01 Mar

How do you write?

Banner - Fountain PenHow do you write? Not now and then. Not because someone forces you to. How do you write, as often, and as productively, as you would like?

Fun, plain and simple.

Removing the “must” part from “I must write,” turning it into a simple “I write.”

For me, fun is what made that happen. No pressure, no self-recrimination, no “the world should be this way, and I should be that way with it.” Just plain fun. Read More

04 Jan

How I write this blog

Banner - PenI thought this might be a fun thing to do, to let you see exactly the process I use to write my blog.

Right now I’m walking outside, it’s about 10 degrees Celsius. There are nice weather, a little bit wet since it’s in the fall.

And I’m dictating this into my Voyager into my Plantronics Voyager 3200 headset.

Did you notice what just happened there? I said Voyager twice, because I missed a word. I’m not going to correct this in editing. All I’m going to do is clean up the punctuation and any spelling errors.

Everything else remains. So your

Everything else remains. So what you see here is the exact transcript of the exact words that I use. Read More

28 Dec

Pulling Down the Pedestal – On Dealing with insecurity in writing

Banner - Fountain PenI’m working on a project right now. It’s a spaghetti western in space with magic, and I’ve come to a point where I have no idea where the project should be going.

On one hand, it could end.

There is enough for a cataclysmic showdown with everybody getting gunned down by the hero. That will make it rather short and I like the characters and setting. I’m not quite ready to leave them just yet. There is room for tidying up unfinished business.

But I have no idea how I’m going to do that. I’m pantsing it, writing in to the dark. I don’t know the world, I don’t know the hero, the opposition, the side characters. I’m inventing everything as I write. 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

23 Nov

Does your mirror say that you’re happy?

Banner - Sunrise

In my day job, I do a lot of zoom meetings, and every time, I’m struck by how similar people look on zoom.

You can get 20 images, side by side in a big grid. 20 faces looking back at you. And they all frown. Every single one.

Granted, I’m from Sweden and Swedes are a bit of a dour people. We don’t have that compulsory, smiling thing that they do in Japan, or that big “I love everything in the world is great”-thing they do in the USA.

But still, I’ve spoken to people from other countries on zoom, and they don’t look much happier than I do. Read More

09 Nov

Flexible yet indomitable

Banner - Old tree

Banner - Old tree

You want to be flexible. Not like water, which will flow around anything, but will be stopped by a simple dam, be pumped away, forced into a new path, evaporate, or simply sink into oblivion.

You want to be indomitable. Not like a rock, which is hard and strong, but once cracked, will never heal itself.

No, you want to be flexible, yet indomitable. Like a tree.

A tree will grow past any obstacles, cracking concrete, breaking through rock. It will stand against hurricanes and floods, shaking, bending, but resuming its growth once the storm passes.

Read More

10 Oct

Top Ten Writing Resources – Fall 2016

Top Ten Writer's Resources Fall 2016

Top Ten Writer's Resources Fall 2016There are some things that work plain better than others, that resonate with your needs better than others. When it comes to writing, I have tons of resources that I use on occasion, some that I use repeatedly and a few that I use all the time.

This is my Top Ten List of Writing Resources for the fall of 2016 (with some bonuses and honorary mentions). 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