Thoughts on Writing and Blogging and Stephen King, Of Course

Friday, February 20th, 2009 • 17 Comments on Thoughts on Writing and Blogging and Stephen King, Of Course

Goodness, I do seem to disappear for days at a stretch, don’t I?  Sorry.  It’s not as if I don’t have a lot going on in my head, I just seem to be keeping it to myself or sharing it in e-mails.  I am writing a lot these days, with several new and exciting projects on the horizon.  I’m happy with my progress so far in 2009.  Of course, it’s only February, right?  Ha.

So, while I’m writing behind the scenes, I’ll point you to some of the stuff that I’ve been reading lately.  Alison Tyler wrote what I think is a terrific post on the realities of the publishing business.  I despise the notion that writers should just be grateful to be published and not expect to get paid much (or even at all!) but I get equally annoyed with writers (or would be writers, as is usually the case) who think every word they write is precious and golden.  Please. 

There’s a happy medium between between being a doormat and groveling at the feet of some publisher just for a chance to see your words in print (which is why vanity publishing is so freaking successful—and why it’s called “vanity” publishing) and being a self-absorbed diva before you’ve even proven yourself to have written anything anyone wants to read—or even after you’ve proven yourself, for that matter.  Because publishing is a small world and you have to be truly brilliant and financially lucrative to a publishing company in order to warrant the diva treatment. 

On an only slightly related note, one of my favorite quotes about the writing life is from, of course, Stephen King:

Dig this: The so-called “writing life” is basically sitting on your ass.

You tell ‘em, Steve.

Shanna Germain addressed a different kind of writer’s issue recently in her blog post This Blog is Not Me.  Shanna has been plagued by a mean-spirited—anonymous, of course—troll who posts rude and personal comments about Shanna based on things Shanna writes in her blog. (Which is so much worse than the morons who post random spam comments on my blog about patio furniture and computer software.)  Shanna wrote something that bears repeating:

A writer. is. not. made. up. of. what. she. writes.

Can you hear that? Shall I say it again in a different way?

This. word. is. not. me.

It’s just a word. One of a thousand I could have chosen. I write fiction. I tell stories. Everything that comes out of my fingers and lands on paper is just a single, tiny, slivered facet of who I am.

I’ve written about this subject before and walked the line between protecting my privacy and writing transparently.  There is a connection between writer and reader and I certainly understand it.  I feel like I know Stephen King, after all.  However, there is a fine line between feeling like you know a writer (or blogger) and actually knowing that writer.  No matter how much I write here, there is more—much more—I don’t write.  This is, as Shanna puts it, “a single, tiny, slivered facet of who I am.”

I get that it’s my choice to be here and there are pitfalls that come with blogging just as there are pitfalls that come with writing erotic fiction or using my real name or being a woman.  That’s life.  I love getting comments and e-mails from readers and, for the most part, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.  But I keep a file of the other stuff—the weird requests, the odd e-mails, the icky notes that read like personal ads—and the IP addresses of all.  Why take chances, right?  (Don’t want to make it into that file?  Don’t be creepy.  Don’t know what creepy is?  Then don’t contact me.  Period.)

Having said that, I do check my stats and see that I have readers practically all over the world.  I think that’s just incredible.  I would love it if you all would leave a comment and say hello.  Tell me where you’re from, what you do, what you write (if you write).  It’s nice to know who’s out there reading me.  Just—please—don’t tell me you’re my biggest fan.

Posted by Kristina in Writing
  • Hello!

    I write erotica, both short form and novel-length, though the short stories have fallen by the wayside the last couple of years.  I think I found your blog through Twitter, but am not sure.

  • Susana says:

    I’m gonna be the first here!!!!

    Well Kristina, I’m from Brazil and I right fantasy fiction. I’ve just released my first book of short stories and now I’m working my A… off in a novel!

    Love your blog!!!!!

    Sue

  • Personally, it bugs me more when writers are diva-ish right out of the gate. Or even before the gate. Ordering editors and publishers and agents around before you’ve even had your first thing published is like the farthest side of crazy I can imagine. Though maybe that’s because I’m on the I’m just happy to be published side of things (though not so happy that I wouldn’t want to be paid!).

    P.S. I write erotic fiction for Black Lace- I’ve got my own collection of short stories coming out in October. And I believe we’re in the Seduction and Liaisons anthologies together, Kristina! Cool stories, BTW. Oh, and I’m from West Yorkshire, I also teach creative writing, and I enjoy a fizzy worm or two while bashing on my teeny tiny laptop. Me in a nutshell.

    P.P.S Great blog. Meant to comment before, but then got scared and ran away. As ever.

