23 Apr

Friday Links: Study Less – Study Smart!

Banner: Movie click

I’ve got a soft spot for learning methods.

Anything that promises to be a productivity hack gets my attention. This video is a quick and sometimes brutal overview of how to study, it’s aimed at students but works for everyone.

Also, I wish I’d found it earlier because I’ve already implemented a number of those techniques on my own. Watching a 12 minute video would have been a much faster way of doing it. Read More

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

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

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

30 Nov

Going in the Wrong Direction

Banner - Computer Charts

I’m switching web hosts, and nothing is working.

The problem is that I’ve changed the domain registrar, the people who make sure this web site is in the global internet address book, together with my web host. Unfortunately, the address change hasn’t spread to the rest of the internet.

So whenever someone types wiltgren.com into the browser, they’re being directed to my old web host instead of my new web host.

It’s a very minor thing. Just a little switch of direction. And yet, it make everything I do flawed. Read More