Who I Am (And Why I Write This Blog)


ART HARDER MOTHERFUCKER

This is the 2nd time someone at The Passive Voice has called me a “bad-boy” writer.

I’m not sure precisely the connotation — I’m hoping its more, When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way rather than ooh somebody needs a spanking. Maybe it’s a combination. Maybe I’m James Dean in a soggy diaper? Danny Zuko who can’t share his toys with the other children? Maybe I’m Judd Nelson in the Breakfast Club, except also, I shoved a PB&J in Mommy’s purse.

Anyway.

Getting quoted at TPV is usually a little bumpy — understandably, as my views don’t always line up with the views of the commenters there. I think a lot of indie authors still remember me for my “self-publishing shit volcano” post (though sometimes I wonder if they actually read the post because I like to think that the post contained a very even-handed and honest look at the effects of a perceived lack of quality in that space). But this time around, getting quoted was — at least, so far — relatively painless.

But, then I saw some comments by mega-uber-indie-author Hugh Howey:

I hope so. He’s too nice a guy to go down in history as the person peeing in everyone’s art and telling them it sucks.

I don’t think that’s what he meant, but it’s what he was famous for for a while there.

… and …

He’s a really bright guy and a great writer. If he dropped the weird bad-boy schtick and just wrote his thoughts, he’d be one of the more important thinkers in publishing. I don’t think he knows how to back off the schtick, though. Which makes you wonder: Is he going to talk like that in another 20 years, when he’s into his 60s?

Working really hard to be hip is like getting a lot of tattoos. It’s hard to age gracefully.

(Which is to say, I feel I finally understand the comment, ‘damning with faint praise.’)

Obviously, I can’t control how people perceive me. Or this blog, or my books.

What I can control is what I put out into the world.

And so I thought, I’m going to take a moment to do what blogs were really meant to do…

Which is to talk about me, me, ME.

*maniacal laughter*

*rolls around in own stink for a few moments while you stare, awkwardly*

*stands up, dusts self off, looks shameful like a dog that just ate its own mess*

Ahem.

Sorry.

I’ve seen it suggested in some places that what I do here — the way I write, the attitude I put out, the overall frothing writer honey badger hobo vibe — is somehow orchestrated. That despite the ire I reserve for the topic of author ‘branding,’ this is actually my brand and it’s a very conscious one and all of this is (depending on who you listen to) either well-constructed or clumsily forced. It’s either a very nice mansion or a square-peg violently hammered into a circle-hole by me, an angry man-toddler venting venom and vulgarity.

I want to make one thing abundantly clear:

This isn’t artifice.

This isn’t a mechanism.

This isn’t my brand.

It isn’t, as Hugh suggests, my schtick.

This? Is me.

The way I write on this blog is the way I think. I have this space for me first, for you second. The dopey fuckery and wanton dipshittery that I ladle onto these blog pages are here because I like them that way. I like wonky metaphors. I love creative profanity. I really enjoy writing in a way that is both (hopefully) thoughtful and completely batshit. I write this way because I think this way. I don’t really act this way in public, of course, because it’s a very good way to get Tasered. And when people meet me for the first time (as I’ve noted in the past), I don’t scream “YO MOTHERFUCKER” before spitting in their gaping, gasping mouth. I’m fairly polite in public. An introvert playing at extroversion — or, at the least, an introvert who finds himself extroverting once he’s comfortable with people.

And at this blog, I’m very, very comfortable.

This is me kicking off my shoes and kicking up my feet. Letting the beard grow all mangy and wild, like a snarling carpet of moss or an old, hunger-mad coyote. This is me, comfortable. I’m comfortable with you and, presumably, most of you are comfortable with me since a not unreasonable number of you show up here daily. (And thank you for that. Seriously.)

I write the way I think.

Sometimes I turn the volume up. Sometimes I turn the volume down — and, in my books, I turn it down because there the voice is different. (Despite all this not being artifice, I do remain in control of all the knobs and levers that govern my voice.) But this is my playspace. This blog is for me, first and foremost, and hopefully there are enough folks who gain some kind of intellectual, creative or profane sustenance from these pages to make the juice worth the squeeze.

