Random Musings

Balancing enjoyment and WORK

I write because I love to write. But sometimes I write because it provides a check. I don’t apologize for that. We all need to eat. Still, taking assignments you don’t love can be a slog. You take a freelance assignment because it will make you a few extra bucks — always welcome in this economy — but if it saps all the joy out of being in front of the keyboard, is it worth it? I don’t have an answer to that. I still throw my all into each project, even if it bores me to tears. I always strive to do my best work. And hey, I must be doing something right or I wouldn’t get hired for this stuff, right? But let…
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Tearing down your own work

Sometimes you have to take something you’ve created and stomp it to pieces in order to make it work. Earlier this week I began writing a novel I’ve dabbled with on and off for years. I’ve made a few aborted attempts to write it, but other things have always gotten in the way. It has remained incomplete, sort of taunting me from my files. I like the story and world of the novel. I’ve always intended to finish it. So now I’m doing exactly that. At the moment, I have eight chapters completed out of a projected 30 to 40. Thing is, those chapters are crap. Oh, the story they tell is a good story, but the writing? The writing is garbage. See, those chapters…
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It’s odd to see your name…

I’m used to seeing my byline. Over the last 10 years it has appeared on thousands of news stories, photo credits, film reviews, and various other pieces of writing. At this point it’s really no big deal. Just part of the job. Still, it’s odd to see yourself listed at Goodreads.com. Hell, the book is even listed on Living Social, that Facebook app people have been using for top 5 lists. So that’s pretty neat. Two other quick side notes: 1) You can see four preview pages from a comic I’m doing with artist Rick Lundeen in this gallery. His work is great, isn’t it? 2) And I’m honored to have had a quote pulled from my review of 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America…
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Rejection letters ain’t so bad

Rejection letters. If you’re a writer, aspiring writer, wannabe writer, whatever writer, you’re going to deal with them. I don’t care how good you think you are, you will. That’s just reality. But here’s the thing: They need not be painful. Not even a little. Rejection letters are many things, chief among them something no writer likes to get, but they are more than a necessary evil. They are a sign that you’re an active writer. Proof that you’re actually writing, not just talking about writing. I mean, let’s face it, how many so-called “writers” do you know who never actually write? For every person who puts pens to paper or fingers to keyboard, there are a dozen of these talkers, people who like the…
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It’s Super Plugtastic Link Day!

Some semi-random link stuff for Monday. Joe Valdez over at This Distracted Globe quoted me in his write-up of Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes. Thanks, Joe. The quote comes from my review of the Criterion Collection DVD release, which you can read here. Purchase the (awesome) DVD here. Over on the Bibliophile Stalker blog, there is a review/overview of the issue of Weird Tales in which my “commendable piece,” Whispers of the Old Hag, appeared. Thanks, Charles. The issue also has a listing at Locus Online. Speaking of listings, Pictureshowman.com has listed A Year of Hitchcock with upcoming books on the History of Motion Pictures. Looks like we’re in some fine company. While we’re on A Year of Hitchcock, I found a good source for tracking…
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