Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

Category Archives: writers

Are Workshops Valuable?

There’s an interesting New Yorker article by Louis Menand that addresses a recent book on the topic. I love the writer’s conclusion:

I just thought that this stuff mattered more than anything else, and being around other people who felt the same way, in a setting where all we were required to do was to talk about each other’s poems, seemed like a great place to be. I don’t think the workshops taught me too much about craft, but they did teach me about the importance of making things, not just reading things. You care about things that you make, and that makes it easier to care about things that other people make.

(h/t Lance Mannion)

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Writers You Should Read

I’m making March my unofficial Promote Writing month. So to start with (and perhaps end with, depending on how motivated I get), here are three blogs you should read by writers you may not know, all in the SF/Fantasy vein:

http://ursulav.livejournal.com/ – Ursula Vernon, fellow Sofawolf author and also published children’s book author. She’s funny, quirky, and lays bare her soul. Always entertaining.

http://matociquala.livejournal.com/ – Elizabeth Bear, many-times-published author and Hugo award-winner. Funny and quirky as well, but talks more about writing.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/ – John Scalzi. Smart things about writing, and he writes a lot. Hugo winner as well, has published many fiction and non-fiction books.

What writing blogs do you like to read?

Financial Advice for Writers

John Scalzi of SFWA writes about writers managing their finances (h/t Wyrdsmiths). My favorite paragraph:

2. Don’t quit your day job.

Lots of wanna-be writers wax rhapsodic about how great it would be to ditch the day job and just spend all their time clickety-clack typing away. These folks are idiots. Look, people: someone is paying you money and giving you benefits, both of which can support your writing career, and all you have to do is show up, do work that an unsupervised monkey could do, and pretend to care. What a scam! You’re sticking it to The Man, dude, because you’re taking that paycheck and turning it into art. And you know how The Man hates that. You’re supposed to be buying a big-screen TV with that paycheck! Instead, you’re subverting the dominant paradigm better than an entire battalion of college socialists. Well done, you. Well done, indeed.