Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Delusions vs. Dreams

Some people who think they are writers are delusional.

Sure those of us who write with the goal of being published (and maybe even earning a living at it) are all delusional in a way, but it's not a bad sort of delusional. It's more of a dreaming (with lots of hard work thrown in.) Writers are delusional in a similar way to those who want to be professional musicians or actors. It's a long-shot, but you can actually work hard and hone your craft until you get some breaks.

The short and skinny is that a person who writes, does so because they must. Nothing anyone else can say could persuade a writer not to write. The desire to create with words is a compelling force that they can't deny. It is part of their dreaming self, this need to write which makes them a writer. Getting published is a whole other ball'o'wax.

But there are also those wanna-be writers who are BAD DELUSIONAL. Run from them.

Bad delusional is the guy at the back of the bus who smells like incontinent cats and mutters about being an archangel. Bad delusional is playing slot machines as part of your investment portfolio. Bad delusional is quitting your day job before you even start your first novel because "Hey, I'll get a Stephanie Meyer deal right out the gate."

I once met a guy who claimed to be a writer. I asked him what he wrote.

"Oh, I haven't written anything yet."

Really? Well, if you were to write something, what genre or style would it be?

"Oh, I'm only going to write best-sellers. Or soemthing that would ensure my literary fame. I won't waste my time writing anything else."

And during twenty hubris-laden minutes he proceeded to tell me how terrible every best-seller was, how his would be superior and that he was studying what was hot right now and would just follow the formula of best-sellers to write his guaranteed hit novel. And yes, he told me how publishers would be throwing money at his feet when he told them he was about to write their next block buster.

I never knew people like this existed.

And if you haven't yet seen this video, stop, turn off the music, shut the door, press play and put down the beverage to avoid soaking something.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Thank You To My Readers (Friends!)

Wow, this first-ever vault into the wooly world of blogging has been incredible! And it's because of you groovy cats out there reading this.

So please allow me to offer you tangible thanks in the form of this:

Consider it my early Christmas present 'cause I couldn't wait.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Which My Writers Group is Extolled (and compared to Voltron)

So last night The Illiterati got together to talk writing and critique stuff. We also played video games.

Having a good group of writers to bounce things off of is amazing. A-mazing. You could sit in class and learn all the deft little rules about writing, but does anyone still believe that learning the rules is what makes you write compelling and meaningful words?

In a group, you're not just speaking words into an empty chamber, you are immersed together.
Their eyes and their hearts are the litmus tests for the power of your words.

Plus they tell you when you wrapped up a story too quickly. Or when you used too many adverbs. *slash!
But taking critique is hard. We feel defensive about our writing.. and honestly sometimes a member of a critique group just doesn't "get" something we wrote.

But when you LOVE the people in your group... well, that's beyond awesome. Your words are in a safe place under their editorial red pens, their critiques are meaningful--even if you don't always agree--because you know that they believe in your work, want to see you at the top of your game, and are pushing you ahead with all their editorial might along the writer's journey.

Of course, The Illiterati have one other advantage: together we form Voltron.

In short, get thee to a critique group/writers group!
A good group is worth its weight in some form of precious commodity.

Also, check out Mercedes breakdown of last night's fury: http://abrokenlaptop.com/2010/11/10/in-which-our-group-plays-silent-hill-2/

Need help starting or finding a group?
Contact me!

P.s. I almost added "fulsomely" to the title of this blog post until I recalled that the word means offensively and insincerely flattering. What a strange morphology. Sounds like an innocuous word, but nooooooo, it's a tricksie negative. Like calling someone who talks too much a macrologist.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I'll Smack You With This Blog Post

This falls under the tag: "Stop Procrastinating Dude"

Ok, allow me to do a few laps as a chicken with no head. This has been a crazy few weeks.

I've got two kids under 3 bouncing off the walls, a house that looks as if a tornado localized in each room, people asking me to book shows for them. I have a reading to perform this weekend and I've got to organize my back-up dancers and pyrotechnics. Not to mention the writing gigs are flying my way faster than I can juggle them: from my day job (freelance technical writer), to possible journalistic endeavors, to contests, planning committee invites. And the band needs to practice for our upcoming shows, I have to find a babysitter, I've got a few recording sessions coming up, I'm trying to remember if I invoiced for the last one...

It's all enough to make a slacker like me turn to the Playstation for a coupla hours of veg time.

But NO! I'm the one who wants to pile my plate up high. Life's meant to be lived to the fullest!
Slackers don't win. Heck, they don't even finish!

So enough complaining. I'm jumping back in with both feet. Next time you hear from me it should be about the things I've accomplished!

Writing is a committment. Heck, living is a committment. You can't just quit. (Well, you could, but I don't reccommend it.)

We are writers because we write, not because we dream about writing, or tweet about writing, or blog about writing. So time to stop procrastinating and get back to the grist mill. Time waits for no man, unless that man is sucked into a gravitational anomaly... that's different.

But if I ever hear someone complain about how they don't have any time to write I'll smack them with this blog post by the estimable Mercedes M. Yardley.

For those of you wondering why Mercedes and I are always talking each other up (or talking smack) it's because we both belong to the Super Secret Order of Interdimensional Wombats, also known as The Illiterati. It's a critique group, it's a writers' group, it's a superhero convention.

If you've not found a few like-minded writers to meet up with (IRL or online) you need to get on that. If you want help or have questions, or just want to vent about some of the crazy critique group stories you have, please drop me a line!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Congrats KM Walton

Everyone go congratulate KM Walton on getting her book sold to Simon & Schuster!

Yay! Hard work, perseverance, voodoo magic!