On Writing

When the words get backed up

Everyone has a different idea of what it takes to be a good writer. There are the write-every-day advocates. If you don’t get words down at least once every day, then you’re not a real writer, according to these guys. Then there are the write-when-you-can clan. I like these guys better for the most part, but that may be because they make me feel better about myself when I can’t fit it in. I would love to write every day. There was a time in my life when I did. But lately, with a new puppy around, and my recent trip to New Zealand, I’ve had a hell of a time even convincing myself to scribble things down in a notebook. This is what happens when the words get backed up. I’m talking about creative constipation, folks. So many words and ideas all jumbled together and trying to escape through my tiny…

I don’t know how to wait until I’m older

I’ve never really been able to listen when people tell me to wait until I’m older. Ever since I was a kid, I have always been in the position of being young for whatever it was I was doing. I wrote my first “novel” when I was 12. (The book was about 20,000 words and entitled The Disappearing Posessions. I didn’t realize until after I finished it that I had misspelled possessions, which made me want to die of shame. I also didn’t know about Find & Replace so I set about changing EVERY INSTANCE OF IT IN THE WHOLE BOOK, but anyway I’m not bitter.) I started college studies when I was 16. You can do that in Minnesota, start college/university in your last two years of high school for free. Let me tell you, I did not fully appreciate how incredible that was, but my future loan-paying self sure did. The…

Suspend your disbelief (anything can happen)

I am a master at suspending my disbelief. If you’re not sure what that is, it’s a common term used in literature and theatre which basically means that you as a reader/audience member consciously set aside your knowledge that what is happening in front of you isn’t real. I like the word “suspend” because it makes me think of my disbelief as some sort of acrobat, high in the ceiling of my mind, swinging around on a rope and not allowed to come down until I say so. If you read a book, watch a movie, or see a play, you will be called on to suspend your disbelief. The better you are at it, the more you will enjoy the thing playing out in front of you. Have you ever been to a movie with that person? You know the one I’m talking about. The guy who leans over and…

How to stop wasting time

From where I currently live, I commute an hour and a half each way to work. I don’t live in some remote village and drive to the city, either. I just live in the suburbs. I grew up in a small town, population ~13,000. When we talked about traffic, we meant there were more than three cars waiting at the stoplight. So when I moved to the big city of Minneapolis, it was like a whole new world. Then I moved to London, which was like another planet, with double-decker buses and black taxis everywhere. Now I’m in Melbourne, and I rely almost 100% on public transport to get around, since hardly any of the places I need to go are within walking distance and we only have one car. So I guess what I’m saying is, I’ve worked my way up to this commute, but here I am, with about…

My top 8 favorite podcasts

I first got into podcasts when I started commuting last year. I get a lot of reading done in that time, but when I’m walking to and from the bus stop, waiting at the station, or riding the bus, I don’t really like to read. Instead, I listen to stories being told on the radio, just like my ancestors. Only unlike my ancestors, I listen to them through my tiny Skull Candy ear buds, not sitting next to a giant wood-paneled radio. Podcasts appeal to a whole heap of people, especially now that it’s really hard for us to just not do anything for a while (which is probably not good, but we’ll save the topic of society’s addiction to activity for another blog.) Without further ado, if you’re looking for something new to cut your boredom, help you learn how to be a better writer, or find out more about some cases of true crime,…

Navigate