Writer Workshop

(Posted by chris the cynic)

(A day late so the article Feminism and Parenting: A Perfect Match would have space to breathe)

Those of you who also frequent Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings will find this somewhat familiar.  Here, as there, it was requested that there be a regular post to talk about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). Thus this post exists.

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Are there any questions you’d like to ask or frustrations you’d like to vent?  Writing workshop below!


8 thoughts on “Writer Workshop

  1. alexseanchai February 23, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Why do research books cost money. WHY. I don’t suppose any of y’all would know where I could find free English-language resources on being queer slash trans in Japan in the early 2000s? I’ll even take inexpensive. I just don’t want to spend thirty dollars on a book for researching a fanfic, and that’s the cheapest of the books I’ve found excluding Queer Japan pub date 1998. Library ain’t got squat, of course.

  2. depizan February 23, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Does your library do interlibrary loan? (You’d think all would, but some don’t.) You’d be able to get items from libraries elsewhere in the country that way. Which is no help if _no_ libraries have helpful books, of course, but I’d think that there would be college libraries or libraries in cities with strong ties to Japan that might.

  3. alexseanchai February 24, 2014 at 7:33 am

    It does, but I dunno if any libraries in the adjacent states would have a copy of the book. (This state’s small enough that the library system includes every library in the state.) I’ll try that, though, thanks.

  4. Lonespark February 24, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I don’t know if this fits here, but I hope someone has some advice…

    How do I make a business card (and a resume/cover letter, too, but I think I have slightly more of a handle on that…) that uses my experience in my old career to sell me for a new one?

    Specifically, I’m going to be judging a bunch of elementary science fairs next week, and I’d like to be able to hand out cards in my continuing effort to get a job related to science education. But all my professional experience is as a scientist, and that’s where I’m on the firmest ground talking myself up. Mostly what I have education-wise is certifications and lots of enthusiasm. So I need a way to succinctly express that in a way that will hopefully make people want to know more.

  5. storiteller February 24, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    alexseanchai, do you think there are any blogs from that point of view? You might find something in Japanese, but finding someone who could translate might be easier than finding a research book.

    Lonespark, I can help you at with the wording if you have specific wording you need feedback on. If it’s helpful, I describe myself as a “science communicator.” You could say “science educator” or “scientist with an educational interest.”

  6. alexseanchai February 25, 2014 at 11:28 am

    storiteller: That’s a thought, thanks.

  7. storiteller February 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    From a completely different point of view, I’m finding my new blog much easier to write for than my old one. I’m posting less often, but that’s mainly because of a lack of time, not a lack of ideas or effort required. I guess it’s because I’m thinking about parenting constantly, whereas food and bicycling are hobbies, but not the constant influence over my life like my kid is. And I find blogging much easier than other types of writing, especially fiction. Writing fiction feels like learning a new language in terms of the amount of energy, effort, and feeling of helplessness.

    Anyone else find this variation in levels of effort for different types of writing?

  8. lonespark42 February 27, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Effort variation for different types of writing, yes. I don’t write fiction except the occasional fanfic, but for most of my life I’ve been constantly thinking about a few different universes I developed starting as a young kid. So if I need to write fiction I can usually pull out a piece of those endless stories and worlds, change it a little, and hand it in, which is basically what I did all through school…

    I find blogging for public consumption very difficult. Blogging/journaling for myself I do all the time; when reasonably well medicated my brain is overflowing with ideas. And I love responding in discussions and giving feedback… It’s easy for me try to articulate emotions and responses and “hey this reminds me of that and also three other things…”

    I think it’s the formality level that screws me over. Having a complete essay-thing that makes and supports points can be tough. Conclusions are THE WORST. And that stops me from making Slackitiverse posts, and often from switching my Livejournal/Dreamwidth posts to public, or even friends/circles. I do know how to get to that type of writing; outlining, multiple drafts, etc. But like So. Damn. Many. things lately it seems impossible to get started, to focus on a particular part of the task, and of course to actually finish and call it good enough. Bleh.

    And it’s often hard to give constructive feedback I think is meaningful. I try to always leave kudos, or comments saying I loved something, or fanfics I read. But some works are of such excellent quality, with staying power and resonance and perfect articulation of the canon world and characters (or a transformed version thereof that shows deep knowledge and feeling for the source material), that I feel obligated to post something using very specific language, and crafting (and finishing) those replies is often difficult. What are adjectives, conotation, denotation, imagery? How do I words complex feelings and thoughts?!?!

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