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LStein
01-31-2013, 12:49 AM
http://www.missourireview.com/tmr-blog/2012/12/why-im-sick-of-writers-or-lovingly-calling-bullshit-on-writer-culture/

Yes. I particularly appreciated the last line:

"Don’t even bother trying to be a writer. Just write."

shadowwalker
01-31-2013, 01:28 AM
I like this guy!

I have to say, there are times, after reading through various posts here and on the other writing forums I'm on, I want to throw the computer out the window and forget there is such an animal as "the writer" - and then happily and contentedly settle down with pen and notebook and tell my stories.

Kylabelle
01-31-2013, 02:03 AM
Thanks, that was a good read. I resonate with so much of it and it reminds me of why I took some of the decisions I did when I was in college (which I never finished.) Not that I would recommend my own "career path" to anyone!

I particularly remember an English teacher in my freshman (and only) year - I believe it was an American Lit. class - taking me aside after the final and telling me with some embarrassment that he felt he had an obligation to let me know I was "good at this." I've always assumed his embarrassment was because he was a really low key kind of guy and didn't like giving out advice of that nature. But whatever his reason for embarrassment, I also was embarrassed as I tried to explain to him that I didn't see how I could ever make a career of anything to do with language and writing, because I loved it too much and wanted to keep it for myself. I used that phrase, too, "keep it for myself" and it never satisfied me, but I now think I meant that I felt it was sacred and I didn't want to put it on the market.

I have never told anyone this story before.

At this stage, I wonder about my decisions back then, and what might have happened if I had not been so protective of whatever I was protecting. And my attitudes toward pretty much everything have changed drastically. I'm not that person any longer. But I do sympathize with the writer of this piece!

Thanks for posting it.

Dreity
01-31-2013, 02:28 AM
zomg, yes, definitely. It's probably a very good thing I don't plan on pursuing a writing-related degree. Too easy for me to fall into that "writer-y" mindset. Seriously, it's a good thing I don't like turtlenecks or I could be That Writer. (I love berets but do not own one.)

I have a story to tell. I need to focus on telling that story in an entertaining way, rather than crafting "golden" sentences that are too long, with too many commas, and probably aren't saying what I think they're saying anyway. *cringes at her work for the day*

leahzero
01-31-2013, 03:22 AM
No, I'm not sick of writers. I know some flippin' awesome ones and I'm proud to call them friends.

I am definitely sick of whiny college kids who think they've seen it all, though.

shadowwalker
01-31-2013, 04:07 AM
No, I'm not sick of writers. I know some flippin' awesome ones and I'm proud to call them friends.

I am definitely sick of whiny college kids who think they've seen it all, though.

You thought the author was whiny? I thought he was refreshingly honest. :Shrug:

Buffysquirrel
01-31-2013, 04:13 AM
Obviously not, or I wouldn't be here on AW. But I did get sick of that article pretty quickly.

SomethingOrOther
01-31-2013, 04:14 AM
You thought the author was whiny? I thought he was refreshingly honest. :Shrug:

The author is a she.

Kylabelle
01-31-2013, 04:39 AM
I thought the final sentence made it clear the author was really sick of poseurs who liked to call themselves writers.

I hang around AW because I respect what's shared here and I learn a hell of a lot from those who have been writing well for years. Don't want my post to be taken as any kind of slur on present company.

LStein
01-31-2013, 05:07 AM
I thought the final sentence made it clear the author was really sick of poseurs who liked to call themselves writers.

Yeah, this is pretty much how I thought the author meant it, too. That's why the last sentence resonated so much for me. So many people get wrapped up in what it means to write, or even how to write, that they never seem to get around to just sitting down and telling a story that's important to them. I fall into that mode of procrastination, too.

Does anyone else remember the story of that British science fiction author who became a high school science teacher instead of a full time writer? She said something about not wanting to become a writer who only writes about writing. I thought it was a fair point.

Though, if I had the option to stay home and write all day, I'd probably take it.

Kyla, thanks for telling that story before.

Shadow_Ferret
01-31-2013, 05:14 AM
No, I'm not sick of writers. I know some flippin' awesome ones and I'm proud to call them friends.

I am definitely sick of whiny college kids who think they've seen it all, though.

