It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the blues)? Hey, IWSG members – are you willing to share?
Last week embodied the worst of times for an active blogger like me. Sigh. Due to a confluence of three consecutive updates, my website, with my blog embedded, was out of commission for three days. Because I prefer a high-on-life mode of living, I’ll share more about good writing times.
I’ve had the great privilege to attend a plethora of author events in the dozen years since I embarked on my elegant hobby. Southern California, where I am privileged to live, attracts famed and highly-skilled writers who wish to sign and sell books. Being in the sphere of the revered is better than great.
Here’s a list of greats who spontaneously shared their truth, unbidden. Some of these writers have become personal friends. I feel privileged.
- Robert Crais, whose was the first author event this fan girl attended. He posited that writers might not deserve their laureates, saying “We’re just making shit up.” When I queried he nodded yes, he did yoga, showing his main character’s life resembled elements of his own.
- My idol, Fannie Flagg, shared that she used her own, sarcastic and blasphemous inner thoughts for her character’s use, too. After all, in the polite company of Southern/Midwestern women, one never shared such publicly. If done, “Bless her heart” must immediately follow to soften unseemly snark.
- Jeff Parker described writers as ‘secretaries of life’ who are constantly on duty. Gosh, is retirement never an option in the writing life?
- Jess Walter whispered, “A writer can write about any topic or theme. It’s the emotion that carries the tale.”
- Thomas Perry, “While the common advice is to write what you know, I think it’s better to write about what you don’t know.”
- Joe Ide said, “Empathy is the core skill from which I write.” I nodded because I do, too. He also professed to liberal use of a thesaurus.
- Baron R. Birtcher rhapsodised about song lyrics and shared that he shamelessly stole snippets of conversation around him, especially words uttered in anger..
- Matt Coyle, Michael Connelly, and Joe Ide all confessed that they do not pre-plot their award-winning novels. I felt vindicated for my un-plotted tales, on which writers group peeps had pounced. My writing style is Plodder.
- Maddie Margarita, who writes ‘funny’ like me, shared that when something she’s written makes her laugh, she cuts it. What?! Kill my darlings, those easily crafted word plays and puns?
- Barbara DeMarco-Barrett scolded me, and her writing group participants, to read their work aloud. However, I find it impossible to analyze and read aloud simultaneously, so I use the Speech-to-Text feature on my Mac. The computerized voices sound almost human, like the imaginary friends – my characters – who gallivant inside my head.