Why Writer Worship is a Waste of Time

Writer worship is a waste of time and needs to stop
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Since the ninth grade, school instructs us to read the classics, books knighted as literary genius for generations. Professors build careers around talking about one writer or a handful of paperbacks. And we’re taught not to criticize the novels or essays, but instead to search for symbolic evidence as to why these books are perfect.

Red lips kiss

Credit: nobacks.com

In other words, we learn how to kiss the butts of writers, many already long dead.

It’s not that these writers don’t deserve a lot of cred. Some of the greatest books I’ve read are cliché classics. Just look at my Goodreads.

So how are my reading habits different than an English class syllabus? Because I don’t read the books to worship the writers.

In school, we’re assigned to write papers as to why the symbolism spoke to the greater good or why the writer reinvented the use of X, Y, Z since the Cave Ages.

You know, the obvious stuff.

But classic books aren’t holy texts. And these writers aren’t gods.

Stop sign

Credit: blog.maseratiraleigh.com

I’m going to say it: We need to stop all this writer worship.

Wouldn’t it be great to instead have a classroom discussion challenging the common opinion about the text? To say that the protagonist is really evil, that the (pages and pages of) scenery description doesn’t contribute much to the plot, or that the book really just sucks.

We’ve all wanted to say that in a Lit course.

It’s not a constructive use of time to list why the writer is great. That centralizes our focus on the writer, not the story. That elevates the writer’s status in our mind and, consequently, lowers our own evaluation of our own writing skills.

Instead, we should focus our time on looking at the writing as a story. Does the story have a well-developed plot? Are the characters fully formed? Does the dialogue support the story? Do the descriptions, from the setting to the actions, contribute to the plot and the characters?

This is what I do when I read the classics. In fact, it’s why I read. I study the structure of the story. I take the writer (briefly) out of the equation while I evaluate what’s working and not working in the story. That is the only way I will learn how to refine my own work as a writer.

A writer great at their craft should be respected, not worshipped. And a great writer that you respect should be by your own choice, not because your teacher said so.

What do you think? Do you think writer worship is a waste of time? Share your opinions below.

5 Ways To Get More Friends On Goodreads

5 Ways To Get More Friends On Goodreads
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Goodreads is the answer to all avid readers who love social media and reading. However, there isn’t much literature on the Internet about how to make the most of your Goodreads profile and on how to expand your virtual literary community.

So, how do you get more friends on Goodreads? This is where optimization and networking come into play.

First, add me as a friend. Then, read how I continue to grow my friends list on Goodreads.

Optimize Your Profile

How to get more friends on Goodreads Step 1

This is how the editing My Account should look. More criteria to help you get more friends on Goodreads when you scroll further down the page.

Think of your Goodreads profile as the handshake that starts your virtual friendship. By filling out your profile in full, you are more likely to gain the trust of the Goodreads community.

  • Tap the drop-down arrow in the top right corner of the screen next to you profile pictures.
  • Select Edit Profile.
  • Within the Profile tab, fill out all tabs that will help current friends or those with like reading interests find your profile, including:
    • First and last name
    • Username
    • My Website
    • My Interests
    • What Kind of Books Do You Like to Read?
    • About Me
  • Make sure to select an option for the following:
    • Show my last name to
    • Location Viewable By
  • Don’t forget to upload a photo of yourself. This will assure future friends that your profile isn’t a fake account and that you’re a regular user of Goodreads.

Remember: When filling out My Interests, What Kind of Books Do You Like to Read? and About Me, try weaving in words that users would use to search for friends. For example, if you are an avid reader of science fiction, make sure to add keywords like “science fiction” and “sci-fi” as well as key science fiction authors and book titles to these sections.

Invite Your Own Friends

How to get more friends on Goodreads Step 2

Before searching for new friends on Goodreads, connect with your current group of friends on this social media platform.

  • Tap the drop-down arrow in the top right corner of the screen next to you profile pictures.
  • Select Friends.
  • Underneath Find Friends From, you can find your existing friends by selecting the following social media or email account for Goodreads to search:
    • Gmail
    • Yahoo
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Friends of friends (on Goodreads)
  • Fill in the search box with your friend’s name or email address found below Find Friends From to find friends you’re not connected with in the above way. Then, click search members.

Add Books to Your Bookshelves

A bookshelf is Goodreads’ equivalent to a book list. To get more friends on Goodreads, you must show that you’re an avid reader. Not having any books on your lists gives a warning that your profile may not be active or that it’s not managed by a real person. Start by filling out the default bookshelves:

  • Read: What books have you read in the past?
  • Currently Reading: What books are you reading now?
  • To-Read: What books are on your bucket list?

