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Wanna Help a Writer? Here’s How…

March 22, 2010

• Stop telling me to write about topics you wish to see. I already know what interests me as a writer and generally find it fucking insulting when folks assume otherwise. You ain’t never in your life seen me solicit anyone for writing ideas. Think about it.

• Stop assuming the absence of something means it’s missing. Writing is about making choices. And choosing NOT to do something is in fact one of the better choices writers can make.

• Stop assuming my typos and grammar gaffes are evidence of bad writing. I write quick and often. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

• You don’t get a voice here if you don’t comment. So for the most part I don’t care what you say or think. So sending emails about content or craft choices are a waste of your time.

• I’m not here to tell your story. I’m here to tell mine. You, however, are free to tell your own.

• Being prolific isn’t magic; it’s a decision. You either write or you don’t. Those are the two choices. And no, you’re not going to make me feel badly because YOU opt not to make that commitment.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2010 1:29 am

    And if the roof’s on fire let the mutherfucker burn.

  2. March 22, 2010 1:45 am

    Girl, you know people are fucking annoying when it comes to writing. Goddamn armchair writers! The underground don’t stop for hoes!

  3. evmaroon permalink
    March 22, 2010 1:49 am

    Darn, and here I was in the middle of an email suggesting you do a post on green peeps. I mean, seriously, when do you ever see green baby chicks! It’s so wrong! Why don’t you write about my favorite seasonal candy?

    Shit.

  4. March 22, 2010 3:22 am

    Peeps! Oh I saw the display and felt compelled to buy some and write about it. If only you could have gotten the message to me sooner! Next time use a smaller bottle. More aerodynamic.

  5. badhedgehog permalink
    March 22, 2010 6:03 am

    I am beginning to think that some computer keyboards come with a big instruction label that says “this is what you will use to beg, whinge, or rant, every time the world does not literally bend to your every will and whim like what it does in that bloody annoying mobile phone advert where the bloke falls from a great height and the ground goes all elastic to cushion his fall.” I blame mobile phone adverts for a lot.

  6. March 22, 2010 6:52 am

    As someone who’s been guilty of most if not all of these offenses, I appreciate you spelling them out so explicitly. I’ll try to remember to rein in my critical urges and save my more fatuous ideas for my own (very occasional) writing.

  7. March 22, 2010 8:12 am

    that first one gets me so much. mtherfcker, if you find queer/trans stuff so fascinating, then YOU go write it.

  8. March 22, 2010 8:59 am

    Can I get a witness?

    “Stop assuming the absence of something means it’s missing. Writing is about making choices. And choosing NOT to do something is in fact one of the better choices writers can make.”

    THANK YOU. This is actually great advice for just about anything. Fuck you, don’t tell me to add another knot to my shoelaces. Don’t tell me that I could use a little more blue in that painting. Don’t tell me what I need to make my life complete.

  9. March 22, 2010 10:19 am

    Oh, yes, the well-intentioned “Can’t wait to hear your opinion on X!”, its passive-aggressive sibling, “I can’t believe you haven’t addressed X yet, don’t you think it’s relevant?”, and the asshat that birthed them both, “If you were really Y, you would address X!”

    If you have, in your request that I act as your wind-up toy mouthpiece, demonstrated an internet connection and ability to type words, you have also demonstrated to me that you can make your own damn blog. There are no shortage of ways to write a letter to the internet; there is no need to CC me.

    Also:

  10. msjacks permalink
    March 22, 2010 1:57 pm

    The last bullet point reminds me of a chat you and I had YEARS ago where we were guffawing about people who said their depression “inspired them and helped them write a lot”. We were like, no, how about the other way around! It makes me happy that you made the commitment. ❤

  11. March 22, 2010 2:01 pm

    My personal favorite: “Stop assuming my typos and grammar gaffes are evidence of bad writing. I write quick and often. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

    And what is with their need to be nasty about it? A typo/gaffe is not a free pass to be rude or mean.

  12. March 22, 2010 2:34 pm

    THANK YOU. This is actually great advice for just about anything. Fuck you, don’t tell me to add another knot to my shoelaces. Don’t tell me that I could use a little more blue in that painting. Don’t tell me what I need to make my life complete.

    Reminds me of a John Cage quote: “I have nothing to say and I’m saying it. And it is poetry as I needed it.”

    I know whatever I’m getting in this regard you’re getting eleventy billion times worse as an artist. The painting you gave me is finally home again and I marvel at the perfection of every line, stroke or pause. It is exactly as you intended.

    Besides we all know what happens when writers/artists don’t make choices – hello genealogy of everyone’s horses!

    @Robin: Oh my god, yes. I felt so good knowing there was another person who was like, “WTF? I eat cookies and watch Matlock when I’m sad. I don’t make ART!!!” I’m glad you made the commitment too, Rawbin!!!

    I’ll get to the rest of y’all badasses in a bit. Thanks for showing your love!

  13. March 22, 2010 2:41 pm

    Oh, yes, the well-intentioned “Can’t wait to hear your opinion on X!”, its passive-aggressive sibling, “I can’t believe you haven’t addressed X yet, don’t you think it’s relevant?”, and the asshat that birthed them both, “If you were really Y, you would address X!”

    EXACTLY. I should have asked you to write this entry 😉 But seriously, it’s very difficult for folks to understand and accept that I don’t want to write about certain topics anymore or rather if I do want to write about them it’s not in the way I did previously. A for instance: I want to write about -isms, but I don’t want TALK about them. I think at some point you have to SHOW rather than TELL, and I’m out of the telling business.

    I can show you that marginalized folks are nuanced, multifaceted and wholly individual by crafting daily content that speaks to that ideal. If folks need that shit lampshaded, then this isn’t the right blog for them. They would need to go find someone spelling these things out each day. This blog isn’t a 101 space and honestly, I’ve never been that kind of blogger even from my Pitas day I was not that kind of blogger. So why should I be expected to be one now?

  14. hsofia permalink
    March 23, 2010 12:44 am

    I am just sitting here dumbfounded that people have the golly charles to even GO THERE. And I am downright confused as to why they would go there with YOU. wwwwwwtefffffffff?

  15. March 23, 2010 2:35 am

    @hsofia I think in many cases people don’t realize what they’re doing is irksome to the writer or that folks hear that sort of thing constantly. It’s also like the way folks are always trying to give me “humorous stories” for my work. And I’m like “Let me get this straight, you want me to write about a party I didn’t attended, populated by people I don’t know who aren’t in fact hilarious.”

    Yeah, I”ll get right on that, chief. How does the 37th of Neveruary work?

  16. hsofia permalink
    March 23, 2010 4:12 am

    “Yeah, I’ll get right on that, chief. How does the 37th of Neveruary work?”

    I’m such a dork I tried several times to sound “neveruary” out. But it reminds me of a joke by Todd Levin.

    http://comedians.jokes.com/todd-levin/videos/todd-levin—birthday-gifts

  17. bumerry permalink
    March 23, 2010 3:41 pm

    Mitchell and Webb are on their way to being a staple for me. Also, they demonstrate why writers still like me to edit their work 25 years later.

    I’m not a frustrated writer. I’m a happy writer with limited abilities who enjoys reading and giving a respectful opinion if and only if asked. I don’t understand (though I have juicy private opinions about) people who think creators need bosses. It’s like those people who go around touching people without permission. Then don’t understand that you haven’t really asked for permission if you won’t accept no for an answer. Ugh.

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