The end is nigh my crickets… I feel a change in the works.

As a blogger over the last year, I have been following some great writers’ (and poets’) blogs.

I’ve been impressed not only at the level of dedication, but the level of quality.

I have, however, been more than irked to see the occasional random reposting of modern tribal-knowledge regarding what makes good writing.

These well-intentioned, but misdirected advice snippets perpetuate the status quo, allowing the continuation of writing exposure and success to depend simply on who you are, who you know, where you live, or WHAT you’re willing to sacrifice[1] in order to get published – whether it be yourself or your integrity. Good writing is never a factor in publishing success[2]. And the writing is never enough to sell a book[3].

We live in an age where celebrities and politicians publish more books than actual writers[4].

We live in an age where movies from the book immediately follow book publishing… even though, the process of WRITING a book, and FILMING A MOVIE, have pretty much similar time frames. (i.e. Which came first, the book idea or the movie idea? Oh wait… they happened at the SAME TIME.)

At this point, I honestly don’t know if I will keep up the online writing.

It’s been fun… and was a massive help to me socially. I was in a new house, new neighborhood, struggling to find common ground… writing, blogging, helped me to organize my thoughts. Blogging helped me find other, similar, and also contradictory thoughts. Helped me question my own thoughts. It made me more comfortable talking when subjects came up in conversation.

And it helped me understand what I was doing right, and wrong in my expectations of what makes good writing.

I’ve listed some random thoughts on writing, which I have suffered through over the past year… while writing and editing my own blogs… and reading others.


WRITING RULES. Guidelines.

  1. “WRITE LIKE YOU TALK”. It’s impossible to ‘write like you talk’ when telling a story. Verbal and written communication have different parameters. Just like movies and books differ. Exposition helps a reader understand what’s happening in a book, but can be emotionally draining in a movie. Yes, a writer can, in first-person narratives, affect the tone and voice of the main character in a book or short story… but that is (unless it’s a biography) NOT the writer’s ‘voice’.
  2. DON’T USE BIG WORDS.” If it is the RIGHT word, and expresses the thought or experience… USE IT. Avoid ‘dumbing down’ your words. Dumbing down words in books has pulled back the tide of reading comprehension so far… we have suffered a virtual TSUNAMI of misunderstanding and confusion. Not to mention a terrible mistake in presidential ascension. No one knows how to talk, discuss, or think anymore… AND IT SHOWS[5].
  3. Writing is a PROCESS. Accept there will be lean times. I’ve learned that I go through phases of ‘collecting’… where, just the act of sitting down to write makes my feet itchy for movement. It’s at these times I EXPERIENCE this existence. So I may share it with others.
  4. Write. Write. Write. Even if you’re in your itchy ‘lean’ times… write SOMETHING, every day. Even if it is to describe or complain about the day.
  5. WRITE THE BEST Worst STORY, EVER. My crickets… advice from years of self-judging… If you feel the nudge? Just. Write. This ties in with number 4 up there. My suggestion? Write the absolute WORST THING you’ve ever written. From embarrassing beginning to excruciating end. Hey, then it’s only up from there? Right?

Other than these snippets of aged wisdom? I would only add… find a hero in your genre. Try to copy them. Fail miserably. Then find your own style.

Regardless of the medium.

Art.

Is.

A.

Conversation.

Feel free to join in.

Your voice is just as important[6] as that celebrity or politician who just made number 4 on the best seller list.



[1] Here’s a situation, true: Someone once got accepted for publishing – a sweet, wonderful, funny relationship/romance novel. They were denied publishing because they refused to make the love scenes longer and “more explicit”. I have suffered through my share of random smut scenes sprinkled in books. Out of place, they cry out from writers’ hell “The publishers said I needed to make it more ‘controversial’.” Yes publishing house MBAs… I KNOW OF YOUR PAGE 82 and 120 SMUT rule. We suffered through the 1970’s and 1980’s gratuitous sex and violence scenes. Leave them lie in their graves please. As Mr. McKendrick said: “If it doesn’t move the story, TAKE IT OUT.”

[2] I stand by my perpetual assertion that Hemingway would have found it difficult to be published in the current environment. He would have been a prolific (and extremely poor) blogger though… (thus we still would have loved him.)

[3] Book publishing somehow began to follow the same business format as prostitution rings. I’m sure other arts have suffered, what I call, The MBA Effect, but, well, I only have experience in writing. Feel free to add…

[4] I should add ‘probably’ here… Except, well, despite my lack of research into the statistical ‘truths’ (I’ll leave that particular job to whoever would like to prove me wrong)… From my last visit to the book store? I am positive I am probably right in my assertions.

[5] All caps in literature is NOT yelling. It’s accentuation. The tsunamic effect of poor reading comprehension forces me sometimes to CAPITALIZE a word, so the reader doesn’t SKIM past it.

[6] More so… but I was required by commonality, and civility, to be equanimeous.


If you’re interested in some great poetry, writing, travel, photo, and food blogs… Please take a look at all of the blogs I follow. (Hey, if I followed you… it was FOR A REASON. 😉 ).

Cheers.