Terry Pratchett is dead at the age of 66. He produced 60 books, and was the fourth most read author in the UK (seventh in the US).

But even with his long career, (celebrated with a knighthood), Terry Pratchett did not produce enough. His dry wit, sharp observations, and unerring eye for the ludicrous were qualities that made his work addictive. No matter how many books he wrote, we would never be satisfied. It is all the more tragic that he was taken before his time.

The last few years of Terry Pratchett's life were marred by the decline brought on by a rare form of Alzheimer's disease, posterior cortical atrophy (PCA). He could no longer read, although he still wrote. He could not speak in public, but had to rely on others to speak for him. His brain fooled him time and again. Yet, he had the inner strength of a writer for whom Death always figured as a prominent character. Terry Pratchett was a man who did not shy away from the inevitable, no matter how tragic.

After being diagnosed in 2007 at the age of 59, Terry Pratchett donated a million dollars to Alzheimer's research in the UK. In this speech (below), "Shaking Hands With Death" (read by his "stunt Pratchett," Tony Robinson) he talks about his diagnosis, how he came to the decision to "come out," and why shaking hands with death (assisted dying) is something whose idea has come.

Death is a taboo topic in the United States. We like to believe that by eating the right food, exercising regularly, and avoiding EMFs we will live forever. (Though, I have yet to meet an immortal, American or otherwise.) As always, Terry Pratchett, makes us face reality. "I enjoy my life," he says. "I wish to continue it for as long as I am myself, knowing who I am, recognizing my nearest and dearest. But I have my appointment with Samarra."

“DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.” ― Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

“Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.” ― from Small Gods

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” ― from Diggers

"The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues." —from Moving Pictures

"Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time." —from Hogfather

"I’d rather be a rising ape than a falling angel." —from the Guardian Book Club

"It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it." —from the foreword to The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy, by David Pringle

"Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one."

"Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can."

"The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it." – from Monstrous Regiment

"It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done." – from A Hat Full of Sky

"There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this."

"The entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks."

"If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story." – from The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

"The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head."

"Goodness is about what you do. Not who you pray to."–from Snuff

"I have no use for people who have learned the limits of the possible."

"So much universe, and so little time."
RIP Terry Pratchett
Saul Bellow (June 10, 1915 – April 5, 2005) was one of our most famed American writers. He won the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts, and he is the only writer to have won the National Book Award for Fiction three times.

In spite of all the accolades Bellow received during his lifetime (and after) Bellow thought of himself as a "working stiff."

"Celebrity interferes with the business of writing," he said. "But it gives you a certain amount of confidence. Before, I said anything I damn pleased, and I did it defiantly. Now, I say anything I damn please, but I do it with confidence."

Bellow was not afraid to say what he pleased, at any time. Like Churchill, he stated (at a PEN conference) that ours was the worst form of government ... except for all the others. As a consequence, he "had a fight on his hands." But Bellow was not one to back down, nor was he one to remain neutral about what he created.

"You must either like what you are doing very much, either like your characters or hate them, you can't be indifferent."

On writing:

"When you write the first few lines of a story, those govern all the rest - like a musical signature."

"Your own natural, original voice provides the engine for your writing."

"The Bible says,'Woe unto you when all men speak well of you.' That's where the critics come in."

"The most pleasurable moments in writing are when you are either laughing or weeping, and scribbling at the same time. That's what one lives for in this trade."

And on having his book, Seize the Day, made into a movie, he said. "I haven't seen the film so I can't recommend it. But, I've read the book, and it's very good."
PictureImage: NY Times
On Tuesday, October 27 Galway Kinnell died of leukemia at his home in Sheffield, Vt. He was 87 years old.

Galway Kinnell was one of the great American poets. He won both a Pulitzer and a National Book Award for his poetry, and should, in my opinion, have joined Robert Frost - whose poems also evoked the fields and forests of New England - among the ranks of  Poet Laureates.

Kinnell was not a gentle poet. His poetry was direct, no-holds-barred, and straight from the gut. He used natural imagery to convey the profoundest of human experiences in a way that defied convention and dragged us back to our roots.

