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  • isadora
    replied
    Veronica Roth is a terrrrrible writer so there's that.

    I still belong to a writing group and have many many many many half-finished things. SO MANY UNFINISHED THINGS.

    Leave a comment:


  • ophy
    replied
    (That's a Sylvia Plath quote I just pulled off Goodreads, and I think it applies here. If you want, I can put it in pretty font over a picture of an ocean and post it on FaceBook and tag you in it like some broody starlet?).

    YES PLEASE.







    I outlined and started work on a YA book a few years ago, made some progress in Dubai & Singapore and then got preggo and have not had time to even think about it since, but I think that's good because it was pretty derivative (dystopian future, female teen protagonist, regimented society, etc). I may revisit it in a few years if/when the market isn't saturated with those types of stories.

    Oh, if you do that, you need to post about it here. You could also yank out the characters and stick them in a steampunk western or maybe mermaids or I dunno what are the kids reading these days?

    Speaking of derivative dystopia, have you heard about Veronica Roth's new book? Apparently, people are super pissed off because racism and ableism reasons. I should post about it on the book thread. I like reading up on how Big Name Authors get things wrong because it's such a good lesson in what NOT to do.

    Leave a comment:


  • roly
    replied
    Ophy, the impending GARBAGE FIRE USA is the perfect reason to keep going with it. Use that anguish, girl, and ignore the negative voices in your head. "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." (That's a Sylvia Plath quote I just pulled off Goodreads, and I think it applies here. If you want, I can put it in pretty font over a picture of an ocean and post it on FaceBook and tag you in it like some broody starlet?).

    I outlined and started work on a YA book a few years ago, made some progress in Dubai & Singapore and then got preggo and have not had time to even think about it since, but I think that's good because it was pretty derivative (dystopian future, female teen protagonist, regimented society, etc). I may revisit it in a few years if/when the market isn't saturated with those types of stories.

    Leave a comment:


  • ophy
    replied
    Ha! I LITERALLY just emailed you the thousand words that I wrote before I saw that you posted, da.


    I was all, "well at least dada will lie to me and say it's okay and that's all I need to hear to keep going" so yes that means you have to say that regardless.YOUR FAULT (for always having been so encouraging in the past).

    Leave a comment:


  • dada_teacher
    replied
    Ophy! I, for one, loved your writing so that's one person touched by it. It totally counts.

    Leave a comment:


  • ophy
    replied
    It's so sad that this thread died over a year ago!

    Is anybody still writing? isadora?


    I guess I've always thought there are two levels of writing: 1) Finally finishing your shit and 2) Actually affecting at least one other human being with it.


    This was super insightful and encouraging, Laa. I should probs read back thorugh this whole thread to be inspired to stick with something to the end.


    I have three resolutions for 2017: 1) get rid of my beeking uterus (top priority!) 2) complete a second draft of that dragon book that has been lingering on my hard drive for years 3) write a first draft of something new (or newish).

    I have a first chapter done of something newish . . . just 1k words, but it feels like an accomplishment, so Imma celebrate it (in a lackluster way).






    Honestly, I'm so beaten down about my writing these days that I think everything I write is crappity crap and not worth going on with. It's probs just my health issues and the world being AN ACTUAL GARBAGE FIRE making me feel blue, but I've got no way to evaluate my own stuff anymore.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaaLaa
    replied
    I guess I've always thought there are two levels of writing: 1) Finally finishing your shit and 2) Actually affecting at least one other human being with it. Strange eyeballs on your work will always be scary af, AGREE x1000000. But to never know Step 2 because you've released your book while jamming on a harp? , ophy! Keep writing for you 99.5%, but don't shield yourself from a fandom (small n' indie or big n' traditional) who is going to tell you you're amazeballs.

    Leave a comment:


  • ophy
    replied
    Oh, I doubt I have an actual 'following'. I don't think the small number of folks who liked to snicker at the way I mocked dumb Fan Forum delusionals a couple of years ago will really translate into future potential book buyers, you know? Hardly any of those lurkers ever followed me on Twitter or Tumblr, so thinking they might be tempted to spend actual money on my nonsense is a stretch. And that's okay, I wasn't mocking dumb Fan Forum delusionals for the profit of it.

