Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blog Chain: Writerly Wisdom

It's my turn to post on the blog chain again. This time the topic was brought to us by Cole.

Your subject is writerly advice. (I just made that word up. Hee) Pretend you are addressing a crowd of aspiring authors eager to soak in your words of knowledge. The problem is, you've only been given a time slot of five seconds. In one sentence (no more than 20 words), please summarize the most important words of wisdom you can impart.

Okay, so not only do I have to think up words of wisdom, but instead of being able to ramble on in my usual way, I need to somehow say it all in 20 words. Wisdom I can fake, but the whole word limit thing - oye - that's rough. So, in the spirit of compromise, here is my five second speech, along with some asterisked notes (just in case someone else before me ran short) and I end up having a little extra time to fill.

"Hello.* Now forget this writing nonsense and go to dental school.** No?*** Well, then**** prepare***** for an endlessly****** difficult******* battle********."*********

*Eager writers here to soak up my wisdom and advice, or maybe you're just here because you need something to fill the time until lunch. Either way, thanks for coming.

**Yes, dental school. Or anything in the medical field would be okay, but dentists just really seem to have it made. The last few times I've been to the dentist the dental hygienist did all the work and then all the actual dentist did was come in at the end and say something like, "Yep, looks good. Any questions?" That seems like a pretty sweet gig. I would definitely look into it. And also, think how happy it would make your mother.

***Are you sure? Really? You also get to be called "Doctor" did I mention that?

****You are unreasonable and foolish.

*****I mean prepare like stock up on coffee supplies, but also mentally prepare in the way that my best friend in college used to do before an all day weekend shift at the Bon-Ton (it's a Buffalo area department store). She would say to herself, "This day is going to be endless. It is going to feel like forever. And it is probably going to suck. BUT, I will get through it."

******Yes, endless. It doesn't end with the first draft, the fiftieth revision, the agent hunt, the publisher hunt, the publications, the sales, or even the reviews - because if you really want to be a writer you'll have to go through most of those painful steps over and over and over again. I bet that whole dentist thing is sounding pretty good right about now, huh?

*******and intermittently rewarding. I mean unless you're a masochist you should be getting something out of this other than suffering.

********Did I say battle? Let me clarify. When I say battle, I'm not talking Gettysburg here. No, this is the freaking Crusades. Or the Hundred Years War. Which is to say some battles will be won, some battles will be lost, some might even such a bloody mess you can't make sense of them, but regardless you fight again and again and again and again.

*********Oh, and good luck.

For more writing advice you can find Rebecca's post before mine and Amanda will be up next.

I'd love to hear your advice as well - what 20 words would you share with an audience of aspiring writers?


  1. LOL okay, totally laughing my butt off :D Dental school huh? Well why didn't you tell me that before I started all this mess!!? Now I'm in too deep ;-D

  2. Ha! Too funny ;) My mom would totally agree with you.

  3. Our neighbor is a dentist and I see him out playing w/ his kids ALL THE TIME. Yeah, that is a sweet gig.

    Love the 100 years war part. Man, am I learning the truth in that nugget :)

  4. You are a hoot! Just try to talk me out of it, dare you.

  5. lol, so funny. At least we don't have to look in other people's mouths. That's a plus. :)

  6. This is so clever. Your wisdom amazes me more and more each week.

  7. Ha! Ha! Can't top that great advice! :)

  8. Gotta love it! But I wonder what you would say to the dentist who is writing during all of his free time?

  9. OH my gosh! LOL I think you said it way better than I could. Are this funny in person too? Hehee! But you're so right. Newbies think it's a piece of cake but it's more like marriage. It takes commitment.

  10. HAHAAHAH, I love the asterisks! :D

    This cracked me up, and also made me think "yeah, we really do have to go balls to the walls with this." If we're not ready to do the 100 years war, we really should go to dental school and spare ourselves the craziness.

    But we can't, because we all secretly love it! ;)

  11. After reading BTDATDBS, I find the dental school thing HILARIOUS.

    I can't argue with it, but it's funny nonetheless. :-)

  12. Hehe! I'm filling out my application to dental school right now!

  13. Hee hee. I've had this conversation with my great-aunt. Except, instead of dental school, she thought I should become a mortician. Um, not for me, thank you.

  14. LOVE this. Made me laugh my butt off. And it's totally true. I have friends that ask me what advice I'd give to someone who wanted to be a writer. My advice is always: Don't.

  15. Kate...this made me laugh, and I needed a good one! And it's all so true to boot. Love this advise.