Of his poems, one of my favorites is The Porcupine, which I had the pleasure of hearing him read. One stanza (I can still hear Kinnell's powerful, booming voice) has stuck with me for 30 years.

"I roll
this way and that in the great bed, under
the quilt
that mimics this country of broken farms and woods,
the fatty sheath of the man
melting off,
the self-stabbing coil
of bristles reversing, blossoming outward--
a red-eyed, hard-toothed, arrow-stuck urchin
tossing up mattress feathers,
pricking the
woman beside me until she cries."

Kinnell was a big man, a big poet, and a true son of New England. He will be sorely missed,

Read the NY Times article HERE.

Author, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou died at age 86 at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina last Wednesday. Angelou had been frail and suffering from heart problems, according to her agent.

Angelou's contributions to the literary world are legion. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years.

Maya Angelou (Marguerite Ann Johnson) was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. Angelou attended high school in San Francisco, where she studied dance and drama. At the age of 14, she dropped out of school and became the city's first African-American, female street car conductor . She later graduated from high school,and soon after gave birth to her son, Guy. As a young woman she worked as a cook, prostitute, night-club dancer and performer, cast-member of the opera Porgy and Bess.

Angelou's most famous work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, tells of the life of Marguerite Ann Johnson up to the age of 16. Abandoned by her parents and raped at the age of 7 by her mother's boyfriend, she was homeless and became a teen mother. The book, which has been banned many times, has become a mainstay of student reading lists.

Although she was called Dr. Angelou, she never went to college. But she had more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American Studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. She also spoke six languages, and worked as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana.

Maya Angelou will be remembered for her stunning poetry, and for her words of inspiration, which will provide a source of strength and courage for generations to come.
I ran across this blog post via Publisher's Weekly, which is a great source of publishing news and information. Of course, I expected that Kafka would have ordered all of his works to be burned (that is sooo Kafka-esque), but Ian Fleming?
10 Great Authors Who Disowned Their Own Books

By Madeleine Monson-Rosen and Charlie Jane Anders, i09.com

1) Ian Fleming, The Spy Who Loved Me

Fleming wrote this novel, in which James Bond is basically a secondary character, in an attempt to caution his readers against making Bond into too much of a hero. Fleming said he wanted to make Bond's misogyny apparent after being shocked to discover that his Bond novels were being taught in schools. This "experiment," Fleming wrote to his publisher after the book received overwhelmingly negative reviews, had "obviously gone very much awry," and Fleming attempted to keep the book out of print. After Fleming's death, however, the value of his backlist overwhelmed the author's wishes, and The Spy Who Loved Me came back into print.

2) Octavia Butler, Survivor

This 1978 novel is the only one of Butler's works to remain out of print. She disowned it and let it stay buried, because she felt it depended on the worst cliches of science fiction:

When I was young, a lot of people wrote about going to another world and finding either little green men or little brown men, and they were always less in some way. They were a little sly, or a little like "the natives" in a very bad, old movie. And I thought, "No way. Apart from all these human beings populating the galaxy, this is really offensive garbage." 

People ask me why I don't like Survivor, my third novel. And it's because it feels a little bit like that. Some humans go up to another world, and immediately begin mating with the aliens and having children with them. I think of it as my Star Trek novel.

While Butler never stopped using science fiction tropes as allegories, she stayed away from the stereotypes invoked in Survivor after that.

Find out which other famous books were rejected by the authors who wrote them here.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was one of my all-time literary heroes, and I was deeply saddened to hear of his death on April 17. The literary world will be all the poorer for his absence.

Even if you are not a fan of magical realism - which, after spending five years in Latin America, I can assure you is a misnomer; every word of Garcia Marquez' books is true - you should read his memoir, Living to Tell the Tale.

Garcia Marquez published his novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, when he was 40. Prior to writing what would become one of the enduring classics of the 20th century, he worked as a journalist in Bogota. He wrote sporadic short stories, and a novella, but most of his time was absorbed by exposing government corruption.

