Writing

Things not to say to writers.

I don’t know if there is a code of ethics for writers out there, but there are a number of things one comes across that leads you to believe that there should be one. So I’ve compiled a list of things that have been said to me/I would hate for people to say to me, and it might all sound a bit brutal, but… well, I’ve never been one to mince words.

1) “You’ve had your success; you can stop writing now.” 

Some of you probably saw the Huffington Post article that’s been cycling around the internet for the last couple of days, where one writer plainly asks J.K. Rowling to stop writing and scoot over to the side so others can have the spotlight (actually this is the main reason behind this blog post). I cannot begin to tell you how indignant I was over that; how could that writer even say such a thing? You’d think, being a writer herself, she would know that you can’t just stop writing. It doesn’t work that way.

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Continue reading “Things not to say to writers.”

General · Inanity · Writing

Rescue me from your spam queues!

The defendant, Zen of Zen Scribbles, writer, editor and chocoholic extraordinaire, charged with spamming the blogs of several innocents here on WordPress and disturbing their peace, pleads innocent! She has always left comments relevant to the subject matter being discussed in the post, and even when she had nothing substantial to say, she tried her best to be supportive in the very least.

It was a bit shocking for her to find out that for some reason the claimant, Akismet, had flagged her and thrown her into the darkest corners of the blogosphere along with genuine spam, where she was subjected to grammatically incompetent Chinese advertisements and overly enthusiastic individuals singing the praises of blogs they had never read. Not to mention the ones that looked so normal it was difficult to discern whether they were trying to trick her or not. It was a nightmare! If she wasn’t simply interested in being released, she would have pressed charges on the grounds of abuse and mistreatment!

The defendant turns to the jury and pleads with them to review the quality of her comments and decide for themselves whether they are really so bad to warrant being given the spam treatment and banished away from the public.

So… yeah, haha… I’ve found out that the comments I’ve been leaving are getting marked as spam. 😦 It would be awesome if you could rescue me from there, otherwise Akismet will keep flagging me and that’s… well, that’s just mean. Unless, of course, you do not like my comments… so feel free to ignore this message. >.>

While we’re on the topic, do you tend to check your spam folder at all? Have you ever been marked as spam yourself?

Reading · Writing

Stay calm and stick the book in the freezer.

Scared Joey“Joey?”
“Yeah?”
“Do you want to put the book in the freezer?”
“…okay.” 😦

There was an episode in FRIENDS where Joey claims that putting The Shining by Stephen King in the freezer makes him feel safer from its scary clutches. Then he goes on to put Little Women in the freezer at a point where things get too sad for him. At the time I just laughed at Joey for being his usual silly self, but thinking about it now, I realise he may be onto something.

It’s not about actually sticking it in the freezer, per se, you do not have to do that if you’re not so inclined; you could stick it under your bed, lock it up in a box if you so desire or shove it to the back of your closet… whatever floats your boat. Rather, I think it’s an attempt to somehow prevent the inevitable. Continue reading “Stay calm and stick the book in the freezer.”

General · Inanity · Writing

The roads are a safer place without me.

drivingDriving terrifies me. There I said it. I’m scared of getting behind the wheel and navigating the streets… especially the streets in Lebanon. They are such a disaster. No rules anywhere, motorcycles crisscrossing all over the place, no street lights, cars cutting you off without so much as a warning, people who choose to walk on streets instead of sidewalks… the list is endless.

However, you’ll be surprised to learn that I do actually have a driving license, even if I don’t put it to use. My parents are always nagging me to get a car because they don’t want me riding cabs everyday, and they always end their argument with, “If you never wanted to drive, then why on Earth did you go and get a license?” In fact, my mother said that to me just this morning, which is incidentally what prompted me to write about this.

Well, to be honest, I did want to drive at first, but my driving adventures weren’t really encouraging. Continue reading “The roads are a safer place without me.”

General · Inanity · Writing

Curse you, Insomnia!

I was dead tired last night. The weather has been terrible lately, and electricity outages have been frequent so the AC was barely managing to cool my bedroom. But I thought, hey, I didn’t manage to nap in the afternoon, so I’m probably going to conk out immediately in the evening! But as I lay wide awake in my bed later on, I realised just how wrong I’ve been.

Continue reading “Curse you, Insomnia!”

General · Writing

ASPIRING WRITER: The User Guide and Maintenance Manual (3)

I trust that by now you’ve become well acquainted with your ASPIRING WRITER™ units. But like every other new things, problems will eventually surface and for that you need to read the FAQ and Troubleshooting tips, then see what the warranty can cover.

You can find the first part here, and the second part here.

– – –

Troubleshooting

Problem: Your unit is no longer able to write.

Solution: This is a common problem with ASPIRING WRITER™ units, and it’s widely known as Writer’s Block. To cure your unit’s Writer’s Block, either try to get the MUSE™ unit to pay a visit to your ASPIRING WRITER™, try to help your unit with their brainstorming process, or otherwise attempt to put your unit’s mind off writing by taking them out somewhere nice or providing them with a good book. If all fails, just wait for this problem to pass, but bear in mind that your unit may be quite irritable until then.

Continue reading “ASPIRING WRITER: The User Guide and Maintenance Manual (3)”

General · Writing

ASPIRING WRITER: The User Guide and Maintenance Manual (2)

This is a continuation from the first part of the user guide, which you can find here. In the second part, I’ll be discussing your unit’s functions, relationships with other units and maintenance! I must say, writing this has been fun, and it has made me prob myself from all angles (not physically!) to describe how a typical writer is.

– – –

Programming

Your ASPIRING WRITER™, with enough motivation and persuasion, can perform as follows:

Writer: Your ASPIRING WRITER™ is first and foremost a writer, a product of many years spent poring over a paper or a keyboard. Provide your unit with the complimentary plot present in the package and watch them get write down to the task. It may take the ASPIRING WRITER™ a little over a month to finish a novel, but don’t expect them to give it to you until after many revisions. Alternatively, if you do not wish for your ASPIRING WRITER™ to write novels, you could assign any writing task to them (articles, essays, etc.)… though that would probably drive them over the edge and you’d be better off pre-ordering our FREELANCE WRITER™ unit.

Continue reading “ASPIRING WRITER: The User Guide and Maintenance Manual (2)”

Inanity · Writing

ASPIRING WRITER: The User Guide and Maintenance Manual (1)

Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a fully automated ASPIRING WRITER™ unit. To ensure that you get the full use and benefits of your unit, please pay close attention to the following instructions.

Appearance:

Your ASPIRING WRITER™ comes in a variety of sizes and ages. They may either be thin as a stick figure due to poring over their keyboard/notebook for long periods of time without getting up to eat; overweight due to consuming large amount of chocolate and other goodies while sitting all day long before their computers; or pretty average in size. Upon checkout, please select the gender, appearance and age of choice.

Continue reading “ASPIRING WRITER: The User Guide and Maintenance Manual (1)”