12 things you should never say to a writer

Broadside

By Caitlin Kelly

I know that many Broadside readers work in education — have you seen The 12 Things You Should Never Say to Teachers?

Here are 12 things you should never say to a writer:

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How much money do you make?

I get it — you want to be a published writer, too — and are naturally curious about the rewards. But  most book advances are now paid out over as long as four years — minus 15 percent to our agent — and the average book advance is pitifully small to start with, far less than $50,000. Do the math, and weep.

And because journalism pays so badly you just can’t believe anyone would actually work for those wages. But we do.

There is also so little direct correlation between work we may value intellectually — and what the market rewards most handsomely. (See: the best-seller list.)

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The heartbreak of creativity: a public service announcement

Are you creative? Read this funny post by Ross Murray about creative people.

Drinking Tips for Teens

ross jobs A version of this piece originally aired on CBC Radio’s “Breakaway.” You can hear the original audio version here .

Hello, I’m Ross Murray, beloved columnist, salad dressing connoisseur and author of the best-selling self-help book Don’t Kid Yourself, Mister. Today, I’d like to talk about a condition that afflicts 2 out of 6 Canadians and in some areas as many as 1 in 3. I’m talking about… creativity.

Creativity can strike anyone, anytime, though probably not before 10 a.m. Creative people are just like you and me, except with weirder clothes and occasionally dubious hygiene. Creativity is a highly distracting affliction, but, with regular treatment and flattery, most creative people lead full, productive lives… Let me try that again: most creative people lead full lives.

There are two types of creativity. Some people are born creative, although early creativity remains difficult to diagnose. Many parents become convinced that their…

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10 Myths About Writers and Writing

Now that the Olympics are over, it’s time to get back to the business of writing (for me anyway). This blog by Pilot Fish is just the thing to get me back on track.

P.A. Moed

In order to write creatively, we need to exercise our free-spirited and impulsive right brain.  It might take a while to “liberate” this side of the brain especially if we have worked in fields that are linear, concrete, and require rationale thought.  This is what happened to me many years ago when I switched from a career in teaching and publishing to full-time writing.   As I began my apprenticeship in the creative arts,  I had to dispel several myths about the writing process and writers.

"Incognito: The Hidden Self-Portrait" by Rachel Perry Welty, DeCordova Museum. “Lost in My Life (Price Tags) ” by Rachel Perry Welty, DeCordova Museum.

1.  Myth: Writers Are Strange.

There is an element of truth to this!  Writers (and other creative people) must be willing to look below the surface of everyday life and explore the world and relationships like a curious outsider.  This perspective sets us apart, but at the same time, it allows us…

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The Rise of Internet Media Houses

If anyone is interested in script writing, you might try Amazon, as explained in the blog below by Lux.

Lux

One of the most talked about shows right now is House of Cards, which is a Netflix original (well, actually we stole it from England like most of our other good shows) and to finally have a show that’s premium channel (HBO, Starz) quality but at the flat rate of your Netflix subscription is rewarding.

Let’s face it. We’ve been moving away from Televisions as our only source of watching our shows. Rushing home to watch a show or planning your week around them are a thing of the past with dvr and other popular recording systems like TiVo. The websites of all the major cable channels offer the ability to stream clips and in some cases, full shows.

We’ve really convinced ourselves that we’re so busy that we wait so long after shows have premiered to watch them? Yes. Well, sometimes we’re busy. Most of the issue is losing…

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YA novel GUITAR HERO awarded 3 out of 4 stars

Self-publishing is a long, hard road to take but very rewarding. The work doesn’t end once the book is finished. I’ve learned a whole new set of skills which has enriched my experience as a writer. So to start the first blog of the year on a positive note, I’m thrilled to share a review of my book, GUITAR HERO which was awarded 3 out of 4 stars from CM Magazine:

Guitar Hero, the latest book by Day’s Lee, is a welcome addition to Canadian young adult fiction and, more broadly, the expanding body of Chinese Canadian literature that focuses on Chinese immigrants and their Canadian-born descendants. Narrating the story from a teen’s perspective, Lee draws readers into the Chinese Canadian community’s lived experiences and explores the meanings of being “Chinese Canadian” within the urban context of multicultural Montreal. 

…what makes Guitar Hero a particularly interesting story is its narrative perspective. Focusing on David Chang and the struggles he faces as a 16-year-old growing up in the cosmopolitan city of Montreal, the novel presents him as someone who is shaped by a variety of cultural and social influences that are, in turn, impacted negatively by his family’s difficult socioeconomic circumstances.

 …readers will find Lee’s novel engaging and will identify with David’s desires and frustration throughout the story…”

 You can read the entire review here.

Guitar Hero by Day's Lee

From Santa Claus From Santa Claus

Mystery solved! Where do letters to Santa Claus go?

Browsing The Atlas

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Have you ever wondered where letters to Santa Claus go? I can tell you. They go to Indiana. Santa Claus, Indiana. And Santa writes back.

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Each year the Santa Claus Museum & Village and a group of local volunteers called “Santa’s Elves” answer letters sent from children all around the world. They make sure each child receives a reply from Santa Claus; in 2012 over 14,000 letters were answered. As long as they have a return address on them, the good people of Santa Claus, Indiana do everything they can to answers these letters, continuing a tradition that goes back as far as 1914.

One volunteer, Lisa, told me that some letters make them laugh; others make them cry. But they answer every one. What makes them even more special is that they get a special postmark from the Santa Claus, Indiana post office. This makes me wish I’d sent…

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