During his years as a journalist, he spent every lunch hour in a cafe with a group of colleagues where they would pass the afternoon tearing each other's work to shreds. By the time Garcia Marquez was ready to lock himself in a room and write the epic of Macondo, he had been honed to a razor's edge.

That is how you learn to be a great writer.
The magician in his labyrinth

The Economist, April 26, 2014

IN JULY 1965 Gabriel García Márquez—Gabo to all who revered him later—decided to lock himself away in a house on Calle de La Loma in Mexico City. He ordered his wife to sell the car and get credit from the butcher. For 15 months, using only his index fingers, he typed for six hours a day in a room he called “The Cave of the Mafia”. He survived on a diet of good Scotch and constant cigarettes. At five in the afternoon he would emerge into the fading light with his eyes wide, as though he had discoursed with the dead.

Inside the four walls of that room lay the immense delta of the Magdalena river, the grey frothy sea of Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the suffocating swamps of the Ciénaga, the interminable geometries of the banana plantations, and a long railway line that ran into the farthest territories of his heart. It ended at the village of Aracataca, now renamed by him Macondo, where his maternal grandparents had brought him up amid prospectors, fornicators, gypsies, scoundrels and virginal girls bent over their sewing frames. In that room where he had locked himself away he inhaled the sweet milk-candy and oregano of his grandmother and absorbed again the political venting of his grandfather, who had fought on the Liberal side in the War of a Thousand Days and who, at the book’s beginning, took him to discover ice, a great block of infinite internal needles that boiled his hand when he touched it.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude”, the fruit of his self-imprisonment, sold 50m copies in more than 30 languages. Critics observed that its style, magical realism as they called it, was not new: Jorge Luis Borges, a blind Argentine poet, had felt his way through those labyrinths before. But its fame was startling. The world was seduced by a Latin America where the Buendía family feuded internally and externally, with rifles or with silence, for generations; where death gave its female victims instructions to sew their own shrouds; where the blood from a suicide by shotgun flowed all through Macondo, carefully avoiding the carpets; and where Remedios the Beauty was taken up to heaven as she hung out sheets on the washing line.

Read the rest of the article here.

The best parts of Stephen King's book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, are when he stops talking about writing in general, and focuses on how he writes. Anybody who writes, in fact, anybody who creates anything - including the theory of gravity - will recognize the process through which King came up with Carrie. Creative works come from the sort of haphazard confluences that King describes.

It also helps to have somebody around who has unswerving faith in you.
Stephen King: How I wrote Carrie

The Guardian, April 4, 2014

While he was going to college my brother Dave worked summers as a janitor at Brunswick High. For part of one summer I worked there, too. One day I was supposed to scrub the rust-stains off the walls in the girls' shower. I noticed that the showers, unlike those in the boys' locker room, had chrome U-rings with pink plastic curtains attached.

This memory came back to me one day while I was working in the laundry, and I started seeing the opening scene of a story: girls showering in a locker room where there were no U-rings, pink plastic curtains or privacy. And this one girl starts to have her period. Only she doesn't know what it is, and the other girls – grossed out, horrified, amused – start pelting her with sanitary napkins … The girl begins to scream. All that blood!

I'd read an article in LIFE magazine some years before, suggesting that at least some reported poltergeist activity might actually be telekinetic phenomena – telekinesis being the ability to move objects just by thinking about them. There was some evidence to suggest that young people might have such powers, the article said, especially girls in early adolescence, right around the time of their first...

POW! Two unrelated ideas, adolescent cruelty and telekinesis, came together, and I had an idea …

Before I had completed two pages, ghosts of my own began to intrude; the ghosts of two girls, both dead, who eventually combined to become Carrie White. I will call one of them Tina White and the other Sandra Irving.

Tina went to Durham Elementary School with me. There is a goat in every class, the kid who is always left without a chair in musical chairs, the one who winds up wearing the KICK ME HARD sign, the one who stands at the end of the pecking order. This was Tina. Not because she was stupid (she wasn't), and not because her family was peculiar (it was) but because she wore the same clothes to school every day.

