I Should Be Writing

The podcast for wanna-be fiction writers.


  • ISNW #425

    Sep 18 2019

    I talk about characters and conflict and tragedy and killing characters. It's super cheery!

  • ISBW #424

    Sep 17 2019

    I talk allll the opinions that you hear as a writer, and then I remind you not to run off and spend a six figure advance. I tried Freedom this weekend and it annoyed the crap out of me.

  • ISBW #423

    Sep 13 2019

    This one took me three tries, so it's a little shorter than I intended, but dangit, I had everything going against me today!

  • ISBW #422

    Sep 13 2019

    This one is short because the RNG productivity plan had mixed results today.

  • ISBW #421

    Sep 11 2019

    My new best friend is the Random Number Generator, since no other productivity program works. Let's try chaos!

  • ISBW #420

    Sep 10 2019

    links!  NaNoWriMo  4TheWords  Pacemaker     

  • ISBW #419

    Sep 10 2019

    We go to the twitters for questions today. 

  • ISBW #418

    Sep 07 2019

    I talk about the new book and how i'm approaching the first scene. It's short, but it's late. 

  • ISBW #417

    Sep 06 2019

    I had a terrible day with hurricane watching and migraine, and I still had to take a walk and record, so I decided to share my walk with you. It's windy. I'm sorry. But at least I still have my streak!

  • ISBW #416

    Sep 04 2019

    The concepts of success and failure are pretty subjective in the long term.

  • ISBW #415

    Sep 04 2019

    New arm brace and hot car recording! Only the best. 

  • ISBW #414

    Aug 30 2019

    We are talking agents and Instagram stuff! Happy Friday!

  • ISBW #413

    Aug 30 2019

    My new theory is writer's block is about losing the fun of writing. So if you can't think of what to write, then have some fun.

  • ISBW #412

    Aug 28 2019

    The Campbell Award is no more! and it's a good thing. Also, pushing through the hard days writing, and wanting to podcast more. 

  • ISBW #411

    Aug 27 2019

    More thoughts on WorldCon and I discuss what movie options mean, so far as I've experienced them, anyway. 

  • I Should Be Writing #410

    Aug 26 2019

    I'm back from hiatus and travel! And I decided something at WorldCon this year. Listen to find out what that is...   NOTE TO PATRONS- I lost my phone in Glasgow and I am a fan of two factor authentication, which is great until you lose your phone and don't have the ability to get any of your 2FA notices... so I can't log into Patreon to post early/exclusive content.

  • ISBW #409

    May 27 2019

    I am currently struggling with the structure of the book, so I talk about that, plus A Song of Ice and Fire spoilers (the book series specifically, not the latest TV season). And I'm not sponsored by Scrivener.      Copyright 2019, Mur Lafferty -- BY-NC-SA 3.5 License -- murverse.com

  • ISBW #408

    May 20 2019

    I haven't been playing too many games and thinking about character. Not me.   Copyright 2019, Mur Lafferty -- BY-NC-SA 3.5 License -- murverse.com

  • ISBW #407

    Apr 26 2019

    A quick recording for you in an attempt to be more consistent. 

  • ISBW #406

    Apr 19 2019

    I talk novel writing and roadblocks and the Hugo ballot. 

  • ISBW #405

    Mar 29 2019

    State of me, state of the show, and much needed feedback.     Copyright 2019, Mur Lafferty -- BY-NC-SA 3.5 License -- murverse.com


    Feb 27 2019

    Recorded from my hotel room at Boskone, I discuss how I'm approaching my new novel. 

  • ISBW #403

    Feb 04 2019

    I talk about some changes coming to the podcast, and then I interview Sherrilyn Kenyon. Remember to email me if you want to win a copy of her book! US only please.    murverse.com | BY NC SA Creative Commons

  • ISBW #402

    Nov 15 2018

    I talk about Save the Cat Writes a Novel, and how useful I find the beat sheet from the system.   murverse.com | BY NC SA Creative Commons

  • ISBW #401

    Oct 25 2018

    It's time for NaNoWriMo, what are you doing to prepare? Here's what I'm up to.  https://nanowrimo.org/participants/mightymur

  • ISBW #400

    Sep 20 2018

    Episode 400, really! It's not a Very Special Episode (TM) but I do think it's important.    murverse.com | BY NC SA Creative Commons

  • ISBW #399

    Jul 20 2018

    Almost to 400, and I still feel like I'm a beginner! Wow.

