Although I will continue to review science fiction and fantasy books as I read them, I will also start reviewing books on freelance writing. I have a few waiting for me in my “to read” pile. Most focus on commercial writing (copywriting, brochures, marketing documents, etc.) over writing articles on for magazines on spec. If you would like me to review books about writing articles for spec, please let me know.
First in the queue is You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi (@scalzi, and his blog, the Whatever). Scalzi has experience as a fiction and non-fiction writer, a journalist, and a freelance commercial writer, so it seems like a good place to start.
Keep an eye out for the reviews. I hope you enjoy them and find them useful.
What is the title referencing in relation to writing? That people with laptops in coffee shops are pretending to be writers? Just curious. I take my laptop to coffee shops but that’s just to check email. I’m not trying to fool anyone.
One of his main arguments is that although he loves to write, and would do it even if it wasn’t his job, because it is his job, he works hard at it. With his typical flair for snark, Scalzi is trying to draw a distinction between real, professional writers and people who want to be seen as writers (they like the image of a writer–bohemian, artsy, whatever, but they don’t like working at writing).
He jokes that if you’re taking your laptop to the cafe so that you can ask out the cute barista, you’re better off staying at home and working on your novel. When you have your galley copies, take those to the coffee shop. She’s much more likely to say yes then.
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