Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Writers - A Volatile Persuasion

Upon first sight, writers appear frazzled, distracted and jumpy. This would be very inconsistent with the image of a writer at work on their current project. Suddenly, they are focused and determined. Nothing short of their hair catching on fire and a cat using their back as a scratching post will drag their attention from their life altering purpose: to form words into sentences.

Yes, writers are animals based on contradiction. Within one conversation this breed may both complain about the characters keeping them awake at night, and state that other characters aren't talking enough and they just don't know what they'll do in the next chapter if these ungrateful creations don't start voicing some opinions--and soon.

You may also find them complaining about the many things that keep them so very busy--and in the next sentence exclaim how excited they are that they just figured out how to use Twitter, started a new blog and decided that Facebook needed to be updated a minimum of twice per hour.

Some will stick book after book away on a shelf without ever submitting them to anyone, while still others will submit every sentence they can get to sit still on a paper to any man, woman or dog that might be walking past. They will then request and expect immediate positive feedback. If the feedback is not given or if it is not positive, the consequences may be dire. (may Rover rest in peace.)

With careful observation, you may come to see a direct correlation between the size of the ego and how long they survive in the business. It appears at least a moderate ego is necessary to continue through rejection after rejection but also, if the ego appears too big it is another problem altogether. In this situation it is very probable they will give up on the industry and become a hermit in the mountains, self-publishing every word they write, from the 700,000 word epic to the grocery list.

There also is often a great incongruence between the way writers respond to positive and negative feedback. One negative comment and many writers spend hours considering placing their laptop in the microwave or possibly just becoming a mute and forgoing all forms of communication from this point forward. However, to elicit such a dramatic response from positive feedback it takes approximately 7,482.3 positive comments that will bring about dancing in the streets and unbridled revelry for at least several minutes.

The absolute best approach when trying to strike up a conversation with a writer is to become or claim to be an agent or an editor. They will immediately snap out of their frazzled state and become the most attentive listener on record. This tactic has been abused in the past, as writers have been abundantly willing to throw gobs of money at anyone that says they are an agent, or know an agent, or have a cousin whose ex-wife's, uncle's, brother-in-law's, nephew's, cousin's, best friend is an agent. (You know who you are Ted)

Please do not take advantage of these poor writers like this,

~ they hear voices in their heads (and none of them are polite!)

~ they find themselves inexplicably typing at all hours of the day

~ they consider it a success if they have both a shower and find a comb before it's time to go to sleep

~ and they are responsible for reliably completing entire worlds, complete with governments, religions, people, rules, and relationships.

In fact, no wonder we look so frazzled... Excuse me, I have to go rethink becoming a mute for the fourteenth time today.


  1. LOL So true!!! Except I have been known to become exceptionally happy with just one positive comment. But you're right 7,482.3 would make me dance in the streets. And thank you for warning people about our nature, we are jumpy creatures who hear voices. What's wrong with that? LOL Good post, Jenn.

  2. This is hilarious! I loved that paragraph about Twitter.

  3. What a great post! These things are so true about writers. My characters often keep me awake at night or irritate me to no end because of their lack of personality. And my mind is always awhirl with plots and ideas for scene. I have been known to spontaneously burst out (usually in the middle of dinner or a television show) with a resounding "yes!" or "no!" in response to an internal idea of a new scene or character reaction. We writers are kind of weird...

  4. Yeah, We're a crazy bunch. My characters don't seem to want to shut up. They especially harangue me when I'm trying to get to sleep. They really don't know their place.

  5. LOL. I loved it! Brilliant. (Only 7,479 or so to go) : )

  6. Very, very funny. My son aspires to be an author. He's crazy too;)

  7. This is so great! You've captured the madness of authorhood! I laughed out loud (notice I didn't even abbreviate) when you talked about throwing the laptop in the microwave. That was classic! You really have a knack for these posts!

  8. LOL! so funny but sad too cause I could recognize a hint of me there and a ton of other writers I know!!

  9. OMG hilarious! And where did you find that picture! LOL

  10. Today while my sister was telling me something that may have been very important, I would occasionally smile or laugh. She said she knew I wasn't laughing at her, but something my character said. She was right.

  11. Fantastic descriptions! I think I should send this along to all my non-writer friends. :) Maybe they'll understand me better, hehe.

  12. Oh, I simply must come back and read all of this - that photo is halarious - looks like me except I have short dark hair and I'm not aas cute *laughing*!!!!!

  13. This is great! A few friends of mine have been talking about all the head injuries we sustained in our younger years. Judo kicks, metal baseball bats, falling off the trampoline...could that be why we have the voices?? LOL.

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  15. LOL great post. I love having voice in my head, no matter what anyone else thinks.

  16. Kasie - If I heap on the comments, will you at some point show us a video of you doing your happy dance in the street? Did I mention you're gorgeous? :)

    Davin - Thanks! LOL that one was taken directly from my own words :P

    Cindy - Yes, we're weird... but oh so lovable :D

    Lois - They can be so pushy LOL

    WriterMom - LOL just keep piling them on :D

    Debbie - Quick! Use this post to warn him off now! lol ;)

    Candi - Woah! Even sans abbreviation! I am honored :D

    Terri - I know... we all have so much in common it is funny.

    Tara - LOL Isn't she perfect? I just did a google search on images and stumbled across her. I laughed for ten minutes.

    Jessie - another perfect example... I may need to make a new list LOL

    Lady Glamis - Totally! We should hang this up on our front and/or office doors. It would clear so many things up! LOL

    Ang - Yes, yes you do. :D

    Kat - Yes... I snuck in and took it when you weren't looking. I changed the haircolor to preserve your anonymity. But now that you've admitted it... you sure are that cute ;)

    ElanaJ - Interesting theory. I may have to do some research into that. Could someone please come give me a judo kick to the head? ;)

    Jenn - I'm with you, I try to not to complain about them too much because I fear they may go away. LOL


    Thanks so much for the support everyone! The blog is shutting down for a little bit. I'm going on vaca! Yay! Love ya all, don't miss me too much :P

  17. You can't go! I just found you! *huddles in a corner and sucks thumb*

  18. I'm not so sure about the characters. Mine mostly do what they're told. Well, except when one of the minor ones suddenly takes over about half the book.

  19. LOL!! Great post, and SO true! :)