When the idea of writing a novel first came to me, I tackled it the same way I approached my early years of teaching. I would check out or buy book after book of experts’ thoughts about writing and how to get started. Still sitting on the shelves in my office are books from that period of my life: On Writing by Stephen King, Write That Book Already (Barry and Goldmark), The First Five Pages (Lukeman), and numerous books by Orson Scott Card. Seriously, I probably read forty or fifty other… Continue reading
This year I decided not to enter the Debut Dagger contest, even though my calendar has been reminding me of the deadline for months. The Debut Dagger is run by the Crime Writers Association, and is open to unpublished crime fiction writers from all over the world. I’ve entered it twice – in 2006 and 2013. I have had the January 31st deadline on my calendar since November and I was subscribed to the weekly competition emails. Unlike previous years, the realization that the deadline was fast approaching didn’t herald a flurry of activity; there were just too many other… Continue reading
Schedules work well – until they don’t anymore.
The problem is that schedules, like good habits, take a long time to become second nature and are very easily broken. The fallout from a broken schedule can be numbing.
A schedule that is working well is wonderful. It provides structure and focus. The issues arise when life interferes and throws the schedule out-of-whack. An interrupted schedule can lead to self-reproach. Self-reproach can lead to inactivity. Inactivity leads to more self-reproach. This cycle of inactivity and self-reproach is a slippery slope, one that is hard to recover from.
This… Continue reading