Getting better at difficult things

I’m going to engage in a little nostalgia this morning. This is part of an object lesson, about what can be achieved with persistent effort. It relates to last week’s post on discipline. New writers sometimes complain that they don’t have the necessary talent, that so-and-so was just born a better writer. And there’s a […]

Why I am weak, and how I am strong

I have a problem with discipline. Up until a certain point in my life, no one ever made me stick with something I didn’t want to do. I played soccer in middle school, but after I got hit in the face with a ball I told my parents I didn’t want to go anymore, and […]

Getting Fired

Over the course of my life, I have been fired from one job, and that was on the day that I quit. I was a baker, working the 2 AM to 9 AM shift. I had just gotten married, and frankly I was tired of only seeing my wife in passing, so I turned in […]

Driving the Story and the Game

In the early drafts of The Pagan Night (when it was still called The Heretic Blade) I had a problem with characters. Their motivations, specifically. My readers kept saying things like “I have trouble believing so-and-so would do the things that he’s doing” which is a troubling thing to hear. I spent some time tinkering […]

Writing the World

This past week I finished a book. Finished is probably a strong word, because there will be another round of revisions, and then maybe a final copyediting pass, but the book is by and large done. I have been writing some version of this book for the last four years, ever since Dead of Veridon came […]

Versus Obscurity

My last post generated some discussion in the realm of self-publishing, specifically a good deal of speculation about why I continued to pursue a traditional route after enduring such a disastrous launch for my first novel. It’s a good question, and something I’d like to address. First, some disclosure. I am not an exclusively traditionally published […]

How my first novel nearly ended my career

Writing is a business. It’s a business that’s in trouble, or at least a business in dire transition, but it still follows the fundamental rules of capitalism. When you’re coming up in this job, when you’re still holding on to the warm fuzzies that you get from writers conferences and other supportive, aspirational environments, it’s […]

The Absolute Least I can say about the Hugos

I went back and forth as to whether I was going to say anything about this week’s Hugo drama, and finally decided that it would be weird to stay utterly silent. So. Here’s my post, in which I say absolutely as little about the Hugos as I possibly can. First off, let me say that […]

The tyranny of choice

Last week I talked a little bit about the nature of the publishing business, and why your author of choice is probably poor. This week I want to expand a little on that, with some examples of the kind of reality the current publishing business model creates, and what that reality means to both readers […]

A bit of the business

Last summer, my wife and I went to the block party in our old neighborhood, just to hang out and see some of our friends. We’ve been gone four years, and while we don’t live that far away, we rarely see most of these people anymore. Their social structures are all churches and children. Ours […]