Category Archives: Podcast

Write While True Episode 31: The Order of Words

I’m going to use these three books again for today’s topic, which is the order of words in a sentence.

I love that these books tackle mundane topics, things that seem innate, but aren’t. I mean, we can order words into something grammatical without much thought. Even though a ten-sentence word has ten factorial possible orderings, we can easily find the handful that are legal English.


Write While True Episode 30: Finding Nouns and Verbs

Every book on writing tells you to avoid adverbs (and even adjectives). I find that hard to do in first drafts, but I do try to remove them in edits. You can tell that I haven’t done enough editing if you see that I “really like” something or that a new programming language is “pretty good”.

Season 3


Sweep Editing


Write While True Episode 29: Loose Sentences

Last week, I spoke about something very fundamental—how to write complex sentences, and I’m going to continue along in that theme for what I’m now calling season three, drawing lessons from some of what I consider the greatest books about writing, and picking out ideas related to using words, sentences, and paragraphs. These are things that I’ve found that I need to work on, and I hope that that can help you too.


Write While True Episode 28: Complex Sentences

I like to sketch, mostly with pencil and charcoal on paper. One of the first things I needed to learn was how my drawing tools and the paper interacted. What kind of mark did each level of pencil hardness make, and how was that different from charcoal? What kind of paper worked best?

I did various exercises that helped me understand my own tools. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and trying to figure out what is the equivalent for this in writing. Here’s what I’ve come up with.


Write While True Episode 27: Writing is Ordinary

This is the fourth and final episode in a series I’m doing about the book Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

In this, the final episode of the series, I’m going to tell you what they think you need to be in order to be an artist.


Write While True Episode 26: Making Makes a Maker

I decided to do a four-part series on the lessons I learned from Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

This week, in part three, I want to talk about a quote about what art means to the maker.


Write While True Episode 25: Stopping vs. Quitting

I reread the book Art and Fear by Bayles and Orland and they had so many ideas for how to get people to make art, that it worked for me to start my blog going again, and then ultimately restarting this podcast.

For part two of this four part series on Art and Fear, I’m going to share the what they said that inspired me to not quit. Here’s the quote.

Quitting is fundamentally different from stopping, the latter happens all the time. Quitting happens once. Quitting means not starting again, and art is all about starting again.

That quote is really the inspiration behind season two, and the episodes I’ve made since I restarted.


Write While True Episode 24: Thousands of Variations

One of the things that got me back to podcasting after a two year break was rereading Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

This time, while I was reading it, I kept a lot of notes and found four themes that resonated with me and helped me get going again.

The first theme is very practical. It’s what they think is the secret to being prolific. For the past two months I have been applying it a lot.


Write While True Episode 23: Take a Break

We just passed the second anniversary of the break that I didn’t come back from right away.

I know exactly what was going on. I had a lot of travel to visit family and for work and it was just hard to find the time to plan and record podcasts.

Well, since it’s exactly two years later. It’s summer again, and I want to take another break. But this time I have a plan to take a break, but still publish on schedule and hopefully, not lose my momentum.


Write While True Episode 22: Harvesting Journals

When I was done with a journal, I’d put it on the shelf with others. I do a good job of making sure to transfer anything important to a real tracking system at the end of the day, so there wasn’t much in the journal that I thought would be useful.

At some point, though, I picked up an old journal, it was probably a few years old at that point, and just flipped through it. As expected, it was mostly boring. Just a mundane list of what was going on that day. Meetings, task lists, chores.

But every once in a while …