Tuesday, April 12, 2016
I've learned some hard lessons since I started writing fiction 13 years ago. There's too many to list without a psychiatrist on call, so here's the truncated version. I'm calling it "The 10 Writerly Thingys I Will Never Do Again."
This list is for my personal writing life; it's not a judgement on others'. I've done these thingys already, to some degree, and I am therefore sick of doing them. But this doesn't mean I'll judge you for doing them. I've just been-there-done-that in my own writing. Okay? Still friends? Good. Now let's talk about me.
I will never again…
1) Write a story with a narrator/main character who is a writer, author, aspiring writer/author. Gross/tired/enough already.
2) Ask other novelists to write guest posts for my blog. Writers are busy people! They're raising kids and writing their own blogs and working full-time and -- oh yeah -- writing novels.
3) Write about cancer. Cancer stinks. I don’t want to give it more publicity. (I will also never again write about anorexia, cutting, etc. for several reasons, one of which is Hanya Yanagihara, the other which is kind of a funny story)
4) Post incessantly about my second book. I think I’ve pretty much covered it all here. Maybe there will be some sophomore learnings, but buy me a drink and we'll chat about it. Even though I love this blog and it's partly responsible for my book being published, I sometimes think it's way cooler to be a mystery.
5) Get an agent who isn’t connected to TV writing in some way. I’ve got goals, baby.
6) Attend a writing workshop as an act of procrastination. I will, however, wrestle you to the ground if you try to stop me from making Kardashian-related videos.
7) Write a book in first-person present. Although I adore this POV, it was almost the death of me
8) Overuse the word “that.” My editor Rosemary Nixon has tried to cure me of this disease, for which I am grateful.
9) Employ the word "whilst." Confession: I've actually never used "whilst," but I'm reading a novel -- contemporary, child narrator, set in a forest -- and the writer uses "whilst" exclusively instead of "while" and it's pissing me off so much that I needed to tell someone.
10) Whine about how hard it is to be a writer when I am stupidly lucky to have found my passion and to have the resources (time, education, personal security) to be able to go for it.
*PS: I may break these rules -- especially #10 -- so let's never speak of them again.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
I came across an excellent podcast on literary editing the other day -- yes, even more helpful than Khloe Kardashian's wise musings. It's from the people behind the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) who are running that massive conference in LA right now. Like RIGHT NOW. My friend Alana is there and I am so very sad that I can't be too. (Alana you better bring me back like a tote bag or a pencil or something...)
Featuring an impressive panel of editors and the writers who love them (but may have hated them at the time), the podcast is a helpful heads-up for first-time authors who are as clueless as I was going into the publishing house substantive editing process. (Which is a marvellous, mind-expanding, exhausting, wildly educative process, btw.) Check it out here.
I'm super multimedia these days, no?
Sunday, March 27, 2016
I finished my manuscript edit today! To celebrate, I ate my feelings and sobbed on the floor to the new Pete Yorn album!
I was going to write a thoughtful blog post about my experience editing this novel, but then I watched a bunch of reality TV and realized that Khloe Kardashian had pretty much summed it up...
If you can't see this video on your mobile device, try this link instead.
You can buy Khloe's book here! (Please don't sue me.)
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Has anyone else -- while in the throes of a panic over the imminent UPS delivery of one's manuscript from one's out-of-province editor -- ever shelled out $40 for a vitamin B12 injection in the secret hopes that one had been labouring under the great duress of a previously undiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency which meant one's brain THIS WHOLE TIME had been operating at a deficit and that this vitamin, when injected, would race through one's veins and light up one's nervous system and like open up one's third eye and take one's brain to new and previously unchartered heights, heights that would make one a super good super smart writer -- only to confirm what one already knew which is that one's B12 levels are fine, always have been, and the only thing that will make one a better, smarter writer is to write more, worry less and work with a super smart editor?
Yeah me neither.