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Post over at New Authors Fellowship

Hey, if you’re visiting the site from the New Authors blog. Thanks! I’m a long-time lurker, infrequent commentor over there and really respect what they’re doing.

Here’s the link to that blog post if you haven’t seen it: http://newauthors.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/when-humanists-critique-sacred-art/

Anyways, thanks for stopping by. You can check out a story on the site here or over at Daily Science Fiction: “Note to Self”  

http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/time-travel/hans-hergot/note-to-self

Best,

Hans

Writing addiction

We compulsively write the hero’s tale over and over again. Why all these iterations: different yet the same?

We write the good news. Again and again. It is the story of love and the only story truly worth telling. And we are compelled to retell it. The sooner yoy realize this, the freer you’ll be.

Note to Self published on Daily Science Fiction

A short story of mine was published on Daily Science Fiction. Please read it, rate it, and like it.

Read it Here!

The story was written during a hard time with the family. I was in bed lying awake at night with the what ifs, when — as so often happens with my stories — a line of dialogue came to me. I immediately wrote most of the story on my smart phone’s note app.

I dedicated the story to James Altucher by way of saying thanks for his encouraging posts during that difficult time.

Isaac Asimov was an Addict

When he was asked what he would do if he was told he was going to die, Asimov responded, “Type faster.”

When asked whether he loved writing more than his daughter, he responded “writing,” but he paused a moment, which he hoped she understood meant that at least he had to think about the question.

Asimov was a compulsive. Perhaps not so detrimentally or tragically as Hemingway or Faulkner or a plethora of other alcoholic writers. But make no mistake,  Asimov was an addict.

And so am I. And so are you, if you are a writer. Heinlein put it this way, it hurts less to write that does not to write. If that describes your condition, then you my friend are an addict.

There is a famous writer who wrote 250 words an hour everyday like clockwork. He is held up in writing circles as a model of time management. He could also be an example for every 12 step program.

If you, like me, measure your life out in the coffee spoons of every new word, then you too may be an addict.

Should you get help? Well, writing is less destructive than other addictions. But, on the other hand, if you’re having a hard time enjoying other aspects of life and are focused exclusively on writing as the definition of success or joy in your life, rather than, say, your family or beautiful children, then you might want to reconsider.

I had a colleague once ask me why God gave us children when we are in our prime working years. I did not respond, but my immediate thought was that God knows what is truly important — that we should, of course, focus our energy on our children. Certainly one can do both. I’m not judging.

In my next post, I’ll talk about how I beat the addiction and how I eventually came back to writing on my own terms.

Updating or Changing your Kindle E-Book

So, your self-published book has a few typos. Congrats. It’s right on target for the genre. =)

But seriously, I wanted to fix a few kinks in my book. Amazon explains that I should download and modify the HTML file.

I once talked my way into a job based on my HTML skillz (thanks Baxter!), but this was (ahem) ages ago. I think this option is great if you only have a few small changes or if you didn’t originally convert the book and the person who did wants to charge you for changes (as perhaps well they should). But what if there are, shall we say, several typos?

Then I thought, I’ll just make the changes in my original file and recovert.

Originally, I used a template from Joel Friedlander’s site http://www.bookdesigntemplates.com/

The templates worked like a charm the first time. Hopfully for the reupload it will be just as good. Of course, Amazon is making we wait 12 hours while they “review” my submission.

If I done it all wrong, let me know via the contact page.

How to overcome writer’s block

“Lower your expectations.”

Dagan said this over a cup at the 11th Street Coffee shop.

A lot of great lines were born there. Like, “He has something you don’t…”

I had just found out my girlfriend Kelly was cheating on me. I stared at Dagan, incredulous. “Like what?”

“He’s an a–hole.”

Don’t let writer’s block get you down. Follow Dagan’s advice. Lower your expectations. It applies equally to certain relationships.

Now I thank God that Kelly and I didn’t stay together. And I’m grateful to my friend for his always timely advice.

A Book is not a Poem

I used to write and rewrite every passage, as if a book was a poem. I was a perfectionist. But I was set free from that sysiphian task by this post from Kristine Kathryn Rusch who wrote:

1. Write a lot of good stories. Not beautiful words. Good stories. Remember, fiction gets translated into a variety of languages, and in those languages, your original words get lost. Only stories get translated, stories with great characters, great plots, and unforgettable moments. I wrote a lot about this over the summer. Start with my post titled, “Perfection.”

I still struggle. First, there is the old idea of the masterwork. I feel that I ought to be able to write a masterwork before I become a for-real author. But as I’ve gotten older, and as I’ve gotten a little more realistic about my talent, I’ve realized that I’m just ok. I’m never going to write the great American novel. And that’s ok. Some people like what I write. That’s good enough. Frankly, like most writers I know, I’m a bit OCD about writing. As in, I don’t have a choice about it. I have to write.

But I don’t have to edit and edit and edit anymore.

It also helped moving from short stories to novels. I find that I don’t fuss around as much with my novel (in progress). With short stories, I still fuss too much.

Now I’m working with a translator on my book of fables. It’ s interesting because where I worked and worked and worked on the language of each story, to make it super nice to read out loud, I have no control over the tone of the translation. the only thing that will really be translated is the story or the myth contained in each story. And I’m ok with that.