Notes from the Trenches – Ask Me Anything

Posted: November 17, 2010 in graffiti living
Tags: ,

I’ve been away for a few days, but now I’m back. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. Missed me? You look great by the way. To survive nablopomo I scheduled a daily post in my absence – mostly previously published short stories that I wrote in my former life as a writer. Much like the life I’m living now, but with more words. Anyway, normal service is now resumed. And as a tentative first step back into the madness of blogging every day, I’ve decided to throw the doors open to questions.

Blogging every day is a pain in the arse and tends to warp what your blog’s about. These low-rent ‘notes from the trenches’ type posts weren’t meant as the main focus of the blog, but they’re what’ve made it possible to post something every day and have led to some interesting discussions and useful feedback. I don’t get chance to respond to every comment, but I do read them, and I’m always glad to help out other mad and recalcitrant writers. Besides, they’re called ‘comments’ not ‘conversation’ 😛

A friend once admonished that graffiti living “sounds like a lifestyle magazine for graffiti artists.” Which it is, in a way – if you think deluded scribblings are a kind of graffiti. So, I’m open to suggestions. What does graffiti living mean to you? What would you like to see on this blog? Do you even want to see another blog about writing or a writer’s life at all?

If you want to ask me something personal or really obscene, please use Formspring. Otherwise, post your questions in the comments section below. I’ll respond to the best ones in the form of blog posts for the rest of this month.

Ask me anything. Over to you.

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Comments
  1. […] A friend once admonished that graffiti living “sounds like a lifestyle magazine for graffiti artists.” Which it is, in a way – if you think deluded scribblings are a kind of graffiti. So, I’m open to suggestions. What does graffiti living mean to you? What would you like to see on this blog? Do you even want to see another blog about writing or a writer’s life at all? Read the rest of this entry » […]

  2. Kim U says:

    If you weren’t a writer, what would you be and why?

    Okay, possibly lame question but aside from the crap day job us poor and unnoticed writers must have, if you could choose and were guaranteed a career in a good place, what would it be?

    In all reality, is there anything better than being someone who can write well in comparison to a majority of the population who can barely spell their own names? I love being a writer with all its challenges and craziness, even as a non-fiction writer.

    By the way, if I am rambling and coming off like an idiot I do apologize. I’ve had only one cup of coffee and my body needs two to function. My brain occasionally requests three but my stomach doesn’t like it.

    • Hi Kim, It’s great to hear from you again. And you absolutely don’t come across as rambling or being an idiot – you may be a coffee person and I may be a tea person, but we’re both caffeine junkies and I completely understand! That’s an awesome (and difficult) question. When normally asked what I’d want to be other than a writer, I say ‘hit-man’, but that’s only to get them to stop asking me questions! Anyway, to give you a complete and honest answer… I think this is going to make for a very long post 😀

  3. How much time should you give a publisher for manuscript review? The submission guidelines stated to query status after thirty days which is rapidly approaching. While I fear rejection at this point any answer would be a relief. If I do send an email for status query how do I do it without sounding as desperate as I feel? Many thanks for any help:)
    R.M.

    • Hi R.M, you sound like you’re on tenterhooks, so I’m replying straight back to you, but I may well expand upon this in a longer post about submission guidelines and dealing with rejection. If the publisher didn’t have guidelines I’d have said give them at least three months to get back to you; but if the publisher’s guideliness say contact them to query status after 30 days, then that’s the absolute best thing to do. Don’t under any circumstances contact them before then – that would look desperate, and would also seem like you hadn’t read their guidelines. But, there’s nothing wrong with dropping them a quick email after that date. Keep it short, polite, and to the point. Mention that you’re following their guidelines and be clear about which piece of work you’re asking for an update on. I know how nerve-wracking this can be – I’ve sat on both sides of the fence; both as a writer making submissions, and working my way through a publisher’s slushpile of unread and unsolicited manuscripts, putting forward recommendations for what should get published and writing rejection letters for the rest. All I can say is good luck, be patient, and keep your chin up.

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