05 Apr

How I got 10 hours of writing time each week by eating less and running more

This is a long story.

It spans 10 years, a million words and about six kilograms. But first some background.

I am a middle aged gentleman on the wrong side of the middle. I’ve got two jobs, three kids have no time.

When I started being serious about my writing, wanting to take it from a dream to a career, I had to cut out something from my day. So I don’t watch TV anymore. I used that time to write.

I cut down on useless web surfing. Or I try. I do spend a bit too much on the YouTube science and writing channels. But I found those things that I could trim from my schedule, and used that time to write. Read More

29 Mar

Creative Wells and Buckets of Satisfaction

Banner - LightI can’t code and write.

I can code well enough, and I can write well enough. But I can’t do it on the same day. Coding and writing fill up the same creative well in my mind.

It doesn’t really matter if I’m writing fiction or non-fiction, or whether I’m coding JavaScript or Visual Basic, or any other language. If I code I get the same creative kicks that I get out of writing. Read More

19 Mar

Friday Links * 2: Dealing With Perfectionism

This is the most important writing and craft related article you will ever read. Allow me to quote from it:

So I change my students’ mindset to a reader/editor mindset. How do I do it? By giving them only three valid responses to something they’ve read:

  1. I liked what I read.
  2. I quit on page [insert number here].
  3. I liked what I read and I would have bought this.

Read More

08 Mar

Knowing What Keeps You Sane

Banner: Meditation at the lakeshoreWe humans are pretty good at finding the negative sides of our lives. All the little annoyances that litter our days. Those tiny angers we encounter on the road, at work,  at home.

We can’t avoid them, no matter how we try.

But that’s OK. Our brains are made that way. What makes life good is figuring out those parts that keep you afloat when everything else is dragging you down. Read More

15 Feb

Your Brain as a Group of Warring Tribes

Banner - rowersOnce upon a time in the dark ages of economic history, the human being was a rational agent.

We evaluated what we want, and found the cheapest way to get it. This, of course, had nothing to do with how humans act in reality. Instead, there came the much simplified theory of behavioral rewards.

It said that the brain creates neural pathways, using dopamine to reinforce or suppress them based on the rewards it’s received. This, too, proved wrong. Read More

08 Feb

How Math Destroys Your Progress

Banner - DiceThere is an element of chance in everything we do. Call it chance, fortune, Lady Luck. Call it whatever you want. But it means that if you did great today, you’re doing worse tomorrow. Here’s why.

Imagine that you have an amazing writing day. Let’s say that you managed to type in 4000 beautiful words in a single afternoon, producing four times as much as you normally do.  Everything is great. You’re totally on a roll. Read More

11 Jan

No Pressure

Banner: running in the snowI’ve been told that I am ambitious and having two day jobs and a third on the way, as well as my writing and game designing, I concede that there might be something in that.

There’s nothing wrong with doing lots of things all at once, as long as it’s fun. Everyone is happy, right?

Not quite. Read More