Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lies writers tell themselves.

There's advice in this Alexander Chee piece on The Awl for writers at every stage of their careers.

I worry that you guys worry about #21, for reasons that are perhaps obvious.

Which one of these are you guiltiest of?

I vacillate between #16 and #17, personally, so now is as good a time as any to do a shameless plug: tell your friends about this blog! If we can get to 25 comments on this post, I'll do a critique contest later this month.

31 comments:

DustySE said...

Definitely I'll spread the word! And thanks so much for your posts. Your blog has been super-helpful to me these past couple of months.

Giora said...

Writing is not my main occupation, so I view myself as someone who wrote two complete novels, not as a full time writer. Most of the points don't apply to me, so I'll comment only on two. #2 The odds for publishing with a major publisher for writers are very low, so being persistent is required. The talent is not clearly defined. For having a Mega Best Selling book, it's not talent for (literary) writing that is needed, but a talent for understanding the psychology of readers and connecting with them. I'm trying to transform parts of my second novel into 50shades for YA, and the quality of writing (supposedly the talent) is not the key to do it. #21 Client-Agent is a business partnership where the main goal of the agent is to monetize the author's novel for the highest amount for the benefits of both. It's nice if they are also friends, but it's not important. I can why young authors want an agent mom to care fr them, cheer them up and be very attentive. And agents for young author shouldn't treat the relationship just a business, because the young author need their guidance in writing and life. But hopefully mature authors don't need another mom. Best I can do is to tweet your post to my followers and maybe a few will check your blog. Maybe. So I'll check for your tweet. Have a great day.

Jessica Brockmole said...

#1. Definitely #1.

DustySE said...

Wait, #1 is a lie??? It's not! Really it's not!

Kara said...

Personally, I don't think I've ever felt #21...so there's that. BUT...number #4 is me. Yep. Also...um...#9. EEK! I know, I know...sometimes I use a flash drive but...blah...sometimes I just don't remember. I lost an entire manuscript once when my old laptop died. You'd think I'd be smarter now...

Courtney Miller-Callihan said...

Kara! Do NOT do that! Go sign yourself up for Mozy and set it up to automatically back up your files at least once a day (Mine does it twice). Then you never have to think about it. It's like $20 a year and SO worth it.

cathychall said...

Do you mean like 25 comments from 25 separate commenters? Or like 25 basic comments? Because while I'm here, (see #13), I could probably squeeze in another...oh, 15 comments or so.

~Cathy

Kara said...

Point taken! *sheepish*. And I'm with Cathy...does this make comment number 8? :D

Misty Kirby said...

I'm basically just a stalker - I never leave comments, but I am today. :)
Thanks for sharing this list!

Courtney Miller-Callihan said...

Haha, good question. I'd really like to see 25 individual commenters- come out, come out, wherever you are!

Tone said...

#4 for me.

Susan in Texas said...

#5 is a lie?! Bummer.

Jessica Brockmole said...

Re: #9 and your reply to Kara, that would make a good future blog post. Options for backing up (and remembering to back up). I know that I'm personally always behind the times and am just learning that things like cloud storage and online back-up exist. *blush*

Gail said...

Hi Courtney!
Nice to discover this blog [Thx Cathy C Hall for mentioning it!] I've got to admit I'm a little bit #4, a portion of #5, and an occasional #6 9it's that insecurity thing). But to my credit, I am persistent and keep plugging along. I'll mention this blog post and potential critique on Facebook!

Ashes said...

I'm a tenner, baby. All the way. YES IT WILL CHANGE MY LIFE! No more laundry! It's in the contract, right? No laundry, no dirty dishes. Standard. Right? Amirite? *crickets*

AshParso

Andrea Wenger said...

Mine is #13. I can spend an hour on Facebook without even realizing it--especially if I comment. Because then I have to proofread the comment 17 times before I hit Send.

Reese Ryan said...

I'm definitely guilty of:

#5 - "When I’m not engaged in the process of writing, I’m thinking about writing, therefore I am writing." But sometimes it's true. Really!

