Burning Your Candle

I used to be able to push myself to five in the morning, every single day. I did this for months, always hating it, always wishing I did not have to be up that late. But, behold, that was what always happened.

Fucking inescapable.

It’s still happening, and it is my own fault. I’ve probably (but I’m not sure) mentioned this before on the blog, but I subscribe to a thing I call “The Dailies.” They are activities that I must accomplish, no matter how sleepy I am, no matter what, within a cycle of me being awake. Continue reading

Tear It All Down–Why I Wrote The Book I Did

Sometimes I write articles to answer questions in a place I can always point to later. And, lately, a question I’ve gotten a few times is “what made you write this book?” So, here’s the answer: to tear down an old cliché.

I make no bones about this, I am tired of stories with “being the chosen one” as the reason for a protagonist to be a protagonist. Characters that are talented, characters that are part of an elite group: that’s fine. Stories about average joes are not the only type of tale, and it would be boring if they were. But, specifically, what ground my gears when I began writing Just Another Chosen One were those tales of heroes who would always win in the end.

“Destined” to save the world.

Where’re the real stakes there? Continue reading

Odd Stuff I’ve Said

I’m guessing some would recommend I don’t write about this, but, well, you all know I’m eccentric as it is—so, fuck it. Writers already have the stigma of being a weird bunch, but you’ve heard, likely, all the usual shenanigans—so, I’m doing you one better.

Not just researching murder methods, talking to people who they make up, or being totally willing to do dangerous/stupid things for the sake of a story: nah, I’ve got a set of much more unique quirks.

And it involves words and language. Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Unintended Consequences Are For Suckers

In the attic sat a mysterious typewriter. In the attic stood a boy and a girl. All young—except the typewriter. The typewriter was old, as typewriters tend to be.

“So, that’s the one your grandmother talked about?” the boy said, and walked toward it, ducking underneath some webs.

“Yeah—but don’t touch it!” She reached out to stop him but her fingers missed by inches. Continue reading

Write In New Mediums, Author

Never stop learning, never stop reaching forward for new creative skills. This world is full of media, so don’t rest on your laurels. Both because you can get bored, and because your audience can get bored. And boredom is the biggest sin of creating entertainment.

Got it? Good.

Now, with that disclaimer out of the way: I have a relatively different bit of advice to offer regarding how one can keep learning creative skills. Most go for reading more fiction, reading craft books, attending seminars, or workshops, or classes, or (my favorite) just writing a ton. And yeah: do that.

Do that now. Do that sort of thing routinely.

But, as another way to increase skill: may I suggest writing outside your genre and/or medium? Continue reading

Writing Can Be Boring (And That’s Okay)

There’s a thing known by those of us who have written a novel. And, it’s a controversial thing. Not something widely shouted, or thrown into the cosmos for all to hear. But, it is true: no matter how hard to believe. And, you may get mad at me for saying this, but, here’s the gist: writing, making art, creating stuff, is often a little boring.

It’s taxing. It’s hard. Art takes a long time—and with no guarantee that the result will be any good. Continue reading

How To Disturb In 5 Easy Steps

My head is swirling today—I’m going through the overload that comes with consuming too much good media. And it is making me have trouble coming up with a topic to talk about and write about.

Now, to be clear, I am not “blocked.”

I have too many ideas right now. I want to talk about the future, and the world, and art, and getting ideas for writing. I want to write ten books and then go on several podcasts.

But, as these sorts of things go with actual life, I have things that need doing. So, I decided to fall back on something simple, something I understand on an intuitive level when it comes to making art.

And that is creating disturbing things. Continue reading

Embrace The Oddness

Life is weird. You already knew that. But if you are a writer, you owe it to yourself to make it weirder. Go out of your way and end up in the strangest situations you can manage. Most people already say to “take a chance,” to “expand your horizons,” and any other of those cookie-cutter platitudes.

But no, that is not what I am telling you to do: not specifically. I am telling you that as a writer, you might be so blessed as to be a weird magnet, and if you’re not, you should act like you are. Because you are one of the few types of people who can take such raw material and do something better with it than occasionally entertaining dinner guests. Continue reading

I’ve Lost Control Of Them

“Bobby, tell the doctor what you said to me.”

“…I had…have, voices in my head. They talk to each other.”

“Is that all?”

“No… no. I can’t help but listen to people secretly, and I try to remember how they said things. I see random parts of things I don’t really understand. Actions, faces…that sort of stuff. Like a scene from a movie. I don’t always know what they mean.” Continue reading