3 Ways We Writers Are Too Hard on Ourselves

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Are you butting heads with your characters? LET GO. Are you butting heads with your characters? LET GO.

Writing a great short story, or a novel that is engaging and inspiring enough to touch SOMEONE and make just one person’s life a little more fruitful…. That’s what we aim for when we write fiction. At least, that’s what I hope my fiction might accomplish.

And that is the beginning of the problem, at least when it comes to my approach to fiction. Writing is wonderful, and a worthy aim, but it is not an easy hobby or job, for a number of reasons.

It doesn’t help that–if you’re anything like me– we often make writing harder than it needs to be. Today, I wanted to address three ways writers are often too hard on themselves.


 That’s the problem with the “goal” that I mentioned above. Oh…

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Tiny Ornate Rainbows Under Threat

Tribalmystic stories

R.ornatus (Evan Heads) GS Rornatus (Evans Head), Wildlife Queensland picture.

The ornate rainbow fish (Rhadinocentrus ornatus) is a small and beautifully coloured freshwater fish. You don’t often spot them straight away in dark creek ways because their colours show when the light catches their scales. Few populations of these fish are scattered in freshwater creeks in parts of Brisbane where I live, and some creek systems in Queensland’s Redlands, Moreton Bay and Byfield regions.

ornatesunfish Ornate rainbowfish (R.ornatus) Castaways Creek Photo Leo O’Reilly/ANGFA

The ornate rainbow fish, also known as soft-spine sun-fish can also be found in Nambucca, New South Wales. Four distinct populations have been found in the areas between Queensland and New South Wales.

The numbers of the ornate rainbow fish have decreased rapidly due to human impact. Urban and rural development have caused experts to fear that certain species of the fish have already been lost forever. Every creek in the parts of Australia where the fish is…

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The Spirit of Things

Brownies, Pixies & Horny Toads


I’m not really exactly sure when I came to grips with that part me that others term as “spirit” but I can tell in a heartbeat if someone else is grappling with the idea of self-versus-Self. As a child I heard the magic of butterfly wings and raindrops, I remember the whispered wisdom of things that grow and go versus those things that have been here forever. There’s a sigh in the summer breezes that speaks of yawning tree branches and the deep coolness of spring-fed waters. Likewise there is a hollow echo to the chill winds of winter that aches with the absence of activity as all life slumbers.

This is not a consciousness that demands identity and labeling, this is a sense of self that requires a simple acceptance to freely express as whole and holy. There are no human words when the inner self needs to fly…

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What Has Been Read Cannot Be Unread

quantum fictionIn this interesting but academic  book, Susan Strehle argues that a new fiction has developed from the influence of modern physics. She calls this new fiction actualism, and within that framework she offers a critical analysis of major novels by Thomas Pynchon, Robert Coover, William Gaddis, John Barth, Margaret Atwood, and Donald Barthelme.

According to Strehle, the actualists diverge markedly from realistic practice, and  they do so in order to reflect more accurately what we now understand as real.    She says that in the new physical or quantum universe, reality is discontinuous, energetic, relative, statistical, subjectively seen, and uncertainly known — all terms taken from new physics, and that rather than choosing between art and actuality, contemporary novelists pursue both in fiction.

She says

Contemporary fiction departs from realism without losing interest in reality.  Reality is no longer realistic;  it has more energy and mystery, rendering the observer’s…

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When Giants Walked the Earth

Fabulous Realms

All over the world there are myths and legends concerning beings of human appearance but prodigious size and strength, commonly referred to as giants. Fairy tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk have formed our modern perception of giants as stupid and violent monsters, frequently said to eat humans. In cultures as diverse as ancient Greece, Scandinavia and the Indian subcontinent, giants are almost invariably associated with chaos, wild nature and conflict with both gods and heroes. The overwhelmingly negative nature of the lore concerning giants, as well as its ubiquity across the world in otherwise totally unrelated nations, seems to suggest that there is a germ of truth in the old tales. Was there, perhaps, at one stage in the dim and distant past a gigantic, brutal race that walked the earth, oppressing humanity and giving rise to dark race-memories that ever since have forever made the giant a figure of…

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