I’d rather write than talk about writing

This is the weekend when the Arisia science fiction convention takes place in Boston.  Back in the day, I was the guest of honor at the first Arisia.  It was just about the last science fiction convention I’ve attended.  This can’t have had a good effect on my writing career (such as it is).  But I just don’t like talking about writing, or publishing, or science fiction, or anything related thereunto.  But I’m happy to write about that stuff here!

Many (perhaps most) of my acquaintances don’t know that I write novels.  And that’s fine with me.  Because when they find out, the conversations are mostly painful.  Where do you get your ideas?  Why haven’t your books been made into movies?  Why do you still have a day job?  Also: I have this great idea for a novel, but I’ve never had the time to write it up.  Maybe you can do that for me, and we can split the profits!

At conventions, you’re basically trying to sell your books to people who are mainly there to dress up in costumes, which is a different sort of pain.  Or you’re talking to other writers, which can be fun, but it’s mostly depressing.  Either they’re like you, and therefore they’re going to complain about everything having to do with the publishing industry.  Or else they’re more successful than you, in which case you have to contain your envy.

I have always envied Thomas Pynchon, who was successful early enough to never have to deal with any of that.  Just write your books and cash your checks.  What could be better?

2 thoughts on “I’d rather write than talk about writing

  1. I don’t, entirely.

    Conventions come in a variety of flavors. Arisia is the most “fan-centered” of the bunch. The people who run it are awfully nice, but I don’t think there are a lot of serious “readers” among them. There are some, tho, and all you need is one person to pick up your book and blog about it, or actually tell a friend about it, and you’ve got that publicity machine a’rollin.

    Other conventions feature these strange creatures called “editors.” And I have found, in my career at least, that meeting editors can get you noticed and get you work. But this “Schmoozing” is work of an entirely different kind.

    The world would be a wonderful place if you could simply write all day, except for that brief period where you walked out to your mailbox so you could open all your royalty checks. Like every other writer in existence (save for maybe ten or twenty “brand names:) I’m still waiting for that to happen.


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