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Book Talk & Exchange of Views > Kristine Katherine Rusch on writing as a career vs a bucket list item

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message 1: by Matt (new)

Matt Posner (mattposner) | 276 comments http://kriswrites.com/2013/08/28/the-...

She makes a distinction between people who want to write as a career and people who just want to get prestige by having a book published.


message 2: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
It's a good point.

A writer writes because he has a story to tell and wants to tell it.

Pseuds are more interested in the peripheral activities that real writers see as an interference in their writing time; they'd get someone to ghostwrite "their" book if they could afford it.


message 3: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) I'll take any excuse not to waste time going to conventions.


message 4: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Bunn | 160 comments I'd rather go to the dentist than go to a convention. I'd rather be a snail and get salt sprinkled on me than go to a convention. I'd rather be Trotsky in Mexico City than go to a convention.


message 5: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
There are those who go to conventions to pose as writers, or as self-flagellation, and then are those who stay at home and write.

I've been to two conventions in my life, and that was already one too many. Of course, I was paid to go, but the money was little consolation for a depressing experience watching third and fourth rate agents prey on the dreams of aspirant writers.


message 6: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) Trotsky in Mexico City than go to a convention."

That's the best metaphor I've read this month.


message 7: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I think there are some photos of me at a Scifi convention...from my waisted youth, mind you.

I don't think I'd go to one now.


message 8: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
About Trotsky in Mexico: it's a really humiliating end for a socialist to be killed with an icepick, the symbol of middle-class martini-drinking decadence!


message 9: by Matt (new)

Matt Posner (mattposner) | 276 comments Nearly as bad was for Trotsky to be killed onscreen in a 1970s Richard Burton movie.


message 10: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Trotsky wouldn't have minded a mellifluous voice like Burton's.


message 11: by J.A. (last edited Sep 21, 2013 06:38AM) (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) K. A. wrote: "I think there are some photos of me at a Scifi convention...from my waisted youth, mind you.

I don't think I'd go to one now."


Well, I was speaking more of writing conventions really.

I haven't been to any sort of more geeky sort of convention in a rather long time, though I did tend to enjoy them as I spent time around my co-religionists as it were. It's more a thing for the young, if only because I get tired easily and being in large crowds annoy me. :)

As for writing cons,

When I first started looking into publishing, everyone kept saying how important they were, but they mainly seemed like spending a lot of money to be told stuff I could read for free on the internet or the chance. People used to go on about agent and editor contact, but I don't know if it's worth several hundred dollars since it doesn't necessarily change your chances that much (and that's back when I cared about agents).


message 12: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
I was very disappointed to discover that writers' conferences aren't one long orgy. I mean, all my life I've been hearing about the "author lifestyle" and all my life I have been working fourteen hours a day, just like I used to when I was a merchant banker or when I worked in advertising, so when does the orgy start? Why do I get invited to speak only at the conferences of Elderly Spinsters with Tight Underclothes?


message 13: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments Geeze Andre - don't put those images out where people can catch them.


message 14: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
And notice that it isn't even Elderly Spinsters IN Tight Underclothes, oh no, it's been censored to the far less exciting Elderly Spinsters WITH Tight Underclothes. I think somebody's got it in for me...


message 15: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments Kench!


message 16: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
A phrase you hear often on KB is "living the writer lifestyle". I heard it recently from a pornographer who claimed he was "saving literature" -- and he wasn't joking, he meant it! And from a poet so unprofessional he claimed he sent his poems to 60 publishers: there aren't sixty publishers of poetry in all the world, so he must have been sending poetry to publishers who have zero interest in poetry. He too claimed he was saving literature. But these guys actually want to write, and for people to read what they write. There are many others who hate writing but would love to be the centre of attraction, which they fondly imagine writers are because they are writers. It isn't true, of course; most writers are not the centre of attraction, and those who are the soul of the party are witty, not dead earnest like the wannabes, and were charismatic before they became writers. The test is whether, if they could be writers without the bother of writing anything, they would still want to be writers. If the answer is yes, they aren't writers but posers


message 17: by Dakota (last edited Oct 10, 2013 06:38AM) (new)

Dakota Franklin (dakotafranklin) | 306 comments wordwan wrote: "I remember once standing in the hallway of a very old building with an artist. She related (same as 'writers') that there are a lot of artists out there that aren't really artists; they just like '..."

