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 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

14 Dec

You’ve got to have hope

You’ve got to have hope.

Not blind faith. This business is way too influenced by luck for that. Not a realistic assessment of your chances. Your chances are way too uncertain for that. Hope.

Hope is the feeling that you could achieve something with a bit of luck, with a bit of skill, with a bit of perseverance. Hope is the feeling that what you do matters, that you can influence the world around you in a positive way. Hope is what makes life in uncertain times possible. It doesn’t really matter what your business is, how uncertain it is, or what you’re writing, or creating, or hoping for.

You need hope simply to survive. Read More

04 Jul

Dealing with Lack of Motivation

Dealing with Lack of Motivation

Dealing with Lack of MotivationI’m losing my will to write. I’m losing my will to design. In fact, I’m losing my will.

And I should have seen it coming.

I’ve learned some things about myself, things that I can’t seem to change. First off, I’m a carrot type of guy. I work best when I’m motivated by positive feelings. Negative motivation, stress, and pushes don’t work for me. And I know that I’m not alone. Read More

23 May

Mathematical Proof that You’ve Got Time to Write

Mathematical Proof You've got Time to Write

Mathematical Proof You've got Time to WriteThere is one in every gathering. The friend-of-a-friend who says “Oh, I’m going to write a novel, too, when I’ve got the time.”

Sometimes they use variations “I’m going to write when I retire.” “When the kids are older.” “When this project at work is finished.” If only they’d have the time.

Well, friend-of-a-friend, since I don’t have the courage to take you by the ear and shake you, I’ll do the second best thing. I’m going to lampoon you on the Interwebz. I’m going to prove to you that you’ve got the time to write, using cold, hard math. Read More

09 May

You Have to Begin

You have to begin

You have to beginYou have to begin.

You have to begin, over, and over, and over again. A new story, a new chapter, a new sentence.

You have to begin. That’s all there is to it.

For me, beginning is always hard. I know of people who look at the page and don’t know what to write. I don’t. If I look at the page, I start to write. It’s the moment before, right as I start the computer, think about what I need to do, that’s the hardest.

I know I should begin. I know that as soon as I begin I’ll be able to write, I’ll be getting somewhere, anywhere. But the moment before I start, that’s pure fear.

I’ve been writing professionally for over fifteen years now, and I still have trouble beginning. I still feel the fear. Read More