Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ten Things, One Post

Well, this blog is new, but I'm not - the fossil record extends all the way back to my LiveJournal, if you can believe it.

But to get back up to speed, here are Ten Things I've Learned in the Last Ten Years.  "Concerning Writing" should be in that title, but messes up the rhythm.

10. If you don't let yourself write until all of your chores are done, you never will.

9.  Everything is genius five minutes after you've written it.

8.  Everything is shit a year after you've written it.

7.  We live in an age of diminishing attention spans.  Write accordingly.

6.  Your inner George Jetson needs to have his ass kicked regularly by your inner Mr. Spacely.  (Well, mine does, anyway.)

5.  You're going to invest thousands of hours learning how to spend thousands of hours creating something that has a one in a thousand chance of earning you a thousand dollars.  If that doesn't make you put your head between your knees and retch, batter on.

4.  Trying to become a great author without reading broadly is like trying to become a master chef without eating anything but chicken nuggets and Kool-Aid.

3.  Criticism is Halloween candy: be sincere in your thanks for every piece you get.  (THEN you can take it home and separate the Snickers from the raisins.)

2.  You are not the center of the universe.  That distinction belongs to the person who loves you enough to plow through your 100,000-word monstrosity and give you his or her in-depth, unvarnished opinion.

1.  You sure as hell better have a life-plan that does not involve being the next Stephen King.

I believe that is a decent haul for my first decade on the job.  I am looking forward to adding to it.

The first million words are practice.


  1. Terrific list! Spot on, and you made me laugh to boot!

  2. Ha! Thanks; I'll take it and keep running - I'm flattered to hear it!