This. My first thought on reading the article was, "Grow up. Experience some REAL writers, not just college, pseudo-intellectual, mock-literary, often snobbish and arrogant, hoping-to-be writers."

Jamesaritchie
01-31-2013, 05:17 AM
She sounds exactly like the kind of writer she says she's sick of. I suspect just about everyone around her is sick of her.

Buffysquirrel
01-31-2013, 05:19 AM
My thought was, don't you dare presume to tell me what my experience of university was like, followed closely by, why am I reading this anyway?

Bookewyrme
01-31-2013, 05:26 AM
Hrm. So, the first part of that article definitely repelled me. It smacked of "holier-than-thou" and "world-weary-college-kid" insufferability (shut up, that is too a word). Once she got going, and started explaining what she REALLY meant, I sort of agree with her. I mean, the "I'm a Writer, but I'm too busy being an Artiste to tell a story, or even finish one" people can be tiresome. And I'd imagine there are a greater concentration of them in creative-writing courses than places like AW, which is clearly a place for working writers (who can be artists of course, but aren't so overwhelmed by the ART that they forget the work).

But still. The way the author approached the subject was rather high-and-mighty, especially for someone not even out of undergrad*. Her style was more than a bit of a turn-off for her message. Which, is ironic. I wanted to scrawl "pot meet kettle" at the bottom of her essay. :tongue

*Says she who isn't even 30 yet.

shadowwalker
01-31-2013, 05:40 AM
I don't think her age should have anything to do with it. There are plenty of 20-somethings here, aren't there? And I've seen more than a few "artistes" around who aren't in college. Let's face it - writers are just people, and have just as many tiresome jerks per capita as any other profession. I don't know why it's so horrible to point that out, even if it is in 'rant mode'.

AshleyEpidemic
01-31-2013, 06:28 AM
The article gets under my skin a bit. As a barely graduated, now member of society, I think her rant is naive. She complains about people that are essentially what I like to call snobs. They don't exist just for writers, but many other fields. I was a film major and information science major, so I got to see two majorly different sides of the spectrum. And their were snobs in both areas. When I say snobs, I am talking about people who act like they know their field best, they claim work needs to be of a certain standard, and most of all if you don't see things the same way you are a lesser to them. Not everyone falls into the snob category, but they do exist.

The author acts like a college student. Many tend to be snobs or jaded by snobs. There are definitely others, but those two make up a large portion of the population. I am starting to rant now, so I will stop. But pretty much her piece just sounded like one big complaint from someone who hasn't had the opportunity to step out of their situation and see things for what they are. Whatever they may be for her.

M R Mortimer
01-31-2013, 06:35 AM
It appears the blogger is under the misconception that creative writing students are writers. They are not. Writers CAN emerge from CW classes. More often than not, they don't. Sadly some can't tell the difference themselves.

I am not sick of writers. The blogger, I think, is the same, but can not see it after so long in the classroom.

CharacterInWhite
01-31-2013, 07:01 AM
I switched to lurker mode after a hiatus precisely because most of the questions asked on this forum could be answered if they spent less time talking about their writing and spent more time writing.

quicklime
01-31-2013, 07:03 AM
I'm not sick of writers.

I'm sick of a very large subset of people who call themselves "writers" but whom I do not consider to be actual writers...they're poseurs. I'm also sick of a smaller subset of actual writers who believe art excuses dickishness.

I have no problem with writers, only folks who talk the talk and refuse to walk the walk, and folks who are assholes first, writers second.

Alitriona
01-31-2013, 07:59 AM
I'm sick of people moaning about their lot instead of appreciating their opportunities.

I'm not sick of writers. I would never presume to lump everyone in the same boat because of my experience with a handful in a teaching setting. I suppose she's getting exactly what she set out to get, a lot of attention from a lot of writers. She'll find kindred spirits in those who agree and slap herself on the back for being insightful and honest, and dismiss those who don't agree since she feels superior to them anyway.

blacbird
01-31-2013, 08:05 AM
I could give a rat's whether or not anybody calls me a "writer". It's a meaningless label, nothing more. I write stuff. I'd like to have the stuff I write reach an audience. That would matter. People could then call me "that asshole who writes stuff", for all I care.

