After several days without any sightings, that insane bird showed up again this morning, long enough to glower at me with his beady little eyes, peck the window once, and fly away. He hates me, I tell you.
Adam Brown posted a comment on my Facebook page today, saying this here blog makes him wanna get back into blogging. I absolutely feel like I’m totally winging it here, but I certainly appreciate the kind words, so thank you, Adam. For one thing, it makes me feel like I’m doing something right, and that comes on the heels of a blog post I read yesterday by another writer, wherein this person spent 1000 words telling me that everything I’m doing with this blog is wrong.
Don’t talk about a variety of subjects, this writer states. He (or she, I don’t remember) more-or-less says that if you’re a writer, you should only talk about writing in your blog, because that’s what people want to see. Don’t talk about your kids one day, your dog the next, your book the next. ONE THING.
I wrote this. I probably have no business giving you advice.
Really? Because to be quite honest, most of the time the last thing I want to read is some writer going on and on about writing. Years ago I read an interview with a comic artist — I think it was Dan Clowes, but may have been Evan Dorkin — who said that they didn’t want to sit there going “Windsor-Newton, Windsor-Newton” throughout an entire interview because who gives a damn, and that comment has stuck with me ever since.
Don’t get me wrong, if Joe Lansdale is gonna post writing advice on his Facebook page (which he does, and all of it is good), then I’m gonna be there to read it. But a lot of writers seem inclined to offer writing advice on their blogs that pretty much consists of Shit You Already Know If You’ve Come This Far. If I see one more writer offer the sage wisdom of “First, write a great book,” I’m gonna go on a punching spree. Thanks, and I’ll also brake for animals. Because I NEVER WOULD’VE THOUGHT OF THAT ON MY OWN.
The last thing I want is to be that guy, telling you if you want to write, you should use an assortment of words. Preferably arranged in sentences. And if you’re having a bad day writing, try wearing your lucky socks, or treating yourself to ice cream!
(That lucky socks/ice cream thing is authentic advice from a book on screenwriting, by the way. A book I threw across the room).
If someone has a specific writing-related question for me, then I’ll be more than happy to try and answer it, but otherwise I’m probably not gonna offer advice here, unless it’s Check Your Pants For Spiders After Drying Them On The Line. Wait, scratch that: here’s the writing advice I’ll offer. READ. Read your ass off. Then, if you want actual advice on writing, read Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, and Joe Lansdale’s Facebook page.
But I also wrote this, which I'm quite proud of.
But I’m gonna keep posting about stuff that goes on in my life, or stuff I like, or how goofy the dogs were, or how there’s a bird that wants to kill me, or how cool Bigfoot is. Sometimes I’ll talk about writing projects I’m working on, of course, but even that I don’t wanna go nuts with. My model for Rattle and Blast is The Bleat, James Lileks’ very entertaining blog. I’ve been reading it for something like 10 or 11 years now, I think. Lileks posts Monday though Friday on a variety of subjects — his daughter, Natalie (a.k.a. Gnat), his dog Jasper, his trips to the grocery store, and sometimes even his writing projects. Now, I’m certainly no James Lileks, but I think the man is on to something.
So I hope you dig Rattle and Blast and the approach I’m taking, and thanks for reading. Maybe I can manage to keep you guys around for 10 or 11 years if I do this right. Or wrong, as the case may be.
Who the hell has lucky socks, anyway?