Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Respecting Authors

Want-to-be Author on YouTube
As you know, I am sort of addicted to YouTube. The other day, I saw a video by crossmack. I think he is a fairly popular YouTube vlogger. But the other day, he said he wanted to "publish a book". And he was looking for someone to go through his videos and write down his thoughts and put them in a book. I wonder if he is really looking for a ghost writer for his thoughts.

I do not subscribe to the guy, but he is sort of funny. Not funny in a good way, though. I saw another one of his videos where he said that text was 1% of communication, and if he really believes this, why want to publish a book. I am so confused.

What pisses me off, I guess, is that crossmack does not respect authorship. Respect people who write. I like listening to the videos on YouTube, but I would never want to produce a video. I have had to put some stuff together for work once, and it was a pain in the butt for two minutes of music and video. And you know, it sort of looked crappy as well. But writing; I love reading, and most readers want to write as well. Some do, I guess. I should not say most.

Lunch with an author or two
I have met a few authors. One was a one-time author, and I read her book. She did a great start of the book, but about one-third of the way through it, it was as if she lost some steam. Her words were not as crisp; her language not as descriptive. That would be me.

And I have met one famous author. He was so incredibly smart. Incredibly smart, and gracious. I had lunch with him, and it was such a treat (friend of a friend knew him before he was famous).

Come to think of it; I had lunch with both authors. I wonder if published authors "do lunch" a lot. If that is the case, perhaps I don't want to be a published author. I don't like eating with people I don't know well because I have to mind my manners and I eat far less than I normally want to eat with strangers. I guess with that, I could do lots of lunches, because I would always be hungry.

Want-to-be Author Leesa
Every couple of months, I wonder if I will start my first book. I have done a little bit of research, and most novels are at least 80,000 words. Let's say one of my entries is about 500 words (just a guess). I do about 200 posts per year, and if I carry the – whatever – it comes to about 100,000 words. Well, all of these are estimates, but if this is the case, it would take me about one year to write a book. Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" in about 45 days (but lets face it, he is brilliant), and most authors seem to take two to four months to go from start to finish on a product. Holy crap, that's how fast I would like to write a novel. But you know, my attention-span is like 2 minutes, and I have read my tripe, and anything more than 2 minutes and I can't sustain it.

As I am writing this, I am listening to a vlogger, and he makes the same point I just made. Now that tells me that I am not very original. And who wants to buy a book that contains thoughts that any ol' vlogger can think of? Surely not me!

Book Bins
Sometimes I go to bookstores and look through the bargain book bins. And I don't do it to save money; that is an added bonus. I do it because I like to think about these authors. Their works did not, for the most part, find a wide audience, and I wonder what they are doing. How they are feeling. Is this book that is marked down to 99 cents (and I hate when it looks like 0.99¢ because technically, that is less than one penny) the result of years of work, tiring editing, blood-sweat-tears. Will these books be ground up, forgotten in the annals of time? Often, for that dollar or so, I will purchase the book, place it on my shelf, and in the deep hours of the night, read the book. Many times, the books should be in the bargain bins. The plot sucks, or the editing does not reflect said blood-sweat-tears. I don't want to be the author of such a book, and part of me knows that if I write something without forethought, that's the type of book I will write. That scares me.

Crap, I have revealed too much. Back to work, you guys. Nothing to see here.


Shadowdog said...

Speaking of Youtube, are we allowed to hype our own hideous Youtube videos here by posting links? (whistles innocently) Mine are just interviews with some actors I worked with on Miserable People. (whistles innocenterly) It's okay if not, I'm a guy so I am very familiar with the word "no." (whistles innocentestly)

Back to you, I don't have you zeroed in yet so I'm not sure how serious you are about writing a book. But in case you are, I think you've already got one with this blog. Michael Nelson's Movie Cheese book wasn't any funnier than this blog and it was damned funny. And you even have your stories to throw on top of it. (I know you write different kinds of essays than he did for that book but collections of essays are collections of essays so its doable.)

Oh, and no kidding about writers and lunch. I try to get in at least three lunches a day! WOO HOO!!

kathi said...

Other than having had lunch with a couple of authors, I could be you here.
I think about writing a book, even just putting some of my blog posts together...but then why do it if no one would want to read it? Would I rather be an author that no one read, or one that some read and then regret having wasted their time? Seems like there should be another option, but I suppose if I thought there was a chance of there being another option, I'd started that book by now.
See how I ramble? The chances of that book are slim, lol.

~Deb said...

Well think of it like this... What about those people who write books (authors) who get their book made into a movie. I think that it's great for both sides- and it is definitely being respected in my opinion. But great question to bring to the table.

Leesa said...

shadowdog: I enjoy authors. I really do. But I don't think I would buy a book based on what I am writing on this blog. Think Henry David Thoreau: his first book (A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers)flopped, and he spent 9 years writing and re-writing his second book which we have all read in school.

kathi: I am with you; why write it if it will not change anyone.

~deb: thanks, published author!

Writer on Board said...

Hello Leesa,

I like your blog. I'm a soon-to-be published author. I would love some respect and a lunch but all they keep giving me are deadlines - and they throw things at me. Help!

Pittchick said...

I'm a published author, but only on boring scientific papers. I do like "doing lunch" however...

Shadowdog said...

All you lunch eating writers are giving a new meaning to the phrase "starving artists."

Man, food and writing ... my two favorite things in the world! WOO HOO!!

Ian Lidster said...

I like your book bins comments, and I too am addicted to going through the 'remaindered books' and sometimes I've found some absolute gems in hardback for five bucks or so. But with some of them, I agree with you completely, and what amazes me is that these 'writers' managed to find a publisher, whereas I find that an ongoing struggle. What's wrong with this picture?
Thanks, Leesa.


Leesa said...

writer: thanks. and congrats on being published.

pittchick: technically, I am published (in magazines a long time ago)

shadowdog: perhaps you should write a book on eating!

ian: I have found some gems as well. Really talented writers who have written such good stories. Personally, I think that perhaps some who decide what to publish may not reward on talent.

Leesa said...

writer: thanks. and congrats on being published.

pittchick: technically, I am published (in magazines a long time ago)

shadowdog: perhaps you should write a book on eating!

ian: I have found some gems as well. Really talented writers who have written such good stories. Personally, I think that perhaps some who decide what to publish may not reward on talent.

Leesa said...

ian: or marketing.

~Deb said...

If you think about it...we're all "published" as soon as we hit the "publish button" on blogger.


YOU need to be published girl!

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