…and the “horror short stories” lost writer.

Yesterday in the bookstore I met an author, an unknown man who wrote and self-published a little book of “horror short stories”.

He asked for a book signing day.

I answered that we only do that, since a few years, for really published bigger authors, and also that he shouldn’t regret it : nobody probably would have come for him to our big store to have their book signed…

I know : not cool.

As he was talkative I suggested he asked to do this in smaller human-size bookstores, but also said that he’d probably see no line in front of the table.

We then talked about the writer’s disillusion of Level 2. The first is when he desperately want to be published. The other one is when he IS published, but nobody cares about his book.

We talked : sending his book to influencers & editors, about blogging, writing fan-fictions to get a name. We also talked about losing time – as he was – trying being a press secretary, an attaché.

I have no advice to tell to writers, but this man was a bit lost, obviously. Thus I asked him :

– What do you like?
– Writing.
– What don’t you write, then?

 

Is it the good path to get published with no audience, when you write horror short stories? What for? Hoping for money? Really?

Isn’t self editing a no-man’s land between putting the text online and having your book on tables in every store?

(Well, there’s this little pride when your brother-in-law buys you one to please you…)

Or is it better to just write, develop a talent and possibilities, find your music and determine something important : are you good, or not? Do you want to sell, or do you want to be read?

What happens when you work out of your skills, just besides, where you feel lost, untalented, and bored? Do you have to recenter, or do you learn things while you do it – thinking about the time you’ll be back to what you love and where you’re good?

 

Have a nice day!

 

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Paul Valéry about “writing for someone”?

Paul Valéry writes in one of his Notebooks a dozen lines about… writing. I translate it – sorry for my English :

One must work for Someone; and not for unknowns. One must aim somebody, and the more you aim this someone clearly, the best is the work and the yield of the work. The work of spirit is entirely determined – only if someone is in front of it. The one who addresses, aims at someone, addresses to all. But the one who addresses to everybody addresses to nobody.
It is all about finding this someone. This somebody gives the tone to the language, gives the extent to explanations, measures the attention one can ask.
To picture someone is the great skill of the writer.

Again : sorry for my English. It’s very hard, here. I bolded the bold.

This declaration has a strange effect on me. It’s like being inside the head of a thinker (and in fact, that’s it).

  • You want to say “Noooo that’s NOT that simple”.
  • You want to say : “One must care about an audience”.
  • Or maybe “You must write to please yourself, and the audience will come”.

Questions for bloggers, right?

But somewhere there’s a bell in my head saying “He’s right”. Some of us maybe invent a human someone, aggregating people we know, people we imagine, followers and readers, old friends, until we have this strange modeled golem : our Reader.

 

Thanks for reading, and have a nice day!

Jean-Pascal

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Instagram : _bodylanguage_

 

Il faut travailler pour Quelqu’un ; et non pour inconnus. Il faut viser quelqu’un, et plus nous le visons nettement, meilleur est le travail et le rendement du travail. L’ouvrage de l’esprit n’est entièrement déterminé que si quelqu’un est devant lui. Celui qui s’adresse à quelqu’un, s’adresse à tous. Mais celui qui s’adresse à tous ne s’adresse à personne.
Il s’agit seulement de trouver ce quelqu’un. Ce quelqu’un donne le ton au langage, donne l’étendue aux explications, mesure l’attention qu’on peut demander.
Se représenter quelqu’un est le plus grand don de l’écrivain.

 

“#Blog for yourself and not to please an audience” – wait a minute…

I read many times about big success youtubers who “lost their soul” because they stopped being themselves – instead of it, they began to blog to “please the audience”. That’s baaad! This makes sense, right? Bending their style or their personality to what they supposed to know about the viewers is probably wrong. And each time, the article I read told it this way. Bad bad bad. Nah. On the naughty step!

When I think of that, though, I hear a bell in my head. That’s so precisely evident that my senses are on alert. I know, it’s a reflex.

There’s something similar in poetry. The “poet” is supposed to be “inspired” (by what?), and peeing gorgeous metaphors because… he’s a genius. BUT even the greatest poets agree to say that there’s probably a critic inside their magic brain. Like “another guy” inside, who analyzes and channels/canalyzes the flow.

Let’s listen to Baudelaire :

I pity those poets who are guided by instinct alone: I regard them as incomplete. In the spiritual life of the former a crisis inevitably occurs when they feel the need to reason about their art, to discover the obscure laws in virtue of which they have created, and to extract from this study a set of precepts whose divine aim is infallibility in poetic creation. It would be unthinkable for a critic to become a poet; and it is impossible for a poet not to contain within him a critic. Therefore the reader will not be surprised at my regarding the poet as the best of all critics.

Charles Baudelaire

This is a perfect pattern, a tool for this article :

Here, we’re searching for a frontier between “I write for myself” and “I write for my audience”.

