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How to Recognize Racism & 12 Other Articles You Need to Read

February 1, 2017


How to Recognize Racism and 12 Other Articles You Need to Read

The month-end roundup is a list of all the works that enlightened me, challenged me, and made me laugh this month. It includes books, articles, and social media posts that might be relevant to my audience.

If you blog about books, writing, or self-publishing and would like a chance to be included in next month’s roundup, email me links to the coolest articles you publish next month. I can’t guarantee I’ll include them, but I read everything I receive.

This month, the roundup links fit into three categories: Writing, publishing, and reading. I listed them in alphabetical order by title.

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Writing Tips

Actually, You Should Write Your Shitty Book

January 11, 2017

Please don’t think I’m being defeatist when I say the world at large is never going to take self-published authors as seriously as authors who went through the traditional gatekeepers – at least, not in my lifetime.

To be fair, the world at large doesn’t take any artist very seriously. If it did, we wouldn’t have to work two full-time jobs (one outside the arts, of course) just to keep our heads above the poverty line.

In that sense, it doesn’t really matter what we write. Turn the Kindle store into the eBook equivalent of The Asylum. Who gives a fuck?

Hey! That's a quality fi--oh, never mind.

Poster for Atlantic Rim © The Asylum 2013

Many, many artists struggle with poverty, mental illness, and isolation (due in part to a cultural refusal to treat our work as work), but that is not a requirement.

Many good books are painful, provocative, and unsettling to read, but that is not a requirement.

For most of the US’s history, the only people who had a chance of getting their books published (let alone read by people who weren’t related to them) were rich white dudes. The democratization of publishing is a goddamn technological miracle. Take advantage of it. Write a shitty book.

Write Friends fan fiction, file off the serial numbers, and publish it. Who’s gonna stop you? (Except possibly NBC? File well.)

Write a book about your cat’s adventures in your one bedroom apartment.

Write a book about writing a book about writing a book. (It works for Chuck Tingle.)

Write a book that is fun to read, appeals to young women, becomes a commercial success, and ultimately raises questions about ethics in literary journalism. Then write the godawful sequels to all those shitty books.

Even if you never write a book a stranger deems worthy of a two-star review (which is unlikely; the world is full of people with bad taste), you will have done something many billions of people will only ever dream of doing.

Stop reading this blog. Get offline. Open the terrible manuscript you’ve been ignoring all week because you’ll never be Proust. (Fuck Proust.)

Writing Inspiration

Write your shitty book.


If you like this type of writing inspiration …

Please tell me! It’ll make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You can leave a comment below or find me on Facebook or Twitter.