Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Curses Of A Writer

C. Hope Clark shares this blog entry, The Curses Of A Writer, where she gives practical advice to anyone who wants to really, truly, madly, deeply, set words down. An excerpt:

Don't tell me THAT question hasn't rattled around in your mind before. Especially if you don't have letters after your name like MFA. I don't have them either, and some days I wonder if I'm fooling myself.

If you write nonfiction, having expertise in the subject matter often substitutes partially for not having that almighty writing education. If you write fiction, you simply have to prove yourself with remarkable prose. Either way, though, you need a following. To be a published writer, you have to be a recognized writer. For many, becoming known is a curse that gets in the way.

You've heard the Chinese proverb, "May you live in interesting times." It's supposed to be the first of three curses. The second is: "May you come to the attention of those in authority (usually referring to the government)." The third is: "May you find what you are looking for."

So many writers are afraid of standing up and being writers. They talk about becoming one; they attend book festivals and other events; and they even speak of how to publish and market -- all before they've written the book. Being a published author still carries an air of respect. We crave it. We taste it. We dream about it.

You live in interesting times dominated by the Internet. You want people to know you. You want to find that satisfaction you are looking for as an author/writer. Many are afraid of their duties outside the actual writing effort, so they talk about writing instead of tackling the curses.

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