Author Archive: Eric San Juan

Writing-related New Year’s resolutions

I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions. They’re either a laughable waste of time, a recipe for disappointment, or both. But I do believe in setting goals, especially when it comes to what I want to accomplish with my writing. I’m way too scatter-brained and easily distracted to stay focused without a clearly defined set of goals in front of me. So with this in mind, last December I outlined a set of goals to accomplish in 2009. They were as follows: 1) Finish refining my middle grade fantasy novel and BEGIN SEARCHING FOR AGENTS. The book needs at least one more pass before it’s ready for prime time, but that should not stop me from being ready to start the querying process. 2) Finish…
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Total. Author. Meltdown.

Wow. This juvenile meltdown by a published author is making the rounds on the Internet right now, and it’s great reading. The gist is simple: reviewer on Amazon.com gives a book a bad review, the author responds to the review, and total bugfuck hilarity ensues. The author descends into a meltdown laden with conspiracy theories, secret supporters (none of whom we actually see), and a seemingly insatiable need to dig their hole ever deeper. If you at all like watching train wrecks, this is fantastic morning entertainment. I just can’t fathom what’s going through someone’s head when they do this. Even major authors sometimes fall prey to it. Someone doesn’t like your work? Fine. That’s part of writing. You feel like you want to respond?…
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Dealing with criticism

One of my favorite bloggers on writing and the publishing industry, literary agent Nathan Bransford, recently made an excellent post about dealing with criticism. Excellent reading for any and all aspiring writers. Confronting a critique or criticism need not be a gut-wrenching trial. It can, and should, be a valuable learning experience. One of the first and most difficult hurdles on the road to publication is learning to cope with criticism. Yet you must. No matter how good you think you are, criticism is inevitable. It is also vital to your growth as a writer. The ability to solicit critiques knowing they will poke holes in your work, and to then listen to said critiques objectively and with an open mind, is one of the…
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Writing, old age, and late bloomers

This piece from The New Yorker is well worth reading if you’re on the wrong side of 35. Which probably sounds pretty insulting to people on the wrong side of 35, but keep in mind that I am one of you. Which is why my bones ache. And I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night. And I want those damn kids off my lawn. Anyway, this excellent piece notes, “Genius, in the popular conception, is inextricably tied up with precocity—doing something truly creative, we’re inclined to think, requires the freshness and exuberance and energy of youth.” But does it? Not according to University of Chicago economist David Galenson: (Galenson) looked through forty-seven major poetry anthologies published since 1980 and counted the poems…
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The first music I ever “released” — it’s back!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since I first did this little tape. It was the summer of 1994. I had just gotten my trust TASCAM Porta 7, a four-track tape recorder that allowed talented people record demos and such, and allowed people like me to ruin the definition of “music.” Which is exactly what I did for the last few months of 1994, the time period from which this “music” springs*. I “sampled” (read: stole) chunks of music from elsewhere, slowed it down or played it backwards, laid other stuff on top of it, and generally just played around with things. Also recorded some noisy nonsense. And so on. Then, I made tapes. Remember cassingles? I grabbed every last one I owned,…
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