Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 10:31am

Ok, I've finally gotten suicidal enough - or at least masochistic enough - to feel the need to write again stronger than the need for saying I'm a writer without actually creating anything. I'm also financially solid enough once more to reinstate my workshop membership. Before I do, there is one concern I have, that those of you who even vaguely remember my work here before could possibly assist me with.

The work I've submitted last year... is it at all indicative of a writer who has enough potential to someday not need a day job? I realize that I'm still rough and unpolished, but I also realize that some people will never be capable of monetarily sustaining themselves with words.

Also, my critiques, since they're necessary for the continued privilege of submitting one's own work, are they helpful and objective enough to be of value to those whose work I've nit-picked into redlined oblivion? If not, how can I improve?

I just want to know if I'm talented enough that I can put this site to constructive use - a total hack will never be Jordan even with Phil Jackson coaching him, but a loser with potential could at least become Kobe.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry March 8, 2013 - 10:57am

Armenian, sometimes I just want to hug you.  Of course you can be good enough.  Plus, your presence improves our diversity profile.

Seriously, you ever read anything by Norman Mailer?  There's room for you in the money game.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 11:09am

LOL, Utah, I abhor physical contact of any kind - except from my woman, or Amy Adams - so if you're not too attached to your hands, feel free to hug me.  ;)

As much as I wring my hands with concern over the diversity profile, I was actually serious in asking about my skillz because we all know people who try to do something for years, and no one has the heart to tell them they suck the hair off a dead donkey's ass. I don't want to be that oblivious bastard who thinks they have some potential they simply don't possess. So, when you say I can be good enough, is that the liberal, everyone gets a trophy, Utah has a desire to hug strange ethnic men, part of you talking, or is that remark based on the submissions I've made in the past?

I actually haven't read any Mailer. I like to think myself reasonably well read, then some Western state asks if I've read Mailer and my self-image shatters into a million pieces... thanks a lot.

BTW, for some bizarre reason, your money game comment made me flash back to episodes of The Wire. Go figure.

I could say/ask more here, but some thoughtless rat bastard with less time to live than he realizes has been blaring his car stereo in the parking lot of my apartment, so I better step away from the computer for a minute.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry March 8, 2013 - 11:12am

is that the liberal, everyone gets a trophy, Utah

That Utah does not exist.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig March 8, 2013 - 11:18am

I've been relatively absent from the workshop of late, but I remember reading your work, and I remember getting reviews from you-- I think you definitely have the potential. I remember your feedback to me better than mine to you (because I have fewer to remember, and I'm kind of vain) and you picked up things that helped my stories in big ways. A crappy writer can't do that. A crappy writer can only give crappy feedback, because they don't understand how it's done.

I say DO IT!

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 11:28am

You know what, Renee? That bit about feedback made a lot of sense, and made me warm and fuzzy. Well, to be honest, I'm always fuzzy, so you can't take any credit for that.

Thanks for letting me know that even if I never get a damned thing published, other than the vulgar insults and diagrams I write on bathroom walls with Sharpies, then at least I can rest in peace knowing that I helped others. Much like Mother Theresa, I think.  :)

Heading to the payment page now, thanks for the reassurances guys.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig March 8, 2013 - 11:52am

Hahaha, well, the take home message was that you couldn't help if you weren't good--but also, yes, I suppose that helping others is a nice thing to do.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 12:33pm

Now, the next pressing question is what should I write?

I've got all sorts of old stuff sitting in file folders, but I haven't actually written anything but term papers since late last summer. I need to conceive and birth a new creation. But what?

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland March 8, 2013 - 12:46pm

Hello Photon, I don't know you so I must have joined before you temporarily departed so I can't answer the question you ask. I did read a column on LitReactor, I'll try to find it for you later. But it said something like if you think you suck you are probably pretty good and alot better than you think you are.

It's those people who think they are great, (Like people trying out for American idol but can't hold a note, Like people who don't know what bad writing is) that are usually pretty awful writers. Because they don't know the difference.

