Quick-Tip Tuesday: Taking Stock and Soldiering On

It’s been a hard fall, at the end of a tough year. At times like these, when we mourn lost friends, or deal with fears and unexpected disappointments of any sort, it seems that even sitting down to write a page or two is more than we can manage.

On occasion, we here at MW urge you to take a day or two away from writing to enjoy life, to immerse yourself in the pleasures of family and friends, of beloved hobbies, of the simple joys of taking a walk, or reading a book. But at other times, writing can actually be our escape. The world isn’t always a friendly place; real life just sucks now and then. So write. Dive into your worlds, your characters, your storylines. Draw upon the emotions evoked by the real world, but live in those places you’ve created. It helps. Or rather, it helps […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Challenge Revisited, and Setting Our Work Goals

Back in February, in a post called “A Challenge to All — Time to Take the Plunge,” I issued a challenge to readers of Magical Words. Take that novel that you’ve been working on, the one that you know is almost done, but feel needs one final tweak, and get it ready for submission to some publisher by October 1. Remember?

Well, we’re in the dog days of summer and fall begins in less than a month. So how’s it going?

Setting goals of any sort can be a tricky business. I had goals for this year, and while I’ve met many of them, I still have several more that I’ve yet to address and, frankly, I don’t know if I’ll complete all of them before year’s end. Sometimes life gets in the way, as it has this year for me. Issues come up that we can’t possibly anticipate, family […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Realistic Expectations (and a Little Math)

In my last post a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about writing on a daily basis. I basically said that while no one should tell you that you have to do this in order to be successful, writing every day, despite life’s intrusions, is what professionals do. It is also the best way to build skills. For reasons I’ll get into soon, I hate the phrase “practice makes perfect.” But practice certainly does make proficient.

Still, while I recommend writing each day, that’s only half the story. No matter how often we write, or for how long, we need to set realistic expectations for ourselves. Because if we write every day, but we expect too much out of those writing sessions, we can do more damage than good.

I’ve said this before and I will continue to say it until people stop listening (you are listening, right?): writing is […]

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David B. Coe: Release Day and Defining Success

Today is the official release day for Spell Blind, the first book in my Case Files of Justis Fearsson. I’ve already blogged about the book in some detail, and so I think that at this point a description of it would probably be superfluous. Instead, I’d like to use this post to revisit the idea of defining success.

Spell Blind will not be debuting on any bestseller lists. It’s possible that the book will do well enough in these first few weeks to creep onto a list or two (and if you would care to help in that regard by purchasing a copy for yourself and perhaps sending one to a friend, I would be most grateful), but even that is a long shot. The book will receive some good reviews, I’m sure. It already has gotten a few. But if I define the success of this book in terms […]

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David B. Coe: Taking Stock and Taking Risks

Another year, another New Year’s post. That’s not meant to sound like a complaint; I actually love to write them. I use the New Year’s holiday as an opportunity to take stock and assess my accomplishments for the year that’s ending, and also to wipe the slate clean and “start from scratch” on a new year.

This New Year’s in particular feels momentous for me in a professional sense. I have just completed the most productive writing year of my life. I wrote three complete novels in 2014, as well as two new short stories and more blog posts than I care to count. I also edited two books and proofed two others. I recently totalled it up, and I’m pretty certain that I wrote about 400,000 words this year. I had a new Thieftaker book come out (A Plunder of Souls), as well as three original short stories.

And […]

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A Writer’s Wish List

When I was little, I used to love getting the Sears catalog in the mail at this time of year. Once Mama had her turn looking through it, I was allowed to go through and mark the toys I wanted for Christmas. I would lay on the floor with the catalog and a pen, and carefully study each page until I’d made my decisions, then circle the items I wanted. I marked the toys I wanted most of all with a star, just so Santa would know. As soon as I was sure what I wanted, I’d hand the catalog back to my mother, and hope.

These days Sears doesn’t send catalogs, and making a list with pen and paper has been supplanted by the Amazon wishlist and the little widget you can use to add things from other sites to that list. You can even mark which items […]

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On Writing and New Year’s Goals: Conquering Our Inner Demons

Happy 2012, all! Like A.J., I usually begin my year with a new set of goals and plans. I bring high hopes and great ambitions to every new year, and I was glad to have the chance to list my goals for 2012 in response to A.J.’s Friday post. Chances are, if he hadn’t written a Resolutions/Goals post, I would have.

But I have to admit that my thinking about this coming year in particular is somewhat different than it has been on New Year’s Days past. 2012 will mark the launch of the Thieftaker series and the “career” of D.B. Jackson. With the single exception of my very first year as a published author (Children of Amarid was released in May, 1997) this is the most important year of my professional life. And as this year dawns, I find myself thinking less about specific goals and more about matters […]

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