  • ISBW #398

    Jun 26 2018

    Back and rambling and OMG I am writing the SOLO novelization!

  • ISBW #397

    May 17 2018

    And I talk about one of the epiphanies I've had after... sixteen years of writing. It's embarrassing.  

  • ISBW #396

    Apr 25 2018

    I have been struggling inside my own head lately, but am trying to get back.

  • ISBW #395

    Mar 28 2018

    Lordy, I'm behind on feedback! I catch up here. I'll do a Twitter feedback show in the future. I would love some ideas as to what you want to see in episode 400 of I Should Be Writing. Send me your thoughts! ISBW is sponsored by Serial Box! Yes, my publisher for Bookburners, one of my favorite projects I've worked on in the past few years! Get a discount on a whole season of content with the code WRITING18.

  • I Should Be Writing #395

    Mar 22 2018

    In reading a book on luck, I had an epiphany not on luck, but on procrastination. I explore the reason why we may avoid writing, and then I talk to G. S. Denning, author of the Warlock Holmes series. 

  • ISBW #393

    Mar 13 2018

    When your supporting characters' response to personally tragic things in their life is "how will this affect this other person?" then you have a problem. Are you a WorldCon member? Don't forget to vote for the Hugos, AND remember you have the power to go to the business meeting! ISBW is sponsored by Serial Box! Yes, my publisher for Bookburners, one of my favorite projects I've worked on in the past few years! Get a discount on a whole season of content with the code WRITING18.

  • ISBW #392

    Feb 08 2018

    it's time for the yearly discussion on conventions and etiquette and advice. And then we delve into feedback.

  • ISBW #391

    Feb 07 2018

    I got some News. I wish I could tell, but I can't even share with you, my lovely supporters. But the news has made my brain and schedule all higgledy piggeldy. So I talk about that. ISBW is sponsored by Serial Box! Yes, my publisher for Bookburners, one of my favorite projects I've worked on in the past few years! Get a discount on a whole season of content with the code WRITING18. HEY- did you know I'm offering transcriptions of both ISBW and Ditch Diggers? They will go up as soon as I get them...more

  • ISBW #390

    Jan 26 2018

    Should you find a publisher before the book is done? Should you worry about your pen name before you find an agent? What order should things be done in, anyway?  Brought to you by Serial Box, the "HBO for ebooks." Get a discount on a whole season of content with the code WRITER18.

  • ISBW #389

    Jan 17 2018

    I have one resolution this year, and that's to get bored more often. Also, I talk fears, and NBC's The Good Place. I was supposed to have an interview but I just discovered it's crap and I have to re-record. Sorry about that.

  • ISBW #388

    Dec 21 2017

    I pontificate about Patreon, transcribing the podcasts, and Star Wars (no spoilers). If you want to support on Patreon, by the way, you can do so here. Happy Holidays!

  • ISBW 387: Learning how to strike-out

    Nov 21 2017

    Why is it OK to suck? Specifically, why does stinky writing matter?

  • ISBW #386

    Oct 30 2017

    Almost November! Are you ready? Maybe this will help. http://www.NaNoWriMo.org http://www.grantfaulkner.com/

  • ISBW #385

    Oct 12 2017

    NaNoWriMo is in less than a month! AUGH! So we talk prep, and we talk to Nicky Drayden, author of The Prey of Gods (which was a NaNo book!)

  • ISBW #384: The black dog doesn't care

    Sep 28 2017

    When mild depression hits.

  • ISBW #383: Point of View // Beth Cato Interview

    Sep 14 2017

    I discuss the power of point of view and how it makes us sympathize with characters, what the different words (protagonist, antagonist) means, and reference a bunch of books and movies. Then I talk to Beth Cato. AND GUESS WHAT? You can WIN Beth Cato's books! All you have to do is email me and I'll do a random drawing on the next ISBW, but I'd really appreciate it if you spread the word on social media too.

