halfway through the manuscript I realized

I’ve been working on the first draft of my first novel of 2020 lately and it’s been the dirtiest form of crap I’ve ever seen. I mentioned this to my date on Friday and hypothesized that it was because I had deviated from my genre – the manuscript seemed to be a random mix of dystopian and magical realism, the latter of which I really shouldn’t ever try again, instead

editing is hard

I always knew that editing was hard. It’s always been my least favorite part of writing. But now, it seems somehow more difficult than usual. Why? Because I read the first page of the manuscript and decided it was shit. It’s so bad I can laugh about it. The description of the characters moving around is too detailed. This makes the story a boring read. Oh, and did I mention

…I booked the reward, now I need to do the work

Alright, so I have a hotel room booked for tomorrow. And because what I said yesterday, I need to do the work. Something substantial. A task worthy of the hotel room. So here goes. And note that now that I say it out loud, I have no choice but to succeed. The task: I will, by the time I leave for the hotel tomorrow, have read the manuscript that’s been

reward yourself

One of the best hacks I’ve ever used is insisting that rewards need to be earned. For example, I once booked a hotel for the weekend and bought a new outfit – where I could only go and which I could only wear IF I had the courage to send my novel to a publisher. The task was simple, and there was a deadline. You can imagine how invincible I

a routine that could improve your writing

Now, this is just an idea I had, and I don’t know if this works with anyone. But just like visualization seems to work for good results, this could, too. Here’s the routine: When you sit down to write, before you start, ask yourself: how would my favorite writer do this? How would he feel, sitting down to write? And then try to take that answer and embrace the feeling

the importance of reading

Unpopular opinion: writers also need to read. Writing, as important as it is, isn’t quite enough if you want to become better at your craft. Therefore the study of the works of your colleagues is needed. And by colleagues I mean writers who are infinitely better than you. So read all the classics and all the ones that interest you. It’s also a good idea to read writers who write

about procrastination and fear swapping

You know how in high school the best time to clean your room was the night before the exam when you were supposed to study? This is the most cliched example of procrastination that I could think of. But actually it’s a better example of fear swapping.  Fear swapping occurs when you do something you don’t like to do because at least it’s easier and less of a pain in

let’s talk length

Length! Oh dear god. (For more on god, see my novella, The Funeral.)  I used to think that in order to be a real writer, you need to write full length novels. And that, my friends, is an amateur talking.  In my experience, you can’t force your story to be any longer or shorter than it needs to be. In order for it to be the best it can be,

the purpose of the second draft

I had to learn the hard way the purpose of the second draft.  My first novel, a magically realistic family chronicle that I never published, was truly awful. In my mind, the entire story was about one thing that the reader either got or didn’t get. It was like an intelligence test.  What a stupid idea to base your book on.  My second full-length, Shedding, I did publish, but I’m