Posts Tagged ‘blogs’

Do all writers lose their minds?  Surely not, but if such a high number of the famous ones go mad, I’m guessing that an even higher percentage of the lesser known writers tinker in madness.

Way before I even dreamed of writing professionally I had a certain fascination with the lunacy of the world’s great writers.  Talents like Petronius, Pound, Hemingway, and Nietzsche, who, for valid reasons or not, descended into madness, shortening their lives and their portfolios, forever robbing the world of what might have been.

Woolf.  Mayakofsky, Pavese.  Berryman.

It’s no secret that writers are susceptible to severe depression.  There are even surveys and studies that say so –

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/dec/13/writers-depression-top-10-risk

http://www.elizabethmoon.com/writing-depression.html

Hans Christian Andersen. Truman Capote. Charles Dickens. Henry James.

Does one need to be depressed to be a writer, or does writing merely lead one into depression?

Celan.  Sexton.  Plath.  Brautigan.

In the publishing world of today, writer’s often find themselves spending more time in selling themselves to the public than they do in producing written material.  Blogging, queries, synopses, bios, blogging, queries, synopses, bios. Rejection, rejection, rejection.  All of this leads to more self-evaluation than is necessary for most people.  It is easy to see how one’s self-image gets tanked through the 21st century publishing process.

This leads me to believe that the problem writers face with depression may be greater than ever before.  Writers of past centuries were not nearly as exposed to criticism and rejection as the writers of today.

Gray.  Wallace.  Thompson.  Kane.

It is important to keep your perspective as a writer.  It is important to keep your perspective as a human being.  You are just one tiny element in a grandiose world of mortal objects.  We want to feel important, yet what we do is really not all that important, except to those that are closest to us while we’re here.

Sometimes, for perspective, I like to stop what I’m doing and spend a moment with one of my pets.

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Ashes, the EMS Cat, at age one.

Ashes doesn’t care if I get published.  She doesn’t care what I say as long as I’m not yelling at her.  She just wants me to feed her and stroke her fur once in a while… and she wants to be able to crap in a clean box of litter, too.

Sigh.

I’m still sane, at least for the moment.

Stay sane, writers.

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SELLING ME!

Posted: February 6, 2014 in Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

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I’ve never been a good salesman.  Long ago I made a few attempts at being a salesman and I failed every time.  If someone offered me a job today as a salesman, saying, “I’ll pay you $2,000 per week PLUS commission,” I’d turn it down.  Why?  Because I’m 43, I know myself, and I know better.  I would make $4,000 in two weeks and then they’d fire me for not selling a single unit.  Dang, though!  $4,000!  That was good while it lasted.

I’m a bad salesman.

This applies to selling “me” as well.  I’ve never been comfortable promoting myself — “Hey!  Hey!  You!  Look at me!  LOOK AT MEEEE!”

Now, I’m in my fourth year as a devoted Facebook user, and I’ll admit that I promote myself plenty in that forum…  pics of me and the kids;  I was EMT of the year; been a non-smoker for four years now; look at this casserole I made.

“14 friends like your tuna casserole.”

But as my blog here tells you, I’m an aspiring author.  That means I’ve written something and nobody knows it, except those people in my friends list on Facebook.

“33 friends like your manuscript.”  Hmm… that’s good.  My book is better than my casserole.

As an aspiring author, I know much about the outside circle of the publishing business.  I say “outside” because I haven’t been invited inside yet.  All of the material I’ve read about how to get your book published contains a section or two about preparing the world for your authorship.  Is that a word?  Authorship?  If not, spell-check missed it.

When the time comes for a query letter or 50 and a three page synopsis I’m supposed to tell the world, or at least the literary agents, about my writing history.  Well, I’ve written a lot.  A LOT!  But I really can’t show you any of it because it’s not the kind of stuff for which you gain credit.  My biggest current project involves re-writing the by-laws for The Hartland Firefighters Association, of which I am President.  Wanna read my synopsis?

You might already be on to me, but we’ve come to the reason for this blog.  I’ve created this site because the publishing world tells me that “selling myself” is necessary if I am to get my manuscript published.  So here I am.  Look at me!  Please, look at me.

My site has been functional for less than 48 hours, but already I am noticing that there are stark differences between the types of interactions on WordPress and those on Facebook and Twitter.  Earlier today, I received a message from a woman who was thrilled to have received a “like” from me on one of her posts, and as a result, she read one of my posts and therefore gave me a “like,” as well.

This made my day.  Don’t try to detect any sarcasm here, because it’s non-existent.  I am being 100% serious.  1 Like = 1 made day.

There’s a video on YouTube that’s been trending of a kid who calls himself “Sir Fedora” celebrating the fact that he received his first like on one of his videos.   He, too, is sincere about the importance of the “like.”  In his words, “It’s still awesome that I know that you guys are there.”  I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.  To see the video, copy and paste:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZcDjcaSHvc

I mean, I don’t mind being candid with all of you.  Bloggers blog because they want people to read their blog, right?  Writers write to be read.  We might be writing about a topic we love in a genre we love but in the end, we’re looking for attention, aren’t we?  It would be tragic if we wrote our hearts out and there was nobody there to see the end result.

Perhaps I’m showing too much vulnerability to the blogging world here.  That’s okay.  Certainly every serious writer deals with self-esteem and self-image issues.  Personally, I can’t think of too many things that can make a person feel more bi-polar than writing a book.  Besides, I don’t think I’ve crossed any lines or anything.  It’s not like I’ve begged anyone for a “like,” or worse yet, a “follow.”  Dang — one follow has got to be worth at least five likes, don’t ya think?  Maybe I’ll consider begging after all.  Okay… okay… I already DID consider it.  I won’t beg.

(LOOK AT ME!)

Anyway, send me a friend request on Facebook, would ya?  I’ll show you my tuna casserole.