Random Comments and Thoughts 20220329

First off, closed captions on the Affinity Publisher videos are done so anyone who accesses the courses through Teachable, every video should have them now. Also, if you have the quick takes course I added a few more videos there and will probably add more until it covers all the items in the appendix for the non-fiction book, too.

Also, color versions of all four Affinity books will be going live soon. IngramSpark was offering a code for five free publications in March (now extended to the end of April), so I figured why not. For the ads and book covers titles, I think the color version is the better one to purchase. For fiction layouts and non-fiction, eh. There are some images where it’ll help to have the color version, but not sure it’s worth the added cost.

And I got my SFWA approval today so that was a nice and painless process. Now to have the discipline to not get caught up in yet another author forum but to write instead.

In other thoughts…

I picked up a book called Originals by Adam Grant and have been working my way through it. I’m only sixty pages in, but there were a few comments already that struck me.

One was this fact that they found that people who had the highest originality were also the most prolific. And I think that holds true with writing, too. Those first few books you’re sort of wrestling with what you’ve already read or your own personal issue that drove you to write.

And we all do have themes that run through our writing long-term. But after the first few books where you get the obvious out on the page, I think that’s when you really start to dig down and find new and interesting things you hadn’t thought about exploring before.

I’ve definitely heard the “seek more ideas” sort of advice in writing courses as well. That notion that you shouldn’t stop at the first, second, or third thing that comes to mind, but should keep going until you get something that wasn’t the easy, obvious choice.

Another thing that he mentioned that was interesting was this notion that a short, intense, heavily prolific period is best for creating original work. It’ll produce duds, too, but it seems to be the best way to produce some gems along the way.

So, basically, if you’re given the choice to write a million words in a year or a million words over five years, choose the shorter time period if you want to write the most original work.

An interesting concept. And maybe one worth testing.

There’s a lot more in there. Like our tendency to hear someone else’s idea and somehow incorporate it as our own. And that being successful in one domain makes us have hubris that we’ll also be successful in others which turns out to not be the case. And that outsiders tend to be the most original. And that someone can be brilliant at having ideas, but not at the execution of those ideas.

All valid and worth a ponder and I’m only 1/5 of the way through.

Also someone shared the other day this great interview by Jennifer Lynn Barnes on the psychological phenomenon of the peak-end effect as applied to writing. Well worth considering if you want to make a story pop all that much more.

(I’m sad that she’s no longer a professor because that means one of my random “maybe someday” life plans of moving to Oklahoma and trying to apply to study with her is no longer possible, but I’m glad to see she was so successful at putting her research to work that she could quit her teaching job to write full time. I’m also hoping that means one day we’ll get a writing advice book from her which I will buy in an instant. I absolutely loved her talks at the Denver RWA conference I attended.)

So, yeah. Back to it.

Author: M.L. Humphrey

M.L. Humphrey is a former securities regulator, registered stockbroker (although only briefly), and consultant on regulatory and risk-related matters for large financial institutions with expertise in the areas of anti-money laundering regulation, mutual funds, and credit rating agencies. Since 2013 M.L. has also been a published author under a variety of pen names and across a variety of subjects and genres. You can contact M.L. at mlhumphreywriter [at] gmail.com.

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