing so I can’t even blog about that.
There are some people who can make their trip to the grocery store sound exciting, I’m not one of them. Yes, I’m a writer and if I put the effort into it I *could* make it exciting, but I’d rather put that effort into my actual writing. Unless I’m making an effort, I’m not somebody who can be flowery and poetic. I’m more prosaic and matter-of-fact in how I approach things.
I wish I could be more like Lilith SaintCrow or Jim C. Hines or John Scalzi or Cat Valente or Chuck Wendig. They all rock their blogs. I can only dream about being that witty and engaging.
I haven’t decided on a course of action yet, but I’ll definitely post about it here once a final decision is made.
Jim C. Hines has a fabulous re-post up today about Reporting Sexual Harassment in SF/F Circles. I love Jim, he’s a wonderful author and an even more wonderful person. If you haven’t read any of his books, I highly recommend his Princess books. Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella never kicked this much ass in the Disney cartoons.
Chuck Wendig has a hilarious post up listing 25 Reasons You Won’t Finish That Story. Chuck is absolutely hilarious and I love reading his blogs and tweets. I don’t always agree with him, but when I do, I really really do! Also, somebody has decided that Chuck’s “Wendigisms” deserved to be cataloged. Reading over that list you definitely see how… umm… creative Chuck gets with the English language.
K.B. Wagers posted this stunning video of Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk about Nurturing Creativity. It’s about twenty minutes long, but well worth it. My brain is still trying to process everything she said. All I gotta say is that the “notion of fairies following people around, rubbing fairy juice on their projects” is a wee bit kinky and intriguing.
K.B.’s guest post, btw, is the third highest viewed page on this blog. You all apparently like her more than you like me. I see how it is… *pouts*
Okay, enough of that. I’ve finally fallen into the groove of this story and need to get more written. How do I know I’m in the groove? My dreams are getting weirder. And they seem to be full of Neil Gaiman for some reason. Not that I’m complaining about that. Not at all. Neil can come talk to me in my dreams any time he wants.
It’s a very rainy and grey Saturday and my husband is working all weekend which makes me a very sad dragon.
1. C.E. Murphy (fabulous author of the Walker Papers series) is hosting a Kickstarter project for a story from Gary Muldoon’s perspective! If she reaches $4k by mid-November it will be a go. It just started today and she’s already more than a quarter of the way there. There are also some great extras if she reaches larger amounts. My only gripe about this is that it’s open to people who have or are willing to use their credit cards/debit cards with credit logo. I’ve been trying very hard to limit my credit card use to only emergencies and neither my husband nor I are comfortable using our debit card online. If this were open to Paypal payments, I would have already donated, but alas now I have to seriously think this over.
2. Writer friend and crit partner, K.B. Wagers, sent me the link to this fabulous duo, 2Cellos. Luka Sulic (he totally looks like Dean Winchester from Supernatural! And now I’m going to picture him every time I think about MY Luka in WDFTT) and Stjepan Hauser are classically trained cellists from Croatia playing rock and roll… on their cellos. Welcome to the Jungle, Smooth Criminal
3. The always fun Chuck Wendig has a post up about killing self-doubt before it kills you. I may not always agree with him, but he *always* makes me laugh.
4. October Weeks is on her fifth week of her A Paranormal Harvest giveaway and this week she’s giving away Afterlight and Everdark by Elle Jasper.
5. Stacia Kane articulates my feelings about display sites very well in her blog post The Lazy Reader. If I am not your beta reader or crit partner, I am not going read your unedited manuscript. I have high expectations for the books I read and I’ll go out on a limb and say I don’t think even 1% of the manuscripts up on those display sites meet them. It’s the same reason I don’t read self-published books unless I know the author is good.