Five Splendorous Tips for the Newbie Author
If you missed the Midwest Writers Workshop this year, you've truly missed a treat.
We had folks like Matthew Clemens, Kelsey Timmerman, Cathy Day, and Jane Friedman leading discussions, as well as a plethora of agents, editors, and publicists. If you haven't arrived at this idea already, I'm ashamed: There was a lot of information to hack.
I'm not too sure how long I will run these tips, but I couldn't simply leave the workshop (#mww11) without dropping these five tips I discovered.
To be honest, I interned for this event, so I shouldn't have hopped in some of the sessions at all. However, I considered my committee badge a backstage pass.
At any rate, let's embark on the tipping of tips.
5. If you want to use social media to your advantage, stop posting nonsense, don't talk politics or religion - and most importantly, DON'T TALK SHIT.
In addition, I would add that you shouldn't do what I used to do.
Check this out! Check out my blog! Hey look at me!
Shameless self-promotion is fine and dandy as long as you have quality content that other people will want to consume.
4. Don't Touch the Agents. (@KelseyTimmerman)
I assume this phrase is akin to "Don't poke the bear" or maybe "The rooster is in the hen house."
During this presentation, however, Timmerman made several valid points. One of which is, just because you were turned down by the agent you pitched to does not necessarily mean game-over during the workshop.
Mingle. Mingle. Mingle. Conversation will get you everywhere. Don't run up to agent after agent, begging them to help you with your story. Stalk them. Be coy.
Which brings me to . . .
3. We're all in this together.
Between sessions and - well - livin' it up with the faculty, I discovered agents are humans. I surmised they were cyborgs, which seems false. Although, I didn't disprove the opposite, and my suspicions still linger.
Nonetheless, everyone in the writing world must work together. Agents don't make the bacon-money unless the writer makes the bacon-money. Same with publicists. They have to sell the crap out of your work to a) Make a living; b)Keep up a valuable reputation.
Don't be afraid to approach them in person or in cyberspace. But . . .
2. Don't Be Careless.
Yep, I made this mistake. My pitch session seemed to be on fire until the moment I (Can you guess what?) told instead of showed.
Yep, always show. Always and everywhere. Nothing is worse than hearing a critique you once heard in high school English.
(And no, telling your date that writers show rather than tell will no make the bed creak any faster.)
For my last tip of the day, I would to make it clear that, due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to return home early from MWW11. However, thanks to twitter, I learned . . .
1. Having a Website or book doesn't make you a writer. Sitting down and enjoying the act of writing, makes you a writer. - @daycathy #mww11
Hits Home for Millions
It's day three of my latest migraine cluster attack, and let me say, it's rather difficult to stare at this screen and blog.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I would like to emphasize in this blog how important it is to provoke further research on migraines and what is known as the "suicide headache."
The United Kingdom is far ahead of the United States on research. Sure, in some more economically stable areas of the states there are headache clinics. Let that sink in.
There are various abuse, disease, and cancer clinics - as well as clinics dealing with traumatic experiences. And there are headache clinics. This is the level migraines, which affect over 300 million people worldwide, have reached. In fact, the medical society plans on soon deeming migraines and clusters as a "disease." A disease.
Many people experience a migraine from time to time, which may serve as a catalyst for empathy, but imagine the worst migraine you've ever had extending up to four days.
Since I was seven years of age, I have struggled with cluster heaches that range from four hours to four days and can be as weak as an "ow" to full debilitation.
As a matter of fact, there have been many episodes in which I have been hospitalized due to stroke-like symptoms, including convulsions, cold sweat, loss of equilibrium, profuse vomiting, hallucinations, blind spots, extreme light sensitivity. . .
I have been there too. And all doctors had to give me were painkillers, the ultimate medical cop-out. Seriously, I could create a years worth of journals out of the list of "treatments" I have undergone.
There are times when it becomes so difficult to cope with migraines that I question whether there are more permanent techniques. Of course, rationality still exists in those moments.
With all the aforementioned, one of the best bets to gain medical support for the study of migraines in the United States is through the same medium that works in almost every other situation - film.
Support THE MIGRAINE PROJECT the best you can, even if that means simply spreading the word. EVOLVE the study of migraines and HELP millions by gaining ATTENTION.
As always, thanks for reading.
Does Art Change As We Do?
No doubt the aforementioned title is a hypothetical.
Here's where it comes from. It's the rock group Incubus speaking about their hiatus and how they have grown up through music, which provoked me to explore the notion of growing up as an artist.
This applies to whatever the term "artist" applies to. I think it's an interesting concept that a band, writers, painters, programmers, and so can change as life creates change upon them.
This might be the first blog where I haven't been able to relocate a link, but you'll have to take my word for it, that, even the o'mighty Mr. King admitted he was ashamed of Carrie. He looks at it now as a something a young, desperate writer wrote when he was desperate and young.
Whereas Incubus doesn't feel ashamed of their past releases, they do admit they feel vulnerable each time they release an album. King admits he use to feel ashamed because he wrote horror and science fiction, when he held so much talent.
Bottom line: If you wrote it and people liked it, don't be ashamed. The beauty of being an artist is that you can always evolve.
I guess there isn't too much of my opinion or advice in this blog, but I would like to endorse the notion of considering how artists change through maturation. Any thoughts? The comment box is for you.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.