Alas, that pipe dream is unfulfilled, but that's a digression. I did the M.F.A. thing at the most prestigious program in the United States, and am not unhappy that I did. But I also witnessed some of the stuff complained about in the article. And, even more blatantly, I've seen it at writer's conferences, which I stopped attending about the year 2000, in no small part over some of the crap behavior I witnessed in those things on the part of sycophant pretenders. I can understand the sentiment expressed in the rant.

caw

SianaBlackwood
01-31-2013, 08:21 AM
On reading that article, my first thought was "you kids know those of us in the science/engineering fields used to laugh at the pretentiousness of all of you, right?"

Kitty27
01-31-2013, 08:54 AM
I LOVE my fellow writers. They are the only people I can talk to about writing and all that comes with it. You know how family and friends start getting that glazed look when you discuss your writing?

I never have to worry about that w/my fellow writers. I can talk about the most inane things and they understand. I hope I do the same for them.

I get what she's saying. But frankly,I'd suggest she change the company she keeps and also get used to it. Snobs and know it alls are everywhere,no matter what your career choice.

shadowwalker
01-31-2013, 09:14 AM
I'm sick of people moaning about their lot instead of appreciating their opportunities.

I'm not sick of writers. I would never presume to lump everyone in the same boat because of my experience with a handful in a teaching setting. I suppose she's getting exactly what she set out to get, a lot of attention from a lot of writers. She'll find kindred spirits in those who agree and slap herself on the back for being insightful and honest, and dismiss those who don't agree since she feels superior to them anyway.

I don't see her as moaning about her lot in life. I see her complaining about the 'artistes' she had to deal with. And for all this 'lumping together' she's supposedly doing, I see people doing the same thing here - the only difference is they're lumping writers together into some kind of "We're all wonderful people" grouping.

Not all writers are assholes; not all writers are great people. I see nothing "holier than thou" about talking about the latter. Everybody needs knocking off their self-built pedestal now and then...

kkbe
01-31-2013, 01:50 PM
Just read that. I kinda skimmed through, but the last part resonated.

As for the o.p.'s question, I'm just glad to have found a place where others are doing the same thing I am, to a certain degree, because writing can be a lonely kind of thing and I didn't answer that question, did I?

EMaree
01-31-2013, 02:32 PM
This article made me glad I've never experienced that flavour of literary/English degree writing snobbery.

I love being around other writers, I mean, look at how much time I spend around here. :) But if I was stuck in a room of highbrow Ayn Rand and DFW readers who sneered at genre fiction and teen fiction I think I'd get sick of it all fast too.

SomethingOrOther
01-31-2013, 02:43 PM
Incidentally, I like DFW, genre fiction, and teen fiction. :)

But not Ayn Rand.

Alitriona
01-31-2013, 02:52 PM
I don't see her as moaning about her lot in life. I see her complaining about the 'artistes' she had to deal with. And for all this 'lumping together' she's supposedly doing, I see people doing the same thing here - the only difference is they're lumping writers together into some kind of "We're all wonderful people" grouping.

Not all writers are assholes; not all writers are great people. I see nothing "holier than thou" about talking about the latter. Everybody needs knocking off their self-built pedestal now and then...

I accept that you didn't see it as moaning. I did.

I won't spend a lot of time thinking over her opinion since someone who holds the craft in such high esteem but views others who do with disdain isn't someone I would be interested in reading anyway. I would normally consider that author a special snowflake.

I do agree writers are wonderful is another often used generalization. That is just as accurate as all writers are pretentious know it alls full of bullshit. There's plenty of both about and 5 or six years away from writing isn't going to be long enough if she doesn't learn to surround herself with like-minded individuals in any setting.

Filigree
01-31-2013, 03:38 PM
I like writers who write, just as I like artists who actually make art. People who just talk about being creative are dilettantes and poseurs, and I don't waste my time on them.

I never hung out with literary fiction students (my school writing experience was strictly in technical writing), but I know their art counterparts very well. For nearly 10 years, I had to teach BFA grads how to make a living in the commercial art world. Most of the time, that involved a gently-worded version of 'Get over yourselves.'

