Posts Tagged ‘writing life’

An Introvert’s Guide to Writing, #3

In the opening installment of my ongoing series on Writing 101 for Introverts, I explained what introversion is and is not, and why we don’t need to be ashamed of being a tad more inner directed than people for whom a room full of people holding cocktails is nirvana.  Part 1. Part 2.

This installment’s on doldrums. You know, the garden variety, I-don’t-feel-like-writing this week (and in more severe cases this month and worse.) You don’t have the energy you tell yourself. You are not inspired. Oh really? Read More…

What You Need to Succeed


Thank you for your attention. I’ll stand by for questions.


This past weekend Terry Brooks told a rapt crowd of 150 people at Write on the River that the #1 thing you need to succeed as a novelist is luck. He told a marvelous story of how luck factored into the sale of his iconic book, Sword of Shannara. And he had the humility to admit that for all the appeal of his stories, he still believes that luck is #1.

It’s not all you need, he said. You also need perseverance, determination, courage, a bit of talent and all the rest. But isn’t it interesting that coincidence, chaos, timing–however you define luck–plays so large a role?

The other point he made regarding luck is that you have to put yourself in a position to be lucky. That means you have to write and put your stuff in the mail (having practiced and worked at your story, etc.) So it doesn’t really mean that its all fated to happen or not, and we can coast. Read More…

Daydreaming for Type As

I just read an article about daydreaming that claims it’s good for you. Wow. Is this like being told that dark chocolate will firm your abs? I love this.

Daydreaming, the article says, isn’t a waste of time or self-indulgence. Seems that using MRI scans, neuroscientists saw that when daydreaming a part of the brain “lights up” — a region of the brain dedicated to high-level thought and problem-solving. We may not be paying direct attention but the mind is at work on big stuff. Read More…

Paths of Discontent

The other day a writer who had only a few short stories published confessed to me that he felt rather worthless. All this work and no novel. It had only been a few weeks since a writer who I aspire to be like confessed that she felt frustrated. All this work and still not selling like that worthless so-and-so. Then, just last week I complimented a writer on his amazing Amazon numbers. He said, really? But I’m not ranked in the 100s.

Extend this thread among dozens of writers, hundreds, who these days seem to be participating in a massive group funk. Read More…

Swimming in words

I’ve been reflecting on Denvention and feeling weird about the Hugos, as I seem to every year. This competition and the general race to success in our field reminds me how much stress is a part of jumping into this fray. Margaret Hoelzer, the Beijing Olympics silver-medalist for the 200 meter backstoke, seemed to have similar things on her mind yesterday. She’s had ups and downs in her career, the Seattle Times reported, but she’s found a balancing ground in her attitude.

“I never really race for a medal. I usually just race for my personal best. This sport can be grinding. The competition, the expectations can chew you up . . . . All the joy that you into the pool in the beginning can be replaced by a sense of dread, a gnawing doubt about where all of this is taking you.” Read More…