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Category: Writing about writing

How I use Habitica

I used to be really bad at staying hydrated. So bad, in fact, that my elbows were rough and angry all the time because they were too dry. Now, as of this writing, I have consumed at least 60 oz of water for 270 days straight. Thanks, Habitica! I’ve mentioned Habitica before, but I wanted to devote an entire post to how I’ve used it since December 2018 to build positive habits and improve my…

Writing around a day job

I knew from a very early age that I would need a day job if I wanted to be a writer. I mean really early — I was five or six when I came to the practical realization that fiction might not be lucrative and I’d need to do something else to pay the bills. These days, I’m a little older and a little wiser, plus a lot busier. My day job is incredible, but…

Throwaway concepts

I’m a big proponent of throwaway concepts. They’re how I actually got to the publication stage for my first novel. They’re also how I decompress between Serious Novels™. I should define my terms! A throwaway concept: …is an idea you’ve invested a minimal amount of time in. …doesn’t (necessarily) tie into any of your existing worlds or series. ..is more likely to be fun and light than dark and serious (even if you’re writing horror).…

Everyone’s a songwriter

Going from a musical collective to a group of musicians who can put out a finished song takes some hard work and practice, as we here at Not Bad are learning every day. Turns out that songwriting – good songwriting, anyway – is challenging too. Just because it rhymes doesn’t mean it sounds good. Plus, just because it sounds good as a song, does not mean it will look good on paper. Personally, I find it…

Trusting your voice

One of my earliest fandom characters was Rufus Hemmingway the golden retriever, who I wrote to be an original creation set in John R. Erickson’s Hank the Cowdog universe. Here’s a little excerpt from “The Case of the Missing Beef Bone,” circa 2002: …my story begins on a breezy fall evening in November, right on the day humans call Thanksgiving. Leaves were fluttering down from the trees, signaling the change between summer and winter. My humans…

The Writers in the Room

About a month ago, I wrote about how Amy and I have been doing a “live podcast.” The trend continues! We have managed to stream each weekend, despite sickness, busyness, and distraction, and now we’re moving from something super casual and unofficial…to being The Writers in the Room. Jake is mostly responsible for the title. We were working with “Worldbuilding with PrincessFray and half_pint,” which is a mouthful and a half and doesn’t actually give a…

Live podcasts

I mentioned in the last studiolog I wrote that we’ve been streaming our studio. Since then, we’ve refined that practice a little bit: Jake and Josh stream their shop time, which is mostly guitar work, and Amy and I stream our creative collaboration time. It feels like a live podcast. And it’s awesome. (For us, at least.) I’m not a big podcast fan. I’m not an audio learner, and I find it difficult to focus on…

Learning from other writers

The first thing you learned from another writer, most likely passively, was by partaking in their unique way of telling stories. If you’re a writer today, you’ve spent your whole life until now learning from other writers. Writing is about shared meaning — through the spoken and unspoken agreements humans have about how the components of language work, as well as through the cultural movements that impact many aspects of a writer’s voice and life.…

Some ways to write faster

Everyone these days wants to write more words. Or they want to teach you how to write more words. Either way, it’s kind of an ebook craze right now. I’ve been reading a bunch of those “write faster” books lately – partly for research and partly because, well, I do actually want to produce more words – and I decided to put together a few of my favorite tips from what I’ve read. These are…

The writer’s guide to self-care

Writers are notoriously bad at self-care. Here’s a non-exhaustive questionnaire to get you on track to focus on getting the words out. Have you brushed your teeth? Have you had a glass of water in the last couple of hours? Have you eaten today? If you consume caffeine, have you had a reasonable amount of it? Have you taken a walk today? Have you stretched in the last 30 minutes? Have you taken vitamin D supplements today,…