Thursday, April 12, 2012

Advice for Writers: A Pretty Much Unedited Facebook Thread

Leigh Giza Writer vs. Author. Discuss.
 Fun vs. obligation? Creativity vs. productivity?

Dan Verner: Duh vs. d'oh...sheez, I dunno...
 Stop making me think so hard! :^)

Leigh Giza Sorry! It is way too early in the day to be thinking...

Dan Verner Dooby dooby doo...I should be working on taxes. How are you?
I will have to think about your original post and get back to you with something halfway intelligent, maybe in a couple of weeks...

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt Writers write, authors publish. You can be a good writer and never get published. Conversely, you can be a poor writer and be published, even multiple times.

Dan Verner Excellent distinction, Katherine. Can anyone be a writer, then?

Leigh Giza True! But when one is both writer and author, the lines blur. Oui?

Dan Verner So the unpublished matter is the work of the writer and the published the work of the author? Or are the two roles one and the same if they are in one person? Sheez, this is like being on "Face the Nation!"

Leigh Giza Perhaps we should let Webster's dictionary have the last word. Then we don't have to...

Dan Verner I will have to send you my column on encyclopedias some time...

Leigh Giza I started this discussion because I am trying to figure out if being a writer and an author are complementary or different, now that I have published a book. Sometimes I want to go back to being a little old writer who never put her stuff in print, but then I am glad I put my book out too. Oh, and I used to write for newsletters and newspapers -- I was a wannabe journalist, I suppose. Hmmmm. writer vs. author vs. journalist. Discuss...

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt Leigh, you can be both an author and writer, but the distinction is in publishing. Dan, writers write, so yes, anyone can be a writer at heart. However, not all writers are good writers, nor are all authors. At least that is my non-Webster response. Ha!

You are a good writer, Leigh, so I, for one, am pleased you are also an author. : ) That said, putting yourself out there makes you vulnerable to critics, readers who personalize every word you write, and perverts. Haha!

Dan Verner ‎@ Leigh...stop raising such thought-provoking questions! Stop it now! (NOT!) I have to go to lunch now. If I had half an hour I would try to make an intelligent contribution to this thread. But I don't so I won't. One thought, Leigh, and that is I just about have a conniption when someone doesn't "get" my writing...recently someone (who will remain nameless) told me that funny bit (that ten people had found ROTFL funny) in a column wasn't funny. I should have accepted that as one person's opinion but it drove me nuts. Because it WAS FUNNY! So there!

Ladies: Thank you for being the writers and people you are. I treasure our friendships.

MaryKay Montgomery Okay, Dan. To what funny bit are you referring? We MUST know. Soon.

Lonnie Martin Author = established body of long form work; writer = one who writes on a regular basis in other formats besides novel length fiction and non-fiction

Leigh Giza Well, I guess that makes me a writer/poet.

Dan Verner ‎@Mary Kay: It was a comment I made in a column that I didn't want to run over some kids coming out of a high school because they would go on to grow up and work and pay my social security. Not screamingly funny, I agree, but a wry observation (I thought) on the generation gap and our economic and social system. The nameless person who had the final say over the writing said it would offend younger readers and cut it out. I said it was a JOKE. Nameless person said it wasn't funny. Score: Nameless Person 1, Columnist 0.

@Leigh: Yep, that's what you are!

 ‎@Katherine: I liked your post, "... anyone can be a writer at heart. However, not all writers are good writers, nor are all authors. At least that is my non-Webster response." I like that better than anything Mr. Webster could have written.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt I find your column humor very funny, Dan. It would have been different if you said something like, "Damn lazy kids these days don't want to work, which means they won't pay into my social security, so I've started stalking crosswalks to see how many young ones I can take out with my 1954 Chevy Impala."

MaryKay Montgomery I write things on various Facebook walls, and I write letters, and I write reports. Ergo I'm a writer. But I am NOT an author, sad to say.

Dan Verner ‎@Katherine: Thanks! I did write a column on how hard kids work (which means they will make a lot of money and PAY FOR MY SOCIAL SECURITY). I should do a column along the lines you suggest for an April Fool's joke!

MK: You write very well, and indeed all the places that you write and the genres that you use make you an author. The world of "publishing" has changed and there are so many new venues to use to reach people. As a matter of fact...

Dan Verner:  Ladies and Gentlemen of the Thread (Leigh Giza, Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, William Golden and MaryKay Montgomery, May I have your individual and collective permission to work this thread into my Thursday "Advice for Writers" blog post? I think the thinking and writing are as good as it gets. I find that FB is a great place to blow off steam (with some HUMOR) and explore ideas, share glimpses of our world and experience, use different modes of written expression, etc. etc. And ain't that what writing has always been about since early people scratched pictures in the walls of caves?

Leigh Giza: Permission granted. Remind me to read your blog on Thursday. :-)

Dan Verner ‎@Leigh: What? You don't read it first thing every day??? ;^) JK--I'm amazed and pleased that anyone reads it ever! Thanks!

@Katherine: Thank you!

MaryKay Montgomery It will be fun to see what you develop from this conversation.

Dan Verner I have no idea at this point... :^)

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