I’m happy to announce the release of this edition of After Life. It’s now available in both paperback and e-book versions.
I’ve also created a new website (containing sales links) which you can see here: danielionson.com
Thanks and enjoy,
Discouragement for a writer is crushing, paralyzing. If we don’t believe in our work many will falter, regardless of the strength of our skill and the project. A writer’s morale is vital for, just like an army, if it believes it is defeated… it is.
But there is another demon at work in a writer’s life, one that generates the opposite emotional reaction: Delusion. We can (more…)
It feels so good to “actually be ‘writing’” the story. Although it may sound strange, a danger is hiding here, for the emotional highs we get from “finishing” sections/chapters/books can sometimes hinder the creative process. We have to be careful to consistently step back, get to the window and stare.
We should repeat this practice throughout the entirety of our projects. Milling over our stories before, during and after the keyboarding is vital to writing a great novel. Keep musing, charting, planning, critiquing and, of course, typing. Novel writing is the sum of those parts.
An excellent list from Jacqui Murray for writers to keep in mind. (Actually, the whole site contains great advice for us.)
I have only posted about Self-pubbing once, wherein I talk about the downside to the “Revolution.” This post by Kristen Lamb is well-considered and well-written. I encourage all Indie-pubbers out here to read it.
After I have done all that I listed here I finally get to sit down at the keyboard and start typing it.
1) I am sure to have a “sacred space” for my writing without distractions. I write in my basement where there is (by design) no Network connection. (I even went out a few years ago and bought a used laptop with a broken wireless adapter for this purpose.) I also set the mood for my writing.
2) I lay out my scene list from my pre-drafting work and start typing. I have a master folder on each computer wherein I put a folder for that day’s work. I make a different Word doc for each chapter. (more…)
(Part 1 of this topic is Here.)
It’s because we have to live with ourselves, day-in/day-out, month following month, year stacking on year, that we cannot see our potential. We all feel that we “know ourselves”—our habits, our patterns, moods. But we’re wrong about a great number of things. Being so buried in our subjectivity, we cannot see that so many of the things we don’t like about ourselves/our lives are changeable.
A core, governing element of changing is Willpower.
The quickie-version: Willpower is not a static limitation; it is a muscle that we can build. We can become, with time, people with strong wills, people who are highly disciplined. And this means that we can become vastly superior artists (either in word, canvas, etc.) than we have been in the past.
So much of the advice we all see about novel-writing is, “Just get your ass in the chair and start writing it!”
OK, I’m being flippant. What I mean is, “No. Don’t.”
There are two polar opposite camps regarding the novel-writing process: Planners and Pantsers (the former is obvious, the latter comes from the notion of “writing by the seat of your pants”). But no one is truly at either extreme of those ends. All die-hard Planners still discover and change elements of their tale as they write, and all Pantsers are planning some of the story (in their heads, even if they refuse to write down those plans).
I try to stay as far in the Planning camp as possible, for I am convinced that we save ourselves not just hours, but months (and years?) of frustration and pain by spending the time charting our story before we sit down to type our manuscripts. What contractor do you know who just “starts building” a house without planning out every minute detail? Why would we, (more…)
I’m an IT professional for a University… and daily am tempted to become a Luddite. Why? The mountain of evidence showing us that the 21st century has created a world filled with addiction to our devices. That unrelenting use is continuing to damage our attention spans and general ability to calmly ponder complex issues. [I’ll here stop myself from writing an academic piece since hundreds have already done that work for us. You can Google as well as I can, but I will give you just a few (in case you’re feeling lazy). ]: NPR, NYer, NYT, NW.
Aside from what is a crime against our minds (and ‘souls’ if I’m feeling bold [and antiquated]), I think it’s especially damaging for the work of creative endeavors. As I am charting a 7-novel series, I require many hours of uninterrupted musing. Daydreaming is not just nice, it’s essential. The power of our brains at work when in a steady, relaxed state is vital to the outpouring of a deep story. (Again, Google away, but here.)
Our addiction to being perpetually connected to the internet/playing with our gadgets robs us of this deep flow, which means that what artists produce lacks the depth and richness they may otherwise have had. The useful tools that are our many computing devices have the clear and likely danger of becoming mental termites.
As it relates to my last post, I wanted to share this video. I find it powerful in its understatedness.
As I preached about in my first post, the artist’s life requires discipline in order to produce quality work. This means that our time must be dedicated to our craft–a task which seems exceedingly difficult in the 21st century. The first obstacle is for us to discover exactly where all of our time goes. This generation, worse than any other, is inundated with distraction.
So I created this spreadsheet for myself in order to track what was happening with all of my time, and I am sharing this with you.
Download this and open it (it requires Excel, and should work on the OSX Excel as well). It will offer for you to sign up for Box. You can ignore it and just choose Download at the top. https://app.box.com/s/hyzw3yr0wyoer9muqx6q