Thursday, January 14, 2010

Other people's advice

First, I present to you Randy Susan Meyer's 10 Commandments of Book Launching. GENIUS. She knows of what she speaks, because her novel The Murderer's Daughters launches in less than one week. If you're in the Boston area, there will be a book launch party, and donations matching all book sales that night will go to The Home for Little Wanderers.

Second, we have some advice from Joan Wickersham... she was told that the original source of this advice was Dostoyevsky but was unable to confirm the attribution. Whoever said it first, it's good:

Every story has three versions: the version you tell your friends, the version you tell yourself, and the version you're afraid to tell yourself.

Write the third one.

Finally, we have a great post on pushing yourself by Mur Lafferty. It comes complete with a photo from Cake Wrecks... please tell me you all already knew about Cake Wrecks.


  1. Oooh. I just commented yesterday on terrifying yourself and bringing on the drug of adrenaline to inspire your writing. "Write the version you're afraid to tell yourself." Yes. This is the place people hesitate to go. It's a lonely place.

    My son just got into a dynamite class at Bard College taught by writer Emily Barton. If you like Cake Wrecks, you will love her suggested links, too, on her website.

    Writers! Go to the place you fear the most and you will emerge invigorated! A little shell shocked. Maybe exhausted. But it's like breaking through a wall or a barrier. And when the floodgates open, you have to commit to the ride. Keep your head above water!

  2. Awesome (as usual) post! I'm all about scaring oneself, but it's easier said than done. Especially while one's parents are still alive, lol!

  3. I'm not sure how to read the concept of that statement. It really evades me. Maybe I'm just so honest with myself that "the version I tell myself" is not something I'd be afraid to consider... lol

  4. Oooh, I'm so reading those links! Especially the book launching one. I so need to do some research on that. Thanks!

  5. Read the sentence from Carrie's post, "the version you're afraid to tell yourself," and play with the language just a little bit. Think of it this way - "the version you are afraid to tell, all by yourself." Though you might not be afraid of telling yourself the exciting, truthful version - perhaps you are afraid to transform it into words and "put it out there" as YOUR work.

    I am learning to have the courage to write even if the "version" isn't quite what I'm ready to put forth. Hence, one of many reasons for the invention of a nom de plume.

    Whenever you are experimenting with content, style, technique, etc., it can be a panic to see if what you are trying "works." I get nervous. Scared. Feel too vulnerable.

    But when it does work - you are jazzed! I think it was Mark Twain who said something along the lines of "if you want to be a writer, you'd better have a backbone and be prepared to straighten it out."

    Yes. That takes a lot of courage for me.

  6. Hi Carrie, great post. I constantly find myself with two versions of a chapter in my head, and I'm always nervous about at least one of them...but almost always that's the better version.