Scrolling The Tweets…

For now I have paused any more work on the manuscript. I will NOT look at any of it again until I can see a “proof” paper copy of it at last. I should hopefully have one by tomorrow.

[Map due to appear in Capture The Cause. Kindle manuscript version. Photo by me, January 11, 2022.]

So what am I doing? Well, I started writing my NEXT novel – only some opening thoughts and start of an outline, but it is a start. I must be insane. LOL!

In the last day or so, I also had a look at Twitter. It has been a while since I last did, so I thought I would here offer my reactions to some tweets I plucked from a few scrolls of that platform’s (which I no longer use, as you may know) writers and #writingcommunity. Here we go:

I spent a year writing my first book. The effort was pretty considerable.

I sold several Kindle copies of it within the first 24 hours of it appearing publicly on Amazon in early December 2013 – to people I did NOT know and due to no advertising whatsoever. (This blog had not yet even had its first post, so I had NO social media presence as a writer worth mentioning.)

So, I don’t agree that selling “a book” is tougher than writing “a book.”

Now, if you hope to sell “1,000,000” copies of a book, well, that may be another matter. LOL!

In my opinion tweeters offering their opinions on “agent or not” above are actually focusing on the wrong question there. I think the main issue is this one: Non-fiction/Memoir.

My uncle’s last book was actually a memoir. He was a writer in the first place because of events in his life, and those events were at the time pretty newsworthy. So his life, and in particular a decade or two of it, was considered “interesting” enough in terms of the general public at the time that his long-time agent and a publisher considered it worth him publishing a memoir. (I am, surprisingly, unmentioned in it. LOL!)

A German friend of my wife’s family (in the early 1960s he married an English childhood friend of my future wife’s future mother) had been a teen trainee Luftwaffe pilot in the last days of the Second World War (and was frankly lucky he survived the war). In the 1990s he had penned for a “vanity press” a book he wanted to write (long before the Kindle or the indie publishing we have today) as an “explanation” from him to his children and friends and family of what he did during the war. I have it, and it is a fascinating read… even had I not gotten to know him personally. He had a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and damn well knew how to write. He could EASILY have sought out an agent and I bet the memoir could have been published for the general public. Instead he chose to keep it close to home. He had had by then had a long career with the United Nations, was retired and living in Geneva, and felt he had nothing left to prove. In his 70s, he was NOT interested in becoming an “author” – and I had always felt that was a shame, because the book would have I felt (and still feel) a readership… even now, over a decade since his death.

I cite those as two examples because of this. I will never forget what I had read an agent had said also about a decade ago – about when I was going to write my first book and I was looking around for “advice.” He noted that he got more memoirs from ordinary people than he knew what to do with and had to reject nearly all of them. He warned: Unless you are “Nelson Mandela,” or have done something truly memorable and publicly noteworthy, no one out there really cares about your life. So if you want to write a memoir fictionalize it and tell a readable STORY, because fiction, he held, is much easier for an agent to sell than a memoir by an “ordinary” person.

I always assume the best in people, including other writers, until proven otherwise.

And I have been several times proven decidedly otherwise by writers.

In short, please don’t be naive: NOT all writers are going to be “writing chums.”

I continue to be amazed at how so many authors show such little confidence PUBLICLY and TWEET such things. What is the point to that tweet, honestly? It is NOT going to win over anyone, and in fact is likely a turn off.

I would not be inclined to read an author so lacking in self-confidence. Seriously. Why put that on the internet for possibly anyone to see, including potential publishers and readers?

Keep your self-doubts and, in particular failures, to yourself.

No. So, no.

I will not do that. I think there is something inherently “dishonest” in doing that.

“Smart” in this craft/business is often a matter of experience. Mine on that subject?

Stay the heck away from Goodreads.

Goodreads is for readers. It is NOT for authors.

What you might “get” from it is NOT offset by the trolling and nonsense there – including stalkers – believe me.

My uncle once seriously considered moving to the Republic of Ireland. Back in the 1990s it provided visas to foreign authors who could prove they were supporting themselves (as my uncle then was) by writing fiction (so they would not be looking for any other work). Overall, the Irish love writers.

Leave me out of that “all.” I have come to appreciate the internet’s huge role now in reaching potential readers. It has been probably the MAIN reason readers around the world since 2013 have been able to find and to then read my written novels – either on paper or (mostly) Kindle.

No, it would make a terrible one. It would be even worse as a decade-long television drama. Atrocious. Awful. I would never go along with any such idea.

LOL! I am kidding above, of course.

I find questions like that tossed out on Twitter to be hilarious.

Writing is 100% writing your story down.

The only person whose “support” I truly need is my wife’s. If I ever lose hers, I am done. I could not write if she disapproved.

Everyone else (who knows I write) close to me is free to be interested or not to be interested.

It is not my place to demand anyone “care.”

I read for decades before I started writing. And I still read while writing. So I am way ahead in reading over writing.

It being a graveyard, it looks like “the end” to me.

I’m sorry, I could not resist. 😉

It is definitely writing. Sure. No one is saying it is not.

The problem is it is also possibly copyright infringing (the debate goes on). It may also take copyrighted characters down routes the original author – the creator – does not want to see done, fearing it may diminish the appeal of their ORIGINAL books. Not every author views “fanfic” as a “tribute,” just remember that.

I take this position: If you want to write fiction, invent your own stories and your own characters.

Or you may “fanfic” from “public domain” books. For example, on January 1, 2022, “Winnie-the-Pooh” (the 1926 original character, NOT Disney’s version) fell out of copyright and is free to be turned now into a vampire catcher or a dystopian water-farmer on planet Zoog. 😉

Have fun. 🙂

Actually, the crazy world provides LOTS of material.

I would have it no other way.

With that bit of authoring advice, I sign off for this post. LOL!

Have a good Tuesday, wherever you are. 🙂

2 Replies to “Scrolling The Tweets…”

  1. Lol oh yeah the memoir thing really gets me, because I have tons of friends who are non-writers who want to write their first book about their life. I usually ask them if they’ve read Steve Jobs’ or Michelle Obama’s biographies. They usually say no. After that I ask: “Then what makes you think someone would want to read a book about your life?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The quote usually attributed to Ben Franklin – the write something worth reading or live something worth writing about – always comes to mind when I stumble on someone I had never heard of talking about writing memoirs. In that sense getting rejections from agents/publishers on your memoir will, I think, lead you also to take those rejections much more personally than you would for fiction because rejection in the former case confirms that, well, your life is probably not worth a published memoir. Mandela or Michelle Obama had publishers trampling each other to be able to publish theirs. Okay, there is also the “minor celeb” type out there, but even they have at least “name recognition” for SOMETHING, and most of us don’t fall into that category either. I think a good rule of thumb for a prospective memoir writer is this: If agents are not SEEKING YOU out to write YOUR memoir, you should think carefully about the project. I could explain to an agent why (s)he might want to take on my FICTION. But who wants to hear, “Yeh, it’s kind of interesting in spots, but why is your life worth a memoir again?” LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

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