  • ISBW #382: Back to basics

    Aug 31 2017

    WHY should you follow all those writing rules? These are the "story structure" and "no adverbs" and "Give your characters something to do" rules. Can't we all just break the rules and run amok? It's the digital age, we can do what we want!

  • ISBW 381

    Aug 14 2017

    We talk awards and feedback and I wonder what happened at WorldCon. We will find out when I record again!

  • ISBW #380

    Jul 30 2017

    I'm coming out of depression land and straight into the crazy that is August that is travel and WorldCon. So here is the podcast for the week of July 24, and the podcast for the week of August 7 is already queued.  (Only I say it's for August 14 because calendars are hard) Books mentioned: Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun

  • ISBW #379: Those Down Days

    Jul 12 2017

    The bad thing about being on a regular recording schedule again is I have to podcast even when I don't feel like it. So sometimes it's just about the mental health. This is a short, low energy podcast, but I'm really fine, trust me. Just had a bad start to the week with migraine and super low energy. I'm doing much better now, but figured I should post this because I try to be honest with the look inside a writer's life, and sometimes there are days like this. Mentioned: The War of Art.

  • ISBW #378: Preparations

    Jun 27 2017

    I've decided I need some simple lists to help me when I travel and record, and figure those kinds of lists might help with writing, too. 

  • ISBW #377: Brain Weasels

    Jun 22 2017

    I know I know I know I always say these supportive things but sometimes it's hard to listen to myself. Recently I've been suffering from "first draft must be perfect" syndrome, and had to step back and actually look at myself and what I was doing.  First drafts don't have to be perfect. Write it 100x on the board.

  • ISBW #376: Must you write daily? And interview with Robyn Bennis!

    May 30 2017

    Is Writing Daily a Necessity? A new article has writer Twitter in a froth. It turns out that someone wrote a clickbait article about how if you aren't writing daily, then you might as well quit. This is so, so, so wrong. Did I write daily for a while? Yes. Do I recommend the Magic Spreadsheet for others who want to write daily? Yes. Did it help me and others? Yes. But telling you that you MUST write daily because I did is like saying that since I ran a marathon, everyone must run a marathon else...more

  • ISBW #375: Feedback

    May 15 2017

    Show Notes:  ISBW (and Ditch Diggers) Wiki, a work in progress! Discussions of the magical negro: Further thoughts by Nnedi Okorafor: STEPHEN KING'S SUPER-DUPER MAGICAL NEGROES and Salon: The offensive movie cliche that won’t die Books I recommend: many books by Victoria Lynn Schmidt and Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress    

  • ISBW #374: Writing conflict with two facets (at least)

    May 01 2017

    I credit one of the things that is making me consistent lately to taking ADHD meds for the first time. Yay, mental health! Been feeling invisible lately. Not too bad, but it's strange. I can't go into details, but dang, it's not a good feeling. I started a new book! Alasdair Stuart code named it SPACE MEAT DINER for me. I probably will not submit the book under this title. Current wordcount (including proposal parts) 7706. Main Topic: Conflicts! Characters work best with an internal conflict t...more

  • ISBW #373: About all those rules

    Apr 17 2017

    Don't use adverbs. Show, don't tell. Often blanket terms, what do they really mean, and why should we use them? And what does it mean when someone carefully follows those rules. Recommended book: Nabokov's Favorite Word Was Mauve

  • ISBW #372: Metacast: State of the world, state of Mur

    Mar 17 2017

    I discuss where politics fall within the topic of this show, what I've been up to, some challenges, and some future stuff. Little bit of catching up.    Also, it's the last night to nominate for the Hugos!

  • ISBW #371: Writing as a relationship // Bookburners Interview

    Feb 14 2017

    I usually use the boxing metaphor for writing, but I've been thinking it's more like a relationship. Plus Six Wakes and Bookburners both launched! Then I talk to my fellow Bookburners authors, Margaret Dunlap, Max Gladstone, and Brian Francis Slattery.

  • ISBW #370: Gamification // Jason Chabot and Kylie Chan Interviews

    Jan 12 2017

    I discuss how I try to get work done using Habitica and 4thewords.com. Then talk to Jason Chabot and Kylie Chan!  