I’m not trying to be “hip.”

(Is that really a word people use anymore? “Hip?”)

(I still like “rad,” honestly.)

Sure, sometimes I can come across as harsh — a little too much gravel in your wine, a few too many bird bones braided into my silky, luxuriant face-pelt. It is a fair critique to say, “Well, if you didn’t call that post ‘shit volcano,’ maybe you wouldn’t have upset people, and with a nicer title, maybe those people would’ve read the post.” Yeah, maybe. But I did it, and I’d do it again. Because ‘shit volcano’ is funny. Because I liked titling it that way. You might have already gotten this far in the post and wish I wouldn’t do these weird parenthetical asides, or the fake-actions-sandwiched-betwixt-asterisks, or the eyebrow-raising metaphors. Sure, I get that. But I’m going to do them anyway. And, when I’m harsh, it’s because that’s how I feel and because I’m trying to portray the path ahead with all the bumps and thorns that lurk ahead. (Though, for the record, I don’t see myself as “peeing in everyone’s art and telling them that it sucks.” I like to think of this blog as a very supportive space of writers of all stripes. Your creativity and creation is vital, and nobody should tell you otherwise. That said, once you start to charge money for something, ennnnh, you’ve gone from creativity to commerce — and there, the attitude changes a little bit. All that is, of course, between you and your personal deities. But all told, I don’t think, we can all do better is a particularly poisonous message, unless of course, you find comfort in cromulence.)

My mission at this blog is as follows:

a) to enlighten and inform, and when that fails:

b) to make you laugh, and when that fails:

c) dazzle and bewilder with inventive profanity.

The fail state of that last one is, you and me maybe just don’t like the same things.

And that’s okay.

Hell, that’s awesome.

What kind of a goofy world would it be if we all liked the same things? Or we all agreed all the time. It’s important to have different voices and different ideas. Sid and Marty Krofft, could you imagine if I was the dominant voice in writing and publishing? What an ugly pony that would be.

Just the same, this place is my voice.

These are my ideas.

Not a brand, or a schtick, or a lie, or me trying to be hip, or be a “bad boy.”

If you’re going to hang around here, this is what you get. (Sorry, Hugh.)

You’re gonna get the NSFW/NSFL language.

You’ll get all my kooky ranty-pants ideas.

You’ll probably see a lot of CAPSLOCK and italics.

Absurdity will be rampant.

I am likely to poke more fun at me than I do at you.

I will squeeze things in parentheses and between asterisks.

Sometimes things will be in lists.

I am likely to reference any of the following: hobos, unicorns, various woodland creatures, dildos, forbidden sex acts, beards, fluids, volcanoes, toddlers, Transformers, and of course: lots of blathering bloggerel about writing, storytelling, publishing, language, and all the mortar that holds those particular bricks together.

This is it.

This is me.

I hope you like it.

If you don’t, that’s okay.

But this is still gonna be it, and this is still gonna be me.

And by the way I think tattoos are cool, even on 60-year-olds.

Now, if you’ll excuse me — BAD BOY AUTHOR COMING THROUGH.

*writes a novel while riding loud motorcycle*

*flicks lit cigarette into a trash-can full of awful books*

*slams your head in a dictionary*

*throws beer cans at your head as you go into a library*

*autographs books in bat blood*

*flushes your manuscript down the toilet*

*tattoos entire text of Finnegan’s Wake on back*

*poops on your blog*

*flies away on a jetpack made of unicorn bones*

*explodes*


224 responses to “Who I Am (And Why I Write This Blog)”

  1. Haters gonna hate. A “shtick,” really? Anyone who is even a casual reader of this blog or who has read any of your fiction can clearly see that you’re a guy who lives his art, who lives it loudly in that giant yawlping way that the rest of aspire to but are in the meantime inspired by.

    The world of writing is a big, scary place, and I don’t want some quinoa-fed, sandal-wearing tour guide leading me gently along while feeding me platitudes and textbook wisdom that he picked up at some writers workshop. I want, I need, someone like Chuck who is going to hand me a crash helmet, a box of band-aids, and a hammer. “C’mon, mutherfucker, it’s about to get real,” he says matter-of-factly.

