Tag Archives: schedule

Ursula K. Le Guin's Writing Schedule is Very Relatable

Ursula K. Le Guin’s Ideal Writing Schedule Was Very Relatable

“My life is very ordinary, common place, middle class, quiet and hard-working. I enjoy it immensely. I do not find it appropriate to talk about it very much.”

The schedule of famous writers and creators has always been a fascination of mine, and I know I’m not alone. Despite what social media tells you, there’s no right or wrong way to create. What works for one person won’t always work for someone else. Glean what you can. Reject what doesn’t work. Part of creating is learning what works for you. Be kind and humble enough to let others follow their own path.

All that said, I find Ursula K. Le Guin’s writing process relatable, delightful, and somewhat enviable—well, except for that 5:30 AM wake-up. (Who does that?) While Le Guin’s ideal schedule is nothing compared to the alleged Hunter S. Thompson routine, you never know what happens after 8:00 PM, for all we know “middle-aged Portland housewives” go hard.

5:30 a.m. - wake up and lie there and think. 6:15 a.m. - get up and eat breakfast (lots). 7:15 a.m. - get to work writing, writing, writing. Noon - lunch. 1-3 p.m. - reading, music. 3-5 p.m. - correspondence, maybe house cleaning. 5-8 p.m. - make dinner and eat it. After 8 p.m. - I tend to be very stupid and we won't talk about this. I go to bed at 10:00 p.m. If I'm at the beach there would be one ore two long walks on the beach in that day. This is a perfect day for me.

It’s easy to see the appeal. I too am a fan of thinking in bed, breakfast foods, reading, and taking time to be stupid. (The graphic above omits her 10 PM bedtime, for some reason. So it’s only two hours of stupidity despite what we all hoped.)

Le Guin’s schedule originally appeared in a 1988 interview with Slawek Wojtowicz (you can read the full transcript and see a scanned image of her response at the link—it includes some wonderful handwritten notes as well) and more recently in Ursula K. Le Guin: The Last Interview. Want more? I’d encourage you to check out Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, a phenomenal documentary from Arwen Curry.

Norwescon 39

My Norwescon 39 Schedule

Norwescon 39 is just around the corner (57 days!) and yesterday I received my tentative schedule! Last year I ran my table and had a blast. But this year, things are going to be a lot busier. As before, I’ll be back with another table among Writer’s Row, plus I’ll also be participating on panels, and I’ll be doing a reading on Saturday night. It’s going to be fun.

Full details are below. I tried to link to the blogs or twitter accounts for the panel’s moderators and my fellow panelists. I’m honored to be sitting next to such talented folks. I’m excited to hang out with everyone again. Listing all this out got me excited, I can’t wait.


THURSDAY, MARCH 24th

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row
Details: Once again I’ll be headquartering myself at a table. Of course, I’ll bring along copies of all The Bell Forging Cycle books and, like last year, I’ll also have a bunch of free swag: stickers, buttons, and bookmarks galore. Stop on by, say hello. I’ll sign your books. We can talk cosmic horror, indie publishing, cover design, world building, weird fiction, Lovecraft, and pretty much whatever else you feel like.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM — Horror’s Fantasy Roots

Location: Cascade 10
Moderator: Logan L. Masterson
Panelists: Jason Vanhee, Nathan Crowder, K. M. Alexander
Details: Join Logan L. Masterson, the other panelists, and myself as we discuss a time when the darkness was fought back with swords and sorcery as we explore the roots and the muddy line between fantasy and horror.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row


FRIDAY, MARCH 25th

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writers Row

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM — Horror Influences

Location: Cascade 9
Moderator: Nina Post
Panelists: Morgue Anne, Alex C. Renwick, Lisa Bolekaja, K. M. Alexander
Details: Join Nina Post as she talks with myself and the other panelists on who inspired us to write and create horror and on what scares us. Should be a good time.

1:00 PM – 7:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row


SATURDAY, MARCH 26th

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM — SF/Fantasy Battle Royale

Location: Cascade 9
Moderator: Matt Youngmark
Panelists: Erik Scott de BiePeter Orullian, K. M. Alexander
Details: Who would win in a fight? A fast-paced, bracket-style, breathtakingly unscientific showdown to determine this year’s Ultimate Fictional Champion. Ready…? Fight! This will be fun.

9:00 PM – 9:30 PM — Reading: K. M. Alexander

Location: Cascade 1
Moderator: K. M. Alexander
Details: Hey, look at this, I’m doing a reading! Before you hit up a room party or turn in for the evening why not come by and let me read you a creepy excerpt from one of my books. Which one… well, I’m not sure yet! (I might have a little poll to decide. Stay tuned.)


SUNDAY, MARCH 27th

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM — Horror As a Mirror

Location: Cascade 13
Moderator: Jeremy Zimmerman
Panelists: Jude-Marie GreenKate Jonez, K. M. Alexander
Details: What does the horror genre tell us about the culture in which it was written? What does today’s horror tell us about modern society? And as a creator, how do we craft stories that have a greater impact by reflecting on things that resonate more deeply with our audiences? Join us for this thought-provoking panel.

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM — Location: Horror’s Unsung Character

Location: Cascade 10
Moderator: Laura Anne Gilman
Panelists: Lisa Bolekaja, Arinn Dembo, Logan L. Masterson, K. M. Alexander
Details: Where a story is set lends itself to the impact of that story. Whether you set your story in a crumbling castle, a small town in Maine, or a sleek office tower, how do writers craft a setting with staying power? Come for favorite examples and ways to build your own and play against expectations to greater effect.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM — Level Up Your Self-Publishing Skills

Location: Cascade 12
Moderator: Elliott Kay
Panelists: Matt Youngmark, Ryan Macklin, K. M. Alexander
Details: Elliot Kay leads us in a discussion on self-publishing. How do you find a good editor or cover artist? What’s your pricing strategy? Does free work? What are the best keywords to use? How do you get reviews? We’ll discuss the best practices for putting out a professional product and the current strategies for finding success.


You can preregister for Norwescon 39 here and get passes to all four days for only $70. There’s also a lot of information at Norwescon.org including details on this year’s guests of honor, The Philip K. Dick Awards, Doubletree hotel information, and a lot more. Hopefully, I’ll see you there!