Packing Heat: Erotica Writing Tips & Techniques
Packing Heat: Erotica Writing Tips and Techniques

Welcome, New Listeners

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.

Creativity Series: Notion Potion

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.

Notion Potion #1: One Sip at a Time is another look at one of my favorite themes, the way small steps add up to measurable results when you are consistent about taking them.

Notion Potion #2: Don't Make Yourself Hurl exposes a pernicious bully who's constantly undercutting our creative efforts...ourselves.

Stop by and say hi! You can expect new Notion Potion columns the first Wednesday of each month. Please leave a comment if there's a specific creativity issue you'd like me to write about.

Picking a Pro

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.

had 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.

Okay, 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? think not.

So'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.

Packing Heat 123: What's Important?

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 >>

Packing Heat 124: Final Ep

Recommendation: Accidental Genius

We all know how to freewrite, right?

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!

Mark did an awesome interview on the podcast Six Pixels of Separation to talk about the new revised edition of his book. His talk got me so excited, by the time that podcast was done, I’d visited his website , signed up for his newsletter, downloaded his free PDF and MP3, and bought his book from Amazon. Then I listened to the whole podcast again. How’s that for a testimonial?

A few key things about Mark’s technique:
  • Aim for a time-goal rather than a substance goal. It’s okay to freewrite and not come up with something usable from the session, as long as you’ve put in the time. You're trying to develop a habit.
  • After you do a block of freewriting, go in and underline the key points.
  • Do another freewriting session to further explore some of the key points you underlined.
  • Don’t stop once you get a good idea. Trust that you’ll spot it when you do your underlining.

What was different for me:
  • The creative outpouring was interspersed with analysis to guide it.
  • Multiple sessions are done back to back—and Mark goes a lot longer than I’ve ever done, sometimes 5 to 8 hours!
  • Many people stop and pat themselves on the back once they get a good idea. Keep going. Who knows, another wonderful idea might be right around the corner.

Drawing the Podcast to a close

I’ve been doing the show for three years, and I think I’ve told you all I know about writing. I’ll leave the 147 episodes up—tagged for searching—so that both old listeners and new can refer to them.

Thanks for listening. Now go put your butt in the chair and write!

Download | Duration: 00:10:00

Packing Heat 122: Fight for your Rights

What sorts of rights should you be willing to sign away when you submit a contract? Here are some red flags you need to be aware of.<< MORE >>

Packing Heat 121: Skipping Ahead

What compels an author to regularly skip a certain type of scene?<< MORE >>

Packing Heat 120: Owning Creativity

How hard is it to say "I am creative?" I think we put "creativity" on a pedestal.<< MORE >>

Packing Heat 119: Specializing

When should an author pick a genre in which to specialize? << MORE >>

Packing Heat 118: The Stuck Day

Let's hang out on a day where I'm stuck, and I can't move forward in my story. I'll check in with you several times during the course of the day and let you know how it's going!<< MORE >>