Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Writers, quit your whining, or you'll get a Write Hook to the jugular

A new book by Scott Morgan, my brother from another mother and father ... and country ... who somehow got all the good looks ...

How To Be A Whiny Beeyotch

71 Writing Excuses Meet the Back of My Hand

Okay, I gotta whine: I didn’t get around to blogging about this before February 8, its release date — cuz, uh (lemme flip through the advance review copy of this book to find a good excuse. Hey, there are a bunch!)
  • I have been swamped with real life
  • I have a job
  • I have kids
  • I’m too old

Wait a minute. Scott’s new book blows all that bullshit to smithereens. Smelly, disgusting smithereens.

With How To Be A Whiny Beeyotch: 71 Writing Excuses Meet the Back of My Hand, Scott Morgan not only takes you by the jugular (Yes, you, the wannabe writer, you), he shakes you around and throws you over your overstuffed couch against your brick wall. Then he kicks you until all the bullshit is gone.

Just what the writer who can’t get started needs.

Scott Morgan is an excellent writer. His short stories are some of the best I have ever read — and I’ve read a lot. From a stylistic as well as a story-telling perspective, he’s matchless.

He’s a speaker, teacher, coach, journalist, essayist, blogger, editor, screenplay writer, short-story writer — I think the only thing he has not written is a novel. Yet.

He is perhaps best known for his guide for writers, Character Development from the Inside Out, and his blog, Write Hook. His newest book continues the advice for writers, but ramps it up.

Want to be a writer? Can’t get started, or finished, or continue? Stuff getting in the way of your becoming the next Dostoevsky, or Chandler, or (God forbid) EL James?

Scott Morgan dispells what’s getting in your way: your own bullshit. He has compiled 71 common excuses he has heard from people for not writing, and blows each one away.

Here’s a great one:

5 . I've been swamped with real life

UNLESS you're homeless, you have stuff to do around the house — bills to pay, checks to write, dinners to make, tires to lube, roofs to repair. And if you are homeless, you have a variety of other problems to deal with.

Here's a news flash (and you can trust me when I say that because I was a newsman): Crap like this never stops! Life will always pull at you. You will always have bills to pay and things to fix and kids to pick up from baseball practice. You will always have family obligations and overtime nights and sick pets and power outages getting in the way. It isn't a matter of how many issues you face in a given day, it's a matter of how fast you bounce back and get back to writing.

If you want your writing to go nowhere, just keep telling yourself how busy you are. It won't be long before you listen, and then it's only a short trip to being controlled by external forces.

And here’s the excuse that I used for so many years (to myself — I never actually said it to anyone else.) And while I knew the answer, I wish Scott could have come back in time and hit my jugular with his analysis 15 years ago: 
2. I don't have anything to say

THIS one always astounds me, because the people who say it to me seem to have no end of family drama, work stories, observations, and LOL-laden bon mots they pick up on Facebook or wherever else. There really does seem to be some weird inverse relationship between the amount people talk and the amount of confidence they have in their ability to say anything.
If you have a job, you have something to say. Same goes if you've ever had a date. A relationship.

Children. If you've ever been to school or camp. If you've ever belonged to a group. If you've ever hung out with friends. If you've ever been rejected, hurt, or set back — especially if you've managed to overcome the problem. If you've ever played sports or owned a cat. Played in a band. Had a dream (a lifelong one, not necessarily the sleeping kind).
If you've ever sat in the house alone and contemplated your life. If you're afraid of something. If you're in love. If you believe in God. If you don't believe in God. If you're a vegetarian. If you're a political partisan. If you have a hobby or have ever read a book or seen a movie or heard a song that has moved you to action or to tears — then you have something to goddamn say.
In short, you have something to goddamn say. The very fact that you're old enough to read this page and comprehend whatever is on it means you have something to say.
And it's important that we hear it. So say it.

Writers and wannabe writers alike need to read this, to dispel the walls they’ve built between themselves and their audiences. Because they’re made, as Scott points out, of bullshit.

Thanks, Scott!
Get How To Be A Whiny Beeyotch: 71 Writing Excuses Meet the Back of My Hand on Amazon.

And don’t neglect one of the best reads in the blogosphere: Write Hook.


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful review, my other evil twin :D

    Much appreciated.

  2. I need a real beating, it seems... Bring it on! *bracing myself*