Stacia Kane
01-31-2013, 04:29 PM
I'm sick of bad writers. :)

folkchick
01-31-2013, 04:52 PM
I think the writer of the article is scared. They have a lot of choices to make and it's always so much easier to reason away that which overwhelms us, but bottom line: they're scared. They're also a bit pretentious, something I can't stand. But hopefully they'll get over it with life and a little hard work.

A.P.M.
01-31-2013, 05:08 PM
I've never had this particular problem with other writers. Then again, I majored in the sciences and write as a hobby so maybe I just missed that part of college?

I do run into annoyances on the internet, though. Nothing here, but people who claim to be writers on other forums who do nothing but talk and talk about their project, not-so-subtly hint that people should read the two unedited chapters they have online, make long posts about which actors should play the roles of their characters in the movie in their head...it's tiresome.

Now, if you actually have a book to show me, great! Otherwise...why aren't you writing your book or focusing on getting it published?

seun
01-31-2013, 05:20 PM
I liked the article a lot. I've got no time for people who think being a writer is stroking your beard in a coffee shop while analysing every single word for meaning and producing no actual work but hey what does it matter if you still talk about writing with other 'writers'.

I've always tried to write with this bit in mind:


Just tell me a damn story.

NeuroFizz
01-31-2013, 06:09 PM
My first thought - anyone who tries to separate from others by pushing those others down is missing an important aspect of achievement: that kind of separation accomplishes nothing. A meaningful separation is created by spreading one's wings and soaring. I suspect she is intending to go in that direction, but in the process she is still pushing the others down to create some of that false separation. Her challenge is in what she chooses to do next in terms of her writing.

LeslieB
01-31-2013, 06:55 PM
Well, I for one liked the article because I've run into a fair amount of "I am creating ART and don't you forget it!" writers. And if you have any doubts that there are writers out there who seem to think they are a higher order of human being, ponder this - Stephen King wrote a political screed and put it up for sale on Kindle. He honestly thinks he's so important that people will pay for his opinion.

ArachnePhobia
01-31-2013, 07:10 PM
I LOVE my fellow writers. They are the only people I can talk to about writing and all that comes with it. You know how family and friends start getting that glazed look when you discuss your writing?

I never have to worry about that w/my fellow writers. I can talk about the most inane things and they understand. I hope I do the same for them.

I get what she's saying. But frankly,I'd suggest she change the company she keeps and also get used to it. Snobs and know it alls are everywhere,no matter what your career choice.

Totally. I admit, I only skimmed the OP's article, and don't mean anything against it; I just wanted to say I love talking to writers about writing. I'm not sick of it at all!

:Hug2:

WriterBN
01-31-2013, 07:12 PM
I could relate to a lot of points in the article, even though I've never gone the MFA route.

As for Stephen King, the harsh reality of the market today is that people *will* pay for name-brand opinions, no matter what. He could publish a piece of toilet paper and it would sell a million copies.

thebloodfiend
01-31-2013, 07:14 PM
Well, I for one liked the article because I've run into a fair amount of "I am creating ART and don't you forget it!" writers. And if you have any doubts that there are writers out there who seem to think they are a higher order of human being, ponder this - Stephen King wrote a political screed and put it up for sale on Kindle. He honestly thinks he's so important that people will pay for his opinion.

King is King. People will pay for his opinion. People will pay for just about anything. But honestly, I don't know why writing a political screed makes you a being who thinks you're a higher order of our species. Political opinion writers are hired by newspapers. Plenty of bloggers make money off of their opinions. It doesn't mean they think they're better than everyone else.

As to the article—I'm sick of pretentious-ness in general. Not just in writers. I appreciate her last line. I'm reminded of Jeff Goldblum's character in Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. The writer who writes one word—ponders that word for a week, comes back to word, erases it, and manages to write one sentence a month. I'm not sure how many of these writers exist, surely his character was an exaggeration, but I've met the art school equivalent.

Xelebes
01-31-2013, 07:15 PM
The anguish the write is speaking of is the ennui of going nowhere. The simplest recommendation is to go somewhere. Maybe it is simply to go somewhere else.

Phaeal
01-31-2013, 07:29 PM
Heh, this writer needs to read (or reread) Franny and Zooey. She's definitely having a Franny-crisis, without the tangerines.

