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Writing by Hand

hand-writing

Photo Credit: Epidemic Answers

I’ll never claim to be an expert on anything writing related, but I think it’s safe to say that just about every writer today uses some kind of word processor on a computer when it comes to getting words on paper. Technology has definitely made writing a bit easier in recent years. But perhaps a few of you are old souls and prefer a much more time consuming process to get pen to paper. Maybe you write by hand.

I’m not sure how many years we’d have to go back in order to reach a time period in which everyone had to write just about everything by hand, but I know the typewriter has been around for some time. I’m sure there was something before even the typewriter to make writing a bit easier on the writer. But we all know that one person who never wants to embrace technology for whatever reason, right? There are millions of people who don’t have smartphones or who don’t have flat screen TVs, and that’s okay. But are there writers who still write all of their novels or poetry or short stories by hand? I can’t say, but maybe you can. Happen to know anyone (yourself included) who writes by hand? If so, tell them they’re crazy and let’s come together to buy them a laptop. How about it?

Need a Drink?

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Photo Credit: Vindale Research

Hey look, I didn’t post on ANOTHER weekday yesterday. Did you notice? Eh. Probably not. Oh well. First off, this post is not me asking about what your favorite beer or wine is, because you should know by now that I do not drink anything that requires you be 21 or older. I still don’t see the point. You’re all alcoholics if you ask me.

Now you’re probably like “Okay, now you’ve insulted me for the last time!” Maybe. What I am asking about is whether you need something to drink when you write. I’m a horrible mulititasker and I’m still not writing, but back in the day I’d rarely have anything to drink while writing. Here’s where I throw in some lame joke about “but I really needed a bottle of water at my side on those days I was really working my writing muscle.” I just threw up all over my pile of dirty clothes. All those stupid writing quotes I see people tweeting and blogging about make me sick. They think they’re revealing something hidden and great that no one else knows about even though they probably just Google searched “writing quotes” and picked one. Get out of here.

Anyway, the only beverage I’ve ever had while writing has been the occasional bottle of water. And oddly enough, I usually finished it rather quickly. I mean, I can always drink a bottle in a few seconds if I want to, but I don’t do that if I’m just sitting. Eh. But what about you? I know SO many writers claim to have a coffee addiction that probably just males them feel like a writer cause no one thinks for themselves anymore, but do you have a beverage of choice that you must have once you get writing?

Would You Rather…

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Okay guys, since I missed a day this week I decided to reward you all with a post today. And what better way to do it then something nice and easy? I found this set of questions on Booky and decided that I’d answer them instead of trying to come up with something I thought was worthy of a Saturday post. So…might as well get started. I haven’t even read through them yet.

1. Would you rather read only trilogies or stand alones?

This will likely be the easiest of all the questions on this list for me to answer. I have read a whopping two trilogies and a million stand alones. I don’t think I need to say more. Though you all know very well that my favorite series and character come from one of those two trilogies. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you need to read more of my posts. You’ll catch on.

2. Would you rather read only female or male authors?

Call me sexist, I guess. It would have to be male authors, BUT not because I think they write better or create better stories or characters. But because my favorite series that I’m reading at the moment happen to be written by old guys. Eh. Of course this would mean I would have to do without Mr. Potter and Katniss. Yeah. This isn’t a fair question. Stupid question.

3. Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

Oh come on. Amazon. Every. Single. Day. Cheaper books and greater selection. And who likes walking over people reading in the aisle. Not this guy,

4. Would you rather all books become movies or TV shows?

If someone claims to love books and stories and all that fun stuff, then how in the world could you possibly answer this question with movies? You can’t. Movies are much too limited if you compare them to a 10 or 15 or even 24 episode season of a show.

5. Would you rather read five pages per day or five books per week?

Five pages is nothing and five books per week is something I’ll never do. But if I had to choose, then I’d definitely choose five books per week. Why would you choose less reading over more?

