My Writing Life: Penmonkey Evaluations

Over at terribleminds ( Chuck Wendig is doing an informal survey of writer’s writerly habits. I’m posting my responses here because, why not? — it is my writing blog, after all.
a) What’s your greatest strength / skill in terms of writing/storytelling?
I’ve noticed that I’m getting pretty good at showing instead of telling, as compared to my earlier work. And I finish what I start.
b) What’s your greatest weakness in writing/storytelling? What gives you the most trouble?
Not making the time to write every single day. Other than that, finding an ending. I always have to rewrite the ending.
c) How many books or other projects have you actually finished? What did you do with them?
Four books, lots and lots of short stories. Two of the books I’ve stuffed into a drawer. I wrote them as a teenager and they’re…bleh. The third is a co-authored piece that I’m shopping around, and the fourth is a mystery that I’ve got in ABNA right now.
d) Best writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. really helped you)
I was lucky enough to meet the late Sci-Fi Grandmaster Jack Williamson as a teenager. He heard I was an aspiring writer and invited me to dinner after slogging through a horrible early draft of one of the novels I wrote (which is now sitting in a drawer). But he told me to keep at it, and so I have,
e) Worst writing advice you’ve ever been given? (i.e. didn’t help at all, may have hurt)
If you don’t know the ending before you start, you aren’t a “real” writer.
f) One piece of advice you’d give other writers?
Write your first draft for you, write the story you want to read, and finish! Sometimes you have to push that potential future audience out of your head and just get the words on paper.


  1. I enjoyed these questions to yourself. Over all, and throughout the years, do you find that the purpose of your being a writer has changed. Why do you do what you do? What is the overall goal you would like to achieve in you writing? What do you want to portray to your audience through your work?

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