Best of the Week - February 26, 2017 - Travis Senzaki

Best of the Week – February 26, 2017

Valetta Malta at night searching for inspiration for my short stories

Valetta, Malta – Image by Boguslaw Garbacz (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

As this post goes live, I’ll have just landed in Malta for a week-long business trip. The country has a unique mix of European and Arabic cultures, so I plan to tuck in as much exploration as possible around conferences and meetings. Scrounging for inspiration!

I’ll be posting photos and comments from my trip through my social media channels, so follow me on there, if you aren’t already, to accompany me virtually! I promise not to post photos of meals (I hate that), unless there is something particularly noteworthy – storyworthy – about the presentation.

The week before the trip was rough- a stomach bug took my wife and I down in turn, so I’ve been on extra kid duty or incapacitated for a few days. I barely kept up with my writing and didn’t get a whole lot of reading in this week. I’m working on the middle scene of my short story now. Since I’ve already written the first and last scene, it’s been a little challenging to make sure this one takes me from point A to point B without the characters doing anything illogical. But that’s one of the skills I wanted to build through the short stories project, anyway!

Books for Writers

The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

I’ve read/listened to dozens, if not hundreds of blogs & podcasts talking about why this blog is a must read, but never really knew what it was about.

It’s a mindset book, but it’s unlike every other mindset book I’ve ever read. Every single page is a kick in the butt to get going. It’s not the touchy-feely kind of book that gently persuades you that you have a voice a story worth hearing.

It’s the drill sergeant kind of book that tells you you’re letting the world down by not writing. That you’re weak for giving in to temptations and slacking. It’s the kind of book that wakes you up at 4 am by pounding on your door and blasting “Welcome to the Jungle.”

It’s beautiful, concise, and perfect. And almost every page is quotable.

Writing Career Advice

Why to Write Short Stories, Especially when You’re Starting Out

4 Reasons to Write Short Stories – Joe Bunting, The Write Practice

Joe Bunting perfectly sums up why, when I decided to get serious about my fiction writing, I started with short stories.

While I don’t care for his first reason, 2 & 3 resonate perfectly for me: Practice and get your work out there. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do.

Writing Advice

Ordering Your Creations: Writing, Editing, and Marinating

The Most Productive Approach for the Aspiring Novelist – James Scott Bell

I don’t like the superlative in the title – this is a way, not the way, but it is a way I want to try.

In the past, I struggled with how long to desk-drawer a manuscript before coming back to it. Or whether I should focus on editing what I had (nightmare! I feared editing) or working on something new (ooh, shiny). This article poses a good proposal of balancing and some time rules of thumb.

This is a Short List. What did I Miss?

I didn’t have a whole lot of reading time this week, so I’m sure I’ve missed some valuable resources. Let me know your favorite articles of the week in the comments below!

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