    “What’s the hammer for? Are there monsters?”

    A look that is somewhere between pity and surprise. “No, not for monsters, though there’s lots of those. Nope, you’re gonna build a house. A big, beautiful one with, like, flowers and shit out front. Maybe a porch swing. Oh, and it’s gotta have a cellar. Always have a cellar where you store all the good shit.”

    “Erm, cellar . . . But I don’t . . . I don’t have anything to build with.”

    “Here.” He throws a fistful of wood screws at me and shoves me toward an empty lot tucked in amongst row after row of houses, some big and beautiful, some ramshackle and dilapidated. A few other empty lots here and there sit forlornly, drowning in overgrowth or abandoned heaps of building materials. “Times ‘a wastin!” He strokes his beard, winks, and disappears in a puff of blue smoke that smells faintly of . . . tacos?

    I stand there completely bewildered for a moment, and then I look down at the hammer. Inscribed on the handle are the words, “Art harder, mutherfucker.”

  2. How funny school yard politics still finds its way into our lives well into adult hood. I remember thinking, I can’t wait to be a grown up and get away from all this… alas, at 34, I just avoid the people that annoy me, as apparently some people never leave it all behind…
    ANYWAY!
    I love your blog. I am just starting out exploring my writerly creativity, and while my writing ‘voice’ is vastly different, your blog inspires me, and makes me laugh very often. I’ve also bought your book (The Kick Ass Writer) and may have quoted you several times in my gradate course…
    We are all different, and thank goodness for that! And yay for this blog, which I stumbled upon about a year ago, and has been a humourous friend to turn to for inspiration as I’ve reset my journey through life on a different path, moving across the world, and saying yes to creativity!

  3. Ok, I’ll KISS. I love this blog. You’re one of the most authentic guys out there. Just keep doing what you do. I don’t know about anyone else, but I need this shit.

  4. Aging gracefully isn’t a matter of what’s on your skin or what’s on your blog. It’s a matter of character. Looking forward to getting wrinkles with all my tats and reading your next 20 (30?) years of novels, Chuck.

  5. I really love the condescension in Howey’s post – it’s just as smarmy as he is in real life. This from a guy who runs around the publishing world like he’s some kind of expert who claims that self publishing is the bestests thing ever when even he disingenuously admits he’s made more money with traditional publishers. I like this blog, I like the creative profanity and you’ve got some of the best writing advice out there so Hugh Howey can go shove his patronizing schtick where the sun doesn’t shine.

    • I appreciate the defense! I do — that said, I want to be careful not to bash the guy. He has the right to his opinion, and he’s certainly earned a place at the table, whether or not we disagree with him (I often do). Obviously, I wish he wouldn’t take shots at me — I think it’s better to take to task something someone says rather than talk shit about their character — but it is what it is. I figured it was a good way to segue into a conversation about authenticity and such when it comes to writing, blogging, other social media.

      • But he doesn’t have the right to be condescending, Chuck. A person has the right to his opinion as long as they don’t curtail other people’s liberties, or humiliate them. I will agree with Jessica that Howey’s potshot at you was unwarranted for- totally.

  6. You know what’s way less attractive than saggy tattoos at the age of sixty? The sphincter-shaped wrinkles around a mouth that’s spent the past decades in a prissy moue of passive-aggressive disapproval of other people’s choices. I’m just sayin’.

  7. Art harder motherfucker back!
    High five!
    Sprinkles cappuccino froth embalmed with Ninja star snowflakes on top of your head for protection.
    Runs around endless room panting, frothing and cursing endless creative profanities all inspired and learned from this blog’s unintended dictionary.
    Grows fangs on back of bum.
    Frantically repeats: ‘you’re the one, the chosen one, the blessed one, Wendig O you Lord of Wild Written Words’.
    Sweats profusely and adds:
    With love
    Before falling flat on face.
    Juliegum (just another fan)

  8. I hear where you are coming from. One of the things that took me a long time to learn in life is that not everyone is going to like you and you need to be okay with that. Enjoy the people that get you and don’t give a second thought to the people that don’t or who think your nont “genuine”.

