When I don't know what to write, I go for a walk. Or draw. I can also take a shower and work in the garden — about this, my wife tells me it's better the other way around, and I think she might have a point. But the garden thing is just incidental. As incidental as the shower thing. They only represent ways to let my mind work on potential new ideas behind the scenes, so to speak. At times, I write just to discover what I think. This can be a waste of excellent paper and ink — not to mention of time. But once in a while, so writing away, I discover interesting tidbits about myself. … [Read more...] about Writing Ideas and the Impostor Syndrome
Professional trail runners can train anywhere from 6 to 25 hours a week. And while it's certainly true that the more you train the better you get, for the law of diminishing returns this holds up only to a point. What's more, if we swapped the training programs of two world class athletes, they would most likely end up experiencing a series of problems. In fact, professional's training programs are tailored to each one's psychological and physical make up. This means that what works for me could represent someone else's undoing. The Law of Diminishing Returns states that a point … [Read more...] about Why to Keep a Writing Log — The Law of Diminishing Returns
Quotes can be gold mines of encapsulated knowledge. However, given their nature, you should always consider them with a grain of salt. For example, Stephen King writes that the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and yet he himself uses a fair number of such nefarious adverbs in his works. Not only, to make his point he even uses adverbs in the very passage he advises against their use... I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you … [Read more...] about Toying with Quotes to Improve Your Writing
These days it seems you have to be a pro in anything you do. It also seems a lot of people use the word pro as a sort of moniker to set themselves apart from everyone else, even if they are as far from a professional as the dark side of the moon is from the sun. First of all, I want to point out a simple truth: you don’t have to be a pro in everything you do. That would be an unrealistic and also a psychologically unhealthy aspiration. Unrealistic Aspirations I'm saying it would be unrealistic because even if we humans are able to adapt to many different situations, and with the right … [Read more...] about What Does It Mean Being a Pro?
Writing fiction requires a balanced mix of concentration and carefree madness that can be frustrating to strike at times, but whose fruits give me a deep sense of accomplishment. However, even if when I write I can jump from place to place in the blink of an eye, and can take on as many different personalities as I want to, my body isn't impressed by any of these mental feats. Not in the least. On the contrary, after a while I've been sitting at my desk pounding on the keyboard (and pounding is just the right word, for it's not a rare occurrence that of my wife asking me to be a bit … [Read more...] about How I Keep in Shape and Improve Productivity
Even if in your field you're a top performer, there's something you can never stop doing if you want to stay on top of your game. That's training, practicing. Training is what allows you to hone your natural skills and make them as effective as possible. As a matter of fact, any performance is the result of the interplay of the basic set of your skills and the way you work on them. However, if you're just 5 feet tall and you want to play basketball at NBA level you have a chance in a billion of that ever happening, even if you train at the best of your possibilities. Luckily, in … [Read more...] about Best Books on Writing Fiction