The books that made me -- specifically, the SF and fantasy books.
Every now and then the social circle I'm in adds another creator, and that provokes another round of what's-your-favorite-X or some similar game. This time around, it was "What influenced you as a writer?", specifically, what influenced you as a science fiction/fantasy writer? I'd already explored this idea before, but it was fun to go back and think about it all over again, and write it down.
Here is my list, in no particular order:
Why I don't have a metaverse for my fiction. (Not for lack of trying, actually...)
One thing I've noticed about my own work in contradistinction to Matt's and Steve's is that I don't have a metaverse. Matt's works all tend to be "backended" into each other as part of some larger shared reality, and Steve's are (so far) in a shared universe that's meant to be expanded in multiple directions. With mine, every work is wholly its own thing, with no connection to anything else.
The wheel turns. It grinds slowly, but exceedingly fine.
The wheel turns. It grinds slowly, but exceedingly fine.
This is Rumor Control; here are the facts.
All projects are listed in very rough order of estimated completion. Note that we have one new entry this time around: Charisma!
"Our creative journeys aren’t linear, and our creative selves not always apparent"
Steven Savage made a post about how he just sort of happened into making some of the most significant work of his writing career (his how-to creativity guides). "Our creative journeys aren’t linear, and our creative selves not always apparent," as he put it.
"...the mind extends into the world and augments the capacities of the biological brain with outside-the-brain resources."
This article had much to nosh on, especially these grafs towards the end:
... the theory of the extended mind, introduced more than two decades ago by the philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers. A 1998 article of theirs published in the journal Analysis began by posing a question that would seem to have an obvious answer: “Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin?” They went on to offer an unconventional response. The mind does not stop at the usual “boundaries of skin and skull,” they maintained. Rather, the mind extends into the world and augments the capacities of the biological brain with outside-the-brain resources.
I was a terrible writer for a long time, but I didn't care how bad I was as long as I could keep trying, and could learn something with each trial.
Sometimes I think the only difference between good and bad artists is a combination of two factors: disinhibition about failure, and the willingness to play over one's head as an incentive to improve.
I can speak for myself on both counts. I was a terrible writer for a long time, but I didn't care how bad I was as long as I could keep trying, and could learn something with each trial. Here I still is.
I treat my writing career the way I do because I don't want it to become a "hustle".
In my earlier article, I tapdanced around an idea that I think I can now put into a few succinct words. I treat my writing career the way I do because I don't want it to become a "hustle".
It took this article to help me frame that properly. My writing is a hobby -- a very structured and disciplined one, one that I take great pride and care in, but ultimately that's what it is. It is not an attempt to make a living, or even make a name for myself. I already have those things. And I currently have them in a form that is far more manageable to me than would be a career writing fiction.
There's no reason for me to turn something I do because I enjoy it into something I do because I want to hustle it out there. The last thing I want to do is take something that feels like my greatest way to make sense of the world and poison it.
The one thing about Zen and Buddhism that most stood out for me: the idea that everyone's already enlightened and just doesn't know it yet.
The one thing about Zen and Buddhism that most stood out for me, once I found out about it, was the idea that everyone's already enlightened and just doesn't know it yet. As Pema Chödrön put it, "we are never separated from enlightenment. Even at the times we feel most stuck, we are never alienated from the awakened state."
Everyone has it right for the taking and the asking; it's just that we've lived most of our lives not knowing how to look for it. We think we have to look for it by finding something out there that will finish the puzzle, as it were -- an experience, an idea, another person, what have you. But nothing out there finishes the puzzle the way finding the missing bit inside yourself does, the bit you've always overlooked.
On not succumbing to the urge to just shove stuff off my desk and be done with it.
Another busy week, hence relatively little bloggo de blog from me. Mostly work (the actual moneyed kind), and keeping my head down and trying to move as fast as possible through the last chapters of Unmortal's first draft. I'm quite close to the end, but I'm trying not to rush it and thus defer things best written down the first time to future drafts. Hard not to get excited, though!
Among the disciplines I had to develop for myself when learning to write was to not rush through anything, to not succumb to the urge to just shove stuff off my desk and be done with it.
On the difficulties engendered by total editorial freedom.
Some time back I eyed using a service like Substack or Medium for some vein of my blogging, but after some more thought I've pulled back on the idea. The biggest problem with them is the same thing I have with Facebook and Twitter and the like: you're at the mercy of a platform that you don't own and can't control. Building a livelihood atop something that capricious just seems nuts to me. I know, I know, plenty of "name" bloggers and journalists have done it, but that's because they have existing name value they can bring with them wherever they go, not because platforms like Substack are such sizzling great ideas.
Science fiction, rebooted.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind