Ratebeer Readers discussion

Anybody write, or thought about it?

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message 1: by Claude S (new)

Claude S | 200 comments I've always been tempted, but never tried. I have a bunch of ideas, but I know my first effort will be crap... Faulkner's first work was crap too though.

message 2: by Nate (new)

Nate (gueuze) | 13 comments A few short stories here and there - nothing published. I have something in the works currently, but I know realistically with all the other stuff I have to do that it will take several years. But it's a pastime for fun and not putting beer on the table, so I don't fret about it.

Work-related, I have four peer-reviewed publications, but I don't think that's the type of writing you meant ;

message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason | 39 comments I have written several short stories over the past few years but have only submitted one body of work and was rejected. I think if I fine tune some of those writings I could get something published one day.

message 4: by Muzzlehatch (new)

Muzzlehatch | 168 comments Think about it...all the time.

Do it...not nearly enough.

My lifelong dream.

message 5: by Probiere (new)

Probiere | 5 comments I think that someday I will. Not now, though.

message 6: by Frank (new)

Frank Hays (logicalfrank) | 40 comments I can never get started. My problem is I'm lazy and uncreative. That will pretty much kill you right there. I have some pretty cool ideas though.

message 7: by grantonio (last edited Jan 15, 2008 09:41AM) (new)

grantonio | 24 comments I wrote some papers in college that I was urged to enter in writing contests and a couple papers (one in literature, one in art history) that I was told by several faculty were publication quality, but never got around to it.

Writing is probably my greatest aptitude, but the activation energy for me to get going is huge. I always have ideas for essays and short stories pinging into in my head and deriving from life experiences, but I seldom even write the first paragraph. Sometimes I write bad poetry when drunk. It runs in the family; my sister was a pretty successful freelancer for several years, and she still does some on the side.

Nate - peer-reviewed pubs in science, while impressive, don't count. :)
That kind of technical writing allows some vocabulary if warranted, but creativity is pretty much anathema, except for maybe a snarky title for a review or some such.

message 8: by William (new)

William (acknud) I'm with you Frank. Lazy and uncreative! :-)

message 9: by Jacob (new)

Jacob | 17 comments I tried to write fiction in middle and high school and rarely finished any of my projects. They were really too grandiose of ideas for me to have a chance of completing at the time, though. I wrote a couple of short scripts in college, but they were for personal entertainment instead of intended for publishing or anything. I have worked professionally as a journalist (and still do beer journalism), so that's writing, but not exactly creative writing. I also write everyday on my blog and some of those are actually fairly involved personal essays (and others not so much), but I haven't written fiction in almost ten years.

So, basically, I still write, and regularly, just not fiction. I got discouraged by reading too many great writers to be satisfied with my own production. I actually like some of my essays and humor writing, which is why I keep writing on the blog, but I've never enjoyed my own fiction. Loved the ideas, hated the fact I couldn't translate what was on my head onto paper.

message 10: by Dodd (new)

Dodd | 127 comments The couple of times you have posted about your blog on RB I have taken a look and your writing is certainly solid.

As far as not writing fiction because of frustration of the distance between your writing and other great writers, don't let that hold you back. One of the most stunning revelations of my undergraduate years was how terrible Faulkner was early on. It's almost embarrassing to read.

If you have an open slot in your "to read" list you might pick up a copy of Richard Ford's The Sports Writer. Fictional first person narrative of a writer who became a sports journalist. Not inspiring, but an interesting take on the issues you discuss. I wouldn't buy it though.

Thanks to your wife in advance for suggestions.

message 11: by Jacob (new)

Jacob | 17 comments Thanks for the compliment on my writing. I actually thought of an idea this morning while listening to my remedial high school hack away at The Legend of Sleepy Hollow that I thought I might take a stab at.

message 12: by Ken (last edited Mar 05, 2008 08:39AM) (new)

Ken (kmweaver) | 3 comments (I need to spend more time on here and less time trading beer...)

I would second Ford's The Sports Writer as a good reading recommendation, even though I haven't read your blog.

I like to believe I'm at an early stage in my writing career. I spent the first twenty-three years of my life doing physics, then dropped it to pursue writing because that seemed to make sense. I just recently finished up my MFA in fiction.

Currently balancing a job and writing on Mondays / evenings / weekends / whenever I can find time. Reworking some short stories from my thesis.

message 13: by Dodd (new)

Dodd | 127 comments Since that post I gave up on The Sports Writer and sent it back to the library half read. Pretty much left me cold. Skillful writing and generally thoughtful about the issues, but it just ended up being boring. As I think I have said somewhere here, Updike does the white middle class suburban angst better.

message 14: by Ken (last edited Mar 05, 2008 10:32AM) (new)

Ken (kmweaver) | 3 comments It's at least an excellent example of a novelist creating a very focused, lasting tension in a book (which is, I think, pretty difficult for new writers; it certainly is for me). The whole trajectory hinges on the main character's own contrariness: saying one thing regarding his wife (ex-wife?), then acting very differently to her without commenting on this conflict.

I enjoyed it, but very much agreed on the fact that, ultimately, that angst really isn't all that interesting...

message 15: by Jason (new)

Jason | 39 comments My problem is that I'm creative but extremely lazy.

message 16: by Jason (new)

Jason | 39 comments How's the writing going?

message 17: by Ken (new)

Ken (kmweaver) | 3 comments A few pages a week. Slowly churning out new material and editing. Looking forward to quitting my job at the end of August and getting some serious work and writing done in Central America.

I'm not looking forward to the beer.

message 18: by Claude S (new)

Claude S | 200 comments The dude that writes all those legal thrillers said you have to write one page a day at least if you want to be a serious writer.

message 19: by William (new)

William (acknud) How does someone like Stephen King or Dean Koontz pump out the volume they do?

message 20: by Jason (new)

Jason | 39 comments King is a natural born writer who can probably bang out alot in a short amount of time. With that being said he has also reached a pretty rare stage that whatever he writes becomes an instant seller. Although he has not written anything worthwhile in a very long time.

message 21: by William (new)

William (acknud) I agree...the latest stuff by King just hasn't interested me. I think the last I read was "From a Buick 8".

message 22: by Claude S (new)

Claude S | 200 comments I got some good movie ideas, but I am not a natural born writer when it comes to fiction. But I think anybody can do it. I think I have a nice feel for movement and cadence in writing.... not sure if I'd be good at narrative.

message 23: by Dodd (new)

Dodd | 127 comments I was married to a writing teacher, am good friends with at least four professional writers/writing teachers. I can't imagine myself ever being a writer.

Even the best take years to develop the mechanics of style and rhythm needed to make for good reading. And even then many never make it past workman-like prose because good writing, even non fiction or straight up news journalism, needs an articulate self-knowledge and ability to engage completely in a subject that few attain.

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