The Writer’s Mind: Laser vs. Soup

Soup - the mind of an authorI would guess most non-writers think that the minds of writers pretty much operate all the same way: you get an idea, you write it down, expanding as you go. Years ago, I might have thought that myself, but my last few books over the last couple of years have completely disabused me of that notion. Every project has illustrated to me in ever-greater detail that my mind can work in vastly different ways when doing this singular yet very complex thing – writing. Continue reading “The Writer’s Mind: Laser vs. Soup”

Indie News Beat: The Shifting Stigma

Indie News BeatUnless you were living under a rock last month, you’ll have heard about Hugh Howey’s incendiary new website in which he and an anonymous friend collate a mass of book sales data to show that self-published titles are taking more and more of the spoils. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth from nearly everyone (it seemed), given that so much data analysed in such depth was perhaps bound to be open to selective interpretations.

Over on Publishers Weekly, Smashwords founder Mark Coker took a more sober approach, pointing out that: “What matters is the directional trend, and the strong social, cultural and economic forces that will propel the trend forward in a direction unfavorable to publishers.” In an excellent article which is a must-read for all Independent Authors, Coker goes on to describe how the perception of stigma is shifting. From just a few years ago, when self-publishing had “failure” written all over it, we’re now moving to a point where traditional publishing is getting its share of negativity: the lousy royalties on e-books and their own vanity imprints ready to fleece the unsuspecting Indie, which Coker politely calls “misguided”. The more heated the debate gets, the more useful it is to listen to a cooler head. Continue reading “Indie News Beat: The Shifting Stigma”

This is Your Brain on Writing

I used to write first drafts longhand. Yes, with my actual hands using a device they once called a “pen,” which is not the same as that stylus-thing you use at the bank or on your MaxiPad. And paper: lots of paper in lots of marble composition notebooks, at least fifty of which are currently on a shelf in my closet. Many trees died for my filthy habit. But I was not ashamed because they were bad trees, bad, misbehaving trees that jumped into traffic and collided with people’s cars. Bad, naughty trees.

Continue reading “This is Your Brain on Writing”