Matt Lichtenwalner

Mobile mapper for DMP - roaming the US and Canada constantly. Maybe a bit of art and/or writing here and there to spice things up.

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Writerly Folks:

I was wondering if I could get some thoughts on the following items. I listen to a lot of podcasts about writing/publishing, but those are (in a sense) only one source. So I thought I would turn to youse guyz since I know there are more than a couple writers here.


  • Is traditional publishing still a thing that is worth pursuing?
  • If so, how worthy of pursuit is it? Meaning: How much would you give up / fight for that over self publishing / digital publishing?
  • If so, why? Is there some singular element that just puts it way out in front of self/digital publishing?

Tools / Resources

  • Is there a resource you use all the time (podcasts, writing software, website(s)) that you use and couldn't live without?
  • What do you most commonly use to do your writing? Pen and paper? Word? Scrivener?


  • Do you have a routine for writing? What is it?
  • Do you have a production schedule? If so, why?


Just wanted to point out that I wanted to do this post mostly as a discussion starter. I'm curious about the way you fine folks think about writing as work. As such, I'll comment below with my own answers. That way you can reply without being affected by my answers. You can also read them first if you prefer.

7/5 '16 7 Comments
*My response to the 'is traditional worth it' is VERY weighted by the podcasts that I've been listening to. They all recommend (effectively) two paths:
**"Artist Authors" - if you're looking for a creative outlet from writing and a means to see your book on the shelves of Barnes & Noble, then traditional is still kinda the only real way to go. Yes, it's technically possible through self publishing, but it's exponentially more difficult than if you go through a publisher.
**"The Authorpreneur" - if your focus is to write as a means of producing income they all recommend self publishing through Amazon and the like. This is because of factors of scale and the ability to do it now and start work on the next book, effectively creating a collection of 'products' as opposed to spending time/effort/money attracting publishers.

Yes, I recognize that my source of information is the vendors of gold panning tools and equipment rather than the prospectors. That's why I wanted to have this discussion, and why my questions are worded the way that they are. :)

*****Tools and Resources
*I currently keep things pretty simple. If it's 'just a quick note' I use Google Keep ( If it's anything remotely larger (sometimes even rough drafts of emails or blog posts) I use Google Docs ( If my focus is to get it online and get an immediate response, I use OPW, LJ, or (sadly) FB.
*I absolutely geek out on tools. This is a real problem for me when it comes to being productive. This is why I've mostly stuck with Google Docs. I have it everywhere, I know it works, and I don't have to learn a new UI. Sometimes forcing myself to stick to Docs is painful, but it's been the right answer until now. I keep hearing about Scrivener on the podcasts I listen to. My saving grace has been that it costs money, so I've been able to keep myself from getting it because "I already have a solution that's free and works." So, of course, I'm dying to hear from any of you that might already use Scrivener. ;)
(((ETA: It occurs to me that I really only mentioned Tools and not so much with the Resources, so here's one for you: The Writing Excuses Podcast. It's a 15 minute / episode show, the cast is a fantastic group of varied writers, and they actually get me thinking about the craft of writing - every episode.)))

*This is where I fail. Hard. I have NO real process, and NO real schedule whatsoever. I often start a schedule (see also: NaNoWriMo, Writing Chain, etc) but often fall off that particular wagon.
*This is why I have not been productive in any REAL way when it comes to writing. Working on it, but I would love to hear what you fine folks do to keep to your process/schedule.

Okay, that's about it from me for tonight. I'm going to go try to be productive on that writing project of mine...
As a side note re: scheduling - I just set up a Google Calendar to plan out my writing and give myself a schedule. I would like to have my first book complete by year's end and a (really) rough for a second cranked out during NaNoWriMo this year.

Ambitious? Yup. Still...

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That is completely understandable - sounds yummy!
I read Chuck Wending's blog, Terrible Minds. It's funny as hell. He seems to have said everything he wants to say about publishing, but I'm sure the relevant posts are archived.

I strongly believe that if you write for a goal that is overly specific, you might as well be writing Mad Libs. I think if you write something that feels really true, an idea you can't let go of, your work will have more of an impact.

I think there are a lot of carts before horses in the writing and publishing podcast game.
*" idea you can't let go of..."
Jesus, do I hope your right. The whole Patch thing started back in early high school. I'd call that not able to let go.

*"I think there are a lot of carts before horses..."
So very true! Still, I feel like the earlier I think about the cart(s) the better off I'll be when the horses get moving. I should probably still be more focused on the horses though.
Just another quick response to say that I've read a half dozen of Chuck's posts about publishing.

I like them. I like his thoughts on the subject. He's a shades of grey guy and so am I. The best option in almost any scenario is never absolute white or absolute black, but some balance of the two.

And you're right - he's funny as hell.