  • ISBW #369: Feedback // David D. Levine and Stephen Aryan Interviews

    Jan 11 2017

    Some long-awaited feedback gets answered!

  • ISBW #368: Post-depression writing

    Dec 22 2016

    Where I've been for the last two months, and two more interviews with Leanna Renee Hieber and Brooke Johnson! (And I hadn't recorded in a while, so the wrong mic is grabbing the audio and I didn't realize till afterwards.) And I've been podcasting 12 years! WOW!

  • ISBW #367: NaNoWriMo Special with Grant Faulkner

    Oct 28 2016

    I was lucky enough to talk to Grant Faulkner, the grand poobah of NaNoWriMo! Are you ready for November?

  • ISBW #366: Control and Laurence MacNaughton Interview

    Oct 07 2016

  • ISBW #365: Editing is hard, and JD Horn Interview

    Sep 23 2016

    I talked about my continuity issues in my current book, and then talk to JD Horn about his book Jilo. Oh, and did you hear there's going to be an ISBW BOOK? Yeah. There's going to be an ISBW BOOK. Holy crap sticks.

  • ISBW #364 - Feedback // Jon Skovron Interview // John Claude Bemis Interview

    Aug 16 2016

    It's another long show as I catch up with my late interviews! Jon Skovron and John Claude Bemis are both here to talk about their books. With two interviews, this one is a long one! Worldcon is this week! Are you going? Come say hi!

  • ISBW #363: Movie Options and TWO Interviews!

    Jun 30 2016

    I announced it a few days ago that Netflix purchased the option for The Shambling Guides, and I talk more about it here. Then I put two interviews in one show since I'm behind, so you get to hear from Mike Carey and Brenda Cooper!

  • ISBW #362: Glossary of writing terms and Helen Lowe Interview

    May 20 2016

    What do all those words I'm always saying mean? I go over several terms we discuss in publishing. I loved this idea, so if you have other ideas for terms you'd like discussed in more detail, let me know! Then I talk to Helen Lowe, author of Daughter of Blood.

  • ISBW 361- Feedback, Elizabeth Bonesteel Interview

    May 09 2016

    Covering feedback this time, including the importance of race in a story, ideas during depression, and more! Then we talk to Elizabeth Bonesteel, author of the excellent SF novel The Cold Between.

  • ISBW #360: Level up! Plus Dan Koboldt Interview

    Apr 04 2016

    I've leveled up as a writer, and I interview Dan Koboldt, author of The Rogue Retrieval.

  • ISBW #359: Feedback

    Mar 10 2016

    Feedback time again!   

  • ISBW #358: Periscope test and writing rules

    Feb 17 2016

    LORD GOD it's been two months? SHAME, MUR. SHAME.

  • ISBW #357 - Anniversary, with Raven Oak interview

    Dec 09 2015

    As of today, I've been podcasting 11 years. Whoa.  I also talk to Raven Oak, one of the authors in the Joy to the Worlds anthology, out now!

  • ISBW #356: Feedback

    Dec 03 2015

    It's a feedback time, and so we're gonna talk. 

  • ISBW #355: Crippling Fear

    Nov 24 2015

    Coming to terms with my fear, and how it’s holding me back. So it’s time to embrace failure.  

  • ISBW #354: NaNoWriMo Primer 2

    Nov 01 2015

    Haters got you down? Don't let them.

  • ISBW #353: NaNoWriMo Primer 1

    Oct 19 2015

    As we look forward two weeks to NaNoWriMo, I have to talk about something very unpopular. This year I challenge you to kill your darlings.

  • ISBW #352: Book Burnout // Peter Orullian Interview

    Sep 22 2015

    I'm still working on my book. I'm kind of focused, podcasting is hard. BUT we have a Peter Orullian interview! murverse.com orullian.com

  • ISBW #351 - Believe in Yourself - Fran Wilde Interview

    Sep 02 2015

    What happens when no one believes in you but you? Then we talk to Fran Wilde about her new book Updraft!

  • ISBW #350 - Feedback

    Aug 18 2015

    Feedback time!

  • ISBW #349 - Brain Games // Andrea Phillips Interview

    Jul 14 2015

    Today I talk how my brain sabotages my creative process and I talk to Andrea Phillips about transmedia and her new book, Revision.

