I’ve restarted my habit of starting off my morning by scribbling in my “morning pages,” as suggested by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. The question I posed to myself today was, “If you have no intention of becoming someone’s partner or father, what do you plan to do for the good of yourself or your species?” I didn’t expect many answers from myself, but there are options available to the single and the childless to give themselves purpose. Below are a few suggestions. Continue reading “Leaving a Better World”
This week I picked up a collection of short fiction by my favorite author, Poul Anderson. Anderson’s writing (he passed on in 2001) caused me to reflect on the difference between the types of fiction I read and the types of stuff that I actually write. Anderson, along with Robert A. Heinlein, Jerry Pournelle, and Ernest Hemingway, are all of a type, in that they all tend to write about bold, adventurous men happy in the outdoors and capable of wresting from the world what they want with their bare hands. It’s fun, energetic storytelling, and their works have given me much enjoyment over the years. Yet their works diverge greatly from what I write when given time to myself. Why? Continue reading “What I Read vs. What I Write”
I’ve been on a self-improvement kick lately. Organizations go through phases like this occasionally, and for many of the same reasons: the ones in charge observe that quality is falling off, people are getting slack in their adherence to standards, or maybe they just want to make a good place better. Since I’m on this kick myself right now, I thought I’d share a few thoughts from my quest to Build a Better Bart. Continue reading “Continuous Improvement Starts from Inside”
If you tried to follow every piece of meme-based “wisdom” on Facebook, you’d soon find yourself in an utter dither about what to do with yourself. “Out of sight, out of mind” wars with “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” “Continuous improvement” dukes it out in your head with “Be kind to yourself and accept yourself as you are.” I’ll take some time today to untangle that second knot. Your approach could vary, but then that’s part of reality, isn’t it?
Depending on what you do and how public it is, you can usually tune out most of the critics in the world. However, there’s one critic you can’t avoid, and that’s the one looking back at you from the mirror. Continue reading “Taming Your Inner Critic”
I have been writing stories since I was eight years old. I have the hard copies to prove it. For the next twenty years after that, I was writing a lot of fiction. It was a mix, really, though mostly mainstream and science fiction or somewhere in between. Once I started writing to pay my bills, my fiction productivity dropped off tremendously. More to the point, I began to lose interest in storytelling at all. The reasons for that are a bit complicated, but I’ll give it a shot here. Continue reading “Relearning an Old Skill”