Category > creative life

What Stage Are YOU In?

I know this blog post (told in gifs–oh, you’ve got to go check it out!) is about first novels, but I think a lot of the feelings are the same, no matter how many books you’ve written. Today I am SO: But yesterday I was hiding under the couch. How are your projects going?

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Be Your Own Sous Chef (or: Screw You, Burnout)

Ever have that experience where you just finished a project and you sit down to start another piece and … there’s nothing in there? There are no characters playing around in the back of your mind. No images floating around in your heart. No worlds waiting for you play in. Or maybe there is some small thing, […]

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Three Things Make My Writing Life

There are really not a lot of absolute rules for writing, just a bunch of guidelines and advice from other writers — “this is what works for me.” It’s up to each of us to distill all of this collegial advice and our own experiences into something that “works for me.” So I’ve been blogging […]

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You’re a Beautiful Grain of Sand, by J. C. Hutchins

Oh, you silly, naive little thing. You want to be a writer. Didn’t you get the memo? The pay is lousy. If you’re with the Big Six-Now-Five, your publisher will barely promote your stuff (and you’ll never earn out your advance). If you self-publish, your wordbaby will be lost in a sea of other self-pubbed […]

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Hot Baths in the Desert (Dealing with Anxiety)

I’ve been taking a lot of hot baths lately. Long ones. Often with a bowl full of grapes to eat (seriously) and always with a book. It’s my coping mechanism when anxiety hits. My son constantly chides me about the book part; he doesn’t approve of the curl of moistened pages, finds it disrespectful to […]

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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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Superstars and Whatnot

It was at the Illustration Masters Class where I first heard Greg Manchess declare that there is no such thing as talent. A rather startling premise to tell a bunch of aspiring artists. But no, Greg stated that artistic skill “is built, not possessed”, created by hard work and training. I wonder about this idea, […]

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A Writer’s Thanksgiving

  My favorite part of Thanksgiving isn’t the big dinner. In fact, since we went veg, we’ve often abandoned the big dinner in order to enjoy wacky and fun meals we’d never eat any other time of year. 2011’s 1960’s Casserole Night was a blast, and this year’s Frozen Cheese Pizza Taste-Off promises to be […]

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Summer Sabbatical

I know what you’re thinking. It’s mid-October, so why I am I talking about summer? Well, here in Los Angeles, the last of the summer heat has just broken, and proper fall is just now beginning. Everything is pumpkin-spiced and crisp, and the 60-degree overnight lows keep us indoors–so what better time to reflect on […]

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Being okay with where you are

A few weeks ago, the very wonderful John Anealio wrote a great blog post about getting out of the success grind. What he said made a lot of sense. Sometimes your ego makes the artistic experience painful and miserable, and it’s stupid to turn the joy of our lives into torment. Sometimes you have to […]

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