Sunday, July 22, 2007

Life is Better When It's Fun

I like these eight principles of fun, and how to make life worthwhile to live. Yes, I procrastinate a lot, but I really do believe in finding the fun in everything you do, and not to take things too seriously. Some of it is harder to do ("Know yourself, you say?" and "Don't follow the rules" -- sounds good to me). Have a look:

Eight Principles.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Being judged...

Someone posted on AbsoluteWrite:
I'm starting to feel denigrated. When I hear people insult and put down best selling authors as bad writers or even terrible hacks, well, where does that put me, the writer who hasn't even made it out of the gate? Who keeps getting rejections? I must be a complete pile of shit in comparison.

I can certainly understand that feeling, but I don't think it's necessary (before you say "easy for you to say," let me clarify: just because I have one book published doesn't mean I don't get rejections anymore -- every time I put something out there, I face rejections).

Everyone gets judged, whether you're published or not. Publication or submission is just another way to be judged. Yes, it's frustrating and I can understand how sensitive we are. But the thing is, published authors get judged by EVERYONE, all the time, because, well, their books are out there to be read and judged. And people are harsher judges when they have to pay for the darn thing. And someone like Dan Brown is an easy target. His works are in the public eye, and it sold millions. I'm sure there are people out there who've read my book saying "This book sucks." I have to focus on the positive.

Being judged is an integral part of an artist's life.

For everyone who thinks Dan Brown is a hack, there are millions who think his books are great. And if someone writes like Dan Brown, I hope they don't feel like they have to change so that people people will not criticize their work. Because, the reality is, somewhere, someone is going to criticize something.

I guess my point is that whether you're published or not, you need to find that nugget of truth about your writing and be confident about it. And focus on the work -- every rejection is more about the work itself (which may very well need improvements) than the writer.

I know it's more difficult to do, if someone keeps getting rejections, because it seems like getting that one acceptance is the "validation" of how good our writing is; but most often than not, it's simply "the right thing at the right place at the right time." If you think rejections are tough, wait until you see your first negative review, or the first person sends you a piece of "hate" mail about your book, or you sit at the store and no one is interested in buying the book or they say "the plot seems stupid." Criticism is just a fact of life. It may make it feel a bit "better" if you're getting paid -- but criticism is still criticism; rejection is still rejection. We just need to let them slide off our backs. Smile and nod and move on.

The bottomline is, we all just need to keep writing and keep believing in ourselves, if writing is truly what you love to do.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Finally, my pages are up. Start here.



To those who have read my book and don't want to keep it, but don't know what else to do with the copy... I have a few "kind" suggestions (I laugh):

- Give it to someone else. We writers strive on word of mouth. I know, I am not JK Rowling and probably don't deserve any praise or mention, but help this small-time writer out. Give it away. A friend, a coworker, a relative. Anyone. Tell them it's a good book and they may enjoy it. Talk it up. Let them know the book exists.

- Leave it at a coffee shop or some place where people would pick up a book and read. Spread the word. Let them read it. You're not going to keep it anyway.

- Donate it to your local library. I think libraries are great places to discover new authors, and people who go to libraries love books. Give the book a good home.

- Give it to a book club or discussion/writers' group, if you know of one.

- Leave it on your coffee table and hope your friends and family will steal it.

Whatever you do, keep the book going around and getting read.



About books...

I don't usually talk about books, because I don't consider myself an avid reader -- yes, that's awful to say because I'm a writer, for God's sake. But that's true -- I am such a slow reader that it takes me forever to finish a book. I love books -- I have stacks of them in my house -- but I just don't seem to get around to them. And when I start on a book, it will take me a long time to finish, and most often I don't. I have a very short attention span and that's why I prefer movies.

But I'm excited to talk about my online friend, Patricia Wood's new, debut novel, Lottery. The buzz on this book is amazing, and I expect to see it on the bestseller lists soon. What is great about the book, for me, is that it's a joyful read. Told from 30-year-old Perry's point of view, the voice is at once personable and engaging. You see, Perry is NOT retarded -- he has an IQ of 76. "76," he says. And from then on, you know you're in for a treat.

I finished the book in four days. It may sound awfully long, but believe me, if you know me at all, you'd know I've read it as fast as I could, and it must have been a good book. And it wasn't just because Pat's a friend. It was because the book really was that engaging.

Pat's book is on sale now. I had the privilege of getting a signed ARC from the author herself -- we exchanged our books, but of course, she got the worse deal in the trade.

Get a copy and tell me what you think.