Knowing that others have been rejected before you, that authors you admire, who’ve won prizes and gone on to glorious careers, have been badly rejected, can ease your burden. Here are some of those rejections. Read More
Writing to the Point is a short (152 airy pages) yet deep (spanning everything from “Chapter 1: The Basic Basics” to dealing with agents and who to format a manuscript) writing advice book. It took me slightly less than an hour-and-a-half to read, and I haven’t come away from a writing how-to book this turbo-charged in a long, long time. Read More
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
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
Ours is not to reason why, Ours is but to do or die[note]Contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with the US Marines, Iwo Jima or the Battle of Ypres. The original quote, “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die”, comes from the poem “Charge of the Light Brigade” by Tennyson, and translates to: “damn, what idiots”.[/note].
What a load of bullshit.
The ability to reason why is central to human experience. It is what drives us to purposeful action and what separates us from the animals – experiments have shown animals to be able to reason (horses, for example, can do arithmetic on the level of a 4-year-old), be optimistic or pessimistic (shown in both birds and mammals using colored coded learning/unlearning models), and learn to read and write (dolphins can learn a symbolic language and use it to communicate with humans, as do chimps). However, no experiment has managed to show that animals have the ability to self-analysis.
Humans do. And it’s one of the most powerful tools we have when it comes to productivity. Read More
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
Up until that point I spin, I flow, I tap the words out like a prima ballerina flying across the keyboard. But once I start to approach the dreaded limit I slow down, meander, erase and finally stop.
For years I thought that this was some sort of magic limit, a curse that would strike me the moment the count reached 999. It didn’t matter how great the idea was, how motivated I was, how rested, how revved. Come word 1000 and everything fell apart. I resigned myself to writing short pieces.
But about six months ago I sat down to write up an idea which had been bouncing about my head for a while: an introduction to Intellectual Property law aimed at game designers. Read More
Or, I’m not lazy as such. I’m more of a work avoider.
Ok, I’m not really a work avoider. I love to do stuff. I just have a bit of trouble getting started.
Folks, my name is Filip and I’ve got procrastinitis. I procrastinate. Not because I want to. Not because I need to. Not even because I don’t want to do the work. I procrastinate because it’s hard getting started.
There are a lot of reasons why you can’t get started. Perhaps you don’t know what you want to do. Perhaps you don’t have the skills. Perhaps you don’t have the time[note]No, you aren’t going to get more time by waiting. That way lies madness, I tell you, maaaaadness.[/note].
But perhaps all you’re missing is the right hook. Read More
But it’s not bloody likely.
I know. I’ve been there. Sometimes I’m still there. But I’m struggling like a worm at an angler’s convention to find support for my dreams. Having support for your dreams can be the difference between making it and giving up. Having support for your dreams can be the difference between burning bright and burning out. Having support makes things easier[note]Not to mention more fun – you get to follow your dreams without losing your energy.[/note].
And it’s damned hard to get it sometimes. Read More
Start at the Top.
You can debate what successful, published or writer means (do self-published writers count? do exposure markets count?), but I’ll define it very simply: a successfully published writer is a writer who makes money from her writing. Simple as that. So how do you achieve it?
Start at the top.
That’s it. Start at the top. Start by pitching your top market, the best paying one, the one that responds the quickest, the one which has the most readers, or favorable reviews, or chocolate chip cookies. Doesn’t matter how you define your top market. Just find it and start there.
Why? Because 1 percent of something is a million, billion times better than 100 percent of nothing.
And yet, most writers won’t submit to their top market. They’ll throw away their chance at achieving their dream before they even try. I know, I’ve been there. And I tossed away a lot of chances before buckling down and sending out to top markets. And getting published. And if I can, you can, too. Here’s how. Read More