40 Comments

Wait—I wanted to be a writer to get rich. Is this the wrong place?

Expand full comment
author

Well, shit.

Expand full comment
Dec 7, 2023Liked by Lauren Hough

You are a goddamn angel.

Not that I believe in angels, but you get my drift.

Expand full comment
Dec 7, 2023Liked by Lauren Hough

"Everyone’s talking about these esoteric essays and I just learned the word esoteric."

Expand full comment
Dec 7, 2023Liked by Lauren Hough

…pretty words arranged all fucking pretty on a plate like foam and burnt hay.

Nailed it!

Expand full comment

Thanks for this, Lauren. I haven't written stories for a year, because I'm still getting over the hell of being engaged in literary Twitter for years, and dealing with grifters and backstabbers. I have a lot of good friends who write, and support me, but I let the bad ones take me down. And seeing the MLM writer groups appear here made me want to leave substack, too. Getting followed by a who writer who "reads 996 other substacks." No one reads that many Substacks, it's like when writers followed 9,000 people on Twitter. And ask for review trades. Or pitch with a hashtag, and beg for likes so an agent might see it...

Oof, I'm starting to feel stressed. I'd rather go mountain biking in 35°F weather than deal with those people. And I do! I'm slowly getting back to not giving a shit about them, and writing what I care about.

Expand full comment
author

Fuck them. Honestly. They’d drain the fun out of sex if they could. It’s so much bullshit.

Expand full comment
Dec 7, 2023Liked by Lauren Hough

What a strange world writers live in. A lot of this was news to me, and fascinating. And obviously stress-making. Landmines indeed. And so full of unnecessary jabber. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if we only said necessary things. Like really quiet and cool, maybe. I liked it better when public radio still played music. Now it's ALL TALK. All the time.

Sounds like for writers, choosing friends should be done very carefully.

I joined Twitter just before it became X, so I could read gossip about the royal family. These people all fascinate me because it's like Greek mythology happening in real time. But they too, need to be careful about who their friends are. The Greeks knew that.

Expand full comment

It all comes back to writing what you like to read. I mean, it took me years to get here, but that's where the fire is. I love X so if I write about it, there's some fire there. I'll do my inadequate best to write about it. Anyhoo. ILY.

Expand full comment
founding
Dec 7, 2023Liked by Lauren Hough

I thought “Joel Osteen” when you referred to the people wanting $10k to edit your work. Same grift. And you’re right about not knowing who most of those writers are in whichever groups are “writers”.

I just got a book on the history of the Holodomor. It’ll never be a bestseller. But I’m reading it.

Expand full comment

I always wonder what goes on behind the endless accolades in every industry.

Expand full comment
author

Hot air.

Expand full comment
founding

I tell my daughter a version of this for ballet. No one on instagram can you show you how to dance like you. It's not a bad thing--it means you have to work for it. Thank you for the reinforcement.

Expand full comment
Dec 7, 2023Liked by Lauren Hough

Thank you

Expand full comment

I used to dream of being a famous and resepected writer, then I realised I would have to talk to people about my books, so now I just write.

Expand full comment

In your book where you talk about how bartenders who piss everyone off get better tips and now this. Maybe there's a living in pissing people off because every now and again people are willing to pay extra just to hear a little truth. Also what Mary said.

Expand full comment
Dec 7, 2023Liked by Lauren Hough

I was a bartender for years!

I wouldn't say I made it a point to piss people off, but I definitely played to my strength, which is saying whatever the fuck I wanted to. ;)

Expand full comment
author

Haha maybe there’s something to it.

Expand full comment

Damn cuz, I needed every word of this so much.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, cuz.

Expand full comment

And now you’ve been dragged into yet another group chat. Lolllll

Expand full comment

I do admit I want to go to one of your book signings now so I can trap you into a hug.

Expand full comment
author

I’ll allow it. Maybe. Don’t smell like sandalwood.

Expand full comment