Of Course We’re Plagued by Self-Doubt and Anxiety–We’re Writers

It’s a busy time of year and easy to feel down on yourself because you’re not writing enough/getting that great book deal/chatting with Oprah on her private island. But you’re not alone–even famous writers feel down about themselves sometimes. My favorite:

“At the end of a miserable day, instead of grieving my virtual nothing, I can always look at my loaded wastepaper basket and tell myself that if I failed, at least I took a few trees down with me.”–David Sedaris

Take that, trees!

Make sure to click through for more self-deprecating quotes from famous writers.


800px-R_Staines_Malvolio_Shakespeare_Twelfth_NightShakespeare meets social media with these tweet versions of the Bard’s famous works by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes. Best use of hashtag goes to:

Scoundrel talks Moor into believing his wife’s a slut. Dude, it was only a handkerchief. Did you have to KILL her? #facepalm.

My favorite Shakespeare play is Twelfth Night. My tweet version would have to be:

Shipwrecks lead to cross-dressing and missed love connections. At least we can all make fun of Malvolio.#cakesandale

Share your Shakespearean tweets!

(image: Wikipedia)

Texts for Felicity

Another update from the “Texts From…” series on the Hairpin–Texts From the American Girls. Even though Samantha was my favorite character, Felicity’s my favorite text-er. A sample:

“I must trespass on your kindness one last time
and ask when you will return
as the water you so kindly brought me
ran out several days ago
and I am afraid to venture forth in daylight
and this fetid swamp provides me with no relief

Make sure to click through for the rest of Felicity’s texts as well as some from Samantha and Addy. I want to see follow-ups from the rest of the girls*, too!

*And by the rest of the girls, I mean the ones I remember from childhood. Apparently there are even more now?

On TV, No One Revises and Book Contacts Aren’t Scary

If you’re a writer, you might be used to your family and friends asking certain questions about the publishing process. Questions like, “Is your book out yet?” and “Why don’t you just send it to the publisher?” Generally, these questions aren’t intended to frustrate you or make you grit your teeth as you reply, “It takes a while.” Most people don’t know much about the writing or publishing process, and all they can base their assumptions on is what they see in movies.

YA Highway has a pretty great take-down of TV/Movie Publishing vs. Real Publishing, such as:

1. Books Are Published Over Night
I noticed this one most recently on Gossip Girl when Dan, one of the main characters, ended up with a book deal. The means by which he got that deal were one thing – totally unrealistic is an understatement – but even more ridiculous was the timing.  The book was published just two or three months later.  In reality, books usually take closer to a year or even two to publish after being sold.”

I would say that books usually take closer to two or there years to publish after being sold. There’s stuff to do, guys! Editorial! Marketing! Sales! It takes times!

Another I’d add would be that in movies/on TV, the first draft of anything is pretty much perfect. You write your novel, submit it to your editor, and you’re good to go. In real life, the revision/editorial process takes a lot of time.

Also, a lot of the time I see people in publishing depicted as cold and only caring about the bottom line. Even though publishers obviously have to care about sales, the majority of people I’ve met in publishing have been people who actively care about books. They got into the job because they love books, not to make a ton of money. For the most part, everyone is hardworking and encouraging and thoughtful. It’s a great industry, really!

Make sure to check out the whole list. It’s especially helpful if you’re at home for Thanksgiving and need an explanation for why people can’t buy your book at Barnes and Noble yet.

Teens #MustacheYouToRead

Depending on how hirsute your friends are, you may or may not know that November is Movember, a pretty fun time for guys to try out some new facial hair (handlebar mustache!).

But the coolest Movember project I’ve seen is by the Glendale Public Library Teen Services. They’re sharing pictures of readers posing with creative “mustaches” and books they recommend–ie, books they #MustacheYouToRead–on Twitter and Facebook. And you can join them:

“We’d love to see #MustacheYouToRead trend, so if you have any books you’d like to recommend, tweet them to us (or post them here) and let’s let the world know about all the awesome books teens are reading!”

Remember, you don’t need real facial hair to join in. Cut out a paper mustache or even use your finger. Share your recommended reads with the hashtag #MustacheYouToRead. Dumbledore is already on it.

When Words Aren’t Enough, Use GIFs

GIFs may have been around for a while, but they’re certainly having a good time in 2012. I’m certainly happy that GIF was picked as the Oxford Dictionaries USA Word of the Year 2012. Of course, Dumbledore expresses it better than I can:

Where would we be without GIFs? In a land of sadness, that’s where. A few of my favorite GIF-related blogs:

Feel free to share your own GIFs in the comments. Happy GIFing!