Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Monday, February 01, 2010

If you are a writer, read this

I want to understand how it is that being by myself
with my keyboard is when I feel least alone.

That's from Betsy Lerner's blog. As is this:

I think one of the worst parts of being a writer is trying to appear normal. .... We are among you. Observing, sizing up, spying. Listening in on your conversation and writing down your best lines. We are having an affair with the grad student at the Blue State Cafe, telepathically of course.

I know Betsy is a fabulous agent because she represents two books that knocked my socks off: COLUMBINE by Dave Cullen and JUST KIDS by Patti Smith.


Laurel said...

I apologize for my snarky comment on your blog about people who claim to have read a yet to be published books. Clearly, there are psychics among us. That woman is spying on my brainwaves.

Jen said...

Thank you for the link!!! These quotes are spectacular!

Jennifer Ambrose said...

Thanks for sharing this. It's just what I needed to read today.

A similar question: Why is it that I get lonely writing at my computer all day, and then resent my husband when he comes home and interrupts my imaginary life? I don't think I'll ever know the answer.

Paul Greci said...

Yes, I love Betsy's blog, and her books, and her clients' books!! She rocks!

Grimmster24 said...

COLUMBINE peaked my interest as it sat on the shelf of my local B&N, Janet. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the vote of confidence that it is an excellent read.

jdcoughlin said...

So very, very true. And the best part of being a writer, picking up all those juicy bits of life that don't necessarily mean anything to anyone else. Okay, sometimes pulling out those bits. But only when absolutely necessary. Which is, all the time.

Rachel said...

Just reading those sentences made me exhale a breath I didn't know I was holding. I love her blog.

Anita Saxena said...

I had a birthday recently and all I wished for that day was to have some time alone to write. And I got it. It was the BEST day. But it took a good bit of planning and reorganizing so I could get that bit of happiness.

Maryann Miller said...

Wonderful blog. Thanks for the link.

Scott said...

Read the post, linked to in a blog post scheduled to post tomorrow, and left a comment on her post. Love Betsy's blog!


CNU said...

I'm sorry I was too busy laughing at the caption under the 1950's looking picture...heehee. Juvenile, true and hysterical. (The photo that is.)

As far as being a writer? Existentialists would argue that one can never 'know' another, because experientially we are in our little bubble of reality.
I don't know what people are talking about with regards to normality and what it constitutes. But in my estimation, normality is not what is natural. If one were to be normal they will never accomplish the natural, which typically happens to be the antithesis of normality. How many times has one gone against their better judgement or instinct because of 'societal pressures' and etiquette?
I don't think anyone has even a partial grip of this ocean of ever changing self-organizing chaos.

Maybe catharsis is real or maybe Kafka was right that, "Books should be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."


Campbell Kellaway said...

Wonderful link.


ryan field said...

Especially body language and physical gestures that show emotion. We're always looking for something that beats biting that bottom lip and raising that eyebrow.

Terresa said...

That first line is great, as are the following lines.

Thanks for this!

Dave Cullen said...

it was quite the pithy post. the normal part--damn, that's what i feel, but only with my family. but that hits me hard. post-christmas was miserable this year. i always come back feeling like an alien.

and the spying bit made me smile. yup, that's my job.

and then i got to read this. getting lumped in with patti smith, one of my lifelong heroes. damn. i have some pretty greedy fantasies, but i never thought to dream that one.

i started reading Just Kids at the bookstore this weekend and only got 5 pages because i forgot my reading glasses and every line was a struggle, but worth it. damn, i was mesmerized from the start.

susiej said...

Wow. That first quote makes me feel so much better about myself.

Its even harder to appear normal when you're a fantasy/nature girl. Then, its the trees, wind, shadows and birds that are talking to you.