6. Would you rather be a professional reviewer or author?

Ha. Reviewer? You’ve obviously never read my blog you question maker person. I hate hate hate writing/reading book reviews. Author for me, though I’m near certain that’s not happening.

7. Would you rather always read your top 20 books over and over or always read new books you haven’t read before?

Again, the person who came up these really needs to brush up on their John Guillen trivia. I don’t reread books, not even my favorites. So obviously I’d rather read new books.

8. Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

Ooooh. That’s a tough one because I could literally have the exact same conversations and interactions with people in a bookstore as I could with people in the library. I’ll go with librarian because that would mean I went to grad school and make more moulah. Ha. Everything can’t be about the books.

9. Would you rather only read your favorite genre or every genre but your favorite?

This is a dumb question. Why would you deprive yourself of your favorite genre to read everything else? Like 90% of my books are crime fiction. I’m already only reading my favorite genre. Idiot.

10. Would you rather only read print books or eBooks?

I could very easily do both. BUT my Kindle rarely gets used while my shelves are usually adding books. Print.

So that’s all I have for you today. Nice, fun little post that actually got a little difficult in the middle there. Any thoughts on my choices?

Like a Reality Show, but for Authors

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Photo Credit: Reader’s Entertainment Magazine

I remember reading a long time ago about a reality show in Italy in which writers competed on TV for a publishing deal. I think. I don’t know the name of the series or how it panned out, but if my memory serves me right, then the writers were tested by writing just about anything you can think of. Well, I’ve now discovered something even better. Swoon Reads.

The premise of this Macmillan YA imprint is simple, publish what the people want. I’ve literally just discovered the company minutes before sitting down to write this, but it appears that authors simply submit a manuscript and readers can sample it, rate, and comment on what they read. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that it sounds no different from what you can do on Amazon or the Barnes and Noble site. And that’s true, but those books are already published. These aren’t. You’re making the decision.

This is like a reality show and a Kickstarter all-in-one! Without having to give any money! I think this was a mighty fine move by Macmillan and although no one really knows how the eventual published books will sell (the first is set for release Aug. 26) I’m thinking they’ll do okay.

Lastly, before you go off submitting your newly polished manuscript to the site’s readers you should know that nearly 300 manuscripts have been submitted and the number of books accepted for publication is still in the single digits. It isn’t easy but hey, publishing never is.

Now tell me what you think of Swoon Reads using feedback from readers to decide which books deserve publishing. I think it’s great, what about you?

Here’s a New York Times article discussing the first book to be released by the imprint.

Interested in taking a look at the first book? Do so here.

Do Book Fairs Still Happen?

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I know I’ve mentioned on here a few times how much I looked to forward to book fairs when I was younger. I mean, how could you not? It was like bringing a mini bookstore to your own school. But I left my elementary school back in 2003 for the more grown up version of public school known as junior high. The building had two gyms and a HUGE cafeteria and even a second floor. How bad could it be, right? But now I’m off topic.

One of the major differences between elementary and middle school was the time spent in the library. If I remember correctly, from third to fifth grade half of my school time was in ELA and the other half was in Math/Science/Social Studies. So it makes sense that we would frequent the library as a class quite often. But with middle school came lockers and tardies and SEVEN classes! So each teacher had a very limited amount of time with students, which left time for maybe one or two trips to the library each year with your class. And definitely no book fairs happening in middle school.

Now I’m wondering if they still happen at all. I think Scholastic used to run the ones at my school, and considering that they have the US publishing rights to HP and THG I don’t see how they would be struggling mightily as a publisher, but I really have no idea. All I can say is that book fairs were one of my favorite parts of elementary school. I believe we had two each year and I’d always make my parents spend money on books or posters or bookmarks or just ANYTHING I found interesting.

Two easy questions. How did you feel about book fairs when you were younger? And do you have any idea if they still happen?

Need Some Motivation to get Back to Writing?

