Un-Friend All of Your Writers

Don’t make friends with writers. I am a writer and I have a bunch of friends. I’m not bragging, I’m just telling it like it is. The fact is, I think I should have fewer friends.

My friends are nice friends. They love me and tell me that I am talented and they go to my readings and proofread my atrocious grammar and spelling. They are there for me when I need to quit my job, again and again. They validate my unjustifiable laziness and unsuccessfulness. They do this for me because I encourage it and I am entertainingly embarrassing at parties.

Little do they know that I’m a whining, way less than prolific, self-righteous, know-it-all with a Goddess-complex (maybe they do know this and wonder why I keep coming around).

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The Day Job vs. Bliss

It happens from time to time that a tortured artist toils and bleeds for her craft, only to die before it means anything to anyone. It also happens that an artist toils and bleeds for her craft and no one reads or cares about her work, dead or alive. But hopefully, the artist is dead by then and, presumably, doesn’t care.

No one likes to think about these things, but it’s true. Sometimes, the thing you love doesn’t love you back. Just like a girlfriend who doesn’t love you back, it so happens that, a person can follow his “bliss” (just as Joseph Campbell tells him to), and nothing comes of it. Sometimes people get hit by Mack trucks. It’s not personal, it’s physics.

So, in the mean time (the space between being a raging success and the Mack truck), you’ll probably need to get a job. You’ll want a job for the moneys that keep writers in mac laptops, gluten-free muffins and five-dollar lattes. But, what should a writer do? Isn’t a job selling out?

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5 Stages of Recovery from a Rejection Letter

Every writer gets rejection letters. You’re supposed to take them in stride. They say that “only the persistent writers make it anywhere”. They also say, “maybe the story wasn’t a good fit with that publication”, “it’s hard to get published these days”, “no one reads anymore”, and “try not to take it personally.” But, I want to know if there is a person alive who can manage not to take it personally.

Actually, I don’t. If you are such a person, keep it to yourself.

I am willing to bet that most people go through something like this:

First Stage: SWEATING

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The Hardest Things to Write

A writer buddy of mine and I were chatting about topics that are traditionally difficult to write about and how writers are attracted to them — like flies to a dead bunny. Our original list was Sex, Death, and Boring. So, we held a competition among our fellow writers to see who could write the best sex scene. I sat down in the morning and didn’t get up from my desk until the early evening. It was one of the best spent days ever.

The results of the competition were unfortunate. Despite the wide range of ideas, styles and topics (and I mean a very wide range), what we learned was that sex scenes are all fairly similar give or take a hand here or a member there. In the end, all of our hopes for a stimulating afternoon were drowned out by the cider and the loud mouths at the table beside ours.

Nonetheless, the afternoon I spent with my first real attempt at erotica was a great one — one that I followed up with a glass of wine and a bubble bath. Because that’s what one does, clearly.

So, if you’ve got a half hour, a tub and some bubbles, here’s a little something to help you pass the time.  A Family Man. Continue reading