• THE FOREST FOR THE TREES

    I wrote a book called THE FOREST FOR THE TREES. It's an advice book for writers, though it's more about what makes writers tick. For four years, I blogged every day about the agony of writing and publishing, and the self loathing that afflicts most writers. A community of like-minded malcontents gathered and thus ensued a grand conversation. I post less frequently now, but hopefully with as much vitriol. Please join in!

    Gluttons for punishment can scroll through the archives. If I’ve learned one thing about writers, it’s this: we really are all alone. Thanks for reading. Love, Betsy

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Hey There You With the Stars In Your Eyes

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Today, a client asked me why I like the Emmy’s. Get to know me. I live in a perpetual award show. Have you ever seen me in an elevator? I don’t just like award ceremonies, I am an award’s speech aficionado. I came of age during you like me you really like me era. I understand what it is to spend most of your life in therapy. To want love and greatness and appreciation and spotlight. Double-sided tape and jumbo shrimp. I want to congratulate all other nominees in the category. It is such an honor. 

Who are you going to thank?

 

You Turned Out to Be the Best Thing I Never Had

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Where do you go for feedback? Who is your best reader? Is it the person who likes your work the most or the one who gets up in your grill? Are the comments you hate the ones that are the most important to heed? (Hint: YES) Why is that most writers I know feel like arsenic has been thrown in their face when met with criticism. It’s a little like telling a parent his or her child is ugly. Of course some comments are off base, but when someone doesn’t get what’s going on it’s incumbent on you to address it.

Or what?

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

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I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole. I’m a genius. I’m an asshole.

How was your day?

Find Out What You Mean To Me

 

Finished a draft of the fucker before labor day. Now, she and I are giving each other the cold shoulder. I’m a firm believer of leaving your shit alone for at least a few weeks, become detached, even cold, before looking at it again. My husband asked me what I liked best about it and I said setting up stuff and knocking it down. Thirty five years ago at an alternative summer camp I got into a fight with a guy I had a crush on. He insisted that feeling was all that mattered. I was insisting structure. I guess I haven’t changed.

What do you do when you finish a piece?

I’m Going Down, Down, Down, Down, Down, Down, Down.

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It’s one short mostly inconsequential scene and yet it takes all day, two days, three. Keep going back to it. More, less, add, chip. Why is it there. Delete. Replace, Delete. Now, it’s more a contest of wills. Will this little piece of shit scene win? Vanquish you and your lands. Oh, lord, let it go, move on, you are not the youngest person in the room. Maybe the scene is key or is it just setting something up and if that’s the case isn’t it, by it’s very nature, a golf tee?

What’s your favorite sports metaphor for writing?

 

Can’t Live if Living is Without You

 

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Do you think writers, by nature, are loners? And by loner I mean someone who generally feels alone, even at a party, especially at a party.  A person who can’t stand more than a few hours of togetherness, who prefers and relishes time alone. It’s taken me a long to time to understand that while I have the loner in me, I also like to be of the world. I’ve always felt these two parts of myself were in conflict, but I’m beginning to realize that they feed each other. I’m really happy to say that this week I’m burrowing in my mole hole.  I hope to see no one and no daylight. I plan to wear the same thing, eat the same food, do my back exercises and finish the fucker.

What are you getting done by the end of the summer?

I Can’t Make You Love Me

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The good news: Keanu Reeves has become a book publisher. The bad news: he doesn’t accept submissions from agents.

Why is life so unfair?