Andre hasn't told the story here, but in his Writing a Thriller he tells of sitting in a bar in Melbourne with a Nobel Prize winner, who said offhand, something I'll paraphrase as, "Oh, within a few square blocks of this bar live a hundred writers better than any of us. The only difference is we write a few thousand words every day and they don't."

It could be true. There's a certain amount of talent involved, but in the main it is just plain hard work until you get it right. Not so much different from engineering!


message 18: by K.A. (last edited Oct 11, 2013 06:32PM) (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I adore being famous...or was it infamous?

Anyways, I'm a legend in my own mind.

Does that sound artsy enough to pass for a writer? Or do I actually have to sell books too??

:P


message 19: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
K. A. wrote: "Anyways, I'm a legend in my own mind.

I'd be perfectly satisfied being a legend in my bank account.


message 20: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments That would suit me as well ...


message 21: by Dakota (new)

Dakota Franklin (dakotafranklin) | 306 comments My daughter wants me to look a bit dowdy. Apparently I'm a legend among the boys in her school... Ferry thinks it is a scream, my just reward for being too slack to shop for weekend clothes and wearing Giselle's castoffs. Well, they have plenty of wear left in them, and they cost enough. It isn't as if I'm threadbare. It's an efficient way of being fashionable without giving any time to discovering what exactly the fashion is, a proper engineering solution to a real problem for a busy person. Anyway, Ferry is the one people thought was a beggar and gave money to on the street. It's true. One day Ferry was cycling with Andre in West Cork. They returned to this historic little town Andre lives in and fell down exhausted on the bench in front of the library. Two sweat-begraggled middle-aged men looking like drunks, with helmets on their laps... what do you expect? Some American tourist came by and dropped bills in their "hats", and one told them to "spend it on food, mind, not on liquor".


message 22: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Bloody tourists!


message 23: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments Dakota wrote: "My daughter wants me to look a bit dowdy. Apparently I'm a legend among the boys in her school... Ferry thinks it is a scream, my just reward for being too slack to shop for weekend clothes and wea..."

Kench!

I just had a visit from a friend from Devon who complained that Vancouverites don't dress up for the street. What would one expect from a) The city whose inhabitants are called 'granolas' by Canada's easterners (meaning, as I had to explain to her, we are outdoorsy folk and we tend to eat healthy), and b) the city in which Lulu Lemon garments were founded and are still largely constructed. Of course she could not resist hugging its ancient trees when I schlepped her off to Stanley Park, and had the good sense to wear sturdy slacks and boots.


message 24: by Dakota (last edited Oct 16, 2013 05:32AM) (new)

Dakota Franklin (dakotafranklin) | 306 comments When Ferry still flew his little old open biplane, before it was outlawed as a dangerous antique, I had this big thick sheepskin bomber jacket. It was no good in the windy little plane because it didn't cover crucial parts, and I soon got an ankle-length sheepskin coat, atrociously heavy. But the bomber jacket made me look like a biker's moll with muscles and squared-off shoulders, like I was born in the gym and still lived in it. And period wear to fly those WW1 open planes is cavalry boots... I used the outfit apres ski in subzero temperatures to sit on terraces in front of cafes, just Ferry and me alone, out of the noise and the crush, very romantic. There's still a photo of us up in a bar in Gstaad, like we're the demimondaine rather than a pair of engineers. But Giselle has grabbed the jacket and the boots now, and dyed the jacket black to cover up the bloodstains from when I tried flying the biplane and had a little glitch with a fence because it didn't lift as fast as my plane, and says she will wear it when she runs away with somebody called Wahn Diesel, whom I'll look up one of these days. You wouldn't believe the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of engineers would have so much imagination.

I wish I had my bloodstained bomber jacket back, now that I'm such an artiste. Maybe I'll buy another one, and thigh boots to go with it, and move to Vancouver...


message 25: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments Whatever you get, let me know the colors and I'll knit you a hat for it. A slouch hat or a baret maybe?


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