Thursday, July 10, 2008

crazy link dump!

Sorry, guys, I've been REALLY crazed this week. Normally I'd address each of these in my usual verbose way. Sorry for lack of proper treatment. (You're probably rejoicing that you only have to waddle through 500 words of my blather instead of the customary 4,000 before getting to the point. Yet you keep coming back. Hmm.)

Some interesting things I have caught on my feeder today and yesterday.

Eric Luper, an FSG author, blogs about the "moral compass" in fiction and whether and how an author is obliged to reflect the morality of his/her time. An interesting topic that I think requires a lot of thought. Literature is a persuasive medium--should authors espouse what they believe in? What if they believe in something against the grain? Or what if they are inadvertently espousing a belief society has told them is correct but that they haven't questioned (whether by accident or on purpose)? Rich topic. You already know what my opinion on irresponsible media is, but the next question I have for myself is should my opinion of what is "irresponsible" be worth anything? Is there a black and white wrong and right?

Nicola Griffith blogs about Hugo and Nebula awards, and their historical discrepancies between how many awards are given to male and female writers. I've had myself a good rant about this awards issue in the past, namely this one from the end of awards season 2007. And a reminder that here's Maud Newton on NPR talking about this phenomenon. Other smart people have talked about this, like Ron Hogan at GalleyCat, but my link to his article isn't good anymore. Please, if anyone knows of any other takes on why women don't get "real" (read: mainstream) awards, please refer me to them.

Here is a well-put reminder for all us writers out there. We know it already, but we never stop needing to hear it. It's not about "finding time" to write, it's about making time. Someone please kick me.

Speaking of kicking, a lot of people claimed the July 1 writing goal helped them last month. Should we do something like that again? Or now that everyone's written things, maybe we should organize some kind of editing or beta reading goal?

19 comments:

Colleen_Katana said...

I wasn't a part of the July 1 writing goal last month, but if you do it again, I'm so in!

Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, "Making" time to write. that's what it's all about.

Dennis Cass said...

Whether you're "making time" or "finding time" you're still focused on time, which is a lousy way to think about your writing.

Better to expand your definition of writing to include reading, researching, planning, thinking, daydreaming, and even socializing with readers and other writers.

If you think that way you'll get more done, and not feel like a guilty turd.

You're not just a writer when you're pushing letters around on the page.

Jess said...

Hi Moonrat,

I've been reading your blog on and off for a while but finally linked to it because I agree so much with the stuff about irresponsible media, women's rights, etc.

You say it more eloquently than I can and I really believe in what you're saying, too. So, um, I guess I'm the latest member of the Mischief? I know I'll be checking in daily with my morning cup of grape juice. :)

Best,
Jess

MUDNYC said...

Thanks for the comment! I worked in publishing...well I'm sort of doing something else for now, like changing diapers and washing bottles and such. It's nice work if you can get it.

Julie Weathers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Weathers said...

"Whether you're "making time" or "finding time" you're still focused on time, which is a lousy way to think about your writing.

Better to expand your definition of writing to include reading, researching, planning, thinking, daydreaming, and even socializing with readers and other writers."

I respectfully disagree. While research, socializing, planning, thinking, pondering, daydreaming and all those other things are noble writerly pursuits, the only thing that actually matters in the end is getting the words on the page.

I was a sports journalist with a horse racing magazine for seventeen years; and while pulling research on the race, the track, trainer, owner and horse, were necessary pursuits, what people read were words. Intriguing interviews made the story more interesting, but words were the embodiment of all those other activities.

I think when you become accustomed to the idea you have to put out an issue each week, the diva muse gets out of the way for the working muse, who just gets in there and gets the job done.

Having said that, I'm one of those people who NEEDS to commit to writing daily. If I don't, I look up and I have spent three months researching, daydreaming and socializing with nothing to show for it.

I think once a person has simmered the story in the back of their mind enough, they need to then commit to actually writing it.

Yes, Moonrat, another writing goal would be lovely.

Surrey IWC looms large and I need a kick in the butt.

Dennis Cass said...

@Julie: I have a feeling we're closer on this that it seems.

I also have a journalism background and agree that at the end of the day it all comes down to the work on the page.

But that's at the end of the day. The rest of the day will include (in addition to writing) reading, thinking and napping.

My original post was born out of a frustration with writing advice that puts too much emphasis on time spent writing or number of words produced.

I hate it when I read a writer's blog and they get down on themselves when they only wrote 1,000 words that week, instead of the 5,000 they wanted.

To your point, it seems that what matters most is the quality of those words on the page.

Friends?

Dennis Cass said...

PS I mean zero disrespect to people who make schedules or set word-count goals. I'm more suggesting a supplemental/alternative view.

Cheers to all.

Leslie said...

With regard to the dearth of women writers winning literary awards, I assume you've read Francine Prose's great 1998 essay from Harper's in which she explores this issue. Sorry that I couldn't find a link to the essay on line...but it's worth seeking out. It's called "The Scent of a Woman's Ink" and will totally depress you.

ggwritespoetry said...

I think we need another deadline, Moonie... I know, personally, I've been resting on my laurels since our last deadline, and I haven't done anything else since. That dancing around wore me out!

Maria said...

My problem is never making myself write. My problem is making myself stop.

Anonymous said...

re: morals of the day

what if you don't cotton to alternative sexual lifestyles, even though it's becoming almost "normal" these days?

Christy Raedeke said...

I'm absolutely up for a new goal. It seems insane that a virtual agreement like we all had can motivate, but it did for me. Writing is such a solitary purist that it's nice to have solidarity somehow, even if it's just in a deadline.

writtenwyrdd said...

Lovely linkages. Sad about the inequity in recognition for both genders when it comes to awards.

Ever wonder how much embedded sexism in language feeds into the perception? I sometimes do, and consider if certain usages (including the 'preferred' he for generic pronoun) affect perception in the audience.

D.J. Cappella said...

I am happy to have finally found your blog and wish I had been around for the Writing seminar. I would love to participate in part two!

Natalie Hatch said...

Do you know how much help I need with editing? That would be a fantastic kick up the old waahoozi if someone could set a deadline and say 'do it, do it now, do it now or else...'
just my two cents worth.

Ello said...

Hey I'm liking the new look. Very soothing. I'm late commenting on this right. Well you know my pain...

Julie Weathers said...

I'm trying for 1,000 words a day and five pages of re-reading/writing on past chapters.