    The sooner I figured that out the happier I was with myself. I know you already get this Chuck. I hear it in the post above and I met you a couple of times in person. Sure I was a little surprised by the fact that you weren’t a cussing sailor all the time in person, but that’s okay too.

    People that worried about how someone else comes off says a lot more about them than it does the person they are talking about. Your fans love you and the way your mind works.

  9. It’s okay that this is who you are — your schtick. Embrace the schtickery. I don’t think HH was implying your persona is an invented, contrived, facade. Although I have to admit that until your post on the topic, I rather thought it was.

    But who cares? We are all free to do our own thing. To make our art without being hassled by the man. And get high!

  10. There is no way I can compete with all the brilliant support previously presented, but I want so badly to add my voice to theirs. I am not your typical follower – I’ve been dubbed a tooth-decaying Pollyanna. I am very G-Rated, but also completely IN LOVE w/you and your words (every single last f-word included!) I shake my poor Hubby awake at all hours of the night or interrupt whatever he may be focused on at the time and read to him whatever you have written. I try to only read him the “highlights”, but usually end up reading your entire piece. Yours is the only stuff that he will actually let me do so.

    I have NEVER considered you to have a “shtick”! I would be so disappointed if it was!!! I read you because I have always believed it is SOOOOOOOOO YOU!!! You NAIL 99.9% of what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling, what I’m seeing, the parenting gig, etc., etc.,

    THANK YOU for giving us YOU!!!! Please don’t ever stop being YOU!!!

  11. Welll Hayell! Now I know this is knit-picking (and I don’t even knit) but who the hell gets to say what somebody sounds like when they’re 60? Huh? ‘Cause I just turned 60 even though I don’t look it, act it or feel it. He’s not just insulting you, he’s insulting ME as well and them’s fightin’ words. I fart in his general direction!

    There’s also nothing wrong with schtick, when used in the right setting. It’s a very good jumping off point into a pool of creativity. How many great writers have used some piece of well-sharpened schtick in order to craft a brilliant piece?

    And PLEASE don’t tattoo Finnigan’s Wake! Gods no, use something like “The Braes O Balquidder” which will REALLY make them wonder!

    There’s always some critic trying rip down another creative person because they do things differently and in my experience, it’s usually just envy ’cause they can’t (or just aren’t) doing anything substantive themselves.

  12. I don’t know a thing about Hugh or TPV other than what’s in this post, but I love your blog. I find you hilarious and insightful, inspiring and mesmerizing (referring to your metaphor slinging not your appearance though your bone flecked beard sounds intriguing). I’m just grateful I found my way here.
    -Dana

  13. For what it’s worth, a few of us float around on here that have known Chuck since high school. We can attest, it’s no schtick.

    Who else could I give a “fist of Adonis” (google it) as a prank solstice gift? Chuck, of course. Because he’d turn it into the fodder of stories in 5 seconds flat.

  14. I hate when just because someone doesn’t know someone like you, they assume what you’re doing must be fake. As if they’re the personality police, and they know ALL the ways someone can express themselves. And if you’re not doing it in the way that fits their definition, then you’re obviously fake.
    Besides, no one with a schtick would mention hobos so often. I mean, duh!

  15. (Not sure if writing a with a throwaway e-mail is allowed or accepted but I don’t really comment on things but felt the need to…)

    You don’t really need to explain yourself, dude. I mean you even make a disclaimer of “NSFW/NSFL language” right in the top/banner area. So if those people don’t like your innovative vocabulary… do pardon the lack of French knowledge, but; fuck them.

    *beat*

    I don’t mean that *LITERALLY* of course, because you’re obviously happily(?) married and have kids and don’t need a scandal.

    In any case the moment I came to love this blog and feel like you’re a 10-20+ year olrder kindred spirit was with http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/09/29/the-toddler-the-transformer-and-the-old-man-a-story/

    (I have no clue if you allow >blockquote<> /blockquote< tags so for lack of finesse in quoting…)

    > Oh, shit.

