Posts tagged creativity in 2022

Mind's Eye Theater, 2022 Edition

Every time I see an artist whose work makes me tell myself, "There's a story there," I know I'm on the right track.

On Doing One's Homework

Especially when you want to write about your world, of which you've not seen very much yourself.

Happy Accidents

Commercial success for creative work is less about the work itself and more about its circumstances.

The Kessel Run Is A Unit Of ... Fun

How consistency, foolish or otherwise, can be the hobgoblin of small minds in SF&F.

Show, Don't Tell (A New Way To Get It Wrong)

"Just depict, don't also imagine" is a poor program for art.

Fronting And Faking

Too many times I've started a project only to shelve it because it was nothing but putting some attitude on display. And a bad attitude at that.

Imagine That

Over the course of my life I've emigrated from one kind of imagination to another -- from just "making things up" to seeing what we have in front of us in a new way.

Mystory, Repeating Itself

On examining what feels like the formula I've devised for most every book I write.

Workaholica: Read 'Em All

How I've unthinkingly made too many fun things into "research" or "creative work".

Pens Down!

"Getting lost in your knowledge management system is a fantastic way to avoid creating things."

End(game) Result

People see your results, not your efforts. By design.

Campbell's Folly

"The 'three-act structure' and the 'hero’s journey', are editing tools, not writing tools."

Fast, Cheap, And Under Control

Paraphrasing Neil Gaiman: "Make cheap art."

Towards A More Lovely Dog Biscuit Package

"What makes dog biscuit packaging an unworthy object of a designer's attention as opposed to a museum catalog?"

A Mouthful Of Ideas

Comparing and contrasting two critics, Roger Ebert and Serge Daney.

Wrinkling My Nose

Where am I obliged to like anything merely because it exists?

I Got The Feelin'

Gut wisdom and creativity, examined.

More Wrong Lessons From The Singular Sensations

The lessons we learn from singular, idiosyncratic works are not necessarily positive ones.

What I Was Trying To Be All About

The only thing I want from my work is to use it as a way to make sense of myself and my world, and to do that in a way that other people can share.

The Human Use Of Human Beings, And All That

What are people for in SF&F? To show us what's possible, and to show how that's possible right here, not just "out there somewhere."

Tell It To Me Straight

We don't want validation just to know that we're doing the right thing, but also to know we're not doing the wrong things.

Roll Them Dice

At some point I imagine someone came up with (or should come up with) a game theory of creative work.

Open Book Exam

On how messy my note-taking can be on my projects.

The Cardinal Sin Of Repeating Myself

No matter how much I try to avoid it, I see more similarities than differences in everything I write. But is that a problem?

Looking Onto Other Pages

"When everyone in the community reads the same books, you can an inward-looking, intellectually impoverished community that can only contemplate its own navel."

Join The Faker's Club

On the sociology of impostor syndrome.

On The Transformation Of Inspiration

Most projects don't end up anywhere near where they start out, and for good reasons.

The Container It Goes In

We put things into genres to make them sellable, and the best way to do that is after the fact.

The Art Of All, 2022 Edition

"All entertainment is art whether we like it or not" holds up better with every passing year, and for many reasons.

Self-Criticism Session

What do you do when you find yourself writing the kind of book you might take issue with if someone else wrote it?

To Embody The Moment Without Trying

People can get the anger of the current moment from anywhere. See what else you have to give.

Time, Time, Time, See What's Become Of Me

Some healthy tension is needed between keeping the wheel of production turning and leaning on myself for being a lazy slob.

Magpie Mind Power

With every story set in a strange new world, give yourself as many individual elements of wonderful strangeness to draw on.

A Glass Of Chablis And A Corn Dog

On spontaneity as the wellspring of all creativity.

The Same Furniture In The Same Room

On deliberately not finding an equilibrium for one's creative work.

Lest We Repeat Ourselves

In some ways this new book of mine is a rewrite of an older book. In most ways, I hope it isn't.

Bookish Heroes

Let's have an end to the trope that a character who is an artist or an avid reader automatically makes them a protagonist.

Your Own Thing

"What is it that I have to bring to the table?" is the hardest question any of us can answer, and I think many of us never do in fact answer it.

Misery Index, 2022 Edition (And Earlier)

The story of a never-written project that made me realize why I don't want to rub the misery of our moment in people's faces and call that art.

On The Noting Of Some Turning Words

How an entire story can pivot on a single sentence, and lead to a new world in the head.

My Inner Eye

On being a writer as an extension of being an artist who plays with images, rather than words.

Look Under The Sun

How to find something new there. (And how to make it.)

The Momentum Of My Curiosity

I still want to review stuff, it's just making stuff that's taken first priority.


Examining your inner creative voices: "Are you 'one' writer or 'many' writers?"

Ring Around The Story, Pt. 2

More Marvel discussion: On entertainments vs. objects of study vs. role models.

On The Job Training

I always go back and forth about the value of "formal" education in creative endeavors -- e.g., creative writing classes or MFAs or film school or whatnot.

Solving The Ego Problem(s)

"Solving the problem is more important than being right." A quick guide for writers.

Over The Top, Out The Bottom

If there was an envelope I wanted most to push, it was envelope of "accessible and fun" as it edged up against "complex and challenging".

Yours And Yours Alone

Whatever it is you make, make it so yours they can never take it away from you.

Ask Yourself This

Whenever I've said to myself "I'd like to write a book like X", I always had to ask myself, why? And to what end?

If I Wouldn't Want To Read It, I Probably Wouldn't Write It

The title tells it. Let's dive into this idea and see what comes up.

The Dizzying Whirl Of The Perfection-Go-Round

That last long stretch of finishing up a book is often taken up with nattering about the kinds of details only you and one other jerk can see.

The Arbiters Of The Arbitrary

Stories driven by arbitrary conceits tend to lose the reader's engagement, because in a story where anything's possible, nothing matters very much.

How To Give Constructive Feedback

My advice for how to give truly constructive feedback on someone else's work.

Don't Hide It, Provide It

The idea that you have to guard your story ideas, lest someone steal them, is a pernicious myth.

The Anything Machines

"You can do whatever you want" seems better expressed as "You can attempt anything you want to attempt."

Outside The Copying Spiral

How do you get out of the spiral of copying your influences to producing truly original work?

See previous posts from 2021

See future posts from 2023