Sandra Irving lived about a mile-and-a-half from the house where I grew up. Mrs Irving hired me one day to help her move some furniture … I was struck by the crucifix hanging in the living room, over the Irving couch. If such a gigantic icon had fallen when the two of them were watching TV, the person it fell on would almost certainly have been killed.

I did three single-spaced pages of a first draft, then crumpled them up in disgust and threw them away.

The next night, when I came home from school, my wife Tabby had the pages. She'd spied them while emptying my waste-basket, had shaken the cigarette ashes off the crumpled balls of paper smoothed them out and sat down to read them. She wanted me to go on. She wanted to know the rest of the story.

• This piece is taken from Stephen King's book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and his "Introduction to Carrie." It has been abridged by his British editor.

Hugh Howey's success story does not fit into any of the myths instilled in us from early childhood. 

He was not discovered by a well-connected agent, or by an editor in a major publishing house. He did not win fame on his first try as a writer, nor did he work for years in a freezing attic, until, shortly before losing his fingers to frostbite, he finally achieved the recognition he so richly deserved.

Like most of us, Hugh Howey had a day job. He worked sporadically - and happily - at writing, putting his partially completed books up on Amazon for 99 cents, until one of them took off. This is not an unheard of chain of events for self-publishers on Amazon. In fact, it is the only way to make it on Amazon's platform.

What is unusual about Howey is that he remained a self-published author on Amazon's Kindle platform - even after he landed a book deal with Simon and Schuster. He also turned down offers from agents - until one of them dangled Hollywood before him.

Why did Howey retain his electronic rights?

"It’s a wonderful way to build your readership. My recommendation to anyone who’s got a backlist or a career in a traditionally published model is to break out and test the waters in self-publishing. It’s not going to do anything but good for your career."

And for those of us who have not been published?

"You have as good a chance of winning a publisher over by getting sales going through your self-published works as you do submitting to the slush pile."


How Hugh Howey Turned His Self-Published Story “WOOL” Into a Success (& a Book Deal)

By Rachel Randall, managing editor for Writer’s Digest Books

At first, Hugh Howey’s decision to walk away from a small press contract and self-publish didn’t seem all that remarkable. After assuming complete control of his work, he kept his day job and began writing and releasing e-books (as well as some print books) in his off hours, happy to be simply sharing his stories with whatever readers might find them. But when one of those books, Wool, unexpectedly took off, everything changed. Howey found himself at the top of e-book bestseller lists—and at the forefront of a new age  of publishing.

The opening chapters of Wool first appeared as a $0.99 e-book novella via Kindle Direct Publishing in July 2011; Howey had written the post-apocalyptic story, about a community of people living underground in giant silos, without intending to immediately follow it up with more installments. “I self-published it and went right back to my next work,” he says. But by October, Howey noticed Wool was eclipsing all of his previous works and was positioned to sell 1,000 copies by the end of the month. “I figured this was going to be the pinnacle of my career,” he says. So he promptly tabled the unrelated project he’d been planning for National Novel Writing Month and instead focused on writing more of the Wool saga.

What happened next is a story that rivals the success of self-made sensations Amanda Hocking, John Locke and E.L. James. The subsequent, rapid releases of the next four e-book installments of Wool rocketed Hugh Howey’s name to the top of Amazon bestseller lists in several categories. In January 2012, he released the Wool omnibus (the combined five parts), which spent two weeks on The New York Times e-book fiction bestseller list and received the Kindle Book Review’s 2012 Best Indie Book Award in the sci-fi/fantasy category. By that summer, Howey was selling 20,000–30,000 digital copies of Wool a month … and making a monthly salary of $150,000 from e-book sales alone. He quit his day job.

Read the rest of this article, including a revealing interview with Hugh Howey, HERE.


What Authors Want


Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest recently conducted an enlightening survey of 5,000 authors - "What Authors Want: A Survey of Authors to Understand Their Priorities in the Self-Publishing Era."

The survey was prompted by the enormous jump in revenues from self-published books. The migration of authors to epublishing, and of the book-reading public, which took advantage of the accessibility of low-priced self-published ebooks, took a huge bite out of the traditional publishing market, leaving, as the report put it, "publishers ... scrambling to explain to authors, agents and the rest of the world how they add value to the publishing process."

