Sunday, April 1, 2012

Stop The Lies!

The other day I found a link posted on the facebook page of my local nano group.  I don't often follow links, but this one caught my attention right from the title, and after I read it, I felt like I had to share it.

The post was entitled '25 Lies Writers Tell (And Start To Believe)' (I would suggest that, even if you never follow links, if you're a writer, follow this one.  I promise you wont be disappointed.)  Of course, considering that I wrote a blog in which I talked about how writers lie to themselves (Click here to read that post) it's not really all that surprising that I was attracted to this one.  I wanted to see what another writer thought we lied about.

First I have to say, I thought it was hilarious.  I didn't stop laughing pretty much from the time I started reading the blog until I was done.  It's fantastic!  Not just what he says, but the way he says it.  The fantastic sarcasm he uses gives you wonderful (or terrible?) images in your head, and you find yourself agreeing with pretty much everything.

Anyway, like I said, there were a few things that I wanted to respond to (In no specific order):

3. I'll Come Back To This Story After I write This Other Story
This is something that I do.  In fact, I'm doing it right now (yes, I feel ashamed, no I'm not going to stop writing this novel...).  Some of the things he says in this are fantastic.  He compares this habit to "leaving a trail of half-eaten sandwiches".  It certainly left an image in my head that I've been unable to get rid of since that day.  This one is definitely something that a lot of writers do.

7. My Characters Are In Control
This one I do have a tiny bit of an issue with.  That's because I do, in fact, write by letting my characters take control of the story.  Now, I'm not saying (as he speculates in the post) that I'm yielding all responsibilities to my characters.  In fact, if the story sucks, trust me, I'm the one that takes the fall for it.  (I may be guilty of being too hard on myself.)  So, while I can understand that some people might use their connection to their characters to create an excuse to not write, I'm definitely not one of those writers.  (Sometimes I think my characters are a little too vocal.

17. This draft needs to be perfect.
Yep.  I'm a perfectionist.  At least, I tell myself I'm a perfectionist.  The truth is that I hate editing, so I end up settling for drafts that are probably far less than perfect.  At the same time, because those drafts aren't perfect, I never end up sending them out to anyone.  They sit forever buried in my computer never again to see the light of day.  I'm definitely guilty of this, but I'm working on it.  This year I'm going to get a book out there (before November, despite how busy I'm starting to realize I'm going to be.)  Just like I have to kill my inner editor in November, I guess I have to kill my inner perfectionist.

22. The (Insert System of Publishing) Is The Only Way To Do It
I understand what he's saying with this one, but I have to admit, there is a system of publishing that I prefer.  That would be traditional publishing.  While I don't have any kind of grudge against other types of publishing, or even think that they're not good, what I do know is that I couldn't self publish.  I'm not good enough at self promoting to get my name out there without the help of someone whose job is to help me do that very thing.  Now, I'm not saying that if I never get picked up by a publisher that means I'll never look into self publishing, I would just prefer it if I did get picked up by a publisher.

Those are the ones I wanted to comment on.  I'll like to reiterate that I loved this post (even if I did end up disagreeing about a few things) and I think that every single writer out there should read it.  If not to gain insight into the lies they're telling (which every writer does...don't think you're the exception), then for the pure entertainment value.

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