Ben Crowder

Blog: #writing

41 posts :: archive

Brief update: still alive, doing fine, just staying home with my wife and kids in the hope of helping stop the spread (and ideally not getting COVID-19 either — one of our kids has a heart condition which makes this scarier for us than it would otherwise be).

I haven’t really worked on any art lately (not in the right headspace for it lately), but I have gotten back into writing, and that’s going well. Hoping to have some new fiction to post before too long. And new art, too.

Stay home and stay healthy, y’all.

Daily goal chart

The only time I’ve had success writing each day has been when I’ve made a physical chart, taped it up on my wall, and then filled in a box each day I hit my goal. It’s Jerry Seinfeld’s don’t break the chain idea, and it works remarkably well for me. My current streak (I don’t write on Sundays):

daily-words.jpg

Since this seemed like it might be useful for others, I’ve made daily goal charts, available for free PDF download:

Daily goal chart

There’s also what I’m calling a “blank” chart, where you can write in the number of words you wrote (or anything else like that):

Blank daily goal chart

Charts for 2018 through 2023 are up. (I figure five years is enough for now.)

Update on projects: I’m working on a short story. All of my story drafts of late have turned darker than I’d like, so this one is intentionally not dark. Seems to be going better than the others.

I’m also partway through revising my next picture book. This one is a story (as opposed to The Circle Book, which was just a list of random things) and I’m excited. The urge to design a typeface for it has proven too strong to resist, though, so I’m working on that as well. The typeface is called Golly. I’ll post some screenshots soon (I’m almost done with the lowercase letters).

Sidenote on type design: I built Curves (a Python library for designing type, via exporting to UFO and compiling that to OTF) to see whether designing type in code works. Turns out it doesn’t. Even with easy previews (SVG and @font-face), the cognitive gap between the code and the points seems to be a little too much. I have some other ideas for type design tools that seem more promising, though. More on that later.

And I’m slowly working on the remaining reader’s editions (print/PDF of D&C, Pearl of Great Price, and Words of the Prophets).

Ursula K. Le Guin in Words Are My Matter:

Present-tense narration is now taken for granted by many by many fiction readers because everything they read, from internet news to texting, is in the present tense, but at this great length it can be hard going. Past-tense narration easily implies previous times and extends into the vast misty reaches of the subjunctive, the conditional, the future; but the pretense of a continuous eyewitness account admits little relativity of times, little connection between events. The present tense is a narrow-beam flashlight in the dark, limiting the view to the next step — now, now, now. No past, no future. The world of the infant, of the animal, perhaps of the immortal.

I don’t at all mind present tense, but she does have a point.