Hey. You. With the typewriter. And the bookshelves, the imagination.  It’s me.  The new year.

Yeah, you might’ve bought a Cute Kitties calendar of me, but I’m here to tell you: This Is Gonna Be Your Best Year As A Writer. (You owe it to me after that calendar.) Listen here to this show to see how, and let’s kick some serious words together.

Day 125

On this episode of the Fiction School podcast, your hosts ring in the new year discussing good resolutions for writers, the habits that keep you creative all year long, ways you can expand your writing repertoire, and how to kill writer’s block forever.


  • We start with our writing resolutions for 2014: Tommy resolves to finish his book this year, Jody resolves to collaborate more with other writers this year and meet her book deadline, and Baker resolves to finish his current trilogy and figure out what the next big project will be.
  • How do you stay on top of your writing with all the things the world wants you to do instead? “The best piece of equipment the writer has is the door.”  Close that door, get away from the rest of the world, and have at it.
  • Keeping a writing schedule is great for many writers, but Jody’s experimenting with binge writing lately.  We discuss how the more you use creativity, the more creativity you have.  It’s like strengthening a muscle.  Tommy likes a mix of a regular schedule and some occasional binges when inspiration strikes.
  • Consistency is a key part of creativity, incorporating writing more regularly in life.
  • One trick is to stop in the midst of a scene, or when the writing is good, so that the next time you sit down to write, you join the words in motion rather than starting from a dead stop.
  • There are ways you can incorporate creativity into your life by giving your brain space to be creative (like taking the bus to work and letting ideas percolate, even if it takes an extra twenty minutes; go for a walk; etc.  Give your mind space to be bored so it can make creative connections.  Your subconscious is smarter than you are.)
  • There is a physiological connection between the body and creativity.  Using your body gives you more ideas than sitting down and hammering away without ever moving.  And thus: The Treadmill Desk exists.
  • Tommy wants to look for dangerous choices in his reading this year, too.  Good writers are good readers, so we should read all kinds of things to expand our repertoire.
  • We discuss listening to music as we write.  Jody listens to waterfalls. (Which would mean that Baker would need not a treadmill desk but one of these instead.) Tommy listens to heavy metal–it’s classic stuff that he knows so well that it almost becomes background music.
  • Baker can’t listen to music at all.  It works much better for him if it’s silent, except for the white noise of a public place like a coffee shop.  So now, Baker’s addicted to this app called Coffitivity.  Man, it works.
  • (Baker even once was in an actual coffee shop, listening to a soundtrack of a fake coffee shop.)
  • Part of being very productive is trying new things and fine tuning your practices.  The writing process is always evolving as we move through different writing projects and different life stages.
  • One other thing to have a great year of writing: Surround yourself with people who understand how important your writing is for you.  They have to understand that we have different things on our minds and the people in your circles need to respect that and support you in that.
  • And to have a killer year, kill your writer’s block.  And since you’re a writer, everything you do in your real life is research.  Keep a journal around and write down anything that strikes you: a funny image, an interesting turn of phrase you overhear, a sad anecdote, the smell of a store you visit…  Keep a journal of that stuff and you’ll never have writer’s block.
  • And if you do keep a journal, Jody loves a space pen and a Moleskine.  If it’s gonna be your best year ever, do it in style!

Happy New Year, y’all!  And happy writing, too.  We hope this show gave you a few things to kickstart you on your best year ever.  Let us know your writing resolutions!