    As depressing as it sounds, self publishing looks so Sisyphean to me at this stage. Amazon is crazy glutted with crap. I go there to find something silly and light to kill time with, and can't make a choice because there is just TOO MUCH. It's impossible to wade through. I haven't bought a self-published book in ages and ages . . . I can't even imagine doing so right now, to be honest. So it's hard to get excited about the format as a way forward for my own books.

    Nope, I think sticking everything I write into a box marked "HEY JERKS! DON'T OPEN UNTIL I'M DEAD" is really my most viable business option*.




    *or I might just be a tad depressed right now for no actual reason, but wevs.

    Leave a comment:


  • isadora
    replied
    You can just go the self-publishing route, tho? I mean, it's not like you're a wilting flower on the internet! You have a following (weird as it may be) and you can easily do marketing and promotions via web ads (you have some expertise in that area, don't forget!) and your Twitter and social media efforts are largely anonymous and mostly relate to your actual interests.

    You're weirdly well positioned for an indie author.

    Leave a comment:


  • ophy
    replied
    I was also literally in an attic room overlooking trees and a lake - felt like a brilliant cliche.

    That retreat sounds heavenly! Good for you. I would have had to do it without all the other writers around, though.

    I think you are totally right about the internet diet. I am determined that I am going to carve out a new schedule to stick to, for at least a month. I need to bang out the rest of this book . . . if it starts malingering all is lost. It's ridiculous how weak I am in the face of Twitter temptations.







    I'm an extrovert so promoting books and talking to strangers doesn't fill me with dread. I also love to travel! Especially when it's tax deductible.
    You know that describes my hell!

    I think half of my issues related to finishing stuff is tied directly to my complete paralysis in this area. The struggle to resolve my indecisions about publishing is making it hard to focus on a finish line. Finishing means starting up all kinds of stuff that I dread.

    Kinda thinking about writing a pile of manuscripts over the next forty years, never letting anyone see them in my lifetime, and just leaving instructions to my kids that they can do whatever they want with all of it after I'm safely gone.




    Leave a comment:


  • scientologyguru
    replied
    I just got bought 5 days at a residential fiction writing course with the Arvon foundation for my birthday. It's a really established organisation here and we stayed at John Osbourne's old house in the middle of the Shropshire countryside with no internet or telephone. There were 15 of us taught by two writers and the days took the format of workshops in the morning, writing in the afternoon and readings and socialising over lots of wine in the evenings. We all took turns cooking in groups for each other as well.

    The best part was that there was an enormous library with packed bookshops around the house that you were allowed to take up to your room. I was also literally in an attic room overlooking trees and a lake - felt like a brilliant cliche.

    I wouldn't have gone if it hadn't been a present but it was actually pretty inspiring and has kickstarted my writing a bit although I don't have high hopes of that lasting. That said, I am now a firm convert to the internet diet, whilst writing, as I didn't miss it and being forced to talk to each other and write because there was nothing else to do actually works.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaaLaa
    replied
    Ditto. I'd love to talk to people about my imaginary books!

    Leave a comment:


  • isadora
    replied
    I'm an extrovert so promoting books and talking to strangers doesn't fill me with dread. I also love to travel! Especially when it's tax deductible.

    That said? UGH MY WRITING LIFE IS PATHETIC.

    Leave a comment:


  • ophy
    replied
    Kids are back in school, so theoretically, I should be making hella progress. In actuality, not so much? Kind of inching along at the moment.


    Two things, equally of interest to my current headspace:

    http://nymag.com/thecut/2015/09/ask-...full-rss-nymag

    Ask Polly: Should I Just Give Up on My Writing?
    Excerpt from Polly's answer:

    You have to support your lovely odd-duck friends who have made money from their creations, but you can't compare yourself to them. You have to aim high but you also have to commit yourself to the work you love and believe in without any expectation that it will bring you success.

    And when your hungry ego grabs the wheel and drives you off a cliff, forgive yourself. But then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and repeat these words: I AM AN OLD NOBODY AND I LOVE WHAT I DO. I'm going to make an inspirational poster with those words on it. Dreaming about breaking through is like joining a fundamentalist religion fixated on the afterworld. There is no glistening golden castle in the sky waiting for any of us.

