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How Not To Be A Writer

Saturday, September 17, 2005
Don't write.

Sit around and moan and blog about not writing.

When you have time to write, sit and stare at the blinking cursor, then play eighteen consecutive games of Spider Solitaire.

Tell yourself you'll write as soon as you finish your blog post. Or as soon as the kids are out of your hair. Or as soon as the Muse is with you.

Let me tell you something. The bitch is on permanent vacation. Work around it.

Whenever you accomplish any writing at all, tell yourself that you've accomplished something wondrous, then sit on your laurels and brag about it for a week until you write another paragraph or two. And brag about that.

You think I'm talking about you?

I know I'm talking about me.

This is not the way to have a career. This is not the way to be a writer who not only writes, but gets published. And for as much as we blather on about "writing for ourselves" or "writing for the art of beautiful language" that's only so much bullsh*t that writers say when we suck and just don't want to admit it.

I'm not fooling myself. I'm doing my best to strip away the scales from my eyes. I don't think I suck, but neither did the other coupleo of thousand people who submitted their writing to a publisher this week. The sick, disgusting truth of it is -- most of us suck. According to one editor blog, at least 80% of all submissions bite the big one.

Now, I think Dude was damn fine work. And if (when) it gets rejected, I like to think that it'll be in some redeemable form where I won't be utterly humiliated to have sent it and it won't shred my pride to submit it somewhere else. I'm usually a pretty positive person, snarky vicious bitchiness aside, but I have to set my feet for the likelihood that I've just set myself up for my first rejection.

Back to my original point, however, which is about How Not To Be A Writer. I think I've covered the basics.

I think there's only one thing I've left out.

How To Be A Writer:

*Get Your *ss In The Chair And Just F***ing Write
9/17/2005 11:39:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments


And the cup half full says that you might get accepted. You might be that 20%. I have faith in your talent. You are obsessing about everything you might have missed.

Girl, you can write. Hang in there. :)

By Blogger Eva Gale, at 1:21 PM  

Ditto what Briana said. You Can Write. It's just the follow through.

But you knew that already. ;-)

By Blogger Jaye, at 7:45 PM  

You are, as ever, brilliant in your ranting ;-)

Raine (dream) had a post not long ago about getting rejected and accepting that it's not to the editor's taste. Another sign of writerly maturity and well worth reading. =)

By Blogger Amie Stuart, at 10:49 AM  

You think I'm talking about you?

I KNOW you're talking about me.

Bah. If you figure it out, let me know.

By Blogger Anna Lucia, at 3:04 PM  

Have you been reading my journal??

It's the Struggling Writers Motto. Just F*cking Do It!!

Pssst, thanks for the kick inthe pants! ;)

By Anonymous Sasha, at 3:03 AM  

Truer words could not have been spoken. This used to be me, but I'm getting better. My problem is I'll never be published if I don't submit. And my excuses to my husband about that are becoming more and more creative every day.

Sela, whether Dude is rejected or not, GYAITCAJFW! That's what I'm doing today.

By Anonymous Lynn Daniels, at 12:17 PM  

Can I throw up now? I don't want to be one of the ones that suck. I really think I need to throw up now. I got my confirmation that my MS, is, in fact, on the editors desk. I'm so glad I have you to um, wait, with.

By Anonymous Danica, at 6:15 PM  

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