All posts for Uncategorized / General in June 2021


What I Learned From Whom And Why

A distillation of what I've learned from other creators who aren't writers.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-23 21:00:00 No comments


Some time back when talking with friends I let slip that the biggest influences on my work wasn't other writers, but creative folks in other spheres. I took a few minutes to sit down and distil what lessons I took away from them.

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Tags: creativity creators


Bogging Down In Soggy Middles

How not to get stuck halfway through something you're writing.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-22 21:00:00 No comments


From Matt's bloggo de blog:

... for some writers, [the middle] is the most difficult part of a novel. That the middle is the stage where it is easiest to lose one’s way, to get bogged down in how to draw the line between this rough mid-point and the end, then eventually throw up one’s hands and declare it hopeless.

I find my experience very different. The early stages of my novels are where some projects kick the bucket. The vast majority that die do so during outlining and planning, or simply never make it past the planning stage, because they are not “together” enough.

Sounds familiar!

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Tags: writing


Too Much Of A Good Thing

How to deal with having half-a-dozen-plus possible future projects all cagematching each other to death for the chance to be next in line.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-20 22:00:00 No comments


I'm still oh-so-very-close to the end of draft 1 (more like draft 1.4) of Unmortal, and am now fending off the two great dangers that come with the transition between phases of any great project. The first is to hurryupandgetitoverwith. The second is to start entertaining, with ever-increasing vigor, what the next project(s) are going to be. What's great about Danger #2 is how much of a pleasure it is to have a solid, welcoming sense of what to jump into next, feet-first. What's bad is how that keeps you from staying on target and finishing what you already have.

It's worse when you have something like seven possible future projects all cagematching each other to death for the chance to be next in line.

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Tags: creativity future projects


Untold Influences (2021 Edition)

The books that made me -- specifically, the SF and fantasy books.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-17 12:00:00 No comments


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:

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Tags: Science Fiction Repair Shop influences science fiction


It's (Not) All One Big Story

Why I don't have a metaverse for my fiction. (Not for lack of trying, actually...)

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-15 17:00:00 No comments


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.

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Tags: creativity


Where We're Going, We Don't Have Roadmaps

"Our creative journeys aren’t linear, and our creative selves not always apparent"

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-14 21:00:00 No comments


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.

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Tags: creativity creators


World Brain Blues, And Cheers

"...the mind extends into the world and augments the capacities of the biological brain with outside-the-brain resources."

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-12 21:00:00 No comments


This article had much to nosh on, especially these grafs towards the end:

Opinion | How to Think Outside Your Brain - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

... 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.

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Tags: morality neuroscience psychology sociology


We All Start Somewhere, Usually The Bottom

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.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-10 12:00:00 No comments


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.

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Tags: creativity writing


No Hustle

I treat my writing career the way I do because I don't want it to become a "hustle".

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-07 21:00:00 No comments


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.

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Tags: creativity creators motivation writing


All These Things Are Mine (And Yours, Too)

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.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-07 12:00:00 No comments


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.

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Tags: Buddhism Zen


Run Slowly Through The Tape

On not succumbing to the urge to just shove stuff off my desk and be done with it.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-06-06 12:00:00 No comments


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.

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Tags: Unmortal future projects writing


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I'm an independent SF and fantasy author, technology journalist, and freelance contemplator for how SF can be more than just a way to blow stuff up.

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