    > Emotionally shivved by a three-year-old.

    > “Grown-ups can’t have toys. You’re too old to play with toys,” he went on to explain, sticking his sharpened Elmo toothbrush once again into the meat of my beating heart. (Perhaps he’s just trying to finish the job he began when, a week ago he declared, “I do not like books.”)

    That got me to laugh hard for a good two minutes in the library I work in. (Whoops?) These along type of anecdotes and metaphors poking fun of you and others are refreshing to me. It reminds me of Spider Jerusalem–Not sure if you’ve read Warren Ellis’ “Transmetropolitan” but–an unorthodox approach to writing and the industry around it.

    I do want to say you’re “write 350 words a day” has gotten me to attempt (and fail, may I add) on writing in Scrivener when I actually can beat the “Oh my *GOD*, my writing is so mechanical and stilted and sucks dog-ass” to actually sporadically hammer out *10* or *200* words in a day… if you don’t count dicking around on the internet making Facebook comments, forum posts, e-mails as a daily word count. (Hey, silver linings here even if it isn’t non-fiction/fiction writing?)

    Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that you’re blog gives me joy and at least makes me attempt to get out of my “my writing sucks so goddamn much. Oh my god, someone please strike me down now” funk to attempt to do it… now and then… yes, I’m failing you’re 350 words a day count please don’t kill me. *grovels at your feet*

    If those people can’t understand your style, they really aren’t your “audience.” You don’t need to explain yourself to them or your critics. Keep being you, duder.

  16. Screw that guy. He’s jealous. You are the only blogger I keep reading because they all get boring and feel like a waste of my time. Self publishing HAS created a shitstorm and I’ve wasted money on some of it. But it also gives us opportunities. You are balanced in your advice. I’ve been wanting to throw in the towel from frustration lately and ya know why I dont? My crazy word nerd writing fairy Chuck whispers obscenities in my ear and between them he encourages me. He gives me hope. And makes me laugh so hard I spit coffee on my own children. Be you because you is what we’re here for. That putz can piss off. You are the only person I trust in the writing world because you are all about the writer.

  17. Obviously I haven’t read the comment thread before weighing in with my own two pence so apologies if I’m repeating what has already been said… I’ve never heard of Hugh Howery (or the Passive Voice for that matter) and therefore have no opinion on him (or TPV which I realise is a different person) – but is the real problem here that there is a huge self referential self protecting and indulging community of “writers” out there or will never have the guts to say what it takes to let each other improve?

    What is the freaking point of circle jerks (OK bad example, I understand the point of circle jerks, they’re fun right? Amiright?) where people sit round praising each others shit writing while maybe pointing out the odd spelling mistake or grammatical error? Further more what is the point of the blind leading the blind and total egg shell amateurs bigging up other amateurs?

    It reminds me of those online communities of anorexics who egg (or hold the egg I guess) each other on to spiral down into deadly weight loss.

    Sometimes writers or “writers” need someone to tell us we can do this, just keep pushing force that word baby out, and other times we need someone to say woah there hold your unicorns and reign in the shit a bit.

    The only reason someone would take the volcano of shit stuff as anything other than totally fair comment personally is if they know they’re shit and don’t have the guts to get proper tough love based help.

    Oh and this blog is ace keep it up. The prompts helped me get back to regular writing again, as did the Kick Ass Writer book.

  18. I apologise for the egg theme in the comment above I think it was down to the amazing chicken sorisha I had last night which has a whole hard boiled curried egg hidden in the middle like a wonderful white surprise

  19. For the record, I love your blog Chuck. It inspires me and it makes me laugh.And it allows me to indulge more fuully in some creative swearing which I usually control for reasions I won’t bore you with 🙂

  20. I utterly love this post. It makes me want to cheer and hug you. And since I HAVE actually hugged you for real, I can attest to 1) Chuck is real, 2) the beard is magnificent, B) He does not hobo froth in your face, until you pay him. But seriously, Chuck, you’re awesome don’t ever change.