:D

LeslieB
01-31-2013, 07:30 PM
King is King. People will pay for his opinion. People will pay for just about anything. But honestly, I don't know why writing a political screed makes you a being who thinks you're a higher order of our species. Political opinion writers are hired by newspapers. Plenty of bloggers make money off of their opinions. It doesn't mean they think they're better than everyone else.

Yes, people blog and work at expressing political opinions. That's their job. But King isn't a political analyst, he's a horror writer, which to me makes his political opinions on the same level of importance as my plumber's. I wouldn't pay my plumber for his politics, and I sure wouldn't pay King. The fact that there are people who probably will pay for it says a lot about our celebrity-driven culture, but nothing about King's political acumen.

mccardey
01-31-2013, 07:31 PM
Heh, this writer needs to read (or reread) Franny and Zooey. She's definitely having a Franny-crisis, without the tangerines.

:D

One of the delights of growing old is watching generation after generation having Franny-crises and Holden-Caulfield-rebellions.

ETA: And remembering one's own. And *sigh*ing.

thebloodfiend
01-31-2013, 07:57 PM
Yes, people blog and work at expressing political opinions. That's their job. But King isn't a political analyst, he's a horror writer, which to me makes his political opinions on the same level of importance as my plumber's. I wouldn't pay my plumber for his politics, and I sure wouldn't pay King. The fact that there are people who probably will pay for it says a lot about our celebrity-driven culture, but nothing about King's political acumen.Being a horror writer does not prevent you from being a political writer anymore than being a plumber prevents you from being a political writer. Maybe your plumber is secretly an online political writer. King is a smart guy. I'm sure he has interesting things to say about politics. With the nonsensical blubberings of the Rush Limbaughs and Ann Coulters of the world, I'm sure whatever King has to say is worlds more interesting than the formers' books.

Now if King was writing about the medical practice with no MD, I'd see your anguish. But anyone can have an opinion about politics. I'm not sure what your point is besides "King is a big name horror writer so he knows nothing about politics and people are just buying the essay because he's a celebrity writer."

But this is what you're referring to, correct? (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jan/25/stephen-king-gun-control-essay-amazon-nra)

It's a 99 cent book, free to kindle owners (which means it's practically a free essay). Given that King's own Rage has stirred much controversy on the topic of guns, I think it's his right to speak on the topic. You act as if he's selling a 300 page 20 dollar novel on how to predict presidential outcomes.

And I'm not going to further this derail.

acockey
01-31-2013, 07:58 PM
I find it a little odd she complains about the "writing world" then goes to work for a contest, where she will undoubtedly run into these people. Do you think this article will effect her employment?

Rhoda Nightingale
01-31-2013, 08:08 PM
I love my fellow writers. Are some of them a bit pretentious and afflicted with Golden Word Syndrome? Sure, but that doesn't affect my own writing that much. It's a learning experience.

I'm taking my first MFA class write now, and I love it. It's totally fun and challenging. It hasn't been that long yet, and the one thing I've noticed more than anything else is that the younger people in it (the undergrads) are a bit shyer and more hesitant to express themselves, while the graduates (including me) are bit less so. The one thing we all have in common is enthusiasm when it comes to making stuff up.

Eh, maybe the pretension will set in later, or be more obvious when I get deeper into the program, but I don't mind writers at all. Or maybe I'm just so self-centered when it comes to talking about writing--"Hm, that's interesting, how can I apply it to my current WIP?"--that I don't notice how other people talk about theirs.

bearilou
01-31-2013, 08:19 PM
I haven't run into these kinds of writers. They must live on a whole other plane of existence.

I do grow weary of writers who go on and on and ON and on about how ZOMG CAARAAAAZY they are that they TALK TO THE VOICES IN THEIR HEADS TEE HEE TEE HEE AND EVERONE MUST THINK THEY ARE TOTALLY GONE AND HAVE LOST IT HUR HUR HUR....

I just roll my eyes, heave a sigh and whisper, 'why not just write instead of telling us how CARAAAZY you are?' and then go on my way, hoping no one would ever think I was in that camp of 'writers'.

