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It really works. You're not a unique snowflake, so the issues you deal with are the issues that trouble everyone. If you can articulate the unsaid issue, you win.

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He said the thing!

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Novels needs to have the attitude and persistence of the black knight.

"Tis but a scratch."

"A scratch! Your arm's off."

"No it isn't."

"Well what's that then?"

"It's only a flesh wound."

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Did you get through 'White Noise' on streaming??

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It felt like people just reading the book aloud.

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LOL. Guess I have to read the original. Reminds me of The Road to Wellville.

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Oh dear.

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deletedFeb 6, 2023·edited Feb 6, 2023
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The Muscles from Brussels.

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Oh my god! I love Van Damme. I used to re-enact bloodsport with figure toys when I was little.

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It's the "license to learn" for me. I suppose I'll add tax deductions to the list next year. Hell, I'll combine these two and now I've got the topic for my next book.

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With the internet, you dont need a publisher. You just need perseverance. People willing to pay a few bucks to read your work will find you if youre patient and consistent. And even if not, who cares? Just keep writing. Theres nothing more exciting than an idea that wont leave me alone.

Had an idea about a story where our economy becomes nothing but individuals selling art and crafts to one another.

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I've always wanted to toss the dog into a van and go sell stuff at random craft fairs. Talk to people.

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founding

I really hope you do. Pretty close to concession stand life! John Waters wrote a book about hitchhiking “Carsick”— was pretty dang daring. He had the worst time getting out of Ohio. Lol. Some hard core truth there.

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I loved that book! So funny!

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Booked a room in Youngstown for the 15th. Please let me read since its a 5 hour journey.

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founding

John! Here’s my email: KerriMidwestStoryNight@gmail.com. In case you need anything and I can fill you in on the area, if need be. Your wish is my command! Very glad to have you make the trip!!

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Isn't Meghan Heil from there too?

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Love traveling, but can only handle so much at a time now. Working on the road can spiral out with the quickness.

A journalist encouraged me to write about my travels. Should sit down and take notes on the interesting parts and fictionalize it.

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Also, I bought the book that Cernovich recommended. Thinking I should go ahead and start pushing my wares on Substack.

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Some of my favourite contemporary writers are self published.

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People will find you. However, more people will find you if you do some smart marketing, or hire someone else to. Ive had several strangers subscribe to my Substack that arent from Chuck's, and I practically never post. Bought the book that Cernovich recommended and am aiming to change that.

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A well executed rebuttal to an unintelligible, hilariously self-contradictory nightmare of a piece. When you said you were going to write this, I thought, 'Why bother?' You proved me wrong. I will forever have the image of a well-suited man shitting on a doorstep in mind now, and I sincerely thank you for that.

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Hey, my pleasure.

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founding

Pun intended, but I had the same "shit" happen to me in the San Francisco financial district! The guy I saw was wearing tech-bro clothes though, shouting "look away!"

Chuck, would you ever consider a conversation with Cerno and Michael Malice? I feel like you guys would have a wild conversation. Especially on the topic of masculinity/Cerno's comments on Can't Hurt Me.

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That would be fun. But only in person. I can't do Zoom no more. So much of our news cycle is just people reacting to things. It would be good to champion the creation of things.

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Do you think you and Irvine Welsh might ever do a filmed interview/podcast?

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"Only the impossible is ever worth doing."

Problem for me is I gotta do the impossible in my spare time.

At this point I'm 1/3 into a new book that I've really liked writing. Lately I've only been at it for and hour a day if I can squeeze it in. It's my escape from my now 3rd degree, from kids, from family, the eventual collapsing economy, i.e. from the real world. Thanks for your continuing support of all us spare timers.

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founding

Wow - great essay on the quest of writing! Thanks.

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This post/response came at the right time. Funnily enough, I wanted to ask you some questions about the current state of publishing and planned to, but then your post promising a reply came, so I held off.

And it was worth the wait; this post was great! That guy defecating on the door step and saying "You don't know how hard it it!" -- could there be a more literalised instance of Spanbauber's "shitting out a lump of coal" proverb? When life imitates art...

I really don't have any right to be pessimistic about the publishing world as I'm not a part of it, but due to the censorious, weird zeitgeist that were in, I find it difficult not to. I feel like any book that touches upon certain topics -- go ahead, you can guess them -- which are a "hot topic" is just going to result in it and myself getting blacklisted. And that's not exactly an encouraging thought.

Still. I'm really trying just to write because I enjoy writing -- anything else be damned. I plan to be more active on my own SubStack and publish my work there, despite however rough it may be. I figure it should hopefully get better with time.

