Don't Live for Your Obituary: Advice, Commentary and Personal Observations on Writing, 2008-2017 by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have several of John Scalzi's books, so I'm used to his snappy, snarky style. This book (published by the small specialty press Subterranean, and a thick, lovely book it is) pulls from several years of Scalzi's blog posts, on his site Whatever. I've been following the blog for quite some time, so I'm sure I've read all these before. But seeing them in one place, and arranged by subject, just reinforces that John Scalzi is a writer with a lot to say, about his craft, his peers, and other topics such as politics.
His writing style does take a bit of getting used to, especially when he really lets loose. As he himself says, "The failure mode of clever is asshole," and on a couple of occasions I've seen him veer perilously close to that line. Thankfully, he mostly avoids that here, and imparts some solid advice on living the writing life. I especially appreciated the practical advice about money, and managing your time, and protecting your intellectual property. There's plenty of books about the craft of writing, but few that wander into the real-life weeds as some of these pieces do.
All in all, this is a good offering from a successful, working writer. Stephen King's On Writing still leads this particular pack (at least as far as I'm concerned), but this book isn't too far behind.
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