Title Change for Writing Book

Just as an FYI for all y’all, I’ve made a change to the title of the writing book. It is now:

You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing

Yes, it’s long. So what. I like it. Although I do like the runner-up, too: “Sailing the Ramen Seas: Notes on the Writing Life.” If Bill thinks the first title is too much, I’ll fall back on the ramen. Which really is a writer thing to do, is it not.

You may like the chapter titles as well:

1. Writing Advice, or, Avoiding Real Work the John Scalzi Way
2. Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Writer’s Life For Me
3. The Schadenfreude Needle is Buried Deep Into the Red: On Writers
4. Science Fiction, or, Don’t Skip This Chapter, You Goddamned Writing Snobs

Only four chapters. Each between 10k and 20k words, however. Total book length is 70k words.

Also, the book is compiled, sequenced and sent. January 24, and I already have a book done for the year. Only three more to go! Please kill me.

25 Comments on “Title Change for Writing Book”

  1. I remember the laptop-in-Starbucks post. It actually gave me my best camouflage for working in a Starbucks: I look like a married, middle-aged white guy trying to look writerly and get laid. People thus ignore me, and I get a lot of work done.

    It’s the perfect disguise.

    Until I get laid by a writer groupie.

  2. Mari Adkins – Lexington KY – Appalachian gothic fiction writer - my works reflect a love of literature flavored by the darkness and magic residing in these ancient mountains. In my spare time, I'm a Simmer, I tumbl, I journal, but I always have a very strange sense of humor. I have lived away from the mountains and lived deep in the mountains. I currently live in Central Kentucky with my lifepartner and his cat. The mountains, their culture, their superstitions, their particular magics, will always be in my blood.

    Until I get laid by a writer groupie.


  3. The writers I know who take their laptops to coffee shops are mostly members of that large section of the human race called “mothers.” The coffee shop is the place where they can be uninterrupted by nothing more intrusive than random street crazies.

  4. I haven’t read that laptop-Starbucks post, but I think I’ve benefitted from not liking coffee and not being able to afford Starbucks prices. My lame attempts to be writerly stay in my house and authors don’t laugh at me in public.

  5. First post here (after about two years of reading the Whatever). Just wanted to say: that title rocks. I am definitely going to buy that book. (OMW was pretty good, too.)

  6. Oh, I want to read this book so badly!!!!!!

    I love the title choices (eating ramen right now, in fact). Of course the big secret is that getting published allows you to get the 3/$1 ramen instead of the 10/$ ramen…….

  7. The writers I know who take their laptops to coffee shops are mostly members of that large section of the human race called “mothers.” The coffee shop is the place where they can be uninterrupted by nothing more intrusive than random street crazies.

    Amen! The coffee shop is not where I go to be seen writing, it’s where I go to write undisturbed. The “Do Not Disturb” sign on my office door is only sporadically effective.

    And then there’s the laundry. Undone housekeeping has a way of insisting it’s more important than writing, but out of sight is out of mind. Thank goodness for coffee shops!

  8. I can often be seen in a coffee shop (well, Panera Bread) with a laptop…

    …but only because my sweet, wonderful clients opened businesses out in the middle of God’s idyllic nowhere, without the malignant curse of broadband internet, and so when their beautiful, one-of-a-kind printer decides to embark on a career of printing gibberish, I have to schlep the uncountable, delightful miles back to civilization to download drivers for said esoteric hardware.

    Getting laid and/or writing, unfortunately, tend to be quite far from my mind.

    Definitely a swell title for the book. Much looking forward to it.

  9. Rose Fox – Publishers Weekly reviews editor. Freelance medical journalist. New Yorker. Married, with girlfriend. Skeptical optimist. Pragmatic hedonist.
    Rose Fox

    I love writing in cafes so much that I’m planning to redesign my living room to look like a cafe, to make it easier to write at home. Who am I supposed to be fooling about what, again?

  10. Rose Fox: I have done this, but being part of the mothering segment Patrick helpfully pointed out earlier, mine has to be at least separated by a door from the rest of the living space. I’ve got two, just for a sort of airlock concept.

    It’s in what used to be an enclosed back porch. Good? Separate entrance. Bad? Not connected to heating system of the house. Until recently the whole operation was run on an extension cord (we spare no expense, it was one of the heavy orange ones). Now I have full electricity and better light. Still use an small electric radiator bought at Target when I am in there in the winter, and when the temps here go into the single digits, it’s cold. I have worn a winter hat while writing.

    On the other hand it’s 85,000 words later so it can’t be that bad.

  11. They’re all fantastic, John. ALL of them. You make the wittiest book titles ever. I’ll hire you when I make my own book, heh.

    (Of course you’ll be paid, no, not handsomely, majestically.)

  12. Hey, if you’re looking for a way to shorten the title, may I suggest:

    “Taking your laptop to a coffee shop fools no one.”

    For comparison, here’s the original:

    “You’re not fooling anyone when you take your laptop to a coffee shop.”

  13. Lars:

    I think it could be lengthened:

    Who Do You Think You’re Fooling, Taking Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop?

    And to give it that old-timey Harlan Ellisony feel:

    The Laptop, the Coffee Shop on the Edge of Forever and the Whimper of Whipped Writers

  14. The writers I know who take their laptops to coffee shops are mostly members of that large section of the human race called “mothers.”

    What he said. I did 99% of my studying for the bar exam at a Starbucks for the same reason. Bad jazz quartets and yuppies with nonfat-triple-soy-seafoam-grande-lattes are nowhere near as distracting as minihumans.

    That said, though, the post is mostly accurate and still funny.

  15. Seems like a title that would work on a book jacket: “You’re not fooling” in biggish type, “Anyone” in humongous type on it’s own line, the rest of the sentence smaller and maybe crowded down the left side by the goofy cartoon of the guy with his laptop & latte, with the Scalzi on Writing at the bottom.

Exit mobile version