  • If you write 100% for yourself and you’re successful, good to you! You can stop reading this article and have subtle sex with your muse. Take your time, she likes it.
  • If you write for your audience, you’re a backwoodsman losing yourself on the paths of wrongness and your audience will sense it. You forgot why they loved you. Kill yourself.

BUT

Think about Baudelaire, our French poet. You are probably aware that you never REALLY write for yourself : you, from the beginning, took care of the readers TOO. You analyze, you think, you weave your words, YOU are your first audience, this is it. It’s a radioactive pattern. You write, you work daily, you throw a bunch of arrows, you write for you AND you take care of your audience. You want to be loved, that’s all! You know the trees, and you also know there’s a forest. You’re great, because you dance with both. That’s great!

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : mariakdolores

 

Writers & Bloggers : Pleasure of bad books?

(Sorry for my wobbly French today…)

Bad books (and blogs) can be useful for a writer – but I suppose it’s a low level thing.

  • It (possibly) can make your brain move, like this :
    • I would have written it better,
    • in another way,
    • I would have added this and that, etc…
  • It makes you angry, and you can try to use this strange gas-oil which is anger.
  • You can say that the author is a spirit-enemy (the useful thing of feeling or “inventing an enemy” is an old trick), it triggers your mobilization. Fight him… and write.
  • Any negative feeling (next to anger is bitterness, hate, sarcasms, etc) can be used too. Your clockworkbrain is activated. Some guys (in your head) will step into the breach. Geronimo!
  • After all, you could maybe find a good idea or a pleasant formulation in a bad book or a bad blog, it’s really the idea of a seed found within dust and rocks. Steal it and make it grow your own way, haha!

 

I suggest you prepare and foresee an antidote (a good book) – to clean your head, by Jove!

This, of course, is an exercise. You can not separate books and blogs between “good ones and bad ones”. It’s all relative, silly. It depends.

You have to consider that what YOU write can also be considered the same way by another reader. Your wordings as a bad place, as a bad example, inspiring better things? Awwweee! That’s a good (low level) thing, right? 🙂

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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“Say your Say” – when a thinker’s tension needs a relief

Everybody knows this tension when you have to say something to someone.

You can write a letter to this person and then destroy it. You can organize a conversation because you “have to say your word”.

You can also read this article : “Venting of Paper“.

You “prepare” what you have to say for hours, hours, and days, overthinking your future monolog. And the day you’re on it, it’s even richer than what you prepared. Your mind is propelled by the tension you had in yourself for so long. You reach the end of your say with a feeling of relief.

Until next time, right?

It’s a similar process when you have to think how to write a blog article. You found the idea, you’re in front of your Macintosh, and… some days, it’s impossible : you don’t find the proper way to do it, you don’t find your first sentence, it simply does not move along.

Then you know what? Instead of watching the wall or your lamp like a dead louse, act like when you have to say something so somebody : find a random person around (your mother, your cat, a friend you can call), and explain to him/her what you would like to explain in this article, how you don’t succed, or maybe just ask a few questions, then jump through the first window which will appear in the person’s response. Blah blah time.

Your mind, propelled by the tension of “I have an idea I’d like to blog about but don’t know how to do it”, will do the rest : you’ll monolog, discovering probably new ideas along, et voilà. Then, say thanks to the poor headshaking listener, and write.

You can also read this article : “Get some help from an ignorant“.

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : bodylanguage

 

A woman’s hat on the table – Behaviorism in literature

In a Hemingway short story, the only visual information we have of a couple talking is that she took off her hat and put it on the table. Though, you can almost SEE them when you read the text, because of what they say.

Question :

In a book, do you prefer to read

  1. “She was sad, and about to disconnect herself from reality”
  2. An inner monologue as if she had a microphone in her head
  3. A description of her movements, her mouth, her actions

…showing her disconnected sadness.

Well it’s the same for movies. Do you want to see someone act slowly, randomly and break something, or do you prefer a narrator explaining that “This day, she was bored, sad and electric”?

“Behaviorism is a school of psychology that studies that only behavior that can be observed or measured. It does not include the study of emotions or motives”.

Of course, there are behaviorist writers, who like to SHOW what’s happening instead of EXPLAIN the psychology of characters, as if they were a god.

Tool : What could YOU do about this tool, this pattern, in another field, in poetry, photography, marketing? Show or explain? Do you consider you audience as ignorants you have to tell everything to, or do you trust their mind, their intelligence?

she took off her hat and put it on the table – what does it mean?

Thanks for reading!

 

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“The best way to take all people is to take them for what they think they are” #Faulkner

“I’d have wasted a lot of time and trouble before I learned that the best way to take all people is to take them for what they think they are.”

William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

 

Instagram : mabelmorrison

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