Giving Up

What are your priorities?

I’ve got about sixty-seven things that come to the top of my list. I’ve got spending time in the Bible, spending time with my family, making waffles, serving my congregation (especially since I’m a pastor!), reading, keeping on top of my weekly comics purchases, writing, professional growth, making sure the house doesn’t burn down, summoning an ancient alien entity to run a restaurant…

One of those might be fake.

When you’re young, you think you can do all of that. At least I did. I’ve learned, though, that it’s just not going to happen. Wednesday a friend recommended a book I should read. I believe him when he says I’d enjoy it. I just can’t read everything that everyone recommends, though. Not if I’m going to keep on top of my other priorities.

Some things are non-negotiable. Spending time with God and with my family can’t change.

Others change with the seasons. Serving my congregation as a pastor can take a lot of time or a lot more time.

Continue reading “Giving Up”

The Writing Environment

Businesses pay a lot of money to figure out the best way to help their employees be productive. What works best? Lots of open space? What kind of lighting? Should we turn on background music, or does that present a safety risk? A better work environment leads to better work, and for a business, that often leads to better profit.

If writing is work, then your writing environment is just as important as your work environment. And if that environment helps you be more productive, then in theory, that can lead to profit if you’re trying to sell your stories.

Now, here’s the thing: my ideal writing environment may not be the same as your writing environment. And what worked for you a year ago may no longer function as well any more. People change, so it could be good for you to change up your environment every once in a while to experiment.

What are some things to think about?

Continue reading “The Writing Environment”

I’ve heard it all before.

Sometimes I feel this way when it comes to writing. I’ll sit down at the keyboard… and everything is just so derivative. Like, this is just Hamlet with lions. That’ll never sell.

Oh, wait. That’s Lion King.

See, so often writers can get hung up on originality. And it’s true; you don’t want to copy other people. At the same time, a smart guy once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” So let me give you a little writing tip, free from me:

Be less concerned with writing an original story. Be more concerned with writing a story in an original way. Continue reading “I’ve heard it all before.”

No More Pants!

I might be getting rid of my pants.

Maybe an explanation is in order.

Pantsing” is what you call it when an author “flies by the seat of their pants.” Basically, the author sits down and starts writing, and they’re as surprised as anyone else by what happens. In general, I’ve been a pantser. Even if I have a general idea of where a story will go, I have no idea how we’re going to get there. I discover the characters as they reveal themselves.

It’s a very organic process. I’ve become very comfortable with it, to the point of bristling a bit when someone suggests I outline ahead of time. And trust me, there’s nothing quite so unpalatable as a bristling pantser!

But then… I finished this revision of the novel I’ve been tinkering with. Continue reading “No More Pants!”

A World Worth Visiting

Take your chances! You can pick any world you see here. Any one! And I guarantee it won’t be this old, worn-out world you’re in now. It’ll be a brand-new worn-out world! But something different, and really, different is never bad, is it?

Move along, wise acre. We don’t need your kind here.

But you! You look like a good kid. A wise kid! You know that a new world is worth it. So take your pick. What’ll it be? What world would you like to visit?

What makes a world worth visiting? What makes a fiction worth experiencing? 

No no, don’t tell me. I can tell by the tone of your rolling eyes. You don’t want one of my worlds. You think you’ve seen it all! You want to make your own!

Same question, wise guy. What makes your world worth visiting? What makes your fiction worth my time?  Continue reading “A World Worth Visiting”