Critical Voice

Critical voice is the term Dean Wesley Smith uses to describe what many writers think of as their “internal editor.” Only, it’s a little worse than that.

Critical voice is designed to stop you from making a mistake, however that mistake manifests itself. And because it’s designed to stop you, when it enters into our creative spaces, it can grind everything to a halt.

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Misnomer

For a long time, I fancied myself a horror writer. I wanted to be like Stephen King, emulate his writing, emulate the terror.

Problem is, nothing I’ve written has really been scary, with the possible exception of one story that seemed to resonate with a handful of readers.

But now I’m wondering if I’ve ever written real horror.

What is real horror, anyway?

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Heinlein’s Rules

Robert Heinlein was a professional writer, most famous for giving away his “Five Rules for Writing” and stating he didn’t worry about competition generated from following those rules, because most people simply won’t follow them.

You know what? He was right. Even when I felt I’d figured out how to get my work going again, after literal years of failing to produce, I discovered a block.

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Learning Process

I’m still muddling through learning to be a writer. If you haven’t been following along for the last few months – or simply don’t care – then I’d recommend you click away, right now, before this gets any worse.

Now. NOW! Click away NOW, dagnabit!

Still here? Okay, so here’s what’s been going on.

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Picking a Path

Writing is a life-long learning experience, if you’re doing it right. (Write?) There’s never a point at which you’ve “arrived” in writing. It’s a lot like computer programming – there’s always something more to learn.

As a writer, I’ve changed my focus over the last several months. I’ve reset my sights on something less tangible, and because it’s less tangible, the path to that goal is more difficult to see.

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Master Craftsman

I genuinely believe one of the better analogies I’ve ever seen for writing as a craft and art is the comparison to cabinetmaking. Maybe that’s because I’ve done both. Technically, I wasn’t a cabinetmaker. But I did build furniture, with the goal of building fine furniture. I thought of myself as an artist of sorts, … Continue reading Master Craftsman