I know well the desire to have approval, the boost we get from a genuine compliment.
I also know that asking others for feedback when what we really want is a pat on the head is fraught with peril, asking for trouble, bending over and begging to be kicked.
Some general thoughts and specific comments on feedback:
Continue reading “Feedback Fraught with Fear, False Findings, Fruitlessness”
Reviewed the notes with Best Beloved and it appears that all is well and I can dive into writing Jake’s story.
Monday. Diving happens Monday.
Let’s get this book done, eh?
This month’s newsletter went out two days ago and included a special offer/request for help with my science fiction adventure work in progress, Jake Calcutta and the Temporal Lisle.
If you’d like to hear about that opportunity, sign up for the newsletter before next Wednesday’s blog post (the date will be November 23rd) and I’ll resend the info, just for you.
There’s an old story about a chap who goes on vacation and leaves his dull-witted brother to care for the household.
After a week, he calls home and asks how his cat is faring.
“Cat’s dead,” his brother blurts.
“What? It’s what? That’s no way to tell someone their beloved pet died! Ya gotta work up to it.”
His brother, eager to learn, asks how one might do that.
Continue reading “When is it Appropriate to Offer Unsolicited Criticism of Someone’s Art?”
Two weeks ago I wrote a post at my Someday Box blog which I’m inordinately proud of. My fans responded by making it the busiest day I’ve ever had at any blog in 11 years. By a factor of 3 — yes, one post tripled my best day ever.
And now, the following days of normal traffic look puny and sad.
When kids say something surprising and get a laugh, they do it again.
Continue reading “Chasing Attention is a Bad Thing (but It’s So Hard Not to Do)”
Sometimes when we’re stuck a total stranger has our answer. It’s not the most likely avenue to resolve our writing challenges, though.
The stranger would have to discover that we have a problem, and they’d have to know the solution (or at least a solution.)
If you describe your writing challenge to me, I have a rare ability to see and hear viscerally which gives me insights which are valuable even to a complete stranger.
That doesn’t scale, though. I can only work with a handful of coaching clients at a time. Also, I’m expensive.
Continue reading “How Personal Relationships Make Feedback Valuable”
When my middle daughter was taking an interest in music, I tried to teach her some piano basics, and a bit about music theory. Nothing elaborate. Things like chord patterns that work well, melodic structure, lyric writing.
She dismissed it all. “I know what I want to do, and I don’t need all that stuff.” To me, her playing sounded like she was just picking two keys at a time, stringing pairs of sounds together, vaguely timed against some clock that didn’t exist.
No lyrics. She was a poet, and I guess the lyrics were going to stay in her head, not come out of her mouth.
Fast forward 5 years. I mentioned that, at the time, it sure seemed like all she wanted was to “let her genius flow unhindered” rather than learning a few basics that could turn her meandering into real songs.
She said, “Yeah, I was just being lazy and pretentious. I need all that stuff. Will you teach me now?”
Her lyrics never fail to make me cry or laugh out loud. Her melodies are mature. She’s a decent piano player. And one of the finest singers I’ve ever known.
Lateral arabesque to a location somewhere in my head.
Continue reading “What if I Don’t Want to Play by the Rules?”
Authors seem to think they need to please their fans, or Amazon, or a publisher. I know I’ll be the voice no one wants to hear, but I don’t change my art for anyone. And yeah, you’re gonna say that I’ll never be a best-seller; that if you don’t bend to the market, you’ll never get popular.
But I already have real-life experience which says otherwise.
Continue reading “I Will Never Adjust My Art to Suit You”
Head on over to the NFAA blog and read my article about how to review a book.