Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Words to Starve By

Exercise the writing muscle every  day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
—Jane Yolen

Cute rots the intellect.
—Garfield the Cat

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Scribbles' Choice

Writers Are So Dreamy

Writers are left alone a lot, and their own devices can get pretty scary at times. Besides all the procrastinating, their thoughts can turn into dreams, and then…

(Cue the sappy music.)

Dream Clients…

Out of the mist comes Dream Client, someone who has located his or her Dream Writer from reading deathless stories by the writer and craving their Yoda-like wisdom and help.

Dream Clients say things like:

"You are my favorite columnist, do you ever write features?"

"You can write and design—you must be some kind of genius."

"How have you managed to work for yourself for so long? I could never take the insecurity and loneliness."

"It is such a plus for me to hire someone with an office, so I don't have to buy a computer or pay rent on office space for someone I only need occasionally."

"My own living depends on finding the best book to publish or best cover story I can commission. You are making me look good."

"I know you are not a large company and can't wait months for your money."

Wait, some weird green substance is coming over the dream…ick…oh, no, it's Nightmare Time.

Ack, this is horrible….

Whispers Building to Snarls…

"I don't have any money to finance this, so you have your nerve charging. Doesn't your spouse work?"

"It's short and should be so easy for someone like you."

"The faster you work, the closer you come to $15 an hour."

"You'll get paid when I do."

"Ten cents a word is great for people who work at home"

"I don't pay deposits— why should I pay before you do the work?"

"I pay on publication, well, maybe a month after. Be patient."

"Payment is not my department."

"You didn't use our invoice, time to start over. I am attaching it this time."

"Our lawyers won't budge on the contract—it's all legal."

And of course, in a keening wail, "The check is in the mail."

Wake up, Writer! It'll all be okay. Wake up, wake up.

—Star Lawrence

Friday, May 16, 2008

WRONG! of the Week

From an actual ad: "Every director needs a demo reel, every photographer needs a portfolio, every writer needs published work they can point to. Get your work published on our blog now! This is an unpaid, freelance, telecommute position.
Tell us again, why can't anyone get published on their own blog? Darn—you don't benefit!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Words to Starve By

"Only ambitions nonentities and hearty mediocrities exhibit their rough drafts. It's like passing around samples of sputum."
—Vladimir Nabokov

"The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write and keep on writing."
—Ken McLeod

Thursday, May 1, 2008

WRONG! of the Week

Buying writing on the never-never

"We pay on publication." What if the piece gets pushed back an issue? What if you decide not to run it at all? By the way, a kill fee is no substitute for full payment if you kill the piece due to no fault of the writer (say, lack of space). Pay on pub usually means the writer waits more than 30 days—sometimes a lot more, months even. Smart as most writers are, they still use money for essentials like everyone else.