Youre Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing

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One might note that the exact same arguments about science fiction as a genre, niche versus mainstream, etc. Not everyone will find the advice to their tastes: The other note is that all of the content of this book is on Whatever , still, and you could be reading it there. The book is slightly outdated on things like eReaders and the digital marketplace, but some of the posts are nearly ten years old, and the landscape has changed quite a bit in the interim.

Because it already has. Brit Mandelo is a multi-fandom geek with a special love for comics and queer literature. Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads. All comments must meet the community standards outlined in Tor. Thank you for keeping the discussion, and our community, civil and respectful. Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices. This last I think is particularly important to understand, Scalzi maintains a very popular blog that I myself have read daily for several years now where he covers topics ranging from his own work and the work of his friends to the politics of the day.

It is well written, broad of topic and always entertaining. He once taped bacon to his cat you know. Scalzi on Writing is a collection of posts on writing, or tangentially about writing, taken from the archives of this blog and arranged and edited to make a book format. This is not to detract from the book itself, it is arranged to flow very well and the articles are top-notch, but anyone who was expecting new material will be sorely disappointed.

That said, much of the material included dates from before I was a Whatever reader and so was new to me, so I didn't find this an issue. Some of the material has dated, some quite amusingly so, but on the whole this remains a useful book for any writer's shelf. So what exactly is it about? It is divided into sections, each somewhat thematically linked, but what it is on the whole is a series of essays focused on the life of a working writer.

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Plagiarism, Dishonest vanity publishers, scams.. It's not a large book, but there is a lot covered in the accessible, light-hearted manner that Scalzi's blog-writing is justifiably famous for. The only thing that was missing was a picture of his cat. May 08, Alex Ristea rated it really liked it Shelves: An honest book about the writing life, not necessarily the craft.

It's not just for fiction—in fact, most of the book centres around writing professional non-fiction, and how Scalzi has gotten to where he is as a successful full-time writer. It's a cheap book and definitely worth a read for the first few chapters alone on money, writing as a job, and rejection. Dec 02, Ron rated it liked it Shelves: Irreverent, but not irrelevant. Not heavy reading either. Crowded a pile of old blog entries between two covers and called it a book. He told us what he was doing, we shouldn't complain.

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Aug 19, Aleksandr Voinov rated it liked it Shelves: Jul 18, Eric Mesa rated it liked it. If you are an aspiring writer, Scalzi tells it like it is and gives you a good feeling for what it might be like to be a modern writer. No writing tips here - that's for other types of books. This one is about being a writer and making a living. If you're not aspiring writer like me , but you like to nerd out on the industry, then you'll likely find it fun. If you like Whatever, Scalzi's blog, these are simply entries from his blog that have had some editing to form into a cohesive book.

I like If you are an aspiring writer, Scalzi tells it like it is and gives you a good feeling for what it might be like to be a modern writer. I like his style, so I enjoyed the book. He seems to have a vocal group of haters, if you're in that group you'll probably hate this book. So it's really funny being in the future and knowing about his current multi-million dollar contract with Tor books while reading entries in which he hopes he can sell more than just Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades. Jul 12, Donna rated it really liked it Shelves: A collection of Scalzi's blog postings from to , focusing on writing, what it's like to make a living through writing, and comments about authors particularly science fiction authors I became a big fan of Scalzi's blog about two years ago.

I love his bluntness and his little-to-no-bullshit tone. I sometimes want to call bullshit on people and things at work and I can't do this so I enjoy seeing someone's ability and willingness to do this. I've often wondered why he doesn't write mor A collection of Scalzi's blog postings from to , focusing on writing, what it's like to make a living through writing, and comments about authors particularly science fiction authors I became a big fan of Scalzi's blog about two years ago.

I've often wondered why he doesn't write more about writing on his blog and now I know: In one essay, Scalzi mentions that, while he makes a good living with his writing, he can't support himself on his book writing alone he did a lot of commercial nonfiction to pay the bills and that one day hopefully he'll get there. This made me smile, because at this point he's there.

John Scalzi feels like a friend I've never met, and as he frequently says it's nice to see your friends succeed. And then he segues into how, if you don't know what you're talking about, you're basically just 'farting from your larynx'. What's not to like? Jun 28, Tommy Carlson rated it it was amazing. This is a collection of his non-fiction works about writing.


