Sheehan’s Tips for New Writers

Tamara Sheehan, author of The Tenth Man and The Mediocre Assassin’s Handbook, gives three tips for aspiring pros that manage to be both sobering and entertaining:

Writing is work that can make you go crazy. It’s Sisyphean. It’s long hours for little acknowledgment. For the majority of us, it does not and will not ever pay as much as our day jobs. Want to go have a little cry? Go ahead. I understand. I did too, when I got it.

Update 10/05/2009: I revised this post based on the information discussed here

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11 thoughts on “Sheehan’s Tips for New Writers

  1. Hmm… you’re right, that is a bit misleading. I’ll change it.
    I was actually nominated for an Aurora Award in 2007 for my short story Tenth Man (published in Neo Opsis). Thanks for pointing that out!

  2. Although I was hoping this would prove to be some easily explained misunderstanding, I’m still not following. I looked at the 2007 Aurora nominees and 2008 Aurora nominees (the latter for work published in 2007) and while I see that Neo Opsis was up for “Best Work in English (Other)” both times, and of course you had a short story in Neo Opsis, no short story by you appears among the Aurora nominees. This seems confirmed by the Locus Index to SF Awards historic summary of Aurora nominees.

  3. Hi!

    I’m having a panic here. You’re right, I don’t see it either.
    I’m going to email Paula J at Neo Opsis and get her to reconfirm that they nominated Twenty for an Aurora Award, as I can’t find the email or find it on Google. I’ll get back to you ASAP. If I have effed up, I shall certainly apologize.

  4. Oh. Dear.

    Well, I talked with Stephanie and she said she can’t find a nomination. The email I received has long been binned, so I can’t go back and read that, it’s not on the lists, so there’s only one thing to do.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention (oh my god, thank you). I’m going to go over to my blog and make an apology.

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  6. Tamara: Looks like you are fixing things up as best you can — good for you. And I still recommend your tips to new writers!

  7. Mike, it appears you’re completely wrong regarding the Aurora nomination. Tamara was nominated and she can (now) prove it to what I hope meets your standards.

    Since this page shows up on a google search of Tamara’s name and since her professional reputation has been called into question I am posting this comment so any person browsing through will realize you have made a false accusation.

    I trust you will fix this situation with the same degree of professionalism Tamara exhibited in responding to you.

  8. Hi Mike,

    I’d like to echo JC’s comments. I’m hoping that in future you will a) do the person the courtesy of emailing privately, instead of making a public claim and b) make your own apology publicly on her blog. As JC said, her blog is attached to her name and as such….

    I also hope you – and others – will learn from this. Just because you cannot google something does not make it false.

    In future, please tread more carefully before calling someone out.

  9. @Flannelberry: I’m glad to encounter a kindred spirit who appreciates there is a universe of information even beyond the ken of Google. However, the Aurora Award nominees are probably not an example. There is an official Aurora Award website, and several others, that maintain lists of the finalists. “Twenty” doesn’t appear on any of them because, as Clint Budd says, it didn’t make the short list.

  10. I think what’s problematic about your claim/continued claims (and I could be incorrect so am willing to stand corrected) is that nowhere did Tamara claim to be a shortlisted author. I believe she’s only ever claimed to be a nominee. And that has been verified for Twenty. And she has corrected the wording around Tenth Man to be much more clear.

    I guess I’m a little unclear as to the rationale behind your continuation of this. Is it that you would not like to be seen as incorrect or is it that she made you a bum coffee and you’re getting revenge ;)?

    Seriously – it also doesn’t explain why you would go public with this information and not email her first. I appreciate the intent to “get the truth”, I’m just not clear why you feel you’ve not gotten it.

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