I’m turning back the clock.
I haven’t been around in a while—because I got bored. Not with trying to help people, mind you, but with trying to be someone I wasn’t.
I’m not one to couch my words and try to be ‘professional’ about anything. My clean (read as ‘no sex’) fiction is about an alcoholic detective, a morally ambiguous starship pilot, and an immortal who’s been born into thousands of bodies—male and female—and gave birth to the devil’s child four hundred years ago (that part hasn’t come out in the series yet… so, shhhhh). And then there’s my erotica…
All that to say, even though I have an English degree, my everyday vocabulary is like a teamster on a smoke-break. I’ve heard people say using curse words (how quaint an expression is that?) is a sign of a weak mind. Bullshit. If there’s a word that gets my point across, I’m using it.
I started this site to help self-publishers and beginning writers clean up their work. I wanted to show people things they should consider before they hit ‘publish’ on Amazon, iTunes, etc. or submitted their work to an agent or editor.
That was spurred by a comment from an author (whose work made me hold my nose just to get through two pages) who said she didn’t care about content or line editing because that’s what she paid her editor for.
I tried to explain that the more things she took care of before submission, the more time the editor had to concentrate on big story issues. She wasn’t having it—and her work showed it. I wanted to make a repository of information for authors who weren’t as hardheaded. But, something else happened that felt more exciting.
If you’ve told just about anyone that you’re a writer, you have heard, “Oh, you wouldn’t believe what’s happened to me. You should write a book about my life.”
My first reaction to this (internally) every single time is, “Are you fuckin’ kidding me?” Externally, I always fake an interested look and nod sagely. “Really? I’ll have to think about that.”
Finally, someone went too far.
I write in the coffee shop down the street because I have ADHD and can’t write in silence but also can’t write in an atmosphere where I have control over the background noise. (I’ll cover writing spaces at some point) A certain lady talked about it one time too many, and I blurted out, “Jenn, why don’t you sit down and write your own damned book.”
Now, don’t think I’m a cold-hearted bastard. I’m happy to listen when someone needs to talk. Hell, I pay someone to listen to me every other week—my poor shrink. So, even though I rarely have advice to dole out—much like said shrink—I listen. But, I don’t listen with intent. Certainly not the intent of writing about the person’s life. And absolutely not with the intent of “splitting the money 50/50.” It’s shocking how many times that little gem comes out of people’s mouths too.
At this point, I don’t know a damned thing about memoir writing, but I know fiction. So, I’m re-branding to WriteYourOwnDamnedBook, and will start with the immortal and confusing question of “What do I write about” and end with the abject horror of hitting ‘send’ to an agent or ‘publish’ on (insert ebook platform here).
It’ll take a couple of weeks to get logos, sitemaps, etc ready, but I’ve added the tasks to my daily work regimen.
I look forward to helping anyone who cares to be helped by a sarcastic asshole who really loves writing and loves passing knowledge along. There are a billion writing blogs and websites out there. It’s time I seriously threw my hat in the rink, but I have to write about things that excite me… and in a way that feels comfortable and natural to me. I figure that by putting the word ‘damned’ in the site’s name, people will know what to expect.