Archive | August, 2011

What my Mama Done Told Me about Writing: Advice from my Mom that You Might Consider

25 Aug

Quite by accident, my mom gave me some excellent writing advice. “Mom, I’m writing a book,” I said expectantly.

“Oh, no!” Her anguish was real.

I didn’t know if she was upset because I was writing a book and she didn’t think I could pull it off. Or because, according to our family by-laws, no one was allowed to even think about doing anything in the arts. Or crafts. Or maybe she was upset about all of it.

Selling Books in the (Continuing) Great Recession by Edward C. Patterson

17 Aug

From Edward C. Patterson: “It’s actually easier to sell books directly to the public over the web through now than it was in boom times, when you needed to follow stuffy industry rules — rules that the traditional publishing houses are now realizing are their Achilles’ heel. The problem is, most authors are poor marketers and, in good times or bad times, that means that some great reads will not find eager readers. It means that authors must wear another hat to engage potential readers in the online fray.”

Do You Have Writer's Block––Or Are You Depressed?

5 Aug

If you handle the real problem, you’ll get the result. Writer’s block is not about laziness or lack of discipline.

Years ago, I started writing and continued for, maybe, nine or ten years. I wrote flat out every day, quitting only when my shoulders wouldn’t move. I was in a couple of writing groups, working with a book consultant and editor. It was really swell.

After all this fun and inspiration and wonderful success . . . I fluffed entirely. People were asking for Numenon’s sequel. Getting pretty huffy, in fact. The sequel was written! It’s on my hard drive! All I had to do was rewrite a 1,300 page, 250,000 word behemoth about God and good and evil and existential anxiety (mine) and a bunch of people from Silicon Valley and American Indians into something people would buy.

I couldn’t. Being quick on the uptake, I realized, “This is writer’s block.” I used writing therapy to address this, producing one pretty good blog article about the dismal block, and one based on the yogic concept of surrender and letting things bottom out naturally. Then I realized I was depressed. Treating my depression was the secret to being free of the dreaded block.