Author Archive > johnremy

Follow These Five Principles to Writing Mastery (in 10,000 hours or less!)

I like the concept of the 10,000 Hour Rule, made famous by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers. Boiled down to its essence, it states that 10,000 hours of practice leads to expertise or mastery of a skill. The Rule is overly simplistic and not universally applicable, but it highlights the importance of hard work as a […]

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A Strange Contagion: SF Writers and Standing Desks

  Mary Kowal at her standing desk. Photo by Marcia Glover (c) 2011. There’s a strange contagion spreading throughout the SF writing community. What is this pernicious pestilence that has infected inkpunks? Is it perhaps knocking at your door in a brown uniform bearing giant, back-straining Amazon packages? Remy, you say, we read the fucking […]

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“Read as widely as possible”

A few years ago, I bought a day pass to my first World Con. The highlight of the day was meeting SF writer and long distance life mentor William Shunn at a kaffeeklatsch. Bill is a fellow ex-Mormon and a wonderful human being. His podcast and correspondence helped me ease out of my former religion […]

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Five Time and Task Management Tips for Writers.

I’m an IT project manager by day. For the past couple of months, I’ve started applying to my creative life some of the productivity techniques and principles I use at work. I thought I’d share some of my successes, with the hope that at least one of you may find them helpful. Please feel free […]

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Hole in the Ground Contest!

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” This is the opening line to the Hobbit. According to Wikipedia, it came to Tolkien while he was grading papers. Not only should this bring hope to teachers and grad students everywhere, it’s the first step on an epic journey that many of us have […]

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Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Goals

What do you think of your goals? Are they all thorny stick, no carrot cake? Do your goals tire you more than they inspire you? If so, you’re not alone! Think of this post as a Dear Abby or Savage Love column for those of you who, like me, are in dysfunctional relationships with your […]

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Guest Post from Tracie Welser: Writing Conventions and How to Survive (an Incomplete List)

Tracie Welser is a graduate of the 2010 Clarion West Writers Workshop. Her recent publications include “A Body Without Fur” (May/June 2012 Interzone) and “Her Bones, Those of the Dead” (forthcoming in Outlaw Bodies). You can find her online at This Is Not An Owl and twitter: @traciewelser. “Writing, at its best, is a lonely […]

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On Gatekeepers and Making Our Own Rules

  My SF-writing dreams are as traditional as they can get. I want to make a living by selling my fiction to publishers. I long to see my name nestled with other SF-award nominees, on the cover of Asimov’s, on the New York Times Bestseller list, and on the shelf of the local bookstore. The […]

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Guest Post from Brooke Bolander: This Too Shall Pass

Brooke Bolander is the nymph stage of a foul-mouthed cicada that only emerges from the earth once every thirty years. She’s also a larval writer and Clarion UCSD grad, with stories featured or upcoming in issues of Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Reflection’s Edge, and [PANK]. For more aimless ramblings, check out her website at brookebolander.com or, if you’re into […]

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Revision: Art or Craft?

Do you see your writing as more of an art, or a craft? Is your ability to tell stories something inherent and intuitive, or is each sentence the product of conscious, deliberate, meticulous crafting? (In D&D terms, are you more sorcerer or wizard?) I think I’m a mix of both. Some aspects of writing flow […]

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