Pulling extra shifts is nice for the bigger paychecks, but I swear, I feel mentally flabby when I have to go a few days without having time to read and write. As Mark Sandman once wailed, don’t they know that I’ve got other plans? Well, truth be told, I have been able to spend a few hours here and there on the web, but I’ve come away with nothing to show for my efforts but familiarity with the latest fútbol transfer market rumors, the latest evidence of irredeemable shitheelery from certain FTB bloggers, and the usual digital detritus, none of which is conducive to my practice.
You lovely people don’t come here for that sort of frippery, do you? Of course not; you come here to delight in my prose stylings, and who could blame you for refusing to settle for less. But while I recover from this busy week and prepare for the upcoming one, I will offer, in lieu of my own writing this fine day, some writing about writing which I’ve read and appreciated: Manjula Martin considering the ways in which a dreaded “day job” keeps writing from disappearing up its own Platonic ideal, and Freddie Dee Bee taking a hammer and chisel to your whole identity as a writer to see if anything is left once he’s done.
June 5, 2013 @ 9:28 pm
I have a well meaning friend who keeps insisting I should "write a book". In addition to having zero interest in doing such a thing, I keep reminding him of the reality of todays' writing "marketplace". He didn't respond when I forwarded Freddie's piece.
Nah…my writing is sadly limited to commenting on (other people's)blog posts, LOL
June 6, 2013 @ 12:35 am
I could never write a novel. I mean, I just don't have that storytelling capacity in my brain. I couldn't come up with a few hundred pages of prose and dialogue that I felt satisfied with. So I have a certain amount of respect for anyone who is able to do that, however unevenly.
But if you get involved in bookselling in any capacity, you quickly notice how the vast majority of novels disappear without a trace. Goodwill shelves are full of books that are being sold for a penny online. You hold one in your hands and think: this is a story that someone may have spent years thinking up and refining and writing and editing and shopping around. They were so proud when they got a publisher, and they told everyone they knew that they'd finally made it as a writer, and they held the first printing in their hands and stared at it and thought of how much effort they'd put into arriving at this point.
And then they sold maybe a couple thousand copies, tops.
I find it hard to comprehend how crushing that would be.
June 7, 2013 @ 7:04 pm
I would like to start charging a small fee for my comments. Please insert a PayPal link here so I can get paid. (50 cents to read further, please.)
As an experiment, I searched Amazon books by most highly rated and bought the first thing that came up, "Wool". Turns out, it's kick-ass good post apocalypse sci fi that is (was) self published! The author, Hugh Howey, made hundreds of thousands by selling "chapters", novellas really, on-line only, for $3.99, before publishers started a bidding war for the series. So why couldn't any writer do the same, provided they get the "up votes"?
June 7, 2013 @ 9:47 pm
>So why couldn't any writer do the same, provided they get the "up votes"?
Quite a few writers do, but it's still a numbers game. It's comparable to indie music. Certain kinds of people seek out the unknowns, and if you have that certain something, you can start a groundswell.
But, most people, like most bands, never make more than a modest sum at it.
It's a pretty smart business model, on the whole. But like anything else, traction is a crapshoot.
June 9, 2013 @ 2:45 pm
Speaking of writers, here's something for Noel.
June 10, 2013 @ 2:42 pm
Speaking of Vonnegut, I read that Slaughterhouse Five was rejected a number of times before it was published. I think avid readers are much better critics than publishers, but I have no idea how well the ratings system works, except for a couple of success stories I know of.