/my bit of snobbery

Usually, I like to talk to other writers because I love to talk about our writing and our projects and what kinds of ephiphany we've had lately in regards to all that. Honestly, I do love to talk shop! :D

LeslieB
01-31-2013, 08:28 PM
Now if King was writing about the medical practice with no MD, I'd see your anguish. But anyone can have an opinion about politics. I'm not sure what your point is besides "King is a big name horror writer so he knows nothing about politics and people are just buying the essay because he's a celebrity writer."

Anguish? That's rather a strong word for an eye-roll and a snort.

Yes, he has a right to his political opinions, just like everyone else. If he had written a blog post or a tweet or expressed it in any number of non-commercial ways, I'd have no problem with it whatsoever. I just think it is very pompous of him to think that his particular opinion is so important that it is worth paying for.

Amadan
01-31-2013, 08:34 PM
I switched to lurker mode after a hiatus precisely because most of the questions asked on this forum could be answered if they spent less time talking about their writing and spent more time writing.

OMG yes.


The article did not describe all writers, but it certainly described a lot of writers, and I cannot help laughing at the butthurt it has engendered.

bearilou
01-31-2013, 08:35 PM
r. I just think it is very pompous of him to think that his particular opinion is so important that it is worth paying for.


King's earnings from the sale of this essay will go the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

So, in putting out his opinion, which will be purchased and read by many, the proceeds will go towards a cause he feels is worthy.

Not sure I see the complete pomposity of his decision to sell it.

Amadan
01-31-2013, 08:38 PM
I just think it is very pompous of him to think that his particular opinion is so important that it is worth paying for.

If he's right, he's not being pompous, is he?

Do you have similar problems with Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, whose only qualifications for expressing their opinions are that they are famous for expressing their opinions?

LeslieB
01-31-2013, 09:02 PM
Do you have similar problems with Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, whose only qualifications for expressing their opinions are that they are famous for expressing their opinions?

I don't have an issue with anyone making politics their job, no matter which part of the political spectrum they're on. But I don't know about you, but when a political issue is being discussed, the question "What does [fiction writer] think about this?" just doesn't come to mind. Ever. About King, about my favorite writers, about any of them. Their opinion is of the same worth as any random stranger on the internet. If you feel differently, fine.

Amadan
01-31-2013, 09:07 PM
I don't have an issue with anyone making politics their job, no matter which part of the political spectrum they're on. But I don't know about you, but when a political issue is being discussed, the question "What does [fiction writer] think about this?" just doesn't come to mind. Ever. About King, about my favorite writers, about any of them. Their opinion is of the same worth as any random stranger on the internet. If you feel differently, fine.


Again, what makes Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh more qualified than a fiction writer to express political opinions? Because it's their "job"?

LeslieB
01-31-2013, 09:16 PM
Again, what makes Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh more qualified than a fiction writer to express political opinions? Because it's their "job"?

One could ask what makes anyone qualified to express political opinions, and would be a huge derail for this thread. For people who think King is fine for charging for his opinions, I think we'll just have to leave it at the 'agree to disagree' setting and go on.

ETA: I realized I forgot to say something about the charity angle. My opinion would be completely different if he had written a *story* to express his views, and sent the money to charity. It would have been a very nice way to help a cause he felt strongly about, and his fans would be getting a little gift for helping him do it.

shadowwalker
01-31-2013, 09:25 PM
The article did not describe all writers, but it certainly described a lot of writers, and I cannot help laughing at the butthurt it has engendered.

Oh yeah. The outrage! lol

quicklime
01-31-2013, 09:25 PM
Yes, people blog and work at expressing political opinions. That's their job. But King isn't a political analyst, he's a horror writer, which to me makes his political opinions on the same level of importance as my plumber's. I wouldn't pay my plumber for his politics, and I sure wouldn't pay King. The fact that there are people who probably will pay for it says a lot about our celebrity-driven culture, but nothing about King's political acumen.


i suppose that's the beauty of a free market....but he's hardly less qualified than Palin or Limbaugh or a hundred other pundits. I wouldn't buy it either, but saying he believes himself to be "elevated" because he dabbled in political rants seems silly to me.

