As I was debating whether to re-home this podcast or scrap it altogether, I discovered in talking to my readers that many weren't aware I had hundreds of hours of writing advice archived online.
This home isn't perfect. It no longer talks to iTunes and the streaming players don't work. But you can still search and download, so for now, I'm going to leave the show here. NOTE: USE THE LITTLE DOWNLOAD LINK BELOW THE STREAMING PLAYER, WHICH DOESN'T WORK.
Comments are off too, since those are basically a spam magnet. Come talk to me on Facebook or Twitter if you'd like. I'd love to chat with you.
And since I don't have a tag for "argh" I've tagged this post with "goals."
Lately there's been a lot of talk in the writing community about writers who can produce thousands upon thousands of words per day. If that's you, congratulations. But that's not me. I've scaled back my goal to 400 words per day. I often exceed that, and it feels fantastic when I do.
I'd rather have 400 pretty good words going in the right direction than 5000 words of stuff I'll need to delete anyway.
When I was invited to do a regular column on Reviews by Jessewave, I decided I wanted to talk about some subjects near and dear to my heart (as any of you who listened to Packing Heat know!) Creativity, motivation and inspiration.
While I don't have time to record shows nowadays, I find I still have thoughts and ideas I'd like to share, so you might see a written post from me now and then.
We writers need the services of other
professionals both as businesspeople, and as human beings. Unless you
have some very specialized training, it's not a good idea for us to
install our own toilets, cut our own hair, edit our own books, or (in my
case) do our own taxes. But sometimes we hook up with a professional in
what should be a mutually beneficial arrangement, only there's
something subtly wrong with the relationship. You feel bad after you
meet with them. Inadequate, somehow. You feel guilty for asking them to
do the work you've both agreed they would do for you, and that you're
paying them for. You start feeling anxious days, or even weeks, before
you need to meet with them.
And by you, I mean me.
a dentist who made me extremely uncomfortable. (In fact, every dentist
I've ever had in my life was hideous except one in Chicago 20 years ago
who was nice.) Finally, when my insurance dropped him...back when I HAD dental insurance...I remember thinking, "Oh boy! Now's my chance to get free of him!" The dentist I switched to is like a dream! He's smart and funny, and all the work he's done on my teeth is wonderful.
how about my accountants? My first accountant was great. So great that
he developed a numbers-system and used it to win the lottery and retire.
My second accountant...that was one of those awful relationships I was talking about "you" having a few paragraphs up. So I decided I wasn't going to give her any third chances. I prepared
all week long and met this morning with my third accountant...and he is
great! I'd been re-inventing the wheel every three months to pay my
quarterly taxes, and he says he can do my 2010 return AND prepare my
estimated quarterly payments for 2011 and all I need to do is mail them in. No re-figuring everything every three months.
He's in the same building as my good dentist. Coincidence? I think not.
anyway...here's my thought on picking a professional to help you out,
whether it be with your plumbing or your cover art or your typesetting
or your taxes. You are in charge. It's your business or your body or
your affairs. There's no reason for you to feel guilty or inferior, and
if for some reason this other person manages to make you feel this way,
switch! I wish I had switched dentists
earlier. The good, funny, competent, smart dentist was three blocks away
from the creepy one who whispered all the time and always acted like I was in need of a full mouth transplant. I wish I had picked the current accountant instead of the bad one the last time I was in the market. I had
a call in to each of them and ended up going with the bad one because
she returned my call first, and seemed intelligent when I met with her. Yes, I realize in psychobabble-talk, no one can "make you feel" anything, but I do know this: sometimes we come away from dealing with certain people feeling worse than we did before.
When you see this pattern, walk away. You're in charge. You.
I read some pairs of stories pitted against each other for a writing contest. It got me to thinking analytically about what it is that attracts me to a story. Which elements are most important to you?<< MORE >>
Mark Levy’s book Accidental Genius is all about freewriting. You may be wondering what there really is to say about the practice of writing with the internal editor switched off to generate ideas and solve problems. More than you’d think!