Bits, Bobs, and Blurbs

Since I recently received my very first real-life, official, honest-to-god blurb request, I’ve been thinking a lot about it. Working on it has been a bit of a revelation–it’s a challenge, and a responsibility, and an honor, and lord help me it is HARD to do. So, naturally, I consulted the intertubes and found an interesting article on the topic by Chuck Wendig (with a number of amusing faux blurb examples, including the ever-useful “Better than Cats!”). Just as interesting were the comments, from writers and readers alike, exhibiting a range of opinions on blurbs and their usefulness, or lack thereof.

The upshot is, I’m trying to craft something that’s enticing, that is specific to the story at hand rather than generic. I also keep reminding myself that I’m not writing a review…which is what I’m more used to doing…

In the process of my neurotic googling over the past few days, I also ran across this article in the New York Times on self-doubt and its pernicious ability to cripple writerly creativity. We writers have a unique relationship to our inner critics–as the article’s author points out, “the problem with my inner critic is that it’s inseparable from my outer critic, which is the means by which I earn a fair proportion of what for rhetorical purposes I will call ‘my living.'” We are forever faced with the dilemma of having to compartmentalize our capacity for self-criticism, harness it for productive purposes when it’s expedient and necessary, and ignoring it when we need to. I’m still struggling with that dilemma, myself, but it is reassuring, sort of, to remind myself it’s all a part of the writer’s process.

National Poetry Month continues with the Poetically Speaking series over on Miss Print–today’s post features fellow YA author Justina Chen interviewing poets Janet S. Wong and Sylvia Vardell about their poetry anthologies. Go forth and be poetic!

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