Friday, July 22, 2011


"The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb." Sir Walter Raleigh

I've been thinking lately about how we're getting faster and faster as a society. We do more, we write more, we talk more, we multi-task. If we don't multi-task we're considered slouches.

I sometimes wonder if this is just more sound and fury than substance. Is this noise and busy-ness, dizziness, really necessary?

I've noticed that people are doing things faster. But I don't think that necessarily means they're doing things better.

Take writing. Is there a real pay off to writing faster? If we skim the surface of a lot of things we can produce more, but is it better?

Sometimes you need to slow down to plumb the depths. You need stillness to allow the deeper parts of yourself, the deeper and more profound aspects of life to surface.

Perhaps I need to slow down. Do less. Think more. Be silent more. Write less, but write deeply.

Yes, write deeply.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Some Sage Advice ... Including on Promotion

Check out this blog, about the best and worst advice a writer, Michelle Gagnon, received. It provides a down-to-earth take on so many lunatic ideas about promotion, and also offers advice on what does work to sell books.

What I loved best was the second comment below the post: "The only thing you have control over is your writing."

In other words write your best. That is in your hands. Don’t waste excessive energy trying to promote to the point of insanity/vanity – that’s what self-published writers do because they prefer to put their energies into promotion than towards perfecting their craft. Maybe because they’re better at it? So don’t squander valuable thinking space and time with activities peripheral to what does matter – the writing.

For what it’s worth, here is what Michelle Gagnon cites from a report as being the most significant factors in book purchase:

-Recommendation from someone I know
-The cover
-Saw on a bestseller list
-Reviews you've read in blogs/online forums
-Reviews you read in magazines/newspapers
-Prominent display in bookstore

Most of those are out of your control. What you can control is writing your darndest.