As far as making it, that all depends on how much you put into it. Seems I'm learning that you have to catch alot of breaks and be a relentless social networker and self-promoter to become succesful regardless of your talent level. There are some pretty famous writers that aren't great and some pretty talented ones we've never heard of, so while the odds are against us all, I think many here have as good a chance as any one I've met or read.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 12:52pm

Thanks for the input, Riley. Though, it depresses me to no end.

I hate networking, and feel like if something I create has merit, said merit ought to be enough to earn it a publisher. I know, really naive, but I like to live in a world where the way I think things should be is the way they are. LOL

Really, I think now that I've read your post, that I need a wife like Jackson Pollock's. A tireless devotee, hell bent on doing whatever it takes to get her man the recognition he deserves. My own woman is a goddess, but she hates people as much as I do, so I might just have to resign mysef to the fact that I'll likely die unfamous, poor, and with a file cabinet full of Nobel-worthy novels that someone will find and publish as their own after putting in the networking energy I failed to.

Oh well.

PS - still need to decide what to write, even if it only makes the executors of my will filthy rich instead of me.

Ian's picture
Ian from Texas is reading Low Down Death Right Easy by J. David Osborne March 8, 2013 - 1:06pm

Hey SP - Like JR, I'm relatively new here and missed out on your work from the way before. However, I did read the following lines from you in a different thread earlier today:

"If you were there and there was an overabundance of whites, then you could cry race and let slip the fire hoses of war. You didn't see a sea of whites at Stanford, not because they are so enlightened and inclusive, but because one can only put food on the table that is already in the fridge."

That's better than anything that's ever squirted out of Dan Brown, Stephanie Myers, or any number of offensively rich authors. Get busy, sir.

Welcome back.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 1:13pm

Careful, Ian, praising me higher than Stephanie Myers is going to make me blush... and likely earn you a fatwa from every semi-literate teeny boppette and lonely milf whose book shelves ensure that every sequel never touches the ground, lest they be forced to burn it.

Seriously, though, I appreciate the sentiment quite a bit.

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland March 8, 2013 - 1:17pm

I didn't mean to discourage you, the other way arround actually. But there are ways to network while improving your craft. Especially, here at LitReactor.

I'd suggest if you can afford it and I think you mentioned that you are financially sound right now, whenever classes are offered with fairly promininet to well-known authors I'd say you jump on the opportunity to learn from them and develop a relationship with them to the extent that a student-teacher relationship can exist in an on-line format.

Also, follow other writers on twitter and post links to things you get published in online journals on facebook twitter/ your own website etc.

Also, be nice to the people you meet here at LitReactor, you never know which one of us will blow up to be the next Stephen King ten years down the road and tell their agent that they "Must" read your work.

O.K.. it won't be me but it could be a number of folks arround here.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 1:23pm

Very good advice, Riley!

I don't know how nice I can be, but I will try not to shove anyone in the mud around here. Ask Utah, being nice is definitely something I have to work on. Just ask him to show you the scars.

Thanks for the support, man, nice to know not everyone here is in a tiff with the world.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest March 8, 2013 - 1:35pm

Just keep writing. If the need to get words on paper/screen is unstoppable, and when you do your self doubt makes you question your every sentence, then it's fair to say you're a writer. Writing, learning and more writing is the answer. I've read your work in the past and it's easy to say you're doing just fine. 

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 1:51pm

Doing just fine is high praise from Obi-Wan.

Thanks, Moon. It is definitely nice to be back. I'll try not to dishonor the Jedi Counsil.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest March 8, 2013 - 2:19pm

Anytime self doubt creeps into your head, just remember that Lucas created this:

That should be enough to erase all doubt.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 2:27pm

Oh fuck yeah, that'd do it.

I've gone ahead and posted a submission in the workshop of some poems I'm tooling for submission in a contest, so hopefully you can take a look and tell me if they are Ewoks or JarJars. In a perfect world, they'd be Admiral Ackbar, but hoping for that kind of quality could be A TRAP!

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest March 8, 2013 - 2:31pm

I can do that, but I must warn you. I am the Jar Jar Binks of poetry. 

