help for writers, the great unwashed masses

In my continued efforts to educate myself, I recently purchased a bundle of books offering help for writers. I’m exploring established writers’ methods for telling stories and making a career out of it and the bundled set seemed like a pretty decent deal.

I was surprised, though, at the common theme I found in no less than three of the set’s volumes (I’ll let you know if it shows up in more, I’m only five books into the twelve). It seems there’s a terrible truth about writers that I never knew! Surprisingly, the consensus from the likes of Chuck Wendig and Kevin J. Anderson, is not that writers need to ease up on adverbs or stop dangling their participles.

No. What’s apparently more egregious is that writers, when they finally crawl out of their caves, are sorely in need of a bath.

Let me allay your fears, gentle reader. Should we ever meet in person, whether it’s in relation to my writing or not, I promise that you will NOT find your senses assaulted by my presence.

I didn’t really need three books to inform me that,

“If you’re going to be in public, meeting editors, authors, and readers, follow these rules: *bathe, *brush your teeth, *wear clean clothes…”

Nor did I think it was a matter of such urgency that among the pro tips I would find:

“clean your body, you musky stank beast.”

I’ll just file this one under astounded.

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What else is there about writers that I’m missing? Do enlighten me! If the comment box isn’t visible, click here.

6 thoughts on “help for writers, the great unwashed masses

  1. I think I’ve encountered the same set! I’ll be very interested if you find something useful. I do wonder if the choice to focus on this kind of “help” has more to do with establishing a persona for the particular author than actually offering useful information. The “help new writers genre” is certainly full to overflowing by now, there’s really only so much that can be said I think.

    1. Hi Margaret, thanks for stopping by! I love the photo in the top post of your blog, what a stunning color contrast of the white sand and the purple sea urchin!

      Well, so far what’s helping me the most is all the evidence that points toward “Just Keep Writing!” being the answer. Some folks seem capable of great speed (and focus). I’m working on stamina over speed at this point. I think the audience of that book set, though, must have been the young convention-going-crowd – none of whom I know. But then again, I don’t know that many writers at all – ah, the joys of the internet age, I guess.

      Haha, speaking of the internet age, I just realized that today being the first official day of our winter break, I’m still, defiantly, in my pajamas. so perhaps that “wear clean clothes” DOES apply to me. Oops 🙂

      1. Thanks for the photo complement 🙂 That’s interesting you are working on stamina, it really does seem to be the essential thing, just to keep going and get pleasure out of the doing rather than the “what might be”. And as for PJs – I’ll bet they’re clean!

        1. You’re so right Margaret (about the “getting pleasure out of the doing” – though, too about the clean pajamas! :D).

          I also noticed that your blog has been in hiatus for some time (sounds familiar from my end!). What’s in the works for you lately?

          1. Hi Wendy – sorry for the delay – we’ve been away on holidays. Hiatus – yes – all sorts of excuses, but laziness is probably closer to the truth. I’m making the commitment again this year and I’ve also acquired my own domain so that should help with the motivation. It’s not quite live but will be soon. This year I’m putting my foot down and writing first rather than doing everything else first.

            I love your Ursula LeGuin quote in the side bar, I hope you don’t mind that I’ve taken a copy, she’s a wonderful writer.

  2. Great! let me know when you’re up and running, I’d love to take a look! Oh and I may take lessons from you – gosh but it’s so *easy* to do everything else first! Exactly what I did today, in fact. And recognizing it now, I shall sign off immediately and go do some writing!

    And yay for the LeGuin quote! Glad it resonated! 🙂

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