1. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    For some laughs -- or some tears

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by chicagoliz, Jun 7, 2013.

  2. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    I loved this post! There were some really funny lines and some that made me think 'oh no they didn't!' The writer made some points that I think about a lot, even for myself.

    Thanks for sharing :)
     
  3. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Haha, it'd be ironic if this writer then became successful and was able to live off his craft...
     
  4. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just how was this helpful? I mean, sure, it is true that most of us probably won't make it and even when we do, we won't get paid enough to eat probably - why does that mean it should be the only thing I remind myself about? I get the idea that if you expected less of yourself, you'd probably write better, and more, but most of us who don't make it usually don't make it because we didn't believe in ourselves. It's the ones who do that keep writing, and the ones who keep writing are the only ones with a fighting chance of ever "making it".

    Hmm I get that the article was meant to be like 50% or maybe even 80% sarcasm/humour, but I just don't see it personally. Truth is I probably missed his point completely, because honestly, besides what I've already mentioned, I have no idea what he was talking about for such a long article.

    And who said writing is to do with money anyway? We all know we need a proper job beside it, that's old news. And to reduce the term "writer" to simply what you do for a living - well, when it's your dream it's more personal than that, and that's not unique to writers. If it's someone's dream to be a teacher, their telling you that "I'm a teacher" is not just a fact of her profession, but something more, and there's nothing wrong with taking it that way. Ever heard of the phrase, "She's a mother without a child"? Same thing. How can you be a mother without a child? Because the name "mother" does not just express the fact of doing the job of a mother, but it expresses your longings as an individual and therefore part of yourself.
     
  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I enjoyed this article, taking it with a grain or two of salt, as an intentionally misanthropic look at what we think writing will do for us. A few chuckles. I would say take from it what you will, and don't take it too seriously.

    However, one of the first points the article made is one I agree with completely. If you're just starting out, DO NOT TELL anybody that you're writing! Don't tell anybody what you're doing until you're all done.

    Obviously you'll need to inform your spouse, or whoever you live with, that you've got a project on the go. But write it yourself, without any input from anybody else. Do the first edit from your own perspective,. THEN—and only then—put it out there for help/critique/reaction from other people. Then edit again.

    This approach has several advantages.

    People you know will be knocked-out to learn that you've actually written a NOVEL (or whatever). Even if it's not perfect, hey, you DID it. This as opposed to their initial skepticism (or smothering 'support') when you announce you're going to write a novel, and your potential humiliation when the Great British/American Novel doesn't actually appear.

    Telling nobody until you're done also means your story will be your own. It won't be influenced by the premature opinions of others. Afterwards, by all means, gather opinions from anyone willing to give them. Have the confidence to let your story be your own at the start. Your own plot, your own characters, your own style. You'll find these much easier to create if you beaver away in solitude, rather than looking back over your shoulder all the time, begging opinions from other people after each chapter, scene, paragraph or sentence.

    And have fun. As the author of this piece ultimately concluded. Write. What else can you do?
     
  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have encountered plenty of people, including many on this site (often they don't stick around very long, though) who get the idea that they can make a lot of money writing, or state that they are only writing for the money, or insist that they don't want to do anything else other than write as a career.

    Also, I found the part about only giving praise to other writers amusing. I was told that if you want to write books, you can never, ever, give a negative review of another author's book in a public forum or in written form (at least under your own name or under a name connected to you). Say nothing or give ebullient praise. (This is kind of sad for me because if I really despise a book, I love writing a thorough review of all the reasons why.) I see this idea in play all the time -- some authors seem to read nothing but "fabulous," and "wonderful" books.
     

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