Monday, August 17, 2009...1:55 pm

Call yourself a writer? Meme response

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It’s meme day on Freelance Unbound – mainly because it’s August and I think we all deserve to enjoy the Silly Season. (Though in the era of 24-hour rolling news, does that even exist any more?)
Here’s an interesting meme started by Linda Jones. (Well, she hopes it will become a meme, and I’m calling it that, even though it may not quite have achieved the stature of the crasher squirrel.)
This response is prompted by Sarah Hartley’s entry which, although it didn’t tag me, did invite anyone to participate. Which would really be the only way it could meme itself, I guess.
So – here we go:
Which words do you use too much in your writing?

”Really”, “Crucially”, “You know”, “Of course”.
Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?
“Climate change”, which is used as a catch-all to explain almost anything bad that happens because of the weather, with almost no justification most of the time. 
“Celebrity”. I mean, really…
What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?
A piece on the “House of Tomorrow”, published in the late lamented Internet Business. As it was a Haymarket magazine, and as it was all about the internet, there is no online archive to point to, of course. 
What blog post do you wish you’d written?
John Scalzi’s “Bacon Cat” – a traffic-generating triumph. 
Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?
Drifting into a “career” in journalism/publishing – an industry with a very uncertain future and no money in it. If I had my time again I’d do something orders of magnitude better paid, or else much more creatively fulfilling. But, you know, there’s still time.
How has your writing made a difference?
It’s helped to pay my mortgage over the years, so it’s made a difference to me. With luck, some pieces of advice from Freelance Unbound may have helped journalism students or graduates along the way. Perhaps to do something better paid… 
Name three favourite words
Vampires, zombies, time-travel.
And three words you’re not so keen on
Impact (as a verb), holistic, synergy.
Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?
John Scalzi has some very good writing advice on his blog. I especially liked his introduction to his novel Agent to the Stars, which outlines the least angsty way to write a novel I’ve come across. I also liked the advice given by crime writer Robert B Parker in a Telegraph interview:

“Dialogue is easy and it chews up a lot of pages,” he says. “Describing a room is hard and it slows everything down and it doesn’t chew up many pages” 

What’s your writing ambition?
To earn royalties.
Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about:
My friend the Wartime Housewife and her brand new blog. It’s packed with advice on surviving hard times – both in the family and in the economy. There doesn’t even have to be a war on…
Tag time:
Here are my nominations for journos/bloggers to take part:


Hackney Hackette


Bristol Editor

Unmitigated England

The rules:

If you have time to do this meme, then please link to my original, then link to three to five other bloggers and pass it on, asking them to answer your questions and link to you. You can add, remove or change one question as you go. You absolutely do not have to be what you may think of as a “published” or “successful” writer to respond to this meme, I hope people can take the time to reflect on what their blogging has brought them and how it has been useful to others.


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