You’ve got to sell your heart

heartIn 1938 aspiring author Frances Turnbull sent a copy of one of her stories to Francisc Scott Fitzgerald. In the feedback he offers her there’s one great piece of advice: “You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.”

You can read the rest of the letter here. It’s really worth the time, and it’s the kind of advice writers give only to closest friends. It’s not something you can tell anyone about, because most people will think you’re crazy.

Now, about selling your heart… Continue reading

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Selfish

Quality vs. QuantityWe, artists, make art for ourselves just as much as we do to please someone. Or everyone. And we also make art because we can, because we feel like it, because we’re bored or tired or we just want o make something beautiful. We make art for a million different reasons. Continue reading

Blogging week: do I have something to say?

bloggingI’ve been blogging for two and a half years now. It’s been fun. I’ve got the chance to connect with people from all over the world and learn new stuff. Also, I kind of realized my words matter.

But the guy who’s sitting in his chair, staring at his computer screen, asking himself whether or not to start a blog might be wondering if he has something to say. Continue reading

Regret

things“Regret comes in all shapes and sizes. Some are small like when we do a bad thing for a good reason. Some are bigger like when you let down a friend.

Some of us escape the pain of regret by making the right choice. Some of us have little time for regret because we’re looking forward to the future. Sometimes we have to fight to come to terms with the past, and sometimes we bury our regret by promising to change your own ways.

But our biggest regrets are not for the things we did, but for the things we didn’t do.”

This quote is a voice-over from One Tree Hill, which is one of my favorite TV shows.

I’ve always thought regret to be one of man’s worst qualities. I’ve spent an awful lot of time trying to develop a sort of immunity. For a long time I’d much rather believe in destiny, in the fact that bad things happen for a good reason, than spend hours and hours sobbing after what could no longer be. Continue reading

That moment…

A couple of weeks ago I almost gave up on this blog, on writing, on basically everything I was. Quite a strange moment. I was afraid that I might never become what I’ve always wanted to be.

Because, as any self-publisher can tell you, summer is tough. Book sales always go down. In my case, they almost stopped. Even though I released a new title, that just wasn’t enough.

Sometimes things happen, and we can’t explain them. This was one of those times. Continue reading

On letting go

books

The moment you buy any of my books and read it, that’s when that book becomes yours. And only yours. And you can take from it anything you want. You can love it, you can hate it, you can love me or hate me, but at that point I no longer care.

I find that’s the only way to actually “survive” as an artist. At least, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head every time someone tells you they hate your work. And it’s the only way to actually get past that paralyzing fear of rejection, that stupid voice inside your head telling you, over and over again, that your book is not good enough yet, that you need to work on it a little bit more… and so you spend so much time editing the same fifty thousand words that they stop feeling yours anymore. Continue reading

Are writers crazy?

crazyOr artists in general?

I’m sure this is not your usual Friday type of post, and I could easily answer with another question: who isn’t? And then I could go back to writing and stuff.

Instead, I’m going to write an actual post. About crazy writers. And stuff.

So here goes nothing. Continue reading