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Entries in Hugh Howey (2)


One more from Twyla, and also I am not dead

First, from Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit, a great trick to keep the writerly momentum churning:

Some people, if only for sanity and the maintenance of a humane routine, give themselves a creative quota. Painters stop when they fill up a measurable section of canvas, playwrights when they draft out a complete scene, writers when they hit one thousand words or the clock chimes 5:00pm. They stop no matter where they are on the canvas or page. I know one writer who gives himself both options: He stops at a set time or when he hits his word quota, whichever comes first. He is religious about this routine. But he connects to the next day with a fixed nighttime routine as well: Just before he falls asleep, he reads the last few sentences he wrote. Without fail, he wakes up the next morning brimming with ideas, setences, whole paragraphs for the next portion of his story. He claims he flies out of bed sometimes so he can get all the words down before they disappear. Apparently, filling up with words and ideas before sleep gives his tired brain some useful work to do as it regroups and refreshes itself overnight. What his conscious brain can't handle, his subconscious can.

I am definitely going to try this. My dreams are a total waste anyway—time to put them to work!

Second, I am not dead. The blog is not dead. I have not abandoned the blog. "Neglect" is probably more accurate. I have, lately, neglected the blog.

The problem is that I have many things I want to work on, and time spent on the blog is time not spent on these other things. I really admire Hugh Howey, Chuck Wendig, Dean Wesley Smith, John Scalzi, et al. for their seeming ability to juggle ten projects without dropping one of them. Their blogs never want for attention. Mine is more feast or famine, and I know the infrequency is preventing it from luring eyeballs beyond those of you dedicated few.

I believe in the Unwritten Word and want to see it through. I will definitely see it through—some of these pieces (and even moreso your responses to them) have really surprised me and inspired me to keep going. But I also need to find a way to balance it with other projects that are also starved for attention.

So I will ponder. I will make some adjustments, set a schedule, and then, by God, I will bring the writerly.

Thanks for sticking with me.


Hugh Howey talks process

From Hugh Howey, bestselling author of Wool (the science fiction series you haven't heard of yet but will):

Reading is the best lesson on writing. It’s like listening to music over and over again until you learn how a good song is supposed to sound. I think I “write by reading” the way some people can “play by ear.” When I’m writing a rough draft, I can tell that my words suck. It’s painfully obvious. When I go back to revise, I take those sucky words and I keep rearranging them until they stop sucking. Eventually, the words flow and convey meaning in a manner that I’m tolerant of. With the next pass, more of these spots are sanded down until they don’t trip me up. Enough passes like this, and my stories start to read about as decently as anyone else’s. I just stick with it until I don’t hate it. I bang on the keys until a tune pops out.

Read the rest here!