Why Writers Need To Go Outside Now And Then

A walk on Sunday near the Eiffel Tower of Bedfordshire…

[Sandy Transmitter. A Sunday midday walk. Potton, February 21, 2021.]

…and getting some needed fresh air.

Monday, it was indoors again and back to writing. Having a writing break, I tend to scroll Instagram and Twitter – on the latter particularly its #writingcommunity hashtag. In doing so again yesterday, and again earlier, I found I was after a time asking myself (as usual): Why am I reading Twitter? LOL!

I don’t really care, I am the one with the product. Any interested party is always free to drop me a message. I pass business inquiries to my representative, and if it seems genuine, you may hear from her.

Or she may pass. She decides. She has my full confidence.

I am by no means a religious maniac, but for anyone professing to be a Christian in any sense my first suggestion would be the Bible. It is not just some “holy book,” but a library of ancient writings. Indeed even if you are an atheist, it is profoundly historical and its influence on our culture is incalculable.

For authors, our literature owes a huge debt to what is found in the Bible. One may not agree with (or even like) some that appears in it, but the fact is many of the sayings and the tales that we know (and even often our own names) stem in some form from its pages – even if we do NOT actually always even realize that. Any writer who is not at least broadly familiar with it is trying to write from a position of profound cultural ignorance.

I don’t like responding to a tweet like that above because I have no idea what or whom he is talking about. Someone usually blocks you for a reason they consider important. If they do, just go on your merry way.

I do not use Goodreads. When I tried it a few years ago, I found it an ugly place and gradually came to feel I did not want to involve myself there. So while I have an account, you notice there is no photo of me and I am inactive… mostly because I can’t figure out how to delete the damn thing without jumping through rings of fire.

MSWL is short for “manuscript wish list.

More “author-speak.”

Just in case you thought you had blundered into the private “intranet” used only by authors, and not Twitter on the INTERNET that potentially the entire planet can see.

Now for another one. I continue to be amazed that new authors so openly share their rejections on Twitter. Why would you do that?

We all endure setbacks. That we do is no reason to BROADCAST them with a BULLHORN. How do you think that looks to future agents/publishers, who will almost certainly check your social media, and, even worse, to potential READERS?

All I think now when I see tweets like that one and the two before it is be careful.

There are thieves out there.

If “paint by numbers” is your thing, fine.

Ooh, sorry, I did not mean for that to read as harsh as I realize it might. It is just that I see writing a novel as quite a “loose” and “open” effort. I like to throw in the unexpected and hope NOT to have a simple to follow “plot”…

…because LIFE is not a “six point” outline, is it?

Why should a novel be written to a template either?

With online sources now, it is easier than ever to research what we do not know. No need to trudge to a library and dig through bookstacks. There is really no excuse now NOT to have a search and find out how an 1800s musket fired.

Why is that tweet hash-tagged #writingcommunity?

Oh, nevermind.

Why am I even asking?

1) Romantic historical fiction.

[Draft cover, Capture The Cause, February 1, 2021.]

2) My “favorite thing” about that manuscript in progress? I am not revealing THAT. LOL!

I am just happy you are here. I expect nothing else.

Everyone does their own thing. Personally I will say, though, that I have NOT and will NEVER do that for anyone. NEVER.

“Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” – First of all, F. Scott Fitzgerald did not mean don’t use them at all. Note he says “all these.” Of course he used exclamation points:

[From Tender Is The Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1934. Photo by me, 2021.]

Second, Fitzgerald would certainly agree that in English grammar we have that punctuation symbol for a reason. That is for precision. Precision! 😉



Do those same quotes not have rather a difference in meaning based on the full stop v. the exclamation point? One would think a publisher would understand that when sharing a quotation like that one – especially one with which the quoted writer would be among the first to claim he did not mean it in absolutist terms.

For we live now increasingly with those who tell writers that “this” is not necessary or “that” is wrong… like rubbish such as this from a so-called “independent publisher”:

Laughable junk is all around us, so we do not need perhaps reputable types adding to that misinformation – and “stupidinformation” – mess.

There is a GOOD REASON it is called a “draft”… and that is because it is NOT a finished product. So it can be “allowed” to “suck.”

However, if the finished book “sucks,” THEN you have a real problem.

Have a good Tuesday, wherever you are. 🙂