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Showing posts from July, 2005

Validation! I crave validation!

Writing is a psychologically dangerous profession. We writers tend to be insecure anyway, which is why we choose such an isolated activity. But we open ourselves up to criticism and rejection whenever we let other people read our stuff. We send it out to be evaluated, judged, and deemed “suitable for publication” by people who believe they’re qualified to do so. These people are called editors.

We writers have more. . . colorful names for them.

The problem comes because writers take rejection personally. It’s not just that our work wasn’t good enough or right for that publication. It’s that there’s something wrong with us as people. Our souls are stained. We’ve got some fundamental flaw in our psyches that the editors recognize but we don’t. And while we never admit it, this is what we believe deep down in the dark places we never talk about, but end up making it onto paper. Or our blogs.

“Don’t take it personally,” other writers tell us "Just resubmit it somewhere else." Write…

The dangers of blogging

It's hard being a humor writer. We find humor in everyday situations, whether it's work, school, or home. The problem is that most situations are only funny to us and the people around us, so they don't make good topics. The other danger is that a situation could be hilarious but you'd end up offending an awful lot of people. Maybe even your bosses.

That's why there are sooooo many warnings to bloggers not to write about work or your industry. It happened to Nadine Haobsh, fellow blogger here on blogspot.com. She publishes Jolie in NYC, an insider's look at the beauty industry. She used to be anonymous, but was outed somehow, and was not only fired from her job, but had another job offer taken away.

Definitely a raw deal! Of course, she now has a book deal out, so I can only hope she makes more money than she would have at both jobs.

Jolie/Nadine's situation definitely served to educate me: don't blog about your work, I told myself. Then I realized I didn&…

New website coming

I've always enjoyed writing, and thought I was pretty good at web design, but I'm starting to hate the latter because it's keeping me away from the former. I've been trying to come up with a new web layout, and hope to launch Laughing Stalk 3.0 in the next few days. New photos, new look, same funny stuff. . . I hope.

The problem is that if a writer wants to become published, he or she needs to become a marketer. Most writers bemoan this fact and whine about how they're artists, not businesspeople. And this is true for many of the ones I've met. No business sense, no idea of how to market themselves, and no idea that their work has only begun once their article is written.

Basically, the rule of writing (or any artistic endeavor) is this: you're not just a writer anymore; you're a businessperson. You have a brand to build: it's [insert name here]. You need to market, sell, and promote yourself if you ever want to be seen as a writer. You have to learn …

My first post

Wow, my first blog post! I'm sure every new blogger has one of these. Don't worry. I'll delete it as soon as I discover it's a lame thing every blogger does.

I created this blog because of all the frustrations I've had as a humor writer. We're the bastard children of all writers, apparently. People think that if we make people laugh, we're clowns and therefore, not serious writers. But I can say this: more people remember writers like Dave Barry and Bruce Cameron than they do David Brooks or David Broder. They don't stand around the water cooler and say, "Hey, do you remember that column Broder did on Clinton's foreign policy on China? Man, I furrowed my brow over that one!"

They DO however, say, "Hey, did you ever read Bruce Cameron's '8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter? Man, I laughed my ass off!"

So this is going to be a glimpse in the life of a humor writer. I hope you enjoy it.