I chose not to add books to my Read bookshelf until I finished the book from my Currently Reading list because I wanted to keep track of how much I was reading since I created my Goodreads profile. Many of my Goodreads friends chose to update their Read bookshelf with books they’ve read years before they created their Goodreads account. It’s all about preference.

You can also create a bookshelf that best fits your profile style or brand.

Promote Your Goodreads Profile On Your Websites

How to get more friends on Goodreads Step 4

Here’s how my Goodreads widget looks on my website.

Give a shoutout to your Goodreads profile on your other social media websites. Send a tweet, post your Goodreads profile link in a Facebook post, or mention it in a blog post.

Have a website? You can add widget that previews the books you’ve recently finished reading. This encourages your website readers to be your friend on Goodreads.

  • Tap the dropdown arrow in the top right corner of the screen next to you profile pictures.
  • Select Edit Profile.
  • Within the Widgets tab, a preview of what you widget will look like appears. You can customize what shows on your widget by updating the information below Customize Your Widget
  • Copy the HTML code and paste it onto your website. For WordPress users, there is a Goodreads widget that allows you to enter your profile information without the need to copy and paste the HTML code.

Join Groups and Book Talk Discussions

How to get more friends on Goodreads Step 5

You can choose which Book Talk discussions to join.

Want to talk about your latest read? Simply have a question to ask about your current novel?

Welcome to your virtual book club. A variety of conversations, from authors and specific books to genres and book events, can be easily found within Groups and Book Talk Discussions. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Start your own group or discussion.

Groups and Book Talk Discussions are a great way to introduce yourself to this literary community. Once you have a presence and engaged in thoughtful conversation, you can add friends you have made through these outlets.

There’s even a discussion about getting more friends on Goodreads!

How do you get more friends on Goodreads? Share your strategies below.

5 Movies All Writers Must Watch About Writing

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Hitting a wall with your writing? Your eyes too strained from staring at a bright screen or a blank piece of paper for reading?

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Sometimes what our writing needs is for us to step back and relax for a bit. And what better way to renew our writing inspiration than to watch a movie (or five) about writing?

While all these movies about writing are entertaining, you’ll find new strategies worth applying to your work.

Capote

Movies About Writers 1

 

How far are you willing to go for your writing?

Famous writer Truman Capote decides to document the account of a murder of a Kansas family in what will become In Cold Blood. The twist? Capote develops a close relationship with one of the killers.

What to Take Away: What current event can you turn into a strong narrative? How close are you willing to get to the story?

Midnight in Paris

Movies About Writers 2

What if writers from the past could read your work? What would they say? Would they like it?

In one of Woody Allen’s many movies about writers, a successful but creatively unfulfilled and nostalgic Hollywood screenwriter struggles to finish his first novel while vacationing with his fiancée in Paris. He stumbles upon an opportunity to go back to the 1920s every midnight to experience the decade with his favorite writers, learning more about his novel draft and his writing craft with every passing night.

What to Take Away: Take notes on what your favorite writers do successfully in their stories. How can you apply their tactics to your work? What would they say about your writing? Would their advice be applicable to your work?

Stranger Than Fiction

Movies About Writers 3

Sometimes tapping into the creative process of another writer is what we need to break our own writer’s block.

An IRS auditor, who lives a very rigid life, suddenly hears a voice in his head narrating his every move. He is urgent to find the narrator when the voice states his impending death. It turns out that the narrator is a best-selling author writing her next book–but is suffering from writer’s block when it comes to killing him.

What to Take Away: How does the author in the movie tackle and break her writer’s block? Can you use the same strategies in your own work?

Sideways

Movies About Writers 4

Do you feel that your writing is insignificant? Rejections bringing you down?

In this movie, an English teacher (and unsuccessful writer), at the brink of a mid-life crisis, takes his soon-to-be-married actor friend and college roommate on a road trip through wine country just before he walks down the aisle. While one is seeking out another fling, the other is seeking out his worth as a writer.

What to Take Away: How does he deal with his doubt? Have you felt the same way? What questions should you ask yourself when you doubt your writing?

His Girl Friday

Movies About Writers 5

 

Not all movies about writing focus on crafting long stories.

A hard-boiled editor for a large newspaper learns that his ex-wife and former star reporter plans to marry a bland insurance man and move to the suburbs. Instead of accepting the facts, he tries every trick in the book to win her back as a reporter and as his wife–all through a breaking news story.

What to Take Away: Notice how quickly they must write to get the story out? How can you do this in areas you are struggling to write?

 

Did I miss any? What is your favorite movie about writing or writers? List your go-to flicks below.