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Committed to the Drop: Writing Deadlines, the Fear of Success, and Mitigating Failure

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Committed to the Drop: Writing Deadlines, the Fear of Success, and Mitigating Failure

There has been a rise in public conversation recently about authors and deadlines since George R.R. Martin noted that the next season of Game of Thrones was now going to be coming out before the next book, as he was unable to meet the publication deadline. Lots of authors have talked about their struggles with life vs. deadlines, including – most visibly – Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss, but it’s a subject that comes up often at the convention bar, because many writers struggle with it. Deadlines are necessary, but they hurt,...

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Traditional Publishing, Non-Compete Clauses & Rights Grabs

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Traditional Publishing, Non-Compete Clauses & Rights Grabs

DISCLAIMER: I am going to say some tough, true things in this essay. It’s not NEW stuff, but stuff that writers talk about a lot in the bar at conventions on in email with one another. This is not meant to be a jibe at any publishers I’m currently working with (well, except the usual one, and they know who they are). These are general industry issues on the minds of many writers that I think we all need to talk about publicly for newer writers coming up after us. So let’s get to...

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On Kindness and Conventions

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Events, The Writing Life | 0 comments

On Kindness and Conventions

I want to talk a little about kindness. We like to think that geeks are kind, that geeks understand what it is to be outsiders, and so we open up our circles and are super inviting to everyone. But what happens more often is that once we find our groups, we jealously defend them to keep outsiders away. Once we’ve created an “us” we work even harder to define the “them.” This is one of the reasons that conventions have always been so excruciatingly difficult for me. Last year at ConFusion in Detroit I came in when everyone else was...

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Yes, We’re All Going to Die

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Yes, We’re All Going to Die

People often ask me why I work so hard at the writing game. I’ve answered that question in long form dozens of times over the years, but the short form is simply, “This is all I ever wanted to do, and I know the time in which I have to do it is limited.” We share a lot of similarities and life experiences, we humans. One of those is that eventually, all of us are going to die. For folks who have never head-butted death in the face, this is a largely abstract idea. Yes, yes, of course we’re all going to die, we say, just like we’re...

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Don’t Tell Me I’m Talented

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Don’t Tell Me I’m Talented

I remember when I used to be really annoyed with John Scalzi’s arrogant swagger about being a good writer. No, scratch that. It wasn’t annoyed so much as jealous of the fact that he had confidence in his writing abilities. This was way back in 2005/6 when I was still working a shitty admin job and had never compared myself to other working professional writers and Scalzi was just that guy who’d sold a book he published on his blog. I have now spent a decade working with a truckload of other writers across various companies...

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ConFusion 2016 Appearances

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Events | 0 comments

ConFusion 2016 Appearances

Still a little shocked that I somehow survived 2015 long enough to arrive more-or-less whole at my first convention of 2016, which will be what is becoming the annual writer gathering at ConFusion just outside Detroit. It’s a nice centralized con, just a couple hours by plane from either coast and a three-hour drive from my digs here in Ohio. The low-cost-of-living Midwest writing contingent is pleased with this. Most of my programming is Saturday. I’ll also have plenty of books that you can buy during the autograph session as...

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Awards Eligibility & Reading Recs

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Awards, Bookery | 0 comments

Awards Eligibility & Reading Recs

It’s here! It’s time! I know, I know, seems like it was just yesterday we went over this, eh? But ’tis the new season, and so: the new post. BEST NOVEL The second book in the Worldbreaker Saga, EMPIRE ASCENDANT came out in October of 2015, and is eligible in all the best novel categories. That said, this was another insanely great year for books, and I don’t have my fingers crossed for this one. It’s a middle book, and it’s up against some books I’ll be happily nominating for best novel, including THE...

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Team Hurley’s Goals for 2016

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Team Hurley’s Goals for 2016

However you feel about New Year’s resolutions, hard data backs up the fact that those who write down and refer to their goals throughout the year are more successful in keeping them. I spend enough time reading up on psychology and marketing that I know it works, so that’s why I’m doing it. YMMV. Note that the list below includes only things that I can control. So I’m not saying I want to “sell 25 stories!” or “sell 85 novels!” or “hit the New York Times Bestseller list!” because...

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Faces I Make When Reading Reviews

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Faces I Make When Reading Reviews

A lot of people think authors take reviews personally, and I suppose there are many who do. Those are the folks who should really steer clear of reader reactions to books, or rather, what some readers believe the books say about the author, which is always far more amusing. There are great reviews with insightful criticism of my work, and glowing reviews about how it changed people’s lives. But, this being the internet and people trying to poke an author for a meltdown, I’m often asked about my reaction when reading negative...

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10 Most Popular Posts of 2015

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

10 Most Popular Posts of 2015

It will surprise no one that the most popular posts in 2015 on this blog were about writing and money. People are hungry for numbers, and they’re here. Fandom topics – Mad Max, Man in the High Castle, my tongue-in-cheek awards posts – also rated high. Just missing the top 10 was the post on The Traitor Baru Cormorant. I was also pleased to see that the 2007 post Why Writing Colorblind is Writing White continues to rank in the top 15 for traffic year after year. Numbers are fun, but at the end of the day, you want to believe...

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