Category Archives: Blogging

Scrivener’s Error: Blog on Publishing Law

I’ve discovered an amusing website for keeping up with publishing law news.  Lawyer C. E. Petit has a site called Scrivener’s Error where he blogs about many things related to publishing gossip, especially anything involving publishing law.  Well worth reading.

Also, be sure not to miss Petit’s rants about the terrible contract terms being offered to want-to-be-published newbie writers by James Frey’s book packager Full Fathom Five, especially his post on this from November 13th called “The Million-and-First Little Lie.”

OK Go Video with Dogs (and a Goat)

Speaking of dogs and cats, I just saw OK Go’s video White Knuckles with the stunt dogs and goat. Made me grin. The musicians make the dog tricks (as well as their own moves) look so easy and smooth in this video, and yet a heck of a lot of practice hours must have gone on behind the scenes.

A Mistake I Made on WordPress

I really like using WordPress for doing a website.  Great user interface and templates to use.  I like supporting them directly by being a customer of theirs.

Tonight I discovered I’ve been making the mistake of only looking at my website as a whole.  I check my blogroll links regularly, but I never had a need to click on my blog post links.  So imagine my dismay when I clicked on an individual blog post tonight, only to discover a bunch of Google ads at the bottom of the post’s page.   And then realized that every individual post page displays this sort of junk.

One ad was for a vanity press, which peeved me off to no end.

It was my fault this happened.  I ought to have clicked around my website more throughly.

Anyways, now that I know about the junk ads showing up at the bottom of individual posts, I’ve done the necessary work behind the scenes to get rid of the junk ads for good.

Too Much Internet Usage Can Wreck Your Writing Productivity

I just read James Sturm’s “My (Probably Crazy) Plan to Give Up the Internet” at Slate Magazine, and it got me thinking about the stories I’ve heard from writers over the years who’ve also had to go cold turkey from the internet due to an addiction to online RPGs, or web surfing, or chat rooms, or compulsively checking their amazon sales rankings every few hours.  There’s just sooooo much that can be done now online to waste the precious hours of each day.

I’ve had problems myself with wasting too much time on the internet, especially web surfing and reading news sites.

The best advice tends to share a common theme–separate the work and play areas as much as possible.  Have a “writing” computer AND a “play” computer.  Make sure the writing computer has no internet access or games on it.

I haven’t gone so far as to have two computers–yet–but I have learned to limit my internet usage to only music while I’m writing.  No email or chat are allowed while writing by making sure I’m logged out of all my accounts.  And when I catch myself breaking the “only music while writing” rule, I turn the network connection on my computer off.

However, I suspect I’ll have to go to keeping the network connection always off while writing, and listen to music through an iPod.  The temptation to go surfing over to Wikipedia for just-in-time research is so strong at times.

High-intensity thinking activities, like writing or debugging, do require chunks of uninterrupted time to do.   That needed chunk may be as short as 10-15 minutes, but if one’s getting email pings and surfing during that time period, one can find that the ability to focus has significantly deteriorated.   I found that this was true for me when I took a hard look at my work habits, and I’ve noticed my ability to focus (and therefore my productivity) has improved since shutting off internet access while writing.

Question: Why Do You Post So Infrequently?

Question:  Why do you post so infrequently?

Answer:  Limited writing time.   The current manuscript always comes first, and lately there’s been no leftover time for posting.  So I try to make sure to post stuff I think will be helpful to other writers over the next few years.