  21. Made me think about my own blog – whether I am truly ‘me’ when I post my blogs and what people think of how I write. In fact, blogged about it today.

    Chuck – don’t ever change. We read your blog ‘cos we love how you write it…why else do we keep coming back for more? x

  22. Well of COURSE it’s the real you, as anyone who regularly reads this blog knows without question (as opposed to those who only swing by your pages whenever some random posts a rant about you at angryindiewriters.com.)

    I have never met you, but I also know you are a truly lovely person CAUSE I HAVE PROOF. I once ordered an ebook/pdf file bundle of your book ‘500 Ways to Tell a Better Story’ from you (you were offering it in your blog at the time for a bargain price.) You said in that post to email you if it didn’t arrive within 24 hours – but when it didn’t I was really worried about doing that because, cripes, that was your personal email address and you were a busy writer and what the heck cheek did I have harassing you just ’cause I didn’t get service instant like coffee? So I only sent off that email after much hand-wringing and self-flagellation (the second one the metaphorical kind.)

    I needn’t have worried. Within hours you emailed me back, apologising for the delay and not only including the file package, but also a FREE copy of ‘250 Things You Should Know About Writing.’ How many other writers would’ve done THAT, eh?

    Hugh Howey: YUH KNOW NARTHEENG! Next time READ a person’s blogs to get the measure of him – don’t just base your opinions on hearsay and other people’s rage-posts.

  23. As always you make me laugh and I APPLAUD you for being you. That’s all you can be. And it works, judging by the many, many people who comment here. You inspire me to write ME. To not mellow it, or boil it down to fit inside some mold. You make me want to write like ME.

    I hated that damn mold and your words help me break free of it.

    Here’s a quote that I found, and I thought of you when I did:

    “Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little” – Holley Gerth

    I want to do that.

    It matters not even a teeny weeny bit what Hugh or what anyone thinks of you. If you are inspiring others…I’d say you’re doing something right!

  24. Who cares what they say? We love you, Chuck, and your blog, and your NSFW/NSFL language and your words and your inventive cuss-vocab and your laugh-a-lympics worthy posts. WHO GIVES A MOTHERFUCK ABOUT HOWEY AND OTHERS WHO THINK SUGAR-COATING YOUR OPINION IS THE WAY TO GO IN THIS WORLD? We love Terrible Minds just as it is- honest, humorous, inspiring and fun. Remember, 5.552 subscribers to Terrible Minds. who are also your loyal readers, always have your back!!! 🙂

  25. I’ve been reading Terrible Minds about the same amount of time as The Passive Voice, every publication date (yet am still reasonably sane; good genes), and of the two I am consistently more impressed by Terrible Minds. Kooky ranty-pants ideas are always presented with fairness, generosity, and, as far as I can tell, with nary a hint of meanness. Sadly, this is rarely true of TPV and his followers, who tend to hurl personal insults at those who fail to bow in the direction of the The Temple of Self-Publishing, or who fail to denounce all aspects of traditional publishing.

    That said, many TPVers–in fact, all that I read, and I think I went through all the comments to that TPV entry–immediately and firmly rebutted the snark Hugh Howey directed toward you. Good for them.

    That you felt the need to write this defensive blog entry seems to indicate Howey’s words hit a particularly sensitive spot. Well, we all have them, and I applaud you for not falling into the same faint-praise damning that Howey chose to use. I know which author has more class, inventive profanity and all. I suspect you have a far more positive impact on authors than you realize.

    BTW, . . . cromulence? Jesus! Google probably seized up for a few moments while people looked that one up.

  26. I’ve read your blog, I’ve read your books on writing, I’ve read your fiction and NEVER have I EVER even remotely thought that you were “the person peeing in everyone’s art and telling them it sucks”. In fact you’re incredibly supportive and encouraging to new writers, but at the same time you don’t pull any punches. You tell us like it is and make us laugh at the same time. I know we’ve never met, but I think of you as my mentor and I bet there are quite a few others that feel the same way.

  27. 182 comments? Jeez, this ain’t even gonna matter then. But I’ll say it anyway.

