Around The “Water Cooler” Again

Good morning! It was a “chilly” early Monday here about an hour north of London:

[Defrosting the car. Bedfordshire, England. Photo by me, January 20, 2020.]

And yesterday’s post revolved mostly around only a few #writingcommunity recent tweets. It was also “heavy” stuff. That post also would have been WAY TOO LONG had I delved into more authoring tweets.

[Photo by me, January 20, 2020.]

So today here is more – some of it lighthearted – from fellow authors on Twitter… as they (I am taking a rest after finishing a 600 page novel, and I admit I am not writing currently) again gather around the authors’ office’s “water cooler” to gab (when it appears at least some of them, uh, should be nose to the grindstone and writing)…

I think we do need to be, uh, a bit realistic about that. Just like on Twitter there are mega-famous authors whether they can actually write or not who we know will have big followings on Instagram. Most of us aren’t mega-famous (yet?), so our Insta-followings, like all social media followings, will be far fewer because naturally far fewer out there know about us.

And we need to remember also that Instagram is fundamentally visual and most of us authors don’t post photos like this:

Well, most of us probably can’t anyway. LOL!

I started my Twitter writing account back in August because I felt I had to have one. Increasingly, though, once again, I am not seeing a real point to having a Twitter account. You are more likely to get yourself in big trouble with a perhaps poorly worded tweet than actually reach people who are genuinely interested: it is all about “piling” up followers.

I find blogging – where followers don’t matter nearly as much, as many visitors (perhaps most) are not even followers – is much more worthwhile for a writer than Twitter.

Interestingly, after this blog my second-best place for social media interactions has been on my Instagram. Despite “author” being in my profile, many of my Instagram followers are a wide variety of people from all over the world and possess lots of varied interests. And most of them even seem to be real.

Actually Goodreads – owned by Amazon – itself as a site “scares” me. It is in my opinion a cesspool and I won’t participate in it. I started to use it, but then decided, uh, no, and hung an “out of order” sign up on my page ages ago. I have not deleted my page simply because it might serve as a signpost directing people to my site here.

And I have gotten almost no visitors from there in longer than I can recall. And I probably haven’t even looked at my page in at least two years. For all I know it has been taken over by an Italian restaurant food critic or something.

I name characters whatever names I think work best for them. It is purely subjective. For the historical novels, I also carefully research(ed) names of that era and country.

After an aunt of mine died in early 2017, just before Conventions was published, I renamed an “aunt” character, who was due to make a minor appearance in the tale, with my (now late) aunt’s real name – which fortunately also fit 18th century America naming norms.

In the new Tomorrow The Grace… I gave the fictional “her” a bigger “part” as a tiny personal tribute.

That’s what a writer can do. 🙂

Good choice. But 18th century England – meaning, basically, up to 1815 – is far more interesting (to me) than Victorian.

A long time ago, I was an undergraduate international studies major, and a postgraduate student first in political science and then in history. Afterwards, I taught college political science and history for nearly a decade.

So I spent A LOT of time reading and writing… and having my writing torn to shreds by people a heckuva lot smarter.

Bravo.

I don’t tend to think about what others do. Everyone writes differently, so I don’t really compare what I write to what others write. And someone else in life we see will ALWAYS accomplish more than we do, will have more money than we do, and will seem happier in everything (and will always seem to be putting up such pics on Instagram), so we all have to learn not to be envious of what others (at least appear to) have… because if we don’t learn that lesson we will ALWAYS be REALLY unhappy in life.

I have also found now that I have been on here since 2013, that writers tend to come… and go. Real longevity is rare. There were hordes of people I used to follow whose blogs are now dead and who have essentially given up writing. (I could count the number I still interact with from 2014 on the fingers of one hand compared to the number of writers on WordPress I “knew” in 2014.)

Both of those points made, I will say this. I am also finding on Twitter that some supposed “authors” are starting to annoy the heck out of me because they seem to produce nothing but SMOKE. They are apparently “writing” for years, but have not actually produced A BOOK yet and are nonetheless overflowing with writing opinions and are REALLY good overall at social media vacuous jabber.

I did not. I don’t like fanfiction in general. First, I believe it is borderline copyright-infringing.

Second, even if it isn’t necessarily “stealing,” I feel a writer should commit early on to producing original work. It is – I believe – a waste of creative time and effort on writing that ultimately leads you to a dead end: you are merely “piggy-backing” on someone else’s literary invention.

Read books you love. Admire the characters all you want. But if you want to write, my suggestion always is this: write original material.

Another from the same tweeter. Hmm, my “muses” have primarily been… uh, no, I am not naming names here! Do I look insane?

Come to think of it, I suppose writing based on particularly a human “muse” might also be considered an original approach to, err, “fanfiction.” LOL!

What imaginations some of you have. That above is apparently ORIGINAL and not “fanfiction.” Use those imaginations for true originality in your writing.

I suppose this “drop” word I see used increasingly about a new book release has spread into writing from pop music. To me, however, “drop” usually denotes an accident: I dropped a pen; I dropped a mug full of coffee; I dropped the baby, etc.

Unless its hard copy slips out of my hand and falls to the floor, I don’t “drop” a “200-600 page” novel and neither as a writer do you. You want to be taken seriously as an author? Don’t trivialize a year or two or ten of effort by using that expression: A novel is released or published… and that is a HUGE DEAL.

But I suppose much as with the “beta reader” term I despise – it sounds as if a proofreader is “beta” testing a newer version of software or something – I will lose on this one too.

If someone wants to read what I have written, someone will. I don’t ask anyone to read – or review – anything I write. I especially do not cajole family and close friends.

As I have said before, given what I write, more often than not I don’t even really WANT my family and close friends reading my novels!

Reading is personal taste. If someone is simply uninterested in my stories, I’m not going to irritate them in carrying on about them “having” to read them. If they want to, they will: it is entirely their choice.

Have a good Monday, wherever you are. 🙂

One thought on “Around The “Water Cooler” Again

  1. I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and very interesting blog. I come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. A soon.

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