Writing Light Episode Ten: Process, Expectation, Responsibility

Every time I write another five thousand words of my new fantasy thriller, “Light of the Outsider,” I film another episode of “Writing ‘Light.'” In this episode, I talk about learning what my process is and how it ties in with my own expectations and self-imposed responsibilities as a creator.

Please spread the word about “Writing ‘Light'” and “Light of the Outsider” by “Liking” and sharing this post on Facebook, favoriting and rating the video on YouTube, embedding episodes on your blog, and telling everyone you know. Thanks!


  1. I would love to hear this writing update on a podcast if you could, Matt. I love hearing writings chronicle their novels, but audio is much easier for me to keep up on than video. That’s just my two cents worth. If it isn’t too much of a hassle to add that format, I know I’d at least be listening.

    You might benefit from a blog post that J-P Losier recently wrote on Flying Island Press’ blog (http://bit.ly/lmeml1). He has some interesting advice. He says building a routine can help you get over the duress that you mentioned. I don’t have a routine, so I don’t know. I’m more in your camp though as far as having so many projects going that I only work on those that strike my momentary fancy. As a result, I often write in duress. Would a routine help? What projects in your offtime are taking priority? Do you need to minimize your tasks?

    I just wrote my own blog post as yours has inspired me to buckle down on my own primary projects.

    • Hi Tim! I’ve considered an audio podcast version, but right now the time involved to create it doesn’t match the demand. If other folks speak up about it, perhaps!

      As far as your other points: I may not have been clear in the video. The only duress I experienced in writing “Light of the Outsider” was from trying to meet the expectations and deadlines I’d set up for myself. A writing routine (or lack thereof) or the pull of other projects isn’t causing me that much stress.

      I’m going to be writing at greater length on the subject of side projects… including if the concept of “side” projects needs to be reassessed entirely. Stay tuned!

  2. Hey Matt! Thanks for sharing the love on my blog. I hope you can get more support for an audio version. If you have a promo I can play it in my next episode of AudioTim, with my own promo that people request a podcast of it.

    You were clear, I just made an assumption that you might be having duress about meeting your deadlines because you have so much going on that you haven’t made a routine for writing on LotO. Based on some of the things I’ve heard you say in prior podcasts, you strike me as the guy who could have more ideas than time. Where you the guy who was building a world for people to put their art into beyond just stories, like music and art? Sorry I don’t remember the name of that project, but if it was you, then when I heard that I thought it was really cool, but also very ambitious. I’m curious to hear how that went. If it wasn’t you, do you know what I’m talking about?

    Also, I have the same duress about meeting expectations of deadlines I make for myself. In my writing group, I encourage weekly goals, but with writing and editing, that can be very subjective and hard to project. I was just wondering if you think a routine is a good idea for conquering goals that seem hard to pin down.

    I look forward to hearing/reading your list of side projects.

    • Hey there, Tim.

      One the reasons I’m thinking about what “side project” means is because, yes, I have lots of ideas and limited time. Stay tuned for a blog post on side projects… I don’t want to fire all my guns in a comment on this post, y’know?

      I’m not sure what more important: setting up a routine, or being able to create anywhere at any time — in other words, not needing a routine. Perhaps it’s best to include creativity in the list of all the things you need / want to do, and when “be creative” looks like the most appealing thing on the to-do list… do it!

      As for the shared world setting… yes, that was me. It’s called The Shaper’s World and it’s the setting for “Light of the Outsider.” It’s one of those things that would take a long, grueling time to see to fruition… which is why I’m working on it in pieces, when it feels good to work on it. It will bear fruit… eventually!

  3. No, don’t fire all your guns in a reply to this post.

    You have a good point about being free to do whatever when you have the time. One problem I’ve had with that is having what Mur called analysis paralysis, where you are paralyzed by all your possible paths and don’t do any of them in fear of doing the wrong one. I suppose that would be where you make a list of things to do, and if they get done on time, then you are free to “be creative”. I also wonder if that is where you give yourself time for that side project you’ve put off, but you can save that reply for your post.

    Great! I’m glad I still have track of that idea. Best of luck and patience with that, and it makes me even more excited to read Light of the Outsider once it’s ready.

    • Hiya Tim — you know, you might want to check out the Autofocus planning system. I really like it as a way to select among the things you want and need to do — all the things, not just creative stuff.


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