Brin Jackson, Fantasy writer & daydreamer

Writing, fantasy, craft, sharing, chatting. It's all about books!

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Memory and procrastination

Back in 2012 I sat down with someone I admire; someone whose thoughts matter to me. I admit being flustered and ill-prepared.

I was asked, “What authors in your genre have you read?” I spluttered off several names.

When he said, “Your writing reminds me of — ,”

I began to squirm.

“You’ve never read, — ?” He asked. An incredulous look upon his face.

I’ve never forgotten that encounter. I doubt I ever will. 

It’s not that I hadn’t read some of the authors he mentioned, I have a terrible memory for names and titles. How’s that for a writer? Sucks, huh?

Here’s how it works:

You: “Have you read Blah Blah, by Blah Blah? The one on the best seller lists.”
Me: Blank look.
You: “You know! The book where so-and-so goes and meets so-and-so. They travel through a worm-hole and end up on an inhospitable planet! They’re in a terrible battle using a combination of archaic and modern technologies. They ride beasts that resemble crosses between alligators and chimpanzees. The universe almost collapses!”
Me, after several moments of running through a mental rolodex: “Yes! Now, I remember!”

At the best of times, with prompting, I remember. When I’m under pressure though, I lose all facility to locate my mental rolodex. Without context of who, what, where, and when, I’m unlikely to respond with: “Sure, of course I’ve read Blah Blah by Blah-Blah.”

I figure when I’m next in a situation like the one I mentioned, rather than splutter incoherently, I’ll fess up. “To be honest, I have a terrible memory. Once I have context of the story, it’s likely I’ll remember.”

How’s your memory for titles and authors? Can you rattle off every book you’ve ever read, or do you struggle and need prompts? What would you do in a similar situation? How would you respond?

Procrastination. I admit I’m procrastinating. Rather than dive into the emotional quagmire and messiness of this draft, I’m opting out with excuses like, “I have a client in two hours. I can’t go with puffy, blood-shot eyes!” Rubbish. Of course I can. Hm. Well, maybe not today.

How do you disengage from your writing and work?

I know what I need to do, and what I want to do. The longer I put it off,
the more agonizing it becomes. Like I’m at the top of a luge run, the icy track  before me. Get on the sled, woman! Timer’s running.


How’s your writing going?



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Friday blog: 10 Outstanding Creative Writing Blogs

More great writing blogs:

10 Outstanding Creative Writing Blogs

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creative writing blogs

The best creative writing blogs.

Over the years, I’ve found some truly outstanding creative writing blogs.

Today, I’d like to share a few of my favorites. Some of these blogs offer helpful writing tips, techniques, and ideas. Others broadcast the latest news and information in the world of reading, writing, and publishing. All of them are incredibly useful.

I hope you’ll check them out.

Outstanding Creative Writing Blogs

  1. The Write Practice: Each post presents an essential writing concept (with an emphasis on storytelling) and includes an exercise at the end, which prompts you to put the concept into practice.
  1. Writer Beware: Keeping writers informed and safe, Writer Beware publishes “warnings about the schemes, scams, and pitfalls that threaten writers.” It’s one of the best writer advocacy sites on the web!
  2. Novel Publicity: This is a one-stop-shop where you can pick up quality tips and insights on writing, publishing, and marketing, plus access a full suite of professional services for writers. If you’re thinking about self-publishing your work and need some help, this is a good place to go.
  3. Wired for Story: I’m bummed because it looks like this one hasn’t been updated in a few months, but it doesn’t matter — there are gems of wisdom in the archives. And if you haven’t picked it up already, get the book Wired for StoryIt’s a must-read for fiction writers!
  4. The Writing Reader: This blog is packed with writing prompts based on words and images interspersed with link round-ups and the occasional article on craft. Each post includes prompts for a variety of forms, including fiction, journaling, art, and nonfiction.
  5. The Passive Voice: This treasure trove of news and information gets updated several times a day, often with excerpts from some of the best articles on creative writing from around the web. I find something worth reading here every single day and have discovered new blogs and websites too!
  6. Write to Done: It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular writing blogs. It’s clean, crisp, and maintains high editorial standards. If you’re looking for top-notch advice on the craft of writing with a few posts on publishing and marketing sprinkled in for good measure, this one’s perfect for you.
  7. The Creative Penn: Joanna Penn is a successful, self-published novelist whose books have sold over 40,000 copies. She has a wealth of experience to share. Her site features tons of valuable resources on writing, publishing, and marketing, including fully transcribed podcasts and interviews with writing professionals.
  8. Booking Through Thursday: Technically, this is a blog for readers rather than writers. But as we all know, plenty of reading is necessary to good writing. There’s a new post every Thursday that poses a question about books and reading. Be sure to check out the comments, where readers share their responses to the weekly questions.
  9. A. Victoria Mixon, Editor: My favorite thing about this blog is Victoria Mixon’s voice. She speaks honestly and with experience and wisdom. At the same time, her posts are a delight to read. She covers a wide range of writing-related topics and is highly active in the online writing community.

One of the things I love about blogs is that I can subscribe to them and get regular updates. I know a lot of people subscribe via email, but I like to use Google Reader. It keeps all my blog subscriptions organized in one location, so I can easily manage and keep track of them. By the way, if you have a Google account, you’ve already got access to Google Reader.

I’m always on the lookout for creative writing blogs. If you have any favorites you’d like to share, leave a comment. (I’m especially looking for blogs on the craft of poetry writing.)

Enjoy, and keep writing!