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Photo Credit: WeBook Blog

Well you won’t find any here. Let me ask you something real quick. No matter your particular definition, do you consider yourself a writer? If yes, then what difference do a few meaningless words from a complete stranger make? None. It really annoys me when I see people talking about the “writing community.” Uhh no. Yeah you might have some people on here or Twitter or in your hometown who help you with your writing, but at the end of the day you’re both shooting for the exact same goal of getting published. You think if it came down to either you or them they wouldn’t abandon you immediately to make sure that it was them? We both know every logical writer would do it in a heartbeat. So all this crap about the “writing community” is no different from any other type of relationship. It’s okay while everyone is getting something out of it, and I get nothing out of offering up some words of encouragement. While you get nothing out of those meaningless words strung together. You shouldn’t need some random person to get you writing in the first place, then you’re just needy and probably an attention whore.

Who cares what I say or what some other blogger/writer says, if you need motivation to get writing then you shouldn’t have to look any further than yourself.

Writing as a Hobby

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Photo Credit: I’m Just Sharing

Okay guys, I have no idea if this will turn into one of my more rant-y posts, but I’ll write whatever I write. By the way, I just realized that I start a lot of posts with “okay guys.” I guess it’s almost routine now. So now let me get on topic. What do you think I mean by this post’s title? Honestly, what do you think? I think it’s fairly straightforward what I’m getting at here.

You see, I’ve never operated under the guise that writing would ever be a career for me. I mean, sure I decided to give myself a full 19 months after graduation to get some writing done, but I’ve never imagined myself on book tours or bestseller lists. Maybe you have, not me. I’m not stupid. I think my writing is okay, but I am well aware of the fact that there are many more writers out there who are simply better. It doesn’t matter what I write or how often I write or any of that stuff that you constantly hear will make you a better writer, because at the end of the day I’m just okay. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

I want to take you back for a second to May 2013. Graduation stuff is in full swing and the time is fast approaching for me to put up or shut up when it comes to writing. I’d been telling people for months about my goal of writing books, and now there would be some bit of expectation from many of them for me to get something done. I’m taking you back to this particular time because someone who probably knows me better than any other person told me very clearly that she believed I should write as a hobby in my free time and get a real job. I have to be honest here, I hated that she said this at the time. This was someone I’d known since high school and we’d remained in constant contact in the years since and she was telling me that I shouldn’t focus on writing. I’ve written about this girl and her advice on here before, and it appears that once again I’m going to acknowledge that she was right. If I’d had more people like her I might have a job by now.

Anyway, back to today. I’ll probably start writing again eventually, but I’m about to completely reverse a decision I made back when I began writing my second book. I wrote a post about it last year but I’m not going to go find it. I said that under no circumstances would I self-publish. And I probably still won’t, but I think it’s safe to say that I have no desire at this point to pursue representation with an agent or traditional publishing. The book I’ve been “writing” will eventually get written, but who cares if a thousand people read it or just me? I’ll write because it’s something I enjoy and feel that I’m slightly above average at, but I’m not sitting here fooling myself into thinking that I’m some super writer who is going to one day make it big by writing crime novels. That isn’t happening.

And what gets me the most is that I see writers on Twitter tweeting ALL DAY LONG every single day about how much they’ve written or what they’re working on or something about writing and I just laugh. Because let’s face it, a tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny sliver of the writing population will eventually secure a publishing deal. Something like 0.05%. And these select few have won writing awards in college and published papers and they make the move easily into fiction. And it seems like every writer seems to think they’re within that percentage of the population, whether or not they’ve even finished college or ever written anything of substance. Folks, there’s a reason your bookshelves aren’t full of books written by high school or college kids, so stop with your crazy thinking that you can do it without all that.  Yeah you might be a good writer, but you are not getting a publishing deal. Not now, at least. Most likely never.

I realize that most of you likely work full-time or maybe you’re in school or something and you also happen to write, but if you work minimally and you’re not in school, well you should probably find yourself a career. Cause writing isn’t it.

And I’m ready for all of you to tell me how just because I don’t think I’m good enough that I shouldn’t think that about everyone or how writers don’t have to have a degree or blah blah blah. Go right ahead.

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