Showing posts from January, 2016

The Demands We Put on Ourselves

     As a writer, I don’t demand nearly enough from myself. Most especially, in terms of word count. Regular production is absolutely necessary to nurture both the quality and quantity of work. And my fiction output just isn’t significant enough. I may write 400 words a day – but much of it is usually spent revising the previous days output. I cut the original back to 200 and add 200 more. For a total gain of… Couldn’t be zero, could it? No wonder I’m not getting any novels finished. I need to reset the production requirement to 400 original words. Or 1,000! But even if I can’t do that, even if my usual method only produces 200 words a day – when all is said and done, it enables me to finish a 3000 word short story in just over two weeks. Which is about what I actually accomplish.      Between job-hunting, freelancing, blogging, and non-fiction/content production, I put out the equivalent of a couple short stories per month.      My biggest artistic goal this winter, is “gettin

The Question of Effective Self-Promotion

Last year on Linked In, I published a post about personal branding - where I looked how diversified or focused your personal brand is, and whether it was better to separate your writing career and your day job into two distinctive online identities - or just to throw it all into one bowl and hope that it amounts to a tasty recipe. With David Nickle, whom I used as an example, he has always worked hard to keep his journalism separate from his fiction writing. While he's allowed the two identities to overlap (he used to be concerned about how the people who followed his beat reporting in The Mirror newspapers would react to his wild and crazy and sometimes icky horror fiction. While he maintains separate Twitter accounts for each persona (@DavidNickle and @byDavidNickle), he has realized that one reputation can often enhance and complement the other - no matter how unrelated they are. I have been much less deliberate with the separation of my identities and I have a few extra ide

Work in Progress

I am not a hugely prolific writer although I have been trying hard to increase my output over the past few years. I have a number of short stories that are just at the idea stage. I will often write a couple paragraphs setting the scene, creating a POV character and hinting at a conflict or inciting incident – then I see where it goes from there. I currently have half a dozen of those in my Work in Progress folder. Some of those almost seem to work at that nascent length as flash fiction and a few, in the 100-1000 word range have been submitted to various markets. One called “The Crowd in the Mirror” has received good feedback, but needs to be fleshed out a bit, so it may remain as a short short. It’s very topical though, so I need to do it soon. “Imported Spirits” is glib, but doesn’t have the character depth to be truly scary or funny. I can’t decide whether it’s worth revisiting. "Illumine" (AKA “Enlightenment”) was enormous fun to write. I currently have the origi