In order to explain anything to anybody, research is needed. The input of 5,000 writers provides information useful to the publishing industry (which, for some reason, does not already understand what writers want). But, more to the point, it provides useful information to writers - especially aspiring authors, who, hopefully will one day join the ranks of the published.

Four types of authors

Of the 5,000 authors who participated in the survey, 90% wrote fiction. The writers had completed an average of roughly six manuscripts, and were currently working on their next book, which means they took their work seriously on the whole.

The survey identified four types of authors:
  1. aspiring authors, who have not yet published 
  2. traditionally published authors, who have only published their books with traditional publishers 
  3. self-published authors, who have only self-published
  4. hybrid authors, who have both traditionally published and self-published their work.

Of the four groups, published authors had completed an average of roughly nine manuscripts, while aspiring authors had completed only two. Not surprisingly, published authors also garnered the greatest income.

Priorities: Why do writers publish their work?

What was most interesting about this survey was the way the priorities, and subsequent behavior, of these four groups sorted out.

Dana Beth Weinberg, in her fascinating analysis of self-publishing, wrote that "emotions run high when writers and publishers debate the merits of self-publishing." Although many writers like to believe that the debate centers around income (traditional publishing houses are notorious for the tiny percentages they allot to writers), or perhaps artistic control, a brief look at the survey results gives a different picture.

The principal motivation behind an aspiring author's desire for publication is not money, or fame - it is personal satisfaction. They wish to publish their writing to fulfill a lifelong ambition ("living the dream"). Self-published writers don't differ much from aspiring authors, but they have a greater drive to share a personal experience.

Hybrid authors have the most interest in making money. This is not a surprise; those who self-publish and have the backing of a publishing house can reap the benefit of higher royalties from self-published ebooks, as well as enjoying the wide print distribution offered by a publisher. Those who take the traditional route are primarily interested in building their careers. For these writers, having a pedigree is more important than raking in big bucks.

Priorities determine behavior

Because each group of writers has a unique set of priorities, they approach the business of writing using entirely different strategies. For example, if a writer's desire is to build a career, it will be crucial to build a platform - to become known. (Of course, this is the area agents and publishers are most concerned about. If you are well known, marketing and promotion are that much easier.)

Aspiring writers spend relatively little time on building a platform, in part because they have no idea what the publishing world is really like, but in part because their motivation for writing is strictly personal. Aspiring writers are, in that regard, similar to aspiring mothers. Women looking forward to having their first baby seldom envision life with a teenager.

Here are some key ways in which the groups differed:

1) Published authors are far ahead of aspiring writers when it comes to social media and self-promotion:
  • 54% of published authors post writing-related Tweets on Twitter versus
  • 30% for aspiring authors
  • 66% of published authors have an author or book page on Facebook versus 18% for aspiring authors
  • 52% of published authors maintain an author presence on Goodreads versus 10% for aspiring authors
  • 24% pin writing-related items on Pinterest versus 14% for aspiring authors
  • 59% of published authors write a blog relating to either their books or writing versus 37% for aspiring authors.

2) Their increased efforts have led to increased results in terms of platform building:

  • Published authors have, on average, 1,271 more Twitter followers
  • Published authors have, on average, 715 more “likes” on their Facebook fan pages
  • Published authors have, on average, 277 more friends on Facebook
  • Published authors have, on average 176 more followers of their boards on Pinterest
  • Published authors get, on average, 2,012 more visits per month on their blogs

Attitudes and platitudes

The report not only revealed a striking, if expected difference, in the priorities and behavior of published versus aspiring authors. It also showed some important differences in attitude.

According to the report:

"While self-published authors seem to be fairly invested and in favor of the institution of self-publishing and traditionally published authors seem to be slightly more wary of self publishing and invested in and in favor of the world of traditional publishing, hybrid authors-those who have done both self- and traditional publishing-are mostly in favor of self-publishing and critical of traditional publishers, even more so than the self-publishing group."

