Let’s face it: It’s hard to forget Jack Nicholson when he’s coming at you with an axe. Or even a pick-up line, right ladies? So I won’t pretend that this week’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing isn’t a repeat from a while back. But I did bring a note from my fire captain, which reads:
Please excuse Ned from this week’s NWOW. He was up most of the night fighting a house fire. He looks like hell and smells like smoke. Usually he just looks like hell.
— Capt. Warren.
That said, my apologies for the repeat. However, I chose this piece because, as often as a writer (and even Jack Nicholson) deals with rejection, I think the message bears repeating. We’ll return to our regularly scheduled NWOW next week, during which I’ll apologize again — but not because it’s a repeat…
It’s time for this week’s edition of my Nickel’s Worth on Writing, which Editor’s Weakly recently called “…something that has become an integral part of our screening process whenever we hire a proof reader.”
High prays in deed.
But enough accolades!
Let’s get to this week’s NWOW, which I’d like to open by sharing a few passages from the many rejection letters I’ve received over the years:
“You are a gifted wordsmith. Try somewhere else.”
(Were they saying I was overqualified?)
(Note: Because this is indeed a re-post from last year, I have prepared myself for a good flogging. And not the kind E.L. James would give after dressing me up as a flying monkey from the Wizard of Oz. I have no one to blame but myself for this shortcoming, which I’d like to clarify has nothing to do with flying monkeys — and everything to do with one of those late-night fire calls that has left my brain like that of… well… a flying monkey. I hope you’ll forgive me, My Pretties. Pay no attention to that man snoring behind the curtain…)
Yes, it’s true: Friday is finally here! And so is Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing, both of which are awaited for with equal amounts of anticipation! Just like French toast and mustard; your favorite TV show and a power outage; or a great hair day and tornado warning. Why so much anticipation? Because this weekly feature on writing, culled from my 15 years as a columnist, has been referred to by Consumer Reports as “worth every penny, unless it’s Canadian.”
That’s right. Many of today’s most influential writers got their start right HERE. Or at least in this general vicinity, somewhere on the planet. The Master of Horror® Stephen King put it this way:
“Each week, he offers an oyster with a pearl inside. And each week I say to myself, ‘shuck it.'”
For regular readers of this blog, I know what you’re thinking:
“I’ve seen pictures of Ned before, and I remember him being… older. And slightly more Caucasian.”
That’s because it’s a photo of Alan W. King, whose work as a journalist and blogger is best described as continued excellence. I’ve been a follower of his for a while, so when he recently began an interview series called “Writers and Their Process,” I was thrilled when he asked me to be a part of it.