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Thoughts of Trouble

Gary from L.I.E.
Hey, how come my conversations with straight dudes on dating sites stop as soon as I tell them what kind of books I write? If you thought hard enough about it you'd realize sexuality and gender barely exist, so there's no reason to be so uptight.

I read Looking For Alaska, liked it less than The Fault in Our Stars (just like... didn't care about those kids or school pranks at all). Also got annoyed because I was twice Alaska's age when my mom died, and her death was about four thousand times more preventable, and though I make at least one scene a year over it (usually on the anniversary of the death), I've still managed not to kill anyone.

Every time a writer on my Facebook feed does something that sounds cool but is neither "I got published" or "I got a job" it turns out it involves an entry fee. Do people really think it's prestigious to pay to go to workshop after workshop? Like, I feel like if you're that good at lying to yourself, you should be a lot better at creating fiction, you know?

A mystery has been partially solved: the reason former roommate contacted me again was because she blew up her life bad enough in the past six months to have to move back home to Michigan. I wouldn't say it makes me happy to be right about predicting catastrophes, but I am deeply satisfied. When I say you're making the exact same mistake you've acknowledged making twice already, please believe me. I'm a writer, one thing I really get is patterns of behavior.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
lunalelle
Mar. 6th, 2014 06:52 am (UTC)
I still haven't quite figured out why writers go to writing workshops. I guess I can understand going to places to learn how to do the business side of writing.

I don't go to writing workshops at all and took Fiction Writing in college because I just knew it would be fun. Are they truly going to learn how to write better? When do they learn they're only getting information how to write more like that person? The best, most generalized advice can be found for free on the interwebs, not paying hundreds of dollars to learn how to write like someone else. I can figure that shit out checking out books from the library and reading those things myself. Finding my voice by trial and error, gaining confidence by writing shit until I write like less shit. Learning what I like in other people's writing and what I don't like, and applying it to my writing during the editing phase.

It's not rocket science, and it's free to learn. I don't understand. Is it so that they can hang out with other writers, rubbing shoulders? Again, they can get that for free with writer's groups.
la_fields
Mar. 6th, 2014 12:24 pm (UTC)
I think "making connections" is a big part of it. Also, I think civilians in your life are easily impressed by you "getting in" to stuff.

I'm at peace with becoming a professor precisely because I'm a fan of creative writing classes in school, and I'd be the kind of professor to not force any particular style or genre of writing (which for some reason so many professors do still for some reason).
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