First Cup of Coffee – September 15, 2023

Great week for me! Talking about being up front with my new editor on how I *can’t* write an outline, a bit about knife-throwing and learning to relish failure as much as success, and the monsoon rains of autumn.



Stop Waiting for Inspiration

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This week at the SFF Seven, we’re talking how to find inspiration when the story won’t come to you.

Did you know the word “inspiration” comes from the Latin inspirare, which means “to breathe into”? Same root as the English word for respiration and other, similar, breathing-related words. It refers to the sense of the divine breathing life into us.

The way creatives use “inspiration,” we usually mean it the way this topic is phrased – that we’re waiting for that divine breath, waiting for that story to come to us.

Stop waiting.

As a creative, YOU are the divine and the story is your creation. Did the gods wait for lifeless clay creatures to somehow totter up to them, requesting the breath of life?

No.

Similarly, those stories are not going to come to you. You must reach out and seize the clay, shape it into what you want it to be, and then for YOU to be the inspiration, to breathe life into the new work.

I know this isn’t the advice you wanted to hear. This isn’t easy. But then, being a Creator never is.

First Cup of Coffee – September 4, 2023

About “rules” – on publishing and on creating worlds and magic systems – and how to know when to ignore what other people have to say. Also, the perils of being clever: just… don’t.



First Cup of Coffee – August 28, 2023

My weekend at Bubonicon: great conversations with other writers and coming home ready to put a new project into motion. Also, how some members of the SFF community treat Romance like antimatter.



First Cup of Coffee – August 25, 2023

Burnout: how to recognize it, how to define what stage you’re at, and what to do about it. I recommend aggressive refilling of the well for all. Also, vacation, Hurricane Hilary, and doing Beach.



First Cup of Coffee – August 7, 2023

My bizarre story about mistaken identity and the revelation it gave me on how we talk to each other and – most importantly – how writers communicate with agents. Also, highly recommend the Willamette Writers Conference!