Creative Sprints (failvid-17)

In this Failed Writer video, I talk about how I chip away at my creative projects. I’m definitely no model for success — every week I consider dumping my novel — but I still manage to keep doing creative projects every week. So here is my tactic, sort of.

By the way, I’m use the Clear app for my creative list making. Check it out.

Want to see all my Failed Writer videos? Check them out here.

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Closed for retooling + Is this video funny?

Hi there. Just wanted to let y’all know that I’m going to take a little break from online-y things. I need to think through my online projects. And I want to clean up a few non-online things (like family, book, sleep, intestines).

And when I get back to it, I’d like to shift things up a little. I might revive the I’m a Failed Writer series to tackle a few writerly issues on my mind. I also want to adjust The Creative Turn project. Perhaps play with both the format and the content. I want to talk less directly about writing. I also don’t want to require audio + video every single round. Or necessarily keep doing straight-up interviews. It’s been a fun experience so far, but I’m ready to f#!@ it up a little bit. So stay subscribed to The Creative Turn podcast or my website for an update once I get my head on straight. And even before I get my head on straight (pretending that I intend to…), you may be privy to a few experiments around here. Wow: did I just use the word privy? Sorry.

Oh. Unrelated side note. Is this video funny? Or just 81 seconds of un-funny suffering?

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What’s a podcast app and why should I give a shit?

There’s an enormous disparity between my geek friends and my literary friends when it comes to how they listen to podcasts. While my geek friends argue over the subtle quirks between their seven favorite podcast apps (aka podcatcher, aka podcast client), quite a few of my literary friends don’t know what the hell a podcast app is. And when they do listen to a podcast episode, they do it by going to a website from a browser on their computer and clicking play.

I want to change this.

Not the part about us geeks arguing over trivial features – no one can stop that, it’s a force of nature – but I want stop this method of playing podcast episodes from the browser. There is a better way, and you’ll be able to discover and hear so much amazing stuff if you learn this one thing from the geeks. Here’s a little video I made for those who want to learn a few reasons why podcast apps are useful. It also contains a tutorial for an easy way to get started for free if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch. Even if you don’t have one of those snooty devices, the basic premise is the same with another smart phone or a computer.

WARNING: This is a seven-minute presentation/tutorial meant for a newbie podcast listener. Also, it isn’t (yet) full of jokes… just a few of them in there…


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vid004: The index card treatment

In this video, I get to focus on Kate’s perspective on the index card treatment, which is how she lays out index cards to outline her novel. It not only can help with plotting a story, but with detecting patterns in your book. Kate also came up with a fabulous metaphor about a risk with the index card treatment — a metaphor that required all of my bad animation skills. She says many more things that I didn’t get a chance to animate, so check out the full one-hour audio conversation for more of her insights. Enjoy!

Related links:

For more information about this half-baked series (and how to subscribe to it), check out The Creative Turn.

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I’m A Failed Writer #13: Beyond Microsoft Word… Or Not

I started out this video with the intent of trying to get writers to stop using Microsoft Word and ended up paying tribute to an overly-sentimental romantic comedy from the 80s. It’s a new level of failure.

Even though I’m passionate about the writing tools that I use, I also worry about spending too much time thinking about the tools rather than thinking about the product. I’d rather have a clunky tool and solid writing practice than a brilliant tool and little to show with it.

So here it is. My quasi-passionate (and ultimately failed) rant against Microsoft Word:

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Pathetic Apple Fanboy

Last week, a few friends mocked me about my affection for Apple products and so I got this idea to record a video making fun of me and my gadgets. Except I couldn’t get the video funny enough, and I was whispering the whole time because I’m a nervous weirdo (and my toddler was asleep in the next room), and my editing job is just psychotic, and now I just need to get my ass back to writing and stop fiddling with this silly video. But I still didn’t want to throw it away entirely.

So here it is. My failed, not-so-funny attempt at an Apple Fanboy gag:

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My ridiculous, overpriced, three-computer writing system

  • A MacBook Air
  • An iPad
  • An iPhone

I don’t know what people officially classify these things but I call them computers. And I do heavy-duty writing (or writing-related) tasks on all three of these computers. But I do slightly different things with each one. So I stupidly end up carrying all three around with me most of the time. Bad on my back (and bad for the way people mock me), but good for my writing.

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Area Jew Oversaturates the Geek Podcast Airwaves

So in a zany twist of events, I swindled my way onto two great, geeky podcasts. Both of these shows relate to how I use the Mac/iPad/iPhone, mostly with regard to my videos, but also for my novel writing. If you’re a Mac geek (or a wannabe Mac geek) read on. For those anti-geek / anti-productivity / anti-Apple / anti-Semitic followers, I’m sorry. (OK. That last “anti” has nothing to do with anything, it just seemed to add some heft to the list…) In either case, I’ll soon try to swindle my way onto literary podcasts to balance things out better.

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My Unsavvy Twitter Code of Conduct

I’m not a great social networkky dude.

  • I’m totally erratic on Facebook. I’ve missed important births and deaths due to my erraticness.
  • I have an interest in Pinterest that apparently isn’t strong enough for me to try it. Or even to understand what it is.
  • Google+… I don’t use except to apologize to people who have sadly included me in their circle.
  • I signed up but still can’t get rolling with Goodreads.
  • But… I love Twitter.

I haven’t been on Twitter long but I find it a fabulous place to loiter. Though in order for me to enjoy it, I follow some rules. Now keep in mind that my goal is just to enjoy the thing, not to maximize followers or sell something. Sure, it would be nice if three or more of my followers bought my book, and I’m sure that I’ll ocassionally mention book release details, but it sounds painful to think about making $$$ on twitter. My goal is to enjoy the experience enough to actually stick around.


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