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ListenHere's a great The Journeyman Writer podcast from  StoryWonk about what to write when you don't have an idea. It also touches on what to do when you feel your story idea has been done before (hint: write it anyhow!). It's a perfect subject right before NaNoWriMo.

I think we get hung up sometimes on wanting to write something that's never been done before (that will happen because you have never told this story before, so stop worrying about it!)  And we get hung up sometimes on thinking we should do something different.  "I love ghost stories, but my last three stories were about ghosts so I should do something different." Write your story. Write what you want.  Get a little inspiration from this podcast then go get some words down.

The Journeyman Writer: The First Step



This is a fantastic episode of Writing Excuses with Peter Beagle about ditching the "aspiring" when talking about being a writer and getting into the mindset of a professional writer.  So much good advice and charming anecdotes--I love this episode.

This is important for all of us, especially if we're in the early stages of our writing careers and aren't published yet.  How you look at your writing, how you think about it, has a great effect on your success and your feelings about your writing life.

Writing Excuses 9.44: Getting in the Writer’s Mindset with Peter Beagle



Do you love writing? Do you love stories and storytelling and find pleasure in doing the work, writing your stories, creating your characters?  Sometimes I let it become nothing but work, just another thing on my to-do list. I forget sometimes to reconnect with the pure pleasure and fun of making things up.

This fabulous episode of the even more wonderful Magic Lessons podcast from Elizabeth Gilbert is about the fun of making things just to be doing it.  It's a great reminder and listening to these wonderful women talking about creating for no one but yourself is a beautiful thing.

Listen, then go make something. And have fun!



Technically, since this is a YouTube video, I guess I should say "Watch this."  But you get the idea.

This is Eric Witchey doing a short video on writing practice: Eric Witchey, Five Minutes on Writing.   It's genius.  If you follow this advice and no other you will improve your writing.  You'll be a better writer, a more regular writer.  This is great stuff.

And if you ever get a chance to go to one of his conference presentations/classes or take a workshop with him, do yourself a favor and do it.  He's not just a prolific writer, he spends time analyzing why things work in writing, and he's very good at explaining it to others.

Go watch the video.  Then go write!



ListenI struggle with middles in my longer writing projects.  I'm always excited about the beginnings (isn't everyone?).  And at least some of the time I'll have some good stuff queued up for the ending, so I know how that's going to look. But the middles catch me and drag me down.  I have stopped writing in the middle of a few too many wannabe novels.

This podcast from Writing Excuses addresses middles and has some great advice.  I especially like the conversation about try/fail cycles and also predictability.

Writing Excuses 10.27: Why Can't I Just Jump to the Ending?


ListenYou may have heard about the book deal that John Scalzi signed with Tor a bit over a week ago.

You may also have seen some of the uproar.  Most of what I've seen on the internet has been really positive, congratulating Mr. Scalzi and wishing him well.  But there have been people saying he's selling out, people who seem to think that somehow his getting a great deal is going to take something away from other authors.  This is completely untrue and ridiculous.

Alastair Stephens of Story Wonk talked about this in one of his The Journeyman Writer podcasts last week, and I think what he has to say is important for all writers.  So have a listen.  Don't worry about what other writers are earning because it won't impact you at all, honest, and get back to your story.

The Journeyman Writer 53: A Big Deal




Listen Up is a new addition to the blog.  I listen to a lot of podcasts as well as recordings of interviews and other tasty tidbits people share around the internet, and I want to share the good stuff I find. The Listen Up posts are going to be short posts with a link recommending something I think is really good, helpful, or simply fascinating.  Enjoy!

Odyssey Podcasts are short excerpts from various guest lecturers at the prestigious Odyssey Workshop held every year in New Hampshire.  While the workshop is for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, the information shared in these podcasts will benefit any writer.

You get Nancy Kress talking about writing in scenes, Jack Ketchum talking about powerful openings, Patricia McKillip on turning real landscapes into fantasy worlds.  And there's so much more!  Too much for me to try to pick out a smattering of standouts.  Go have a look for yourself instead.

Each episode is nice and short, too, so they're easy to fit in on your commute or while you're doing dishes, etc.  Click below to check out the episodes.

Odyssey Podcasts main page