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 2:36pm

You must really hate yourself to say something so insulting.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt March 8, 2013 - 2:38pm

Photon - I remember reading your work from your epic battle with Utah and Jeff. I even remember what it was about, which says a lot about your ability to write, I think. You're also an impressive shit-talker. That's all I have to contribute.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 2:43pm

Hey man, if all anyone ever remembers me for is my skill with intimidation and ridicule, I've lived a good life. Thanks, Sound. I look forward to hurling some shit in your direction in the future.  :)

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest March 8, 2013 - 2:50pm

Naw. I'm just as bad at poetry as Jar Jar is at... Whatever the hell he does. 

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 3:04pm

Now that is a question for the ages... What did Jar Jar do before stumbling upon some dreadfully written baby Vader and his reverse Lolita future lover?

Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones March 8, 2013 - 3:05pm

If you want to write, go for it. If it will be something you regret not doing, go for it. If it doesn't work out for you, who gives a shit?

OtisTheBulldog's picture
OtisTheBulldog from Somerville, MA is reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz March 8, 2013 - 3:30pm

SP - I never read your work in the workshop (but i will. I aim to be more of a presence in there) but I remember you in the forums. 

To stick with the Jordan theme in the original post:

HE'S BACK

And a good thing, too. 

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 8, 2013 - 7:59pm

Otis, I was such a Jordan accolyte back in the day. Somewhere, I still have a scrapbook with a clipping of that very headline. I'm touched in so many ways to have my name (or initials) mentioned in the same post as such a wondrous event as the second coming of His Airness.

Wow, I sound like a dweeb on so many levels, oh well.

And Devon, you're absolutely right, who gives a shit? Though, I have this recurring nightmare that I never amount to anything, any my woman gets tired of waiting for the potential to become kinetic and leaves me. But, other than that, who gives a shit? I kind of like that sentiment, thanks for giving me a good mantra.

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons March 8, 2013 - 9:09pm

(Glad you are here strange. 

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons March 8, 2013 - 9:09pm

(Glad you are here strange. 

Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones March 8, 2013 - 9:37pm

I have those thoughts too. But we're all going to die one day, regardless of social status or stocks and all that. Do what you like. Do what's good for you.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest March 8, 2013 - 9:58pm

(Glad you are here strange. 

- I once said that to a one night stand. She wasn't very happy.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading March 10, 2013 - 5:53pm

I haven't read your work, but I'd like to say that I think it's excellent to openly ask for criticism.

It's a scary thing. Especially because you might find that one person will, with surprising gusto, only too happily list a couple of things that have been on their mind.

When I have a bad week, I try to make it "worthwhile" by learning something from it. Yes, it sounds dorky and bullshitty, but it works, and it makes everything better. Sometimes you need to open up a bad week on your own, on purpose, to kick-start the transformation.

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond March 10, 2013 - 9:44pm

You do not need our permission.

Just do it.

Time will pass regardless of you having made the effort or not.

At least if you do do it, you'll have some crap done when that time passes.

 

:) <so witty>

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry March 10, 2013 - 8:58pm

I didn't have to have kids to be a huge fan of potty humor.

That post makes me love you, fport.

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond March 10, 2013 - 9:49pm

Come and get a hug Utah, it's my super power, just ask anybody.

Strange, despite it not being necessary, you have my permission to write, ignore everyone else who doesn't support you, they probably wouldn't buy your beer or feed you either.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry March 11, 2013 - 5:29am

This guy once told me not to write.  I drove him north to fport's pig farm and we fed him to the pigs.

(fport, I assume you have a pig farm.  If you don't I'd appreciate if you don't let the cat out of the bag because statements like this are how I keep up my image as being all hard-core and stuff.)

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 11, 2013 - 1:30pm

Hey, I'm on board anytime a reference to Hannibal is made. I fucking love that scene when the pigs are swarming all around him as he's carrying an unconscious Starling. The pigs were afraid of him, yet eager to devour anyone else in the world. Now, that's a badass.

