April 16th, 2009


Thoughts on Writing #27: A Matter of Perspective.

Welcome to the twenty-seventh essay in my ongoing series of essays on the art and craft of writing, all of which are based around my fifty thoughts on writing. I was asked recently why this paragraph goes on every essay, since it's essentially filler, and beyond the innate "because I can," the answer is simple: people are still coming in shiny and new with each essay in the series, and I like to make sure everyone understands the premise. Remember that the thoughts are being addressed in order, and that I respond well to bribery with candy corn and pumpkin products.

Thoughts on Writing #27: A Matter of Perspective.

Everyone in the world has their own point of view, on just about everything. I sleep in a room that's painted to look like the inside of a big pumpkin, and my pillowcases glow in the dark; I find it soothing, while other people complain that they'd be able to see the walls even after they closed their eyes. Neither of us is wrong. We just have a different perspective on things. Here's today's expanded topic:

People are going to act like writing is easy, because that's all they know; they're not writers. People are going to say you're being a snob when you say "I'm sorry, I have to work," because they can't understand why you'd choose reworking chapter three over going to the roller derby. Try not to take it personally. I'm sure they do shit that seems crazy to you, too.

Things that make sense to us are baffling to others; things that make sense to others are baffling to us. That's human nature. That's the way we're basically programmed, as a species, to operate. I don't get you, you don't get me, and neither of us quite gets that guy sitting over there. The trouble arises when one of us has a trait or tendency—like, say, the desire to work a second job in your free time, for which it is unlikely you will ever receive above minimum wage—that the majority just doesn't understand.

What's the answer? Well, unfortunately, if there were an easy answer, I'd be making millions as an advice columnist, and I wouldn't have time to write this essay. But there may be some coping strategies. Let's begin.

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Website improvements are in process!

So my website improvements and updates are rocking right along—you can now visit the site for everything from news about the Toby books to the Velveteen stories, an assortment of FAQs, and stuff about my cats. The songbook and album information is all still there; so is the art card gallery, and the first of my Thoughts On Writing essays (along with the thoughts themselves). It is, in short, expanding at a truly epic rate...and that's where you come in.

What's missing? What needs more detail? What are you waiting to see? We currently have plans in the works for...

...forums. Chris is working on getting these functional. Once we have the code in place, we'll probably be in "closed beta" for a few weeks as the forum moderators sort out what they want to do with the space, and then we'll go open. I'll solicit suggestions for specific forums when we get closer, but once the forums open, I'm essentially going to be hands-off.

...a mailing list. People keep asking me to sign them up, and I have to look politely baffled. So again, Chris is crunching the code for it, and then we'll be opening one up. I'll probably have to do a quarterly newsletter to justify having a mailing list. Woe. Because getting me to chatter about what I'm doing is so hard.

So what else do we need? Speak, and be joyfully heard!