On Wednesday I cut back to half-time at work and take a run at writing a book.

I can afford to do this for 2 months if I use up all my accumulated ET. I intend to blame you all for failing if I get distracted and don’t accomplish it.

The tentative title is “Self-Help for Slackers: Succeeding by Failing (to Act)”. It’s about all the ways you can be a better person by stopping unhealthy or unwanted behavior and replacing it by nothing at all – or maybe napping, watching TV, having a beer, etc.

I think this has universal potential – harnessing the power of failure to achieve success, feeling good about yourself for curling up on the couch, doing nothing for a positive end. Who couldn’t relate to this?

Wish me luck!

Good luck with that! I’m officially jealous of your ability to devote the time to this.

Go for it or be damned to eternal regretilization for not trying.

You might check out these guys:


Best of luck to you, man.

Have you actually used any of their services? I can’t point to anything in particular, but the site seems a little… suspect.

Good luck!

Can you mention us all in your book? Can we get autographed copies?

Darn you Boyo Jim, youse livin out my dream…

but that’s okay. Good luck!

Brendon Small

Oh, man that is SOOOOoooo pitiful! You do not want to know how long it’s been since I got laid. Even I don’t really remember – I mean, I remember who, but not when.

Good luck! Keep us updated.

When you work out how to get laid by doing nothing, THEN you have a book.

Yes, the graphics made me dubious at first also, but I found the place to be very helpful, at least for me, a novice. I’ve been a member of Absolute Write for about 6-7 months.

The Board is made up of published writers, editors, agents and others in the business as well as ‘wannabes’ of all stripes. (In the forums, I check sig blocks for websites and/or profiles to gage credibility of responder.)

I find this site easy to use and navigate. It’s by far the most user friendly of all the writer’s sites I found. It covers every facet of the writing business and it’s full of great advice and insight–IMHO.

It’s smaller than SDMB in total users and thread count so it takes less time to keep up. Users post links to outside websites, as they do here. I’d say the credibility of the site is first rate.

SciFi/Fantasy writer James D. MacDonald has a thread for new writers that started in 2005! (“Learning to write by Uncle Jim.”) It has to be the longest thread in history. Most of the advice is helpful to writers of any genre. This thread is also available in an edited version that posts only MacD’s posts, leaving out ‘me too’ comments by newbies, but also some posts from notable people, some published.

A recent question in the Mystery section on police procedure got three responses from professionals, (one D.A., two cops), as well from nonprofessionals that seemed helpful, too.

There is a section for posting one’s work for criticism. When I posted my short story I got responses that went from ‘very helpful’ to ‘missed the point altogether’…but what would you expect?

The ‘problem’ is that there’s so much more to the writing game than one might think. It’s been easy to spend days reading about story structure, plot, characters, submission standards, query letters, agents, and various other parts of the business…and I never got around to actually writing.

Give it a shot, Boyo…what’s to lose?

Given the couple of months you have, it seems to me you need to A) outline your book, B) finish the first couple of chapters, and study the sections on writing query letters, and finding an agent. By the time you go back to work, you should have X-number of letters in the mail to agents and query letters to publishers.

One warning: Everything in publishing takes forever. It’s going to take 3-5 months before I can expect an accepted/rejected note from the publisher to whom I submitted my short story. The usual time between accepting a manuscript and seeing it on the shelves is apparently two years.

If you have other questions, feel free to email me.

So, do you have an opening sentence yet?

Actually, I have several, as the whole concept is still in flux.

“Congratulations, by purchasing this book you’ve taken the first, and possbly last, step on the road to self improvement!”

“After getting off your ass and into a bookstore, you probably can use a break-- so get back onto a couch and read further, my friend.”

“One dark and stormy night, mesmerized by the sound of rain, occasonally confusing the beer bottle in my right hand with the remote control in my left, I had an epiphany.”

I say you should include all three. Use one in the Foreword, one in the Introduction and one at beginning of the actual book.

I can certainly appreciate your economy of style, and I think I will shamelessly use this idea. After all, this could turn out to be a painfully thin book.

Looking forward to this project, the question that keeps coming into my mind is, “How will I know when it’s done?” I imagine that I could spend an eternity tinkering with it.

Well, then you need to come up with a closing sentence. When you get around to using it, you’ll know you’re done.

I also note that none of your opening sentences mention pee. Is there a reason for this weird omission?

The book’s not over 'til the fat guy pees.

Hey, your special title disappeared again! Well, good luck with the book.

Then will you write the volcano book? Please? The world needs a good volcano book.