A little Potchking is OK


Cory Doctorow was recently interviewed by Christina Katz for Writer’s Digest. Prag readers probably know Cory from Boing Boing, from his political activism, and from his science fiction books. You can read the article for more on Cory and for the definition of "potchking" but at the end of the article, Christina asks Cory for his advice for writers who want to get published.

He says that it’s ok if you are "pausing every once in a while and daydreaming about how nice it will be when the book is finished and published." This is, however a slippery slope and Cory warns that "it’s easy to tip over from daydreaming to making the daydream the main activity."

I’m not as big a fan of daydreaming about fame and fortune as Cory is. I would refer to this as the friendly demon. It feels benign but it can quickly get you to concentrate on the non-important things.

I love to daydream, but I day dream about different book scenarios and see how they’ll play out. Often before I do my writing for the day, I’ve imagined different paths through the material I want to present.

Cory ends with Robert Heinlein’s advice to writers and makes it clear that doing these three things doesn’t guarantee you will get published but not doing them guarantees you won’t. The advice is "Write, finish what you write, send what you write to an editor."

This post originally appeared in the Pragmatic Life blog.