Sunday, January 07, 2007

Are writers a self-absorbed, whiny lot?

I've just said goodbye to daughter, son-in-law and grandson, so I am feeling a bit bereft.

One interesting thing Daughter said while she was here was that she really doesn't like to read writer blogs/websites. 'When I read a good book, I am transported to another world, I live there for a time, inside the mind of others, in another place - and I think what a wonderful person this author must be to be able to write like that.

'And so often when I have gone to their blog or website, what do I find? A self-absorbed, whining individual, full of themselves, totally unattractive, sometimes seriously peculiar - and I think to myself, "This is the person who wrote that wonderful book?" Nope, I'd rather not know.'

Oops. Here we writer-bloggers are, madly blogging away and fondly imagining ourselves to be promoting our books by showing how articulate and witty and wild we are - and all the time we come across as a mob of whingeing meglomaniacs?

I shall now post a couple of photos taken during our holiday on Langkawi Island - neither of which show me. Just to be sure you all realise I am not totally self-absorbed. Proving I am not peculiar might be harder.

6 comments:

Kendall said...

Hahaha...you & Daughter make me laugh. The writer blogs that aren't interesting to me generally were not whiny, self-absorbed blogs -- they just weren't interesting TO ME (not enough about writing, no interesting pictures or commentary, etc.). I like getting a peek at the craft, especially.

I have to ask what kind of books Daughter reads...I wonder if gener-of-author relates to blog-persona. Does Daughter not read SF/F? ;-)

Glenda Larke said...

Yes, she does actually. Although her reading varies according to stress levels - the more hectic her life, the more romance she reads! However, in this case, she was referring more to sff writers, I think.

I'm hoping she wasn't referring to Mom....

hrugaar said...

Your lovely daughter is young yet la. :oD

But how can a writer be wholly unattractive to her when the world their mind has created has attracted her to them in the first place? That must be one redeeming feature, at least.

I hope we are peculiar! Life would be so dull if we were all ordinary.

Simon Haynes said...

I think writers should have two blogs: One for chat, one for fans. (Or if they have a website, then the blog can be for chat.)

My blog is firmly fan-related, but I've dabbled in the dark side recently (pics of happy toast, almost put pics of my kids up yesterday. Eep.)

However, someone looking up my name on the net is more likely to be after info on the next Hal book than what my kids look like.

On the other hand, if you have an interesting life (Malaysia, book bannings, international travel, backpacking in rain forest) why wouldn't you share it? Nobody's forced to read blogs all day long.

Satima Flavell said...

Peculiar's good, Glenda. Tell your daughter you're working on it;-)

I hope Grandson's arm heals nicely and that he'll have lots more fun falling off things. That's one of the things little boys do best!

ink paw prints said...

tbh I think she's right, there are always some people you'd rather not know about and knowing them soils the wonders that they have somehow contrived to create.

I think maybe that to think wonderful ideas, to combine them into a wonderful world and/or story isn't so difficult, but to believe in/live by/be them is. Our job is, after all, to create, and if we were to continually write about the same things that we believed in/were important to us, many of our readers probly would get fed up. Critics would certainly be largely out of a job.

people write wonderful stuff for different reasons... maybe Pullman wanted to tell a magical story when writing His Dark Materials, but he also wrote it to a large extent to be controversial. While it's good to read something and be made to think, it certainly doesn't make me want to get to know him or trust his judgement. A book that someone tries to live by may be considered by the author to be totally impractical and ridiculous applied to real life.

I'm sorry if that's confused/repetative... am still 'flu-ish.

and it doesn't answer your question, Glenda... although it does kind of... there are a lot of writers out there giving us a bad reputation ;)