Shooting myself in the creative foot

LibertyCon is this weekend and I am really looking forward to it.  I need a motivation boost.  I watched a movie recently, called Author’s Anonymous.  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you keep it that way.

I know some people who have watched and liked it. To me it was like a two hour writer’s soul sucking vampire in digital form.  I was extremely depressed after I forced myself to watch it all the way through.  I paid money to rent it so I was too stubborn to turn the thing off like I should have.

The movie was about a writing group.  It was filmed like a camera crew following each of the characters around for a documentary.  You had the older man, a Tom Clancy wanna be. (Who hated Tom Clancy) You had they younger guy who worked two jobs and had major writer’s block and too focused on the pretty blonde girl in the group. (She was the actress who plays Penny on the show Big Bang Theory.)

There was the married couple; a bad romance writer with one manuscript and her optometrist husband who only recorded ideas for novels on a digital recorder.  Then there was the undereducated pretty blonde who lived with her mother, did nothing but write and ended up with a book contract before everyone else.

I don’t remember any of the character’s names. I could look them up but I am trying to forget the whole movie.  Really, it could be a good example of what not to do as a writer. It does a good job of portraying jealously and back biting.  The older man even falls for a Vanity Publisher.  His book turns out awful with a bad cover and the blurb in Chinese instead of English.

I still haven’t pinpointed exactly why the movie affected me so much. It felt like food poisoning only for writing.  Maybe because of the way it portrayed writers?  But then a lot of what they showed was true. Extreme versions maybe, but I have met people similar.

Maybe it’s because I can identify with some of the characters. I am educated. I read a lot. But I am not as well educated as others and I am writing in between life.  I have to work because I have kids and cats to feed and so far no one has bought any of my stories.

My goal is to be a hybrid author. To both self publish and traditionally publish. The movie certainly showed self publishing in the worst light. Vanity publishers are to be avoided. There are other ways, but those were not even mentioned.

Showing all the options is too much to be expected of a movie that is not a documentary. I do realize that. I am just trying to figure out why watching Author’s Anonymous felt like shooting myself in the creative foot.

So perhaps it is because I can see a little bits of the more vulnerable sides of my own life in three of the five main characters.  I’ve never read the Great Gatsby, I self publish, and I work a job not related to writing.  I never considered these really bad things until this movie. It made me feel like a charlatan or a fraud to call myself a writer.

And if I share faults with three of the five then what about the other two?  Are there things that I don’t see in myself?  Maybe I don’t write as well as I thought I did?

Yeah this movie really crushed my ego.  Hopefully I will be able to shake off the effects of it soon.


Published by: thecoffeefox

Once upon a time there was a woman who was a writer. She was either cursed or blessed from birth to be so and there was much debate on which it was. One day a very discouraging (and not very original) person told her not to give up her day job. The woman smiled and said that was a wonderful idea. Following the unwittingly clever advice of her critic, the woman found a job working nights, which left her days free to write. Even better, the night job had an unusual schedule which packed two weeks worth of work into one, so the writer was able to have every other week off to sit on her front porch, daydream, and of course write. However, working at night and writing during the day left little time for sleep, so the poor writer occasionally went a little mad, but she decided it was an acceptable price to pay to be able to continue following her curse-blessing. Also she likes tea. :)

Categories rant, writingTags, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Shooting myself in the creative foot”

  1. Eek! I’m sorry you reacted so harshly to it. Honestly, some of the things you disliked were the ones I liked the best. The guy who self pubbed was so deluded (referring to himself in the third person, thinking he was going to compete with Clancy, the extremely poor quality of the publisher) that it took some of the sting out of compressing him to myself. And I didn’t take the non-writing job as a bad thing. I loved the guy thinking up ideas and never doing anything with them. And who hasn’t eavesdropped for dialog?

    Yes, the movie was pretty bad. I liked the first half a lot better than the second half. I thought it was fun, but I certainly understand if you’re mileage varied.

    1. LOL I am sure I probably would have reacted to it differently had I picked a different time to watch it. LibertyCon is this weekend and I was looking for something to distract me from my anxiety. I chose poorly. I love LibertyCon but going to conventions without my usual group of friends is still new to me and I sometimes freakout a little right before a con. It’s stupid but there isn’t much I can do about it. It always happens no matter how well I plan or how much I try to avoid it.
      Add that to my self writers doubt and then throw the movie on top…well you can see why it didn’t go over well for me. Timing makes a difference. I will get over it.
      I thought the first half was better than the last half as well. The characters were well done and each one very different from the other. It just hit sore spots I guess.
      Another thing, if everyone everywhere like all the same stuff the world would be a pretty boring place. 🙂

  2. I remember seeing the preview and thinking it looked fun, but I probably won’t go looking for it. I hope you have an excellent time at the con – one that far exceeds your expectations and puts the self writer doubt back in the bottle where it belongs!!!

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