Chocolate Socialist (braisedbywolves) wrote,
Chocolate Socialist
braisedbywolves

Writing about reading about writing.

I'll start with a plug: I've been listening on and off to a podcast story called 'Valentin and the Widow', a Victorian pulp adventure story about a lady, who discovers that her angelic ex-husband is in fact one of the leaders of a world-spanning criminal gang, and a burly Russian sailor who saves her life and becomes her bodyguard. It's a very solid two-fisted action story, short of sexual tension between the leads - she is very much not looking for companionship, he is not adverse to it but generally finds it with other burly men. If it sounds like what you might enjoy then I recommend it highly, it is 100% what it says on the box - the only note of caution is that it's read by the writer, Andrew Wheeler, so there is an occasional inadvisable accent.

Anyway, the writer also has a tumblr, and it was through a reblog that I came to read a post of his - or rather a response by him to an earlier post of his.

His first post includes some of the history, when someone asked a writing question of Brian Michael Bendis, who generally manages the tricky feat of combining being a famous comics writer with being a rude arsehole. The question was originally about writer's block, but quickly became about the assertion that you're not a writer if you don't write every day - which obviously some people took considerable objection to. Andrew Wheeler's point was that there were two groups involved in the discussion, and the one being more prescriptive was the one that contains all the professional writers. Which is true, though it struck me that the writers in question were largely comicbook writers, IE spirit of a novelist, form of a columnist - they can cover the same subjects, but unless you're Alan Moore-level, you need to produce 24 (or 48 or 72) pages a month or baby doesn't get fed. Self-selection/-survival would probably be a large factor in what side they end up on.

Anyway, the analogy Mr Wheeler used was between someone who really likes cooking, possibly blogs about it, and a chef - which I think is an interesting way of looking at it, though there people continued to disagree. (It would of course be nice to have some way of seeing, say, all the responses to his first post a) in one place or b) without having to read down past the full text in each page, but unfortunately Tumblr is terrible).

His second post was a response to one of those, and took it off to more metaphysical You've-got-to-have-the-hunger territory - this of course also had it's discontents, though it's this one that I first saw, through the writers that I follow on Tumblr recommending it.

And since then - well since then the discussion has tapered off as per - people reblog people they follow, and follow people they reblog, an reblog from a stranger gets no response, and have I mentioned yet that Tumblr is terrible?

I think I'm basically just asking what ye think of this, I know I have a few writers on my friendslist. I am not a writer myself, I mean I am capable of it (and one thing that I forgot in my end of year post was how nice it felt when something I wrote on Facebook ended up being shared 29 times - 15 of which weren't even visible to me!), but I certainly don't write daily, my time is circumscribed by everything else I'd rather be doing (and my job) - see for example the fact that I'm only writing this up now because the articles in question were about to drop off the two-month cliff on my RSS reader. I would like to think that I would take to it naturally and with great verve, but then I'd like to think that about a lot of things, and have long ago reached the conclusion that I'm by and large happier as Walter Mitty.
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