    . . .

    We are old nobodies who love what we do. We would be old nobodies even if Oprah and the New York Times best-seller list consecrated us, because we don't want to create illusions around ourselves like so many others have done before. Instead, we make what we love and dress how we like and dance in our kitchens and breathe in the good moments because we know nothing lasts that long. We will never have everything we ever wanted. The world will not turn shiny and spotless and perfect one day. We aren't rushing to some imaginary finish line. We are inching along slowly, smelling the flowers, playing with our dogs and cats, giving generously to those who need our help when we can.

    We wake up very early in the morning, before the sun comes up, and we say to the world: I AM OLD AND I AM A NOBODY AND I LOVE WHAT I DO. You will be just like me someday. If you're lucky.
    I love Ask Polly, and found this answer to be equal parts satisfying and inspiring. I am so totally an inching old nobody! That is liberating, actually.


    And then this!

    Elena Ferrante' has hacked modern publishing in the best way, and I have never been more jealous of anyone in my life:

    http://lithub.com/nom-de-vie-literar...e-of-ferrante/

    NOM DE VIE: LITERARY SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE AGE OF FERRANTE ON ANONYMITY AND THE SELF-PROMOTIONAL AUTHOR
    The letter she sent to her publishers when she told them she wasn't going to do a single damn thing to promote her books is glorious:


    "I do not intend to do anything for Troubling Love, anything that might involve the public engagement of me personally. Iíve already done enough for this long story: I wrote it. If the book is worth anything, that should be sufficient. I wonít participate in discussions and conferences, if Iím invited. I wonít go and accept prizes, if any are awarded to me. I will never promote the book, especially on television, not in Italy or, as the case may be, abroad. I will be interviewed only in writing, but I would prefer to limit even that to the indispensable minimum. I am absolutely committed in this sense to myself and my family. I hope not to be forced to change my mind. I understand that this may cause some difficulties at the publishing house. I have great respect for your work, I liked you both immediately, and I donít want to cause trouble. If you no longer mean to support me, tell me right away, Iíll understand. Itís not at all necessary for me to publish this book.

    To explain all the reasons for my decision, is, as you know, hard for me. I will only tell you that itís a small bet with myself, with my convictions. I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they wonít. There are plenty of examples. I very much love those mysterious volumes, both ancient and modern, that have no definite author but have had and continue to have an intense life of their own. They seem to me a sort of nighttime miracle, like the gifts of the Befana, which I waited for as a child. I went to bed in great excitement and in the morning I woke up and the gifts were there, but no one had seen the Befana. True miracles are the ones whose makers will never be known; they are the very small miracles of the secret spirits of the home or the great miracles that leave us truly astonished. I still have this childish wish for marvels, large or small, I still believe in them."

    And then, as a parting line, ďBesides, isnít it true that promotion is expensive? I will be the least expensive author of the publishing house. Iíll spare you even my presence.Ē

    She rejects everything which is horrid and awful about being an author and only keeps the good stuff. As Chee puts it:

    A room of your own was never going to be enough, her career seems to say. Build a life apart and live there instead, and throw your books out over the wall through your publisher. Donít let them see the rest. Donít let them in, donít play nice. Theyíll try to treat you like a woman instead of a writer anyway, no matter how much you show. It isnít worth it. Ferranteís indifference alone is like a manifesto she couldnít be bothered to nail to any church door, except her publisherís.


    Ferrante is my hero, and I haven't even read her books yet. (Although, I hear that they are really good).
    Last edited by ophy; 09-18-2015, 12:39 PM.

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  • ophy
    replied
    The witch book is still around! I changed just about *errrything* about it, though, so it doesn't really resemble the chapters you read anymore.


    If I don't write something FAST and finish it FAST, I get bored with it and move onto a different idea. That's another terrible failing of mine. I technically have three WIPs at the moment (dragons, witches, actors), and it's just a matter of which one can sustain my interest long enough to make it across the actual finish line first. Or at all.

    Leave a comment:

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