  • ISBW #348 - Stop kicking your own ass // Jen Udden Interview

    Jun 25 2015

    ISBW returns with an agent interview this time, and my plea to stop kicking your own ass. And by you I mean me. Jen's podcast, Shipping and Handling.

  • ISBW #347: Meta, Feedback, John Chu Interview

    Jun 04 2015

    I'm back with a talk of what's going on, feedback, and a John Chu interview from Boskone! Obligatory Buy My Book! link: (affiliate)

  • ISBW #346 - Feedback

    Apr 23 2015

    A short and sweet feedback show about royalties, copyright, and social media celebration! Obligatory Buy My Book! link: (affiliate)

  • ISBW #345: The pride of busy-ness // Interview with Dora Goss

    Apr 13 2015

    Sometimes talking about how busy we are is a sense of pride and not something to fix. Maybe we should rethink that. Then I talk to Dora Goss. Ditch Diggers coming tomorrow! Obligatory Buy My Book! link: (affiliate)

  • ISBW #344 - Feedback

    Mar 20 2015

    I'm back, with feedback. Important links: List of conventions Online Writing Workshop Critters

  • ISBW #343: Resistance :: Michael Underwood Interview

    Feb 23 2015

    I talk about resistance and the book The War of Art, and then interview author Michael Underwood.  Links:  Younger Gods Michael's site Tor.com Novella Announcement! 2K to 10K  My award eligibility post (affiliate links)

  • ISBW #342 - Feedback

    Jan 30 2015

    First feedback of the year, lots of neat things happening, and we talk covers and memoirs and outlining!

  • ISBW #341 - Happy New Year

    Jan 28 2015

    So last week when I was working to put a bunch of audio on my site, I got a bit lost and didn't manage to actually post ISBW. Too many shows going on right now, I guess. So, uh, here is my Happy New Year post, and #342 that I recorded today will go up on Friday.

  • ISBW #340 - End of the year and feedback

    Dec 15 2014

    I'm doing the wacky thing of taking some time off this holiday season, no writing, little recording, and no stress thinking about writing and recording. This is a Big Deal.    Then we talk feedback! Happy holidays and I will see you in January!

  • ISBW #339 - Ditch Diggers Sneak Peek!

    Dec 10 2014

    I talk jealousy and show a peek at the new show I'm doing next year, Ditch Diggers. It's still about writing, but it's brutally honest, not clean, and with co-host Matt Wallace. I figured, today being my 10th year anniversary of podcasting, I should unveil something big. If you like it, subscribe! If you don't like it, don't worry, Matt and I won't force you to listen. This will be the first and last Ditch Diggers in the feed. Obligatory Buy My Book! link: (affiliate)

  • ISBW #338 - Feedback

    Dec 02 2014

    I say it's #339 but really it's 338. It's feedback time! Obligatory Buy My Book! link: (affiliate)

  • ISBW #337 - NaNo, Tired Tropes // Howard Tayler Interview

    Nov 18 2014

    So glad to have Howard Tayler back on the show. If you don't listen to Howard on Writing Excuses, you totally should. 

  • I Should Be Writing #336 - Characterization and Hierarchy

    Oct 30 2014

    I talk characterization and stuff, taking from a blog post I read and can't remember the source. If you know the source TELL ME and I will post it here so I am not a total jerk.   Support me via Patreon and get access to the archives, the NaNoWriMo podcast, and more!

  • ISBW #335 - Feedback

    Oct 24 2014

    We talk women authors, pen names, the networking bucket, and what to focus on as a newbie. 

  • ISBW #334 - NaNoWriMo Prep // Charlaine Harris Interview

    Oct 17 2014

    I'm back from technical difficulties, ready to talk about NaNoWriMo! Also got the amazing Charlaine Harris as this week's interview. If you want the daily NaNo show, support via Patreon! Reading Now: Dust, by Elizabeth BearWriting (editing) Now: Afterlife Series 6: Stones

  • ISBW #334 - Feedback

    Sep 25 2014

    Harsh truth about quitting the day job, and more. Hang in there, folks. Keep writing.   Support via Patreon I'm reading: Aeropagitica I'm