#13 - "I'm only going to go on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr for a few more minutes." Darn that monkey mind of mine! I finally came to the conclusion that I shouldn't check my email (which subsequently leads to checking social media) until AFTER I've hit my writing goal for the day.

#18 - "Writing for free for that website will help me get my name out there." I'm such a sucker for this. I know this is partly because it's easy and comfortable. This is the lie I'm working hardest to stop telling myself.

Sonja Foust said...

Well hi there! I'm telling my friends! :)

Donna Volkenannt said...

So many lies, yet so many truths.
Numbers 4 and 5 look very familiar.

Kaye Draper said...

Well... many of these things I'm not guilty of (yet) simply because the opportunity to practice them hasn't arrived. I will say I am guilty of all the items related to dreaming big things, though of course I tell myself I would reign it in ;)
And as for pants, if I didn't have to go to my place of employment every day, and could instead sit at home writing... you can be darn sure I wouldn't be wearing anything even remotely appropriate for leaving the house! Why miss that opportunity? In fact, I'm actually pretty jealous of all those who CAN sit around pantless all day ;)

Mina Lobo said...

I learned to back up stuff (#8) after a bad scare with the crash of a different laptop. Getting time-sucked into Facebook (#13) was also a problem for a long time, though I sorta had to give it up when I did the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year...although, on the dark side, I now seem to be spending inordinate amounts of time in the blogosphere. :-)
Some Dark Romantic

David M. Crampton said...

I'd dispute the one about how worthwhile blogging can be, and point to both John Scalzi's Whatever and Wil Wheaton's Wil Wheaton dot net as examples of blogs as a support in a writing career, rather than a drain.

Tey were good reading, nonetheless. Just write. :)

Chelsie said...

I'm very guilty of procrastinating on Pinterest and Facebook. I also didn't know I needed an agent until I read this. I thought I just needed to send my book to a bunch of publishers until I got an acceptance letter. How does one find an agent for a particular genre, and do I need to complete the book before I send my query letter to an agent once I find one?

christicorbett said...

I recently watched "Adaptation" for the first time, and loved seeing that picture in the article.

Thanks for the link to such great advice!

Christi Corbett

Mim said...

Right now my big lie is number 5. I've been blocked for awhile, and I've only got a few more chapters according to my outline. It's so frustrating!

slingsomeink said...

#1 a lie? pshaw!

#4 okay, guilty since...(shuffles feet) July. Happily after a big ol' ugly rewrite I'm about to turn that lie into truth.

Carol A. Strickland said...

Where is "It's got to be perfect or it's no good"? That's what paralyzes me. I'm currently reading a book that was nominated for a Nebula. It's wonderful, but there are many passages that bore the life out of me, and those are apart from the blatant info dumps. I keep reading to get to the "wonderful" parts. I hope my books don't have those kind of passages—or at least have fewer. Even so, that ol' perfection deal is the basis of much guilt, procrastination and angst.

MissYates said...

"Don’t sit there imagining disapproval instead of imagining your novel." Very true--it's the voices in a writer's head that freeze us up, the internal editor coming in before her time and critiquing every word almost as it shows up on the page. I always think that you have to compartmentalize: when you are writing, you're the writer. The editor is on vacation until the writing is finished. Then she can come offer feedback--but not of the "Boy, doesn't this stink up the place" variety..." :-) It's hard to find that positive, constructive inner voice sometimes when the critical, fearful one is in control, but I love #6 to help us remember to do it anyway.

Kate George/Bodacious Betty said...

I'm pretty sure my underwear IS pants. At least in England. Not that it matters - I write in my jammies.

Kate George/Bodacious Betty said...

Oh! And regarding backing up computers - my dog ATE my flash drive. Now I use Dropbox.

Brenna Aubrey said...

here's a lie I tell myself: I can procrastinate tonight! It's just a few hours. I'll work on the ms later. I've got lots of time!