Monday, April 30, 2007

Too personal...or not personal enough?

I have a friend who thinks I'm being a bit too personal about my writing woes. This friend thinks I should zip it, and just write away. And if I'm dealing with any obstacles, to just keep them to myself. This friend also doesn't think I should go out to a cafe to work. He/she thinks I should just stay home and buckle down.

So tell me, does it make you uncomfortable when I, or any other writers with blogs, talk about what they're dealing with, whether it be procrastination, writers block, or not being able to write at home? Seriously, i want to know.

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The LA Times Festival of Books was stellar, as usual. My friend Allison and I decided we liked the humor panels best. The panelists on the one I moderated (Allison Burnett, Merrill Markoe, Pamela Ribon and Amy Wallen) were hilarious. The other two humor panels we went to were great, too. Allison and Amy are going to come on the show in July, methinks.

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12 comments:

Lauri said...

Personally, I like to hear other writers are struggling. It makes me feel less alone in the process.

deirdre said...

I like to read about the struggles writers have and how they get past the blocks. It makes my own struggles and avoidances feel less frustrating when I know I'm not the only one.

Don said...

I'm with Lauri, although I tend to be somewhat circumspect about my writing with other folks (I suppose one can see how I'm doing by noting the word counts that appear at the bottom of blog entries)

Anonymous said...

I think you do what works for you - if leaving and working at a cafe works for you then do it. If staying home works - do that. Why does your friend care what/how you do to begin with? Seems awfully judgemental to me ...

Amy said...

Anytime I hear about a writer struggling with some aspect, it's heartening. Not in a mean kind of way, but in a "oh boy, that's like me, I'm not alone" way. So I say it's all good.

Deborah said...

Harlan Coban lives in my town. I used to tease him about 'stealing dialogue' at the local Starbucks when he'd hang out there to write.

A new venue can be all you need sometimes in order to be inspired for the day. And, writing about why writing ain't working for you is sometimes enough self flagellation one needs to get going again.

Anonymous said...

Misery loves company. Knowing that other people struggle helps remind me that I'm human and that there's light at the end of the tunnel.

What about starting a little group where you agree to share something like one paragraph to five pages with someone a couple times a week if you're concerned about progress?

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Actually, I'm not so concerned with progress right now because it's still working for me, going to Starbucks every morning after I drop my son at school.

I've been in writers groups for a good part of my writing life and I agree, they provide a deadline.

I like to hear about writers' struggles, too. On Saturday, I moderated the Fiction: Laugh Lines panel at the LA Times book fest, and Merrill Markoe said how difficult it was for her to write fiction. She's so funny and prolific and it's difficult for her. This sort of thing always gives me heart.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

I mean "hope." It gives me hope!

Chaser said...

I think your friend is not really being helpful. As I say to my PhD students, if you have to write wearing a Carmen Miranda costume and with an orange crayon to make it fun or to overcome your creative resistance, you do it. You may not need your creative crutch forever, it might morph into something else, or it can become an important ritual. But all that matters is that you do the work.

I wrote a 300+ page dissertation at the Starbuck's on Hollywood and Vine. JK Rowling is a cafe writer. If it's not broke, don't fix it. You've never shared anything inappropriate or overly emotional on the blog in my opinion, and certainly nothing that would deter agents or editors should they read it.

Becca said...

I thrive on reading about the habits of other writers ~ not only does it give me ideas for things to try that might work for my own writing dilemmas, it also makes me feel a little less crazy about some of the strange things I might do. Keep sharing all the little tidbits that work for you...they're inspiring to me!

Nicholas Borelli said...

I want to hear what other writers are going through. Doesn't bother me. I welcome it.

Writing is solitary enough without shutting out the rest of the world while one does it.

Best

Nick