Tag Archive: Inspiration


Whose Approval Matters to You?

Last night, I was speaking with an unpublished author who confided a very common fear: that self-publishing isn’t really publishing, because as a newcomer she wants that stamp of approval that comes with a publisher’s imprint.

Now, this author isn’t one of mine, and in fact isn’t even in my category, much less the SF&F genre. She’s a nonfiction author who has written a self-help/motivational book that, frankly, sounds interesting. (And I rarely say that about motivational books, since I find them to be . . . well, less than motivational. Literally the last good one I read was about eight years ago, and it was very atypical.) But this author’s fear is not only understandable, it’s very common.

It’s also part of a misconception. See, as a reader, you naturally look up to authors and their publishers (or, even if you don’t because they suck, you feel that they suck all the more because you’re not able to treat them with reverence). These are professionals. Their opinion has weight, and you would love to be their equal, or at least the rookie on the team. Their recognition is what proves you’ve succeeded.

Not true. Very, oh so very, not trueContinue reading

Worth Doing Badly

I’m sitting here contemplating my pyrographic habit. (No, no, no, pyrography. I know it looks like another word, but . . . oh, just click here to find out what it is, or here to see way better art than I can do, and here if you want to try it for yourself.) I’m not a very good artist, but wood is a wonderful medium and I enjoy it. In fact, it’s my second-favorite art hobby, and gets less eyebrow-raising than plastic bricks (even if it means I get invited to display at the National Air & Space Museum multiple times; yes, that’s me making a cameo in that article). [EDIT: the article on the other side of that last link no longer quotes me or talks about Lego, but still shows my space shuttle display in the picture.)

Hmm. I might have gone overbudget on links there.

Anyway, I tend to stress about what I work on sometimes. It doesn’t come out perfectly. I don’t have the steadiest hands, or the best skill. I get frustrated when comparing myself to other pyrographers, or even my friends who (while working in more traditional mediums) still outshine me effortlessly. I woke up today feeling discouraged about my talents.

And then, I managed to drag myself out of it.  Continue reading

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