self-publishing, writing

DETROIT 2020 2nd Edition FREE THIS WEEK

d2020_2nd_cover

Hey everyone,

DETROIT 2020 2nd Edition is free this week only! If you or someone you know haven’t read the action-packed grindhouse thriller yet – full of mutant mayhem, car combat, and Wilson Phillips references – grab your free ebook here on Amazon

And once you’re done, I’d super appreciate if you let me know what you thought in a review.

Happy reading!

article, writing tips

Balancing Creation and Consumption

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“You cannot create when you are consuming.”

Pragmatic writing advice if I’ve ever heard it.

It sits at the opposing end of the spectrum from “read widely” and “refuel your creative tank”, which are also widely accepted as good advice for authors.

I’m still deep inside the second rewrite of my dark fantasy novel, and prioritizing it against other creative pursuits. I wrote a post a few months ago about writers having other hobbies, and I still stand by my opinion that two hobbies is the “right number”.

Finding Balance

Further prioritization of  limited time has found me exploring  how to balance pursuits that create versus consume. It has meant letting go of some things that I used to enjoy doing, but honestly can’t justify devoting time and resources to anymore.

Video games were the biggest sacrifice on this list. I used to be an avid gamer, and I still love gaming, but the industry seems to have moved in a direction where the games became huge time sinks. I can’t justify putting 25-60 hours into something that, while it may grant a feeling of accomplishment, doesn’t create any sort of tangible creative product.

25-60 hours is a lot of writing. That is short stories, revised chapters, posted submissions, or even a few rolls of film on a photo shoot or two. These are efforts that create, or at least advance, a body of creative work. It’s why in January I made a “silent resolution” to stop buying new games.

Making Art

It’s a matter of creating your own art versus consuming that of others.

I stopped purchasing games to throw into an ever-growing backlog for the same reason I let go of trying to voraciously speed read through my TBR book pile. I had become obsessed with trying to consume “all the things” and it was stressful and detrimental to my creative process. Anyone who can afford an internet connection is lousy with entertainment choices these days, and there seems to be a strange quasi-guilt emerging with it. Is that FOMO? Is that why Marie Kondo is so popular on Netflix?

Maybe I’m becoming more aware of my own mortality, but the older I get the more I desire to establish an artistic legacy. Adult responsibilities always seem to get in the way of creative time, so it makes those free hours even more precious. However, you can’t be creative all the time. That is a sure-fire recipe for burn out. So it requires balance.

A Process

The balancing of creative output and what I’ll pretentiously call “artistic consumption” is a matter of scheduling, routine, and determination. By creating an intentional routine, I’ve learned that I write far better in the early mornings, when my brain is still energized and fluid with ideas. Once I’m burnt out from the day, I can relax in the evenings with a book out of that TBR pile for a couple hours. It’s a process I’m always refining, and in other odd moments I eek out submissions, the occasional blog post, or a little promotion.

I’m curious what other authors do to balance their creative output versus consumption of media and art. No matter what your process is, I think it’s a good problem to have. The luxury of available means and ability to hone a craft is still a valuable commodity in our fast-paced, modern world.

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Synopsis Do’s And Don’ts

Awesome post from K.M. Allan with tips on Do’s and Don’ts when writing a Synopsis. I’m bookmarking this one for when I finish my current novel. Check it out, because the synopsis is one of the most maligned and misunderstood pieces of a proper book pitch.

K.M. Allan

So you’ve done it! Created your characters, planned a world, plotted a story, and turned them into a whole book.

It was hard. It took years. It filled your soul, and it stretched your sanity. It was one of the best things you’ve ever done and one of the worst—or so you thought.

As many writers discover after completing their book, they need to write a synopsis; a process that feels harder than typing “The End” on a 100,000-word manuscript.

Why? Because condensing those characters, world, story, and years of carefully crafted sentences into a one-page summary is damn hard. Like writing a book, however, you can do it, all you need is a little help from these do’s and don’ts…

Do’s

Do Give Yourself Options

A one-page version is usually standard, but some publishers/agents do request a two-page option so it’s a good idea to write both. While…

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