Phaeal
01-31-2013, 10:34 PM
i suppose that's the beauty of a free market....but he's hardly less qualified than Palin or Limbaugh or a hundred other pundits. I wouldn't buy it either, but saying he believes himself to be "elevated" because he dabbled in political rants seems silly to me.

If all writers were as "pretentious" as Stephen King, the blogger wouldn't have had any reason to write her blog.

I'm also confused at why King publishing a fiction piece on the subject and charging 99 cents would redeem him from charges of being full of himself. Since when has writing fiction barred one from the nonfiction arena? An arena in which this is hardly King's first paid outing, by the way.

backslashbaby
02-01-2013, 12:26 AM
Meh, I like writers, even pretentious writers :) I even like the completely unpretentious writers who spend a lot of time talking about the pretentiousness of the pretentious writers.

I do like it best if all of them talk about... you know... writing ;) Or reading. Reading works :D

LeslieB
02-01-2013, 01:00 AM
If all writers were as "pretentious" as Stephen King, the blogger wouldn't have had any reason to write her blog.

I'm also confused at why King publishing a fiction piece on the subject and charging 99 cents would redeem him from charges of being full of himself. Since when has writing fiction barred one from the nonfiction arena? An arena in which this is hardly King's first paid outing, by the way.

Okay, one last quick comment to clarify. I couldn't figure out why people have been bringing up pundits and bloggers, since I didn't see any connection. I think the confusion is coming from the distinction between making money from an endeavor and charging for it directly. Pundits and bloggers don't charge me to read their opinion. They may be making money from ads and hit counts, but they aren't sending me a bill.

And the reason it being a story would matter to me is the whole issue of value. A writer offering a story would be of value to a fan. An essay about something unrelated to their writing wouldn't be, at least for me. And that's for any celebrity, not just King. A chef offering a recipe, a musician a song download - lots of times when you see someone asking for contributions to a charity, they either ask you to send a check, or offer something their fans would like to have as an incentive.

And this is coming from a fan of King's writing. I have a bunch of his books on my shelves. I bought Danse Macabre about thirty years ago and have read through it dozens of times. I have a copy of On Writing right next to it. The Stand is one of the tiny number of books that has made me cry. But with all that, I would not pay a nickel for his opinion on things outside writing.

DanielaTorre
02-01-2013, 01:49 AM
I think the article should have been called "Calling Bullshit on Pretentious Hipsters". I absolutely LOVED this article.

Layla Nahar
02-01-2013, 03:18 AM
I'm sick of judgementalness.

ChristinaLayton
02-01-2013, 03:33 AM
I'm sick of bad writers. :)


But bad writers can always get better. :)


To other posters: I'm not sick of anything to be honest. No matter how much we dislike certain things that doesn't mean they're going to cease to exist. I found the article interesting and I even bookmarked it, but I agree it was snobby. There's no need for that. Some people get a kick out of being mean. It's just who they are. Most people, you don't get through to them by being mean, so I don't know what's the point, what they accomplish. I'm not mean unless someone's mean to me first, and I certainly wouldn't write an article like that. Some people have difficulty starting their novel, and that doesn't make them any less writers. I know writers that start a novel, get stuck in a rut, don't know what to do and they just delete everything they wrote and start over. I wouldn't discredit them. As for those that can't start at all, I don't discredit them either. They can always get inspired, so I don't know what else to say about this one.

cmi0616
02-01-2013, 03:43 AM
In a word? No.

As an undergraduate English/Creative Writing major at a small liberal arts college, I must say I wish there were more serious writers on campus. The writers at my school are unpretentious to a fault. They read only an occasional YA book, write next to nothing outside of class, and are really only "writers" my self-proclamation. I'm not desiring pretension per se, but it might be nice if people took themselves/their work a tad more seriously.

Then again, maybe I'm exactly the type of writer the author seems so frustrated with. I'm not above admitting guilt to a bit of DFW worship. That said, I don't think I'm especially pretentious and I certainly don't have any delusions of greatness.

Also, I'd like to add that the author seems to be frustrated over a taste preference. She likes simpler, straightforward fiction, and there's nothing wrong with that. I, however, love literary fiction, I love reading "bookish" books. I love playing "spot the allusions/parallels" game while reading a novel, for me it enhances the experience and makes the book so much more enjoyable when done well. Of course, it can go horribly wrong if it is not done well, and I would imagine it isn't by most undergrads. But there is a difference between literary fiction and pretension.