-end disturbingly unrelated outburst... now-

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond March 11, 2013 - 8:52pm

Utah, just down the road, Piggy's Palace, you have no idea, cousin Willie.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated March 12, 2013 - 3:41am

Short version: Stop worrying about money, and just try to be awesome at what you do.

Long version: If you can walk away. End your subscription to Litreactor, act normal, focus on something you'll make some money at. Get a fun hobby that doesn't rock your worldview/self esteem/hope. Do something that doesn't make you sound crazy when you talk about it to people who don't do it.

Best of luck, I'll even keep in touch on Facebook or email or such.

I'm just guessing there is a 99.9% chance you can't. You write because that is who you are. So try to be awesome at it. No one gets good fast, and no ones just ups and starts making a living from writing. Set a goal. Make a $100 bucks this year from writing. Or self publish a book, or a submit a dozen stories or whatever. Work really hard at that goal. Set that goal again, and once you got that down set a harder goal. Make $200 AND submit a dozen stories or whatever. You'll fail sometimes and excede others, but it will get you working towards something. It isn't a win or lose question. What if you can't make a living as a writer but you can raise your income by a third? Or have a nicer retirement, or whatever.

Short version: Your writing and reviews seem wound a bit too tight.

Long version: I have a decent memory and I've read a bit of your work. It seems pretty decent for drafts, but it is like you are trying to hard. In reviews and work you just got to let it be what it is.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 12, 2013 - 7:24am

Interesting insights, Dwayne, thanks for that.

Elaborate on 'wound a bit too tight' and 'trying to hard' if you don't mind. These are both catch phrases, and like most catch phrases, they can be used in multiple and vastly different ways. So, I would find it helpful to get a bit more understanding of what you were saying.

You're the first person here to bring up a criticism, which I welcome. I won't get anything right if no one tells me what is wrong.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated March 12, 2013 - 1:14pm

I meant them literally. It doesn't matter if you write something bad, you have a delete button. With practice you'll have to use it less. Don't waste energy worrying. You won't be perfect at not worrying, so don't get caught up worrying about worrying. Focus on what you can do to improve.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 12, 2013 - 1:41pm

Gotcha, thanks.

I like that bit about not worrying about worrying. I might steal it.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry March 12, 2013 - 3:10pm

Where the hell did this Dwayne come from and what did you do with that dog with Asperger's I was getting to understand so well?

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated March 12, 2013 - 3:15pm

I added the Grammerly app to Google Chrome. It really helped clean up the typos on my posts.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry March 12, 2013 - 3:18pm

That is amazing.  You are like a whole new person.  Not just for the grammar, though.  More upbeat, a reasonable voice (unless you are being Captain of Team Villain).

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond March 12, 2013 - 3:25pm

Except of course Grammarly.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated March 12, 2013 - 3:30pm

That was right in the middle of the worst time of my life when I joined. Dad, my step-dad who raised me, and Grandma I was close to died in 16 months of each other. I was righting a memoir about my messed up relationship with Dad, and his death which ended up being way harder then I thought it would be. Plus I had a lot of trouble finding a decent job, so I all I money to do was sit around writing about how miserable I was.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry March 12, 2013 - 6:00pm

Then I'm sorry I assumed you were a dog with Asperger's Syndrome. But I'm sure you can see how I'd make that jump. Honest mistake.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics March 13, 2013 - 4:53am

LOL, I was trying to make sense of what a dog with Aspergers would be like, so I asked my woman, who is thumbing through medical textbooks at the moment and has nothing more important to do than engage my hypothetical flights of dog fancy, and she says a dog with Aspergers is just a cat.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life March 12, 2013 - 8:11pm

har!

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated March 12, 2013 - 8:13pm

Not a big deal Utah. Things happen, and life goes on. I got a lot deeper into Christianity because of all that and realized that Jesus probably wouldn't approve of getting so upset things I posted seemed like the incoherent ramblings of a mad man. That helped me relax, which in turn helped me be better able to understood then before the whole thing started.