Tag: writing life

Strangers talking to people like they talk to writers

Being condescending to writersOh, the slings and arrows of unwitting condescension we writers sometimes suffer. It makes you wonder, what IF strangers talked to people in other professions the way they talk to writers? A recent post from Electric Lit had me laughing such sad, sad laughs.

Here's some example quotes from this weird hypothetical fantasy world:

“Huh. A chef. Do people still eat food?” “An accountant? Wow, I haven’t even looked at a number since high school.” “Ah, a middle school teacher? Have I met any of the students you’ve ever taught?” For more, check out the full article on Electric Lit. But tell me, what's the most unintentionally rude question or statement you've ever heard as a writer?

Roxane Gay’s “eight questions writers should ask themselves”

Advice for WritersBEING a writer, just like writing itself, is a process. You zigzag between the opposites tugging at you: ups and downs, acceptances and rejections, patience and impulsiveness, creative bursts and lulls, extreme ego and self-deprecation. And through this movement (I'd say "progress," but writing is one of those many journeys without a destination), you hopefully develop skills that will increase your chances at sustained success. In short, you mature — along with your writing.

Where are you at in that process of BEING a writer?

To help you better understand yourself as a writer, Roxane Gay has come up with eight questions for you to answer. Check out her article on the AWP site to read the full details, but I'll summarize the questions — and the reasons for asking them — below. 1. "Are you a good literary citizen?"

5 Questions for Indie Writers

Questions for WritersAuthors, poets, bloggers, tweeters — lend me 5 minutes of your time.

Of all the hours I spend working on the BookBaby Blog (writing articles, researching, interviewing, editing, working with guest contributors, surfing YouTube, etc.), it's often when I'm moderating the comments section that I learn the most about the world of independent publishing and book promotion. Well, I'm getting greedy: I want to learn even more from and about YOU and your needs as a writer.

If you have a few minutes to answer any/all of the following questions, I'd love to hear your story:

1. Why are you a writer? 2. What are you proudest of in your writing life?

How Much Should You Sacrifice for Writing?

zieak+at+Flickr+Creative+CommonsThe less time you spend on unnecessary expenses, the more time you’ll have to write

The answer to the question in the title varies from writer to writer. On one end of the spectrum we have those for whom writing is a hobby, and on the other are writers who wish to make their living from it. But a desire shared by many writers, across the spectrum, is to have more time to write. Often, that can be achieved through diligent budgeting. The basic idea here is this: if you alter your lifestyle so that it costs you less money, it may become possible to spend less time making money and more time working on your craft. Even if you have a job that doesn’t allow you to reduce your hours, getting smarter about money matters can reduce your stress about them, leaving you with Jedi-like concentration when it does come time to write.

5 Ways to Stay Physically Healthy While You Write

Staying Healthy While You WriteGood practices for a healthier writing life

The writing life can be awfully sedentary. You sit at a desk, your shoulders hunched, typing, thinking, fidgeting, stressing — sometimes for 10 or more hours a day. If you're not mindful of your posture, your breathing, your movements and your attitude, this creative act that is so vital to your mental health (writing!) can become harmful to you. And when your body suffers, your creative flow generally slows down too.

Here's a few tips to help you break bad habits and restore your body to a more balanced state

1. Invest in an ergonomic writing setup  OSHA's website is a good place to start your research; you can see what an ergonomic computer desk looks like, as well as the ideal posture to limit joint, tendon, muscle, and eye stress. Once you know what you're looking for, do some comparison shopping and purchase a desk, chair, and any necessary computer accessories (stands, monitors, keyboards, etc.)

The Secret to Publishing Success in 4,341 Easy Steps

How to Succeed in Publishing: Be Great, Work Hard, Love It, Adapt, Keep At It Longer Than Everyone Else, Get Lucky

Oh, is that all I have to do? I met an author the other day who's been working on a book for 7 years. He's almost finished with it and he's starting to investigate all the non-writing pieces of the publishing puzzle. As we talked about BookBaby, he asked if we offered an easy marketing solution. I told him that no one ever has an easy marketing solution (not even the big publishers); that every book and every author requires a different approach for connecting with readers; that success takes talent, tons of elbow grease, thick skin, dedication, and a willingness to change your goals mid-stream without getting overly discouraged. That seemed to resonate with his suspicions about the industry, so I suggested he check out this blog and others like it to gather tips and advice and begin to create his own book marketing solutions. He then asked, "Do the tips you give actually work?" "It depends," I said. "On what?"

Advice from Neil Gaiman: Make Glorious Mistakes, Make Good Art

If you're into creativity pep-talks, you may've already seen this commencement address from Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline, Stardust, and the popular comic book series The Sandman. If you haven't seen it, check it out. Gaiman gives an inspiring speech to graduates who are about to try to make a living in the arts. As you might expect, it's full of little witticisms and nuggets of wisdom: "If you don't know it's impossible, it's easier to do." "When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art."

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