SJ Duncan

The Tipping Point Blog


First drafts are hard. It's easy to get stuck, and frustration is a part of the process. So how do I make it through that initial fit of creative ecstasy, self-doubt, and soul-crushing uncertainty?




Well, I happen to have a few personal rules, forged in the fires of my impassioned writer's heart, hammered out over years of effort, and sharpened against the grindstone of daily practice. Wanna know what they are? Of course you do.


Rule 1: No One. . .



It's nice when people start finding your stuff. It's even nicer when reviewers find it, and give it a great review.




Writing is a curious profession. For so much of the process, you're not entirely sure what. . .

This is cool! The Long Dark Lonesome got a great review in The Horror Fiction Review.




This came as a surprise. It's not something I submitted to. And the review was. . .


So, I'm at my desk, it's almost noon on a Sunday, and, as always, I'm working. Sounds boring, right? But honestly, when I look back on my life as a writer, I wouldn't have it any other way. After all the effort, all the trials, all the years of struggling to find my voice and establish myself, I've come to this point.





Bash is out. It's good. And I finally feel. . .



It’s April 24th. I'm in a hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona, drinking coffee and starting a new novel. BASH came out Friday, and my other two books are steadily gaining traction. Life is good.


I’ve been posting here weekly-ish since January, and one thing I haven’t yet covered is the blog’s title. Want to do that now? Let's do that now.


So, why the “Tipping Point?”



It’s 6 AM, April 10th, 2017.


BASH is set for release in 11 days.


And I’m a little stressed out.




Now, if you were to ask me what, exactly, is stressing me. . .



It’s crunch time.





If we’re going to make the April 21st release date for Bash, I have to submit the finished files by Friday. It’s Tuesday night as I’m writing this. I’m only. . .



I can be a jerk.


Not usually. Like right now, I’m cool, we’re chatting. But when I’m working on a new book and people ask what it’s about, that’s when I can be a little bit jerky.


I don’t mean to, but here’s the thing: I learned a long time ago that the surest way to kill a story is to. . .




First, I meant to have this post up like a week ago, but the Bash deadline is looming and I had perfectionist stuff to do, and so here we are.


Second, I'm starting a vlog on Youtube, but not today, so more on that later.


Third, why I (probably) won't sign with a major publisher.



I'm behind schedule.

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