Saturday, August 22, 2009

Feeling embarrassed over a draft

I've isolated a particular moment in the writing process that can lock up scholars -- finding an error in a draft, and feeling embarrassed about it! Now, one would think that the draft stage would be the appropriate place to identify errors, but for some reason I felt an enormous sense of not only shame, but potential public humiliation, when I saw a mistake in the title of a draft of one of my book chapters this morning. Immediately thoughts popped to mind: "What if it had gone out that way?" "What if the editor saw it and thought how stupid I am?" "How could I have missed that after looking at it so many times?" None of these recriminating questions was particularly helpful, but they made up for that by being loud and persistent (or as a version of the old saying goes, he was slovenly, but he made up for it by being rude).

The frog above agrees that shame is the only appropriate response to any mistake. Visit him and other disapproving critters at one of my favorite websites,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Booklab takes your questions

Are you an author or author-to-be? Do you have a pressing question about book publishing? Write to Booklab, and I'll answer for free if your question is selected, and if you agree to have it posted on the blog. It's all anonymous unless you wish to be identified. Booklab does charge for classes and professional literary advising, so this is a great way to communicate gratis. Maybe it will turn into a column!

HINT: To really keep it anonymous, post your question as an unsigned reply to any blog entry.