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Why I Don’t Give Writing Advice

By on Jan 2, 2013 in publication, WIP, writing | 11 comments

I started blogging almost five years ago, somewhere in 2008, when I decided to focus on “being a writer”–whatever the hell that means. To illustrate a little: being a writer meant actually writing every day, finishing books, and apparently telling the world out there that I, in fact, have Things To Say about Being A Writer and Fiction and Steampunk and Narrative and all these Fun Capitalized Things. I had a great deal to say on the subject, filling not only this blog but another one, along the way. I used to write a great deal about how to be a writer. How to leverage social media. How to not be a jerk, etc. Yes, I got pageviews and retweets and I made friends and all that, which isn’t to be scoffed at (and I don’t mean to). I’ve made friendships and connections through my blog that are priceless. It’s only now, five years later, after...

Five Ways Social Media Can Destroy Your Writing (and, Potentially, Your Career)

By on Sep 25, 2011 in publication, social media, writing | 11 comments

Ah, social media. You can’t cross the street any more without having it cross your consciousness (I wonder if there’s a check-in here!). And as useful as social media can be for us writerly types, I guarantee you for every pro there is a serious and potentially hazardous con. Having written before on some of the reasons I love Twitter for writing, I thought I’d share five ways that social media can, you know, go all Cthulhu on your writing rather than foster it. 1) You drive yourself to distraction. This is perhaps the most obvious pitfall of social media. It’s damn distracting. There’s plenty of time to talk about writing, to meet new writers, to see and read and absorb everyone else’s processes and approaches and learn about the business and agents and publishing and… and… Wait, when was the last time you actually sat down and wrote...

Six Ways Twitter Can Make You A Better Writer

By on Jan 9, 2010 in blog, WIP, writing | 20 comments

Many people consider Twitter solely¬†for networking purposes, for meeting people with common interests and conversing. And while that’s a big part of it, Twitter can also be a very useful tool for improving your writing. When I first started building my Twitter follow list, I started with a lot of writers. And soon I discovered, mostly through feeds of people like Jay Lake and Paul Jessup, the #wip hashtag. Easy enough, WIP stands for “work in progress”. Basically, writers sample little 140 character or less sections from their work, sharing it with their friends and followers. Not every writer does this (either some don’t like the attention it brings, while others might feel it’s a little too flashy or something) I’ve found it very helpful for a number of reasons. Most importantly, excerpting your #wip brings people into your creative process. It...

All the world’s your stage: the performativity of online presence

By on Apr 20, 2009 in blog, publication, writing | 4 comments

My freshman year of college, I discovered MUSHing, specifically Elendor, the Tolkien-based MUSH. Besides being a hole for creativity (well, who needs to write anything original when you’re in a world as detailed as that one…) it was my first real exposure to an online community. And it’s there that I discovered the vast difference between real and perceived personalities in virtual space. I called it a MUSHPersona. There were people, for instance, whom I knew in real life as relatively mild-mannered bookworms, who online became sarcastic, self-important, jerks. Shyguys turn into relentless flirts. Housewives turn into vixens. And I’ve found, especially with the birth of social media and the Blogaissance, this sense of performativity has permeated the internet on many levels. The thing is, the online world works in very mysterious ways. You’re put into a...