33 Comments
Jun 24Liked by Lauren Hough

Some people tell me I have a way with words and a hilariously tragic life and I should write a book. I won't because I'm too goddamned lazy. I had a roommate who is a writer and received one of those flukey we're-starting-a-new-imprint-with-your-book bigass advances before publishing went south and I watched the jealously fly between my bookstore co-workers who were all English majors. It was one of the few times I felt better about just barely graduating high school. Anyway, if anyone deserved that glory and money, it's her. I think she's read every book out there and I remember when she was in grad school, she would read and reread the same book underlying the subtle sentences that created magic. She'd hole up somewhere away from the world so she could get what was in her head without distraction. She traveled to hear what her characters would sound like at home. I don't have the patience for that; so much easier to just read it. So to all writers, thank you . I don't take it for granted.

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author

Yeah I’m way too lazy for all that. But goddamn I’m glad someone puts in the effort.

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Oh, you put in the work. And then some. Thank you

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“Writing can be learned but not taught.”

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author

Pretty accurate. Who was that?

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I don’t really remember. It was an idea that came out of *a lot* of reading on the topic. It’s something I believe, but it’s not original to me (at least I don’t think so). I’ve been a writing teacher for a quarter century, so it’s a bit of an odd philosophy for me to have. But I still think it’s true.

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Jun 24Liked by Lauren Hough

"both funny and horrifying because goddamn if you can nail both, it’s some good shit."

This hits HARD at why I love reading what you write and why I find you so fucking relatable. Indeed good shit.

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author

Thank you ❤️

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I love, love, love song lyrics as the example of good writing. ❤️

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author

I might have a mild obsession with that song.

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Jun 24Liked by Lauren Hough

I love how much you love words. I'm not a writer of anything except sometimes letters but I will agonize over the difference between something like the word 'little' and 'small'. and the difference does matter, like a lot.

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author

It really does.

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Do braided hermit crab essays help with childhood trauma

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author

I see what you did there. And I enjoyed it a lot.

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I’ve been on the road for the past seven days and catching up now. Someone asked me basically what’s the quid pro quo on promotion versus Book sales and fuck it all if I know. It’s alchemy. If there was a trick, everyone would be doing it. We just throw all the spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.

I admire people who can teach, but I myself do not like teaching. In short order, I find myself disdaining my class or workshop and feeling like my time is better spent writing than telling other people how to write. Yet I get indignant when I see peoplewho I know Are not great writers teaching the secrets or the attempted alchemy. It just doesn’t work that way.

In other words, you’re right. (You are.)

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author

Thank you (you too)

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Jun 24Liked by Lauren Hough

Great insight on therapist speak. Boundaries & gaslighting became so mainstream that I barely noticed. Completely different perspective now. You are a gift.

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author

Thank you! Yeah that’s kind of the thing. Anything gets boring when it’s overused.

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Jun 24Liked by Lauren Hough

You’re the fucking best.

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author

You are.

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Love this so much: "Gaslighting and boundaries have their own publicist, who’s fucking killing it right now."

And I'll never forget watching a well-recognized "feminist" fiction writer (also a therapist, I kid you not) offer to read an aspiring young novelist's manuscript (friend's kid), tell kid it had some potential but writer didn't have bandwidth to get into it, so kid should hire her partner to help edit manuscript so she could think about sending it to her editor. It was like watching an attempted mugging in broad daylight.

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And yet, somehow, great advice. Thanks, Lauren!

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author

Damn. Thank you. Means a lot.

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That point you made with the Patty Griffith lyric elicited a correlation to speech and not writing for me. Back when I used to date, many a person expected me to have a checklist of questions I wanted them to answer. My approach was to simply converse, and from that conversation I would deduce the information I was after. Guess that was a quick way to cull the non-readers :/

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Thank you for another great column, Ms. Hough. And for the Patty Griffin lyric. She was a Maine girl and we had her for a brief time here in Boston/Cambridge but she really reached her pinnacle in Texas...

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My favorite was watching people sell their first story and then teach a class online on how to sell a story. To be fair, that's the only way to get paid a decent rate for a story these days.

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author

Valid. Part of me wants to respect the hustle. I might feel differently if they were only preying on people who could afford it.

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No respect for that at all, they can hustle the publishers, not scam other writers.

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author

Yeah. I think that’s what bothers me the most. How the fuck do you not even have empathy for your own. Or are they so far up their own asses that they don’t even see it.

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You are damn good with words.

I second the Patty Griffin comment.

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Psychology words, and misusing psychology words, are the beating heart of the Redditization of writing. No one on that site seems to know that "gaslighting" isn't just "lying" that got its PhD. They drone about boundaries when they mean rules. This shit is *rampant* there. And, since we're in the age of content, all of their bullshit gets mined for clickbait articles and spreads to your aunties on Facebook.

"Gaslighting" was a great word, once. (Pause to take a drag on a Djarum Black.) I liked it before it was popular.

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