2017 Productivity

At the end of every year, my social media feeds fill with productive creative people touting how much work they’ve done in the past 365 days. Seeing how much everyone has accomplished, it’s very easy to feel like you haven’t done anything at all—or at least you haven’t done enough.

This past year, my son was born. In the most important of ways, it was the biggest year. He’s the best thing I’ve ever had a hand in creating and being with him daily is the best “work” I’ve ever done. Naturally, it was a pretty busy year. (So busy I’m finally writing those post in February!)

While parenting is a life shift that redefines everything, I still wondered how my year stacked up in terms of creative output. Even when you’re having an incredible year, at least for me, it’s hard not to try and tally your efforts. (I’m a bit of a listmaker.) When I crunched the numbers, expecting it to have been a light year in creative work, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve had busier years, but to have done all this… Continue Reading “2017 Productivity”

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My Year in Books: 2017

It’s that time again! Time to review the last year’s reading habits.

Each year, I track what I read. I post the list here. I jot down some thoughts, and then I rinse and repeat year after year. (I explain the reasoning and history of this habit a bit more in last year’s post.)

(Previous My Year In Books posts: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.)

No long preamble this time. Here’s the list… Continue Reading “My Year in Books: 2017”

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Writing News: Winter 2017

I’ve been a comic book editor for seven years. Five years at Dark Horse Comics, one at Stela, and one as a freelance editor, roughly. In that time, I worked on 59 graphic novels and more than 200 single issue comics at Dark Horse, got 32 projects greenlit, up and running, and edited at Stela, and I’ve edited 18 different scripts (so far) while freelancing (plus some other assorted jobs).

This year, though, I finally made some headway as a writer.
Continue Reading “Writing News: Winter 2017”

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Cast Your Pod to the Wind

Are you excited to binge on the nasal voice of a nerdy white guy? Get ready!

This past year, thanks to my good friend and compatriot, the talented and extremely hard-working Josh Wigler (Listen to “First One Out,” you’ll see what I mean.), I got into podcasting. I had a blast and it was a good way to put all my nerdy hot takes to better use than simply spouting them off on Twitter at 12 a.m. Josh and I know each other from way back in our Wizard magazine days, so it was also a pleasure to get to spend so much time with an old friend who lives thousands of miles away!
Continue Reading “Cast Your Pod to the Wind”

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Resources for Copywriters

After nearly a decade working as a writer and editor in journalism, publicity, and comics publishing, shifting my skills to digital marketing copywriting has been a broadening experience. As a job, it utilizes all the same skills I’ve previously engaged as a wordsmith, but it calls on them in new and — sometimes — very different ways. And that’s a good thing: Diverse experience is essential to improvement. You could argue that continuing to write daily is the greatest way to improve, and I wouldn’t argue, but writing about subjects and in voices I’d otherwise never touch has forced a honing of my skills it’d be hard to replicate left to my own devices. Continue Reading “Resources for Copywriters”

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One of my favorite writers explains writing and writers

While I haven’t delved into my favorite living writer George Saunders’ new book Lincoln in the Bardo — as Abraham Lincoln grieving his dead son seems a bit intense for a brand new dad — I’ve enjoyed reading interviews about his process going from expert short story writer to first time novelist. My wife giving birth has waylaid a more thorough examination of this Guardian article, but I wanted to save it here for future reference — for me and you, any writers or editors that love creative process advice as much as I do. Continue Reading “One of my favorite writers explains writing and writers”

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My Year in Books: 2016

I have a love/hate relationship with year end “Best Of” lists. I love them, because I’m curious to see what books, movies, TV shows, styles of yogurts, sweatpants, and cute puppy videos are among the year’s best and most loved. But I hate them because, as Powell’s Staff Picks Top Fives remind me, there are way too many good books that come out each year for me to possibly read a good amount of them, let alone read them all.

Back in 2010, knowing I couldn’t keep up with new releases well enough to do a decent “Best Of” list, I began simply listing all the books I read as a study in… myself, I guess. How much did I read? What did I read about? What time of year did I read most? This probably ends up only being interesting to me, but heck, I’ve been doing it for over half a decade now so I guess I’ll keep it up!

(Check out previous My Year In Books posts: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.) Continue Reading “My Year in Books: 2016”

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Recommended Storytelling and Comics Writing Resources

In my unending quest to continue improving as a writer and editor, I’ve been blogging haphazardly over the past two years when I come across great writing tips or storytelling resources. I love reading about writing and storytelling. It’s fascinating and enriching. I’ve witnessed things I’ve read come to life in my own work, improving my skills—you couldn’t ask for better results to time spent studying your craft. So, in the hope I’m not alone in this pilgrimage, I’ve tried to collect some those resources (plus, my thoughts) for others. An infographic about book facts created by Robert Brewer was part of the impetus behind all this additional study. Continue Reading “Recommended Storytelling and Comics Writing Resources”

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The Dawning of a New (Professional) Era

For the past year, I’ve worked from home as the senior editor at Stela. Toiling away at the desk in my home office gave me unique insight into the day-to-day of the talented writers, artists, colorists, and letterers I work with regularly. Now, I’m taking it to the next level. Continue Reading “The Dawning of a New (Professional) Era”

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Breaking In: Advice on Starting a Career in Comics

In 2015, thanks to a very kind introduction from Marvel Talent Relations Manager Rickey Purdin, I was invited to be a guest at Comics Uncovered, an intimate aspiring comic creator seminar attached to Birmingham, UK’s International Comic Expo. I was being flown out to do portfolio reviews and hang out and talk comics—it seemed too good to be true. Feeling guilty about being flown across the globe and put up in a hotel in order to do a few hours of portfolio reviews, I suggested: “I can do a presentation or something. I want to earn my keep.” My gracious host Shane Chebsey*, the show organizer, was delighted to take me up on that offer, so I set about hastily putting together a presentation on a topic that I, as an editor, get asked about most frequently: breaking into comics. Thanks to the tireless talents in Dark Horse’s design department, my slapdash** ideas were stylishly and swiftly converted into a Powerpoint presentation and I headed to England to preach to a young, impressionable group of writers and artists. I think it all went pretty well, so I’ve taken the time to update my talk (trying to keep the conversational tone in which it was originally presented) and post it here in the hopes it can, in some small way, aid the burgeoning careers of any up-and-coming comic talent looking for some advice. Continue Reading “Breaking In: Advice on Starting a Career in Comics”

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