    I kind of skimmed that post, because I already get it. Got it a long time ago. Never thought the blogger you was a caricature. Well, maybe at first, but it doesn’t take much to realize what you do is genuine, and must be, to pull it off for as long as I’ve been subscribed.

    I’m as radical as any indie, and I’m a card-carrying member of the TPV cult. I also agree with much of what you say here. Maybe I’m a hypocrite, but oh well. That’s my schtick, I guess.

    It’s also quite possible I’m a double agent.

    But (here comes the sycophancy) what’s different about terribleminds is how you engage people. Your blog has never been about you you you and that’s exactly why it’s so successful.

    Maybe your standards are high, but so are mine. Many indies still believe they don’t need editors or professional covers. Many indies don’t understand the difference between writing and publishing, between art and business. So they think you’re pissing in their art, but you’re not.

    I want indie fiction so succeed. Wait, it already has. I want it TAKE OVER. *ducks*

    And I think, if we could marry your outlook to that of TPV, it would.

  28. I really tire of people’s commentary on other people non-harmful behaviors. Is that kid a hipster? Maybe. Is it causing someone else any harm? No? Then why the fuck comment on it or give him shit about it? Same with the tone of a blog. Is a blog that is funny and sometimes outrageous causing harm? If it is, sure say something. If it’s not and it’s just not your thing, go read something else. Why is that so hard?

    • *chuckle* Now, there you go being all logical and stuff.

      (Either you’re the Luna whom I know and love or you’re another nifty redhead going by Luna, either way redhead logic, for the win!)

  29. Someone once asked me with a sneer how I thought my tattoos would make my look when I was 90. Without hesitation I replied “like one bad ass fuckin’ nonagenarian, asshole!”

    If you’re playing a character, fine, you do it well. But I don’t think that’s the case. Either way, I enjoy it and will continue to do so. Good on ya.

  30. It’s entirely possible we’re acquainted in another circle online (though I’d need to follow some dots to connect it all – chemo brain is not my bestest friend). 🙂

    But, yeah, what you said! Redhead logic kicks ass!

  31. It’s a shame that after such a gloriously wonderful blog post on tough love for writers, the conversation somehow veers away from what’s really important. Guess that’s how the internets roll. But I’d rather we give a standing ovation for an extremely helpful blog post, and a job well done. The rest is all white noise.

    I’ve learned a ton from you, and your blog. Thanks for all that you do, all the time.

  32. I normally just lurk here, but sheesh, calling you a “bad-boy writer” is so mealy-mouthed, I can’t let it pass. The truth is, Chuck, you are a BADASS MOTHERFUCKER.

    You have the BAMF beard, you have the BAMF voice, you have the BAMF unicorn jet-pack.

    And you have the writerly equivalent of the ability to pin a guy to the wall WITH YOUR THUMB.

    It’s not your shtick. It’s your fucking Superpower.

  33. I would trust advice from no writer who can create voices for characters, but has found no voice of his/her own.

    I’m just playing at this art-from-words thing, but the more I read and the more I pull back the curtains to reveal the bearded wizards behind, the more it looks to me that everybody is playing at it, and that’s the point. Some people just play more bravely and honestly than others.

    So, sometimes, someone can poop in a box and it really is art. And sometimes, the art you go out and buy ends up being just poop in a box.

    The difference between the two is what it means, and whether it makes you think.

    I’ve always seen this blog as a look through the one-way mirror into that rubber-padded room inside Chuck Wendig’s mind. Sometimes it’s a scary place, but I’ve never felt like I was witnessing an act… and it very rarely fails to make me think.

    I’m going to go play at this art-from-words thing some more. Thanks a lot, Chuck, and art forever onwards.

  34. “I write the way I think”. I love it. When I write, I try to get more depth than width. I try to get some subtext in everything I am doing so you have more to enjoy when you’re reading my novel. I believe it’s more fun to read a short novel with a lot of controversy then super long novel that have the chance of boring me. That is why I am a fan of The Great Gatsby (cliche I know). It is so heavy on subtext that you learn something every time you read it. Great post!

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