  • danielle says:

    well..you already know about me..hehe*

    i think both posts of you and a. tyler as well are good…and i read shannas blog about the ” this blog is not me” too a while ago…so..where to start…

    its great that alison showed so openly about the costs…about the struggle as a publisher because usually you read more about the struggles of the writers…

    sure you are right when you say a writers works needs to be payed for..with money as well as with “honor”…i m not even close to be published so well as you are…and i do my best to sell my work all over the world as much as possible…and to be honest i m kinda vain..i LOVE my work..i LOVE my stories..i love every single one of my charakters…but it has happened that i even gaved away my stories for free…just to suport a special athology-projekt..or a special publisher…just because it was a honor for me to work with them…so i think everyone needs to find a middle way for working hand in hand as a writer with other writers and publisher…the writing biz in germany is different from what i “imagine” it to e in the usa…i mean i read all these blogs…i see all you writers know each other..write kind things about each other..work together ect…it seems to be like a writer-family..i wish i was part of that hehe*..because its different in germany where i live…to speak objektive and fair about it in english isnt possible for me because of the language barrier and so all i can say is that i wish the writing bizz in germany would be a bit more like it is in the states…or at least how it seems to be to me…

    on “i m not this blog”…i m writing a blog myself…i get a lot of emails…kind emails..wonderful emails..emails i love…but also a lot mean bitter and hateful emails,….emails from people who tell me i m a kind of a sinner because of what i write…who tell me i m dirty…that i must be a shame for my family…that it is unbelievable that my dirty stories get published while their “real good stuff” dont finds a publisher…its hard to be a publik person and a private person in the same time…when my readers write their emails they feel like they know me…they know my life..my friends..my family…i wrote a sex and relationship column for about two years…i wrote about love and dating and relationship problems…i wrote about me..and my friends..and my family…all of them have been recognized…all of them had at a certain point a “ohhh thats you in that sory?-moment”….and its cool..but you shouldnt forget that you only see what the writer you read likes to show..which is just a tiny part…i m not different…after i won the book i startet writing to you and i m just the same as the many people who read my blog and feel like they know me…what they dont..what i dont…..i dont know any of the wonderful writers whos blog i read..whos books i buy…but damned..how i wish i would..grin

    best wishes from europe  

    danielle

  • Allison says:

    Hi Kristina, you may remember I’m in Calgary Canada (where it’s still bloody too cold for me right now…!) and I write poetry – mostly silly stuff off the top of my head that I want to rhyme, and thoughtful notes to family and friends.  The rest of the time I am trying to be a good mom to my 2 year old.  Someday I would like to write a children’s book or a hot romance story—maybe both at the same time!!!

  • Fedora says:

    I’m just a reader, in sometimes sunny California smile  I’m a fan, but likely not your biggest wink  Keep up the excellent writing!

  • Seventeen says:

    Hello! Found you through Twitter (@utcm).

    I’m going to assume that you’ve read Mr. King’s book “On Writing”  A masterful work that I need to read again.

    I’m going to try to remember to put your blog in my RSS reader so I can read more of you.

    ….well, that sounded a little more stalkerish than I intended.

  • I’ve been meaning to comment on this forever, and loved hearing everyone’s responses. Yes, it’s a wacky and wonderful life, this writer thing, isn’t it? Thank goodness. I wouldn’t want anything else!

    When I’m feeling overwhelmed or inundated by the negative, I try to remind myself of all the things that other writers dealt with in the past or still deal with in other parts of the worlds. A little blog harassment is nothing compared to that. We’re all so strong in what we do.

    Best, s.

  • Nikki says:

    Hi Kristina!

    I’m in the wilds of Scotland, and I write – fuck, I don’t know what or who I write for at the moment.

    I write. Yes.

    Lately I feel like being a diva. I think maybe if I could be good for, say, 29 days of the month, then I’d like to be a diva for at least one afternoon. Although maybe it would be best to lock myself in a room before I indulge. How does that sound? : )

    Sorry to hear about your flu, btw, hope you’re feeling better xxx

  • Kristina says:

    Charlotte!  I’m so glad you came out of lurk!  I *love* your Black Lace stories!  Congrats on the collection coming in October!  Of course, you really must tell me what a “fizzy worm” is.  My imagination is conjuring all sorts of unpleasant things…

  • Kristina says:

    Seventeen—I’m a huge fan of King’s On Writing.  I’ve read it at least three times and have probably bought at least that many copies for other people.  I adore the man.

  • Kristina says:

    Shanna—You have a terrific attitude and I understand where you’re coming from, but no writer/blogger should have to endure being harassed.  Especially by someone who isn’t even brave enough to sign their real name to the harassments. Blah. 

    (Can’t wait to read about your grand UK adventure!!)

  • Kristina says:

    Nikki—

    You are certainly entitled to be a diva one day a month. Go for it! wink  And yes, you certainly do write!  Wonderful stories, m’dear.

  • Kristina says:

    Susana,

    Congrats on the sale!  Thanks for stopping by!

  • Ta, Kristina! I love the fact that I’m *in* some BL collections- don’t know how much I love the actual stories I’ve done! I also love getting to read other people’s stories early, like yours.

    And fizzy worms are just like these little jelly things, covered in sourness. Which makes them sound gross but I swear they’re nice.

  • Kristina says:

    Charlotte— Fizzy worms sound a bit like the sour patch kids we have here—little people shaped gummy candies with this really sour sugar on the outside.  Makes my tongue pucker!  Perhaps we should swap. wink

  • Yeah, that’s exactly what they are, Kristina! I was trying to think of their name in America. They make the sides of your jaw twinge, too. Oh, how erotic we make them sound. You’d never guess what we do for some of our living, eh?

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.

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