Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Excellent old article from LifeHacker

The Psychological Benefits of Writing Regularly

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Where Ideas Come From: Blunderbuss

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or if you follow my other blog, or are on my Patreon, you know that I usually have a lot of projects going at the same time.
Writing, translating, courses.
My timetable is in a constant state of flux, and projects get announced, started, sidetracked, shelved, rebooted, cancelled1, dropped, picked up, dropped again, etcetera.

The main reason for this is, bills keep coming, and with them the financial ghosts my late father left behind, that appear in the mailbox once every few months, unexpectedly, and set us back a few hundred euros for overdue taxes, unpaid fines or what.
So, paying projects are priority.
Always.
And projects that do not pay for their keep get shelved.
Which means of course that sometimes I have to leave behind ideas that I really like to do some thankless job that covers expenses like, right now.
This is not complaining, or whining or cursing Fate during a thunderstorm like Elric used to do. It is a simple assessment of the facts at the time of writing.

protect-business-idea-without-patent

This said, ideas keep coming, and I like to post them on the blog because it’s a nice way to stake a claim, and also a way to pressure me into doing something with the stuff.
And who knows, maybe someone’s interested.
After all, How do you get your ideas is still the most frequent question we get asked.
So, consider, if you will, the following. Continue reading


3 Comments

How to write without inspiration (sort of)

she who maulsMy friend Yuri hates me, or so he says.
The problem emerged after my public writing session last week. Basically I sat down for five hours typing, and two days later I had a story to sell1. Yuri mentioned on Facebook the fact that he’d been staring at a blank page for a while, and therefore he hates me.
My answer to that was that he’d spent too much time thinking. You’ve got to start typing, I said. If after five pages you still don’t know where your story is going, then you have a problem.
Another friend of mine, Paolo, butted in, saying that following my rule, he’d never have written one of his recent stories – a big hard sf tale.
A good starting point for a discussion, but Facebook is not a good place for discussions of writerly survival. So, let me see if I can put this thing in some order here, and try to explain what’s going on.

This might be the first of a series of posts, I don’t know. Continue reading


1 Comment

Of Seances and Egyptian Goddesses

And so we did it.
Oh, what a night! (yes, just like the old Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons hit.)

Part 1 – The Seance

Google Hangouts acted up a bit during my hangout session with my Italian supporters from Patreon. A lot of

“Can you hear me?”
“Are you there?”
“I can Hear you, can you hear me? Give me a sign if you can…”

Next time we’ll use a Ouija Board. And there will be certainly a next time, because it was a lot of fun and, for me, a mighty injection of good cheer and positive attitude.
Writing, we have said it before I think, is a lonely business, and we often wonder at what’s happening out there, with our readers. Well, Patreon and this hangout thing is certainly helping bring writers and readers together in a fun way.
We’ll do it again.

3418293087_1c8d80ce93_o

Part 2 – The Boy’s Night Out

In the end that guy was right, and three thousand words were on the page after about two hours.
Ooops.
In the end, I ditched my plan for a 2-characters/3000-words story, and let Nennius Britannicus and the boys take the story where it needed to go.
End result: 6000 words in 5 hours, making lots of pauses. Good going.

This, despite a 2 AM call from a call center somewhere, with a guy trying to sell me a table & chairs set for my garden. Continue reading


6 Comments

Twelve hours to go

Tonight’s the night.
No, not a rather sucky and sinister Rod Stewart song.

patreon_iconAt 9 PM, local time, I will set up a hangout with my Italian Patrons, to have a chat after months the guys support me. I’m really excited about this, because I owe big time to these people, and it will be great to finally talk to them, and discover what they like, what they think.
It will also be a way out of this hole of a backwater country village in the Astigianistan hills.
I can’t wait.

Then, at the stroke of midnight (actually 11 PM UTC), I’ll fire up Google Docs, and I’ll do my first session of public writing.
One-Two-Three: One problem, Two characters, Three thousand words.

Gray Vintage Typewriter English Language Day Social Media Graphic

So here’s some preliminary notes on how I’m preparing myself for the event, in case you are interested. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Erle Stanley Gardner’s Trick

The writer’s life would be ideal but for the writing. That was a problem I had to overcome. Then, I read in the Guinness Book of Records about Erle Stanley Gardner – the world’s fastest novelist – who can dictate up to the rate of ten thousand words a day. That was for me. None of that romantic stuff with a typewriter. I had better uses for those two particular fingers.

The quote above is from a 1972 movie called Pulp, featuring Michael Caine as a rather sleazy pulp novelist that gets involved in a complicated – and in the end pretty ludicrous – caper with mobsters, killer and what else.

pulp

The bit about Erle Stanley Gardner is true. Continue reading