Every good idea I ever had, I stole from someone else. –Me I mentioned Paul McCartney recently, and the documentary on Hulu about him and his life with the Beatles. In it, he talks a lot about the ideas that came to them that ended up in their songs. Sometimes it had to do with … More The Source of All Ideas
I’ve been watching the six-episode documentary on Hulu entitled “McCartney: 3, 2, 1” that is an extensive interview with Paul McCartney about his life with the Beatles and the music they created. It’s a fascinating look at the craft of creating music from a master, and I highly recommend it. But as I’ve been watching … More Layers: Making Your Story More Complex
I’ve been writing a long time. Two dozen published books, a handful of awards, and several hundred articles and short stories published leads my students and fans to ask a lot of questions. And one of the questions that comes up pretty often is: “Where do you get the ideas for your books?” Well, the … More How It All Starts
Today’s the first day of classes. Whew. It’s been a busy month since Christmas. Dec. 23 my wife got total knee replacement surgery, and since then I have bounced around from taking care of her to taking care of the house to taking care of classes for my final semester of teaching at Southwestern Adventist … More The Value of Learning by Not Thinking
May, 1996, Nampa, Idaho: Randy Maxwell and I, co-editors watch as the first issue of ParentTalk magazine rolls off the webpress at Pacific Press Publishing Association. The glee and awe is apparent in Randy’s eyes, but I have been here before. It’s our baby, and we are seeing it being born. “Enjoy it,” I tell … More A Writer’s Favorite Moment
I consider myself a creative person. I also consider myself a disciplined writer. Trouble is, they don’t necessarily work together. When a creative idea comes to me, it often has no logical connection to anything that I am trying to accomplish at the moment. Which can be problematic, of course. Case in point: I am … More Creative Distractions
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.” –Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV. Pretty much every writer has been asked the question, “Where do you come up with your ideas?” And the answers range from the honest, “I have no idea,” to an explanation … More How to Come Up with an Original Idea
Easter Eggs. Maybe you’ve heard of them. Not the kind that kids look for on that spring holiday out on the lawn. I’m talking about the kind that you find in movies and books where authors and filmmakers include little clues for you to find. They’re fun, they’re free and they show that you’re paying … More Hunting for Easter Eggs
I’m in a fortunate position in that I don’t have to rely on my writing as a primary source of income. Because of that, there’s a tendency to want to write what I want when I want it. But there was a day when I was just trying to get published. I focus on those … More Should You Write from the Heart? Or the Head?
Looking back on the past six weeks, I was suffering from a bad case of T.M.I. Too much information. The signs were all around me. I had a full-time professorship, was launching two books, and served as head deacon of a 3,000-member church. Everything I did involved absorbing, processing and regurgitating information. I got to … More T.M.I.