Home > Random Musings, Writing > Being a Writer, the Internet, and Thank You

Being a Writer, the Internet, and Thank You

Being a writer is hard. There are days where I pause in a fit of frustration and consider pulling a Plath: taking everything out onto the lawn (laptop included!) and burning it. Of course, I’d never really do that. But the temptation is there.

When the Internet and all its wiles is not busy distracting me, it is a wondrous place. Before it, you wrote completely alone. In a room, as Stephen King said, with the door shut. For me, the Internet’s not a door; it’s a window I can pop open. When I’m freaking out about something, I can ask a question (thank you Gayle, for entertaining my panicky “What am I DOING?” moments). I get to read Deanna Raybourn‘s fantastic blog (her Lady Julia Grey series is one of my favorites). I can offer Barry Eisler advice about traveling to India. And I can admire Kat Howard‘s writing process (you, Kat, have a gift). If I’m reading over something I’ve written, and it came out sounding a little dirtier than I intended, Victoria Dahl‘s going to hear about it. And if there’s a Princess Bride joke to be had, I’ll send it off to Sean Ferrell.

Most of the time, I’m sitting in my PJs when I do this. (KIDDING.) Although, I currently am. It’s Saturday. It should be called Pajama Day, since I don’t plan on changing. Also, if the world ends, I’d really like to be comfortable.

What was my point? (No, it was not obligatory name-dropping.) It’s that these things make me a better writer. There is nothing more reassuring than finding out someone shares your crazy writer quirks. Or that other people get just as excited about research books. Or that there’s someone around to laugh when you find a flagrant grammatical error (repeatedly) in one of those books. (Imbodiement? NOT A WORD.)

A lot of my every day friends aren’t writers. So, if I say something like, “That character just did something so strange…” I often get The Look. The one that says, “I think it might be time to take you to the nuthouse.” Or if I say, “I was up all last night reading about Norse mythology,” there’s a raised eyebrow and a sneer that shouts: BO-RING. (I will admit it. I was up doing that — and I might’ve used a flashlight just for nostalgia’s sake).

I have a tendency to gripe about life being crazy. This isn’t a gripe post. This is a thank you post for those writers who have been kind enough to answer questions, share funny jokes, or just make the day a bit brighter. Because we don’t often stop and say thank you as much as we should. You all definitely rock. 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a pot of coffee with my name on it. *hides permanent marker behind back* I have some editing to do.

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Categories: Random Musings, Writing
  1. May 21, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Thank you as well, Ali. Your writing is so honest and elegant, you make me want to stop all this devil-may-care doodling and adopt a more serious writing style. But it is hard for an old doodler to change her ways. 😉

    • Ali
      May 24, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Gayle, you’re making me blush! I like your writing style. To each, her own — right? 🙂 Thank you for commenting!

  2. May 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Love this post, Ali! I think it’s fantastic that there are so many great authors out there who are willng to commiserate and share tips with “novices” like you and me. 🙂

    • Ali
      May 24, 2011 at 8:11 am

      Hey, who you calling a novice? *grin* I’m really glad that you like this post, Andrea. Having great people to go to, talk with — it really helps. 🙂

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