Reflections on my writing week:
Weary Writer Logic: Annie Murphy Paul wrote in, “Your Brain on Fiction”, in the New York Times:
“Brain scans are revealing what happens in our heads when we read a detailed description, an evocative metaphor or an emotional exchange between characters. Stories, this research is showing, stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life.”
I learned this when I was eight, after finishing Charlotte’s Webb by E.B. White. Tears streamed down my face and my world shifted. I’ll never forget the spider, or think of friends in the same way.I’m sure you’ve felt the power of words, too. I’m glad the scanners are catching up:)
Paul goes on to say:
“The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated…reading produces a vivid simulation of reality… Fiction — with its redolent details, imaginative metaphors and attentive descriptions of people and their actions — offers an especially rich replica. Indeed, in one respect novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings.”
If reading is good for us, then writers play an important role in our lives. How’s that for weary writer logic:)
Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? If not, how much is it worth? Here’s my dilemma. I need to market myself, so that people will read my stories, but it’s hard. I created my profile pictures by holding my phone at arm’s length and clicking. They suck. What do I do? I’m grey haired, past 50, have a big nose, and am painfully shy. I’m not exactly model material for a photographer. The questions I’m struggling with are: 1) How much am I willing to pay a photographer to create an image of me? 2) Do I want an authentic picture? Really? 3) Should I follow one photographer’s suggestion and go for “noire” whatever that means?
I think of Dolly Parton. Underneath all the makeup is a real person who shines through. Would she be where she is today without the proper, or in her case, not so proper, image?
What should a romantic suspense writer look like? Hmmm. When I read a book I couldn’t care less what the author looks like, but in the digital world images matter. They become part and parcel of the communication. Think about it. There are some Tweeters I won’t follow because of their profile pics. The one that comes to mind presented two well rounded butt cheeks. I kid you not. Corners of the twitter world can be quite creepy. Where do I fit in:)
Decisions …decisions. I’ve booked a photo session for Monday. I’ll let you know how it goes.
A bothersome quote: “95% of the authors self-publishing today will not be here in 2 years.” (Jen Talty, “The Secret Success of the Digital Author”)
Talty uses this stat to make the point that a writer must have perseverance. I understand that, but stats are misleading. The other 5% to my mind, are hard core addicts (to writing). Why else would they do it when the odds of sustaining success are so slim?
My Writing? I’m working on revisions, liking my story a little bit more every day. I’m meeting with a new critique group next week and am excited about that.
My blog is getting noticed. The post that generated the most hits was Tuesday’s, “Gotta Love Troll’s” (148 hits, mostly from the US, and 1 comment). Go figure.
Does a Writer Have Responsibilities? When I was a student, mother …teacher I knew my responsibilities, but as a writer I find the lines blurred by “creative license.” Maybe, that’s because I’m my own boss at the moment. My gut says a writer, like any human being in our society, has responsibilities to his fellow man/woman, and perhaps more, because the sword he yields, the word, is so powerful. My end of the week musings.
What do you think?