Ken
02-01-2013, 03:54 AM
... to be honest, this writer just sounds like they're making excuses for not going to grad school by blaming fellow classmates. Delaying grad school isn't so good of an idea to begin with. The more you delay, the more unlikely it is that you'll actually go thru with it. Other responsibilities pile up, making return difficult.

Mr Flibble
02-01-2013, 04:37 AM
In general? No, are you crazy?

But the people described in the article (if they are really like that)? I'd have got fed up with them some time ago. Words would have been said, possibly with mouth frothing and swearwords on my part

But most writers - or the ones I've met/interacted with - aren't like that. Thankfully.

amrose
02-01-2013, 06:41 PM
I think anyone around a contained group for extended periods of time can get burnout with that group's culture.

I get it with my friends.

I get it with the internet.

I get it with my writer's group and I burn out with AW too.

When that happens, I take a step back, hang somewhere else for a while, then reengage when I'm not so grouchy with that particular subset of the world.

I enjoyed the article and I think the author made the right choice not going to grad school if that's her mentality. That much negativity makes learning and growing problematic.

Phaeal
02-01-2013, 07:07 PM
Pundits and bloggers don't charge me to read their opinion. They may be making money from ads and hit counts, but they aren't sending me a bill.

Stephen King sent you a bill? He didn't just put out his piece for those who wanted to buy it? He actually sent you a bill? The nerve.

As for pundits, a lot of them write books, and yeah, then they expect the readers to pay for their opinions. If they write articles for paying mags, they expect to be paid for their opinions.

The point is, you don't have to pay for these opinions if you don't want to. Why get worked up about it or worry about exactly who gets to opine, for free or not?

Walter B
02-05-2013, 09:07 AM
I switched to lurker mode after a hiatus precisely because most of the questions asked on this forum could be answered if they spent less time talking about their writing and spent more time writing.

This might be my favorite post in the thread. I tired of this site quickly and remember a conversation several years ago with a published author. She reminded me that there is a difference between talking about writing and actually writing.

I believe you get better by doing things. If someone claims to be a painter we can hand him a brush. When someone claims to be a writer, why not hand him a pencil?

Of course all generalities are false. But I prefer the old image of the recluse writer who believes it's a solitary art. Education doesn't earn the label. Nor does pontificating about techniques. We can even debate whether or not getting something published is the determining factor.

I'm "sick of" people who seem to covet the label more than the craft.

bearilou
02-05-2013, 04:27 PM
She reminded me that there is a difference between talking about writing and actually writing.

This is very very true!


I believe you get better by doing things. If someone claims to be a painter we can hand him a brush. When someone claims to be a writer, why not hand him a pencil?

True, mostly. But since we're all individuals, some of us might learn at a different pace or we might benefit from studying techniques before trying to practice them. It's simply the best way we learn and do.


Of course all generalities are false. But I prefer the old image of the recluse writer who believes it's a solitary art. Education doesn't earn the label. Nor does pontificating about techniques. We can even debate whether or not getting something published is the determining factor.

Exactly. You might prefer the Old Recluse Writer riff and that's cool. For some of us, this board is the only way we can make contact with Others Like Us. So we will engage on the board in perhaps ultimately useless conversations as we come near-to-blows over the serial comma and the use of prologues.

However, for many of these 'useless' conversations, I've seen others who might have gained something from them. Someone said something that struck them and spurred their own creativity ahead in a positive manner. If it did something for them, it wasn't useless.


I'm "sick of" people who seem to covet the label more than the craft.

They do tend to be rather tiresome, yes.

Walter B
02-05-2013, 09:44 PM
Bearilou, We fundamentally agree. What turned me off here (and is not limited to writer forums) is how a few self-proclaimed experts take great pleasure in correcting some and patronizing others. I don't see the word 'useless' in my comment. I enjoy conversation and find use in most--when it's about exploration and learning. The playing field is a lot more level than some might think and that is one of the neat things about this craft.

I teach a media relations class. My example of a good story lead was actually written by a second grader.