Confession: I wrote 4 books before I ever touched a book about writing.
I almost feel like a traitor for not liking books about writing. I mean, aren’t writers supposed to like them? Don’t they have a whole shelf (at least) of books to encourage and challenge them in their craft? Aren’t we all supposed to sit around the table sipping coffee and discussing how passionate we felt while reading them, and how they inspired an onslaught of new words?
Another confession: I am a seasonal coffee drinker. I enjoy it in the cold months, and avoid it starting right about now. It is now time for tea.
This is why I can’t have friends. I’m a seasonal coffee drinker, and I’m not a fan of books about writing.
I’m going to write that book someday, This Is Why I Can’t Have Friends.
So today I finally got around to reading The Book. You know. The book that you hear about all the time. The book that 75% of writers adore. The book that sends the other 25% of writers to the social outcast corner for not being all that impressed of it. A lot of writers live in the social outcast corner as it is, so being sent to the corner of the corner is a dark and stormy night, indeed.
I’ve avoided The Book for many reasons, and in The Book’s defense, I also avoided The Hobbit for many years. We are all idiots at some time(s) in our life.
I tell my kids weird nuggets of motherly love like that, because I feel like it’s my job. Every rare once in a while I think of what my kids must think of me. In their book, will I be a crazy nut job in the background typing away at her laptop while shouting, “Get off the couch! You shouldn’t put your feet on it, but your butt is okay!”
Actually, that one’s not mine.
But anyway, I have this thing with the Gold Plated Ass Man. Actually, I don’t have a problem with him. (He’s talented and awesome) I have a problem with listening to everything he says like he sits on top of some mountain with a sparkly toga and a matching pen. I mean, it’s not like we are all going to get our own gold plated bottoms by following his every whim. And really, the wind whips through his toga just like it does with every other fool who wears a skirt on a hill on a windy day.
Don’t be sad. If you try hard and keep at it, I think you can get your own gold plated rear. But it’s going to happen when you are you.
Here’s one of my deals with his “advice”. Sit down if you must. You might faint.
I like adverbs. I know. Shame on me. Shame on my family. Shame on my imaginary cow. I have been sent to the corner of the corner of the corner.
I’d like to say that nobody puts a writer in the corner, but I’m afraid that it’s nearly a sport at this point. Seriously, ya’ll. (Although seriously, somebody may put you in a corner, but you don’t have to stay there.)
Speaking of which, am I the only one who shakes their head at the people who complain that the authors of memoirs are Obviously Narcissists? “All she did was talk about herself!”
Back to the book. Being the country girl I am, I made the decision this weekend when I saw it on a library shelf to Suck It Up and Get ‘R Done.
So here’s my review of that writing book by the King dude:
It was good, and then it was okay.
I’m glad I read it. I won’t keep a copy on my shelves, unless I find a cheap, battered edition with soulful eyes that mutters, “Please, Ma’m, won’t you take me home?” And then I will give in.
The bottom line is that every writer is different. Books on Writing are not my thang, but they are not wholly bad. I read one or two now and then for 2 reasons:
- I find little tidbits now and then that I love.
- I feel at home in them. This one should be #1. I love being around other authors, even if I don’t agree with them, because they get it.
I’m glad I finally read a few books about writing. It has proved my original thought that they weren’t for me, and I have made new imaginary friends with some writers, alive and dead. Now when I sit around my round writing table, I am less alone. There’s the Gold Plated Ass Man, the Bubbly Circles Woman, the Man of Fangs, and the Winged Woman.
I’m not sure what they think of me. I’m sure they don’t care what I think of them. They are prisoners, mainly. Writer Dolls propped up in chairs.
Don’t worry. They don’t actually talk. Besides, my characters yak far too much for them to get a good word in.
Are you laughing at me and wondering if I will ever write a book about writing and have to eat my words? That, as always, is a possibility. I have mentioned here and there in the past that I won’t be able to write my own book about writing. I’m not good at that how to stuff. So you should be safe, and so should I. (But , just in case, you are free to remind me of this someday.)
And if you absolutely must have words about writing from me, then here goes:
I do the stuff.
There you go. Now go do your stuff!