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He is, after all, a successful writer. It's a great read. If you're thinking of becoming a professional writer, meaning that writing is your main source of income, then this is a must read. There's loads of good advice, some you might not want to hear. Scalzi doesn't pull any punches. Which is one reason I really enjoy his non-fiction commentaries. I was also surprised to see how tough it is to make a living at writing. Scalzi doesn't This is a collection of his non-fiction works about writing. Scalzi doesn't live off his novel sales. He lives off contractual business writing.

And he doesn't get rich off it, either. I was a little disappointed to find out that, until recently, he didn't make much more than I do. And I'm sure he works a lot harder at it. Of course, as his star has risen, so has his income. He probably makes twice, maybe thrice, what I do now. Most genre fiction writers, especially in sci-fi, have day jobs that pay the bills.

It's not easy to make a living writing books. But if you think that's what you want to do, then be sure to read this first. Sep 06, Eric Duprey rated it really liked it. From Amazon, I learned that he had written a book about writing; as an aspiring writer myself this seemed like the perfect thing to help develop my own skills. It should be noted first that this is a topical collection of posts from John's blog "Whatever".

This is mostly a book about the business of writing and the things that come up in the life and career of a professional writer, rather than a book on the art of writing. You won't find much on plot, setting or characters here. For me personally, I still found it to be very insightful and useful as I contemplate beginning such a career myself, and it was entertaining and funny as well. I bought this book because I like Scalzi's blog and I wanted plenty to read on my Kindle when I went on vacation.

I think this book would be helpful to aspiring writers.

The advice is solid and backed up with lots of "real life". That's not why I bought the book. I bought it because I thought it would be interesting, entertaining and I figured I owed Scalzi after reading his blog for several years. It was interesting and entertaining. Yes, you can dig through his blog archive and find the same ar I bought this book because I like Scalzi's blog and I wanted plenty to read on my Kindle when I went on vacation. Yes, you can dig through his blog archive and find the same articles.

It is a real insider's look at the publishing world - definitely from a writer's point of view. So even if you don't want to write , it is still a really good read. I do have a quibble - although even as I write this, I know it is unfair - the book is dated. Lots of things have changed since The book is oddly like looking at a moment in time, in the past. On the other hand, that is the nature of books - they are moments in time.

Book Review: You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop

Only classics are forever. This book is not a classic, but it is a good read. Although I think the e-book version had some typos and could've benefited from better editing, I do enjoy Scalzi's writing style. These were culled from his Whatever blog and has much to do with the business of writing both publishing, fiction, non-fiction, business, etc. Very informative and useful.

Plus, Scalzi breaks down real numbers including his. I learned quite a bit and was inspired albeit, in a very practical sort of manner. Jun 10, Eric rated it really liked it. John Scalzi has been a journalist, a paid blogger, an unpaid blogger, an author, and an editor; and he has written corporate pieces and newspaper and magazine columns, as well as fiction and non-fiction.

How did you like the book?

I think that qualifies him to talk about writing, the writing life, and writers. Right off the bat, readers should consider two John Scalzi has been a journalist, a paid blogger, an unpaid blogger, an author, and an editor; and he has written corporate pieces and newspaper and magazine columns, as well as fiction and non-fiction. Right off the bat, readers should consider two things about this book. First, it was written before the recent economic downturn whose effects on freelance writing are still being determined. Chapter One is grouped around the theme of writing advice.

Scalzi absolutely loves writing and would likely do it for free, but getting paid is better. He knows it is his job, and he treats it seriously. Life's not fair, don't act like a jerk toward others, and remember that you can keep writing as long as you're alive. In the second chapter, he includes his famous or perhaps infamous post, "Real World Book Deal Descriptions," wherein a bunch of writers hanging around a bar decided to re-label the amount of money given for advances -- based on Publisher's Lunch's categories, but the descriptions state what the money actually means if you're someone wanting to make a living at writing.

But you can pay some bills. He also includes a follow-up because a small press publisher took exception to the definitions at great length. One of Scalzi's points is: Part of that does include acknowledging that the best deal a publisher can offer you still isn't going to pay the rent or the mortgage or the heat on its own. Scalzi's attitudes toward genre are refreshing, as well.

Although he primarily reads science fiction, and that is the fiction area he is most known for writing in, he acknowledges all genres as having worth. Science fiction is Thai.


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