That part were you talk about what you create being better than anything else, you quoted David Foster Wallace on this point on Bret Easton Ellis' Podcast a while back -- how it's like masturbation and you return to it because no one's better at it than you.

A final thing: I have this idea (or fantasy, I guess) of a publishing house being run by authors. People like yourself and others who appreciate literature to the fullest -- a publishing house not ran by bigwigs who only care about profit. A boy can dream.

P.S. I hope that 'American Psycho' book that you mentioned manages to somehow find an audience despite the secret vows of some booksellers. Seems like it could be interesting.

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That idea -- a publishing house run by authors -- is kind of what killed Virginia Wolff.

In regard to hot-button ideas, why even go there? Wouldn't you rather demonstrate the infinite possibilities of life?

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Pretty sure it was a river killed Virgina Wolff.

Can’t I do hot-button ideas and the infinite possibilities of life?

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Yeah, but it was the stress of Leonard and running the press...

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Writing is cheaper than cosplay. I don't need to make any money off of writing. It would be cool to at some point but my day job pays the bills and my retirement pays the ex-wife. I enjoy the adventure of making something other people can appreciate. Thank you to everyone that runs and participates in a writing workshop.

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Writing is nothing without being able to share it with others.

I, too, thank you all who run workshops and listen to the weird words I spew.

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Your words are such a sticky mess too. I am glad I sit far enough away that I don't get covered in your words.

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founding

Yes, seed it! Seed the field with more gritty, hilarious, and poignant stories. Then fertilize it with all those steaming pin-stripe turds!

Excellent article, Chuck! I'm 40 and I've never published anything, but I still can't peel myself away from writing...or attempting to write. Your essays and "Consider This" are the first sources of nuts-and-bolts instructions that actually work, that actually tell me HOW to build tension, HOW to establish authority, and a million other priceless tidbits that keep the grind magical and keep me hopeful. Keep seeding!

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No tennis match dialog!

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Can you please explain what tennis match dialog is? Are you talking about the type of dialogue Aaron Sorkin writes? If so, what's bad about it? Thanks!

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Tennis match dialog is clever back-and-forth dialog that never develops any tension.

"Where do you want to eat?" she asked.

He replied, "I don't care. McDonalds?"

"We ate there yesterday," she said.

He replied, "Okay, let's try Pizza Hut."

Dialog that evades and miss-communicates is always more tense and interesting.

"Where do you want to eat?" she asked.

He replied, "Anywhere that you're not eating."

"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked.

He replied, "I saw that big honking lesion you gave to Dane Watters."

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Thanks. In other words, the opposite of Sorkin (or Mamet or Tarantino).

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Feb 8, 2023·edited Feb 8, 2023Author

Always answer a question with a question, and your vertical tension will sky rocket.

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Thanks.

Non sequitur: I had never heard of Tom Spanbauer until I came across your mentions of him. I finished NOW IS THE HOUR last week. Just wow. How is he not more acclaimed?

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founding

Your response is everything I could have hoped for - and more. Thank you for taking the time.

That Cernovich piece irritated me. 😆

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The stats they cited were skewed by many factors, but I didn't want to get into the bad math.

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founding

There were bigger fish to fry. Maybe a later post? 😆

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I love this response. It was WELL worth the wait. My favorite bit was how you should write the book you want to read. Here's my problem. It's hard for me to see value in of own work until someone else tells me. I hate being like this. I'm always worrying, "How will this be received? Will this make people happy? Will they like it? Will they like me?" My biggest challenge as a writer is...being kind to myself and realizing that I'm enough. I'll never be perfect but my work can still have value, contrary to what my mind shouts at me. It's seems like I'm falling on my face trying to leap over these mental hurdles.

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You are enough. And the goal is always to surprise/offend yourself, because if you can do that you'll amaze the reader.

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This is a great reminder. So many times I find myself wondering “Should I really write that??? That’s awfully fucked up.” I’m so afraid of being judged on the actions of my characters. Was this ever a problem for you? Or have you never struggled with that?

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founding

If I write a book—but no one reads it—have I actually written a book?

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Yes. And then you write another. Repeat the process until you die.

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founding

Lovely, yet painful.

Not that I'm a "shouldist" but shouldn't one write a book people want to read (buy) first?

That way, said author could take time chillax on the EL James type profits and take time create their magnum opus.

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Wah? No, really. Writing is just about fucking around for fun. If it sells, great.

But if you have a great time writing it, it's more likely reader will have a great time reading it.

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