The reasons for the critical attitude of those authors who had opted for both routes - traditional and self- publication can be chalked up to experience. The vast majority of writers who publish their work through traditional publishing houses receive very little compensation for their work. Their royalties seldom exceed their advances, and publishers - as a rule - spend very little time and energy promoting works by authors who are not already famous. In short, they get a bad deal. And if they wish to devote themselves to a career as writers, there is no choice but go hybrid.

The writers of this report consider the critical attitude of hybrid authors towards the publishing industry to be "unreasonably" bitter, perhaps due to "some slight they experienced at the hand of a publisher." This has more than a grain of truth to it, not because authors are unreasonable in their quest for recognition, and perhaps even reimbursement for their efforts, but because publishing houses treat authors - at least the non-famous ones - the same way dairy farmers treat their cows. 

The good news, according to this report is that "aspiring writers still believe in publishers' ability to help them. It’s not too late for publishers to improve their services to authors to attract and retain the next generation of best-selling authors."

The question is, will those aspiring writers turn into embittered authors once they get published? My guess is that they will. While it's not too late for publishers to treat authors with a modicum of respect, it's also not very likely.

Before I launch into a diatribe about romantic illusions, disheveled writers (that would be Franzen), and the general role of mythology regarding the life of the Escriteur, let me just say that if Franzen feels self-doubt, it is entirely warranted. (Have you read Freedom? Tell the truth, now - did you actually like it?)

Does this mean your beloved novel is a piece of crap, and that you should quit right now before you follow in Franzen's footsteps?

No, keep writing. And keep revising. And make sure that you've given your finished manuscript to the most critical readers on earth, and that they have drawn blood.

Writing is not about self-doubt, or guilt, or shame. It's about pain.

Embrace it.

OK, now that I've gotten that off my chest, this is what I think about the whole insecure, suffering artist shtick: It gets old very quickly, especially when you have to support a family, diaper babies, and make sure they don't drink and drive when you have finally finished weaning them.

If you want to be a writer, in all likelihood you will be poor for a very long time. But, by god, if you've got something to say, you should just go ahead and say it - without all the guilt and shame and self-doubt and badly needed counseling of writers who have been hugged by Oprah.

Do your work as best you can, and don't waste time gazing in the mirror.

Literary self-loathing: How Jonathan Franzen, Elizabeth Gilbert and more keep it at bay

By Michele Filgate, Salon, Dec 1, 2013

Self-loathing is in the writer’s blood. When you’re an artist of any kind, there’s no certainty that what you’re working on won’t be a complete failure. But when writers reach a certain level of fame, when they make Oprah’s Book Club or the cover of Time magazine, surely they don’t struggle with the same massive insecurities we lesser known writers face?

The answer, of course, is that it’s human nature to struggle with oneself. That icky feeling of discontent we often experience is what sometimes inspires the best art.

“I experience shame and self-reproach more or less continually,” Jonathan Franzen (author of “Freedom”) told me. “The only way to deal with it is to keep trying to immerse myself in the fictional dream and hope that good sentences come out of that.  Once there are good sentences on the page, I can feel a loyalty to them and start following their logic, and take refuge from myself.”

I love the idea of the writer taking refuge from who he is by putting words on the page. Writing, in fact, provides a much needed escape or confrontation with our worst emotions.  It’s just so hard to get to that blissful place where the words are all that matters.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the vicious trap of self-defeat. My bedroom is the most organized when I’m on deadline. Is there anything more uncomfortable than staring at a blank page and knowing that you have to fill it with not only words, but words that matter? It’s far easier to walk away from the laptop, to alphabetize the piles of books on my floor, to call a friend and complain about my lack of productivity, to check Twitter and post an inspirational quote about literature or writing. To declare to your followers that you are writing, even when you’ve only written a few sentences and deleted them. The irony, of course, is that what’s uncomfortable is not writing. And the majority of writers spend many hours of their waking lives not writing — whether they’re doing their day jobs or tending to parental duties or just avoiding it. So most of a writer’s life is ridden with guilt.

If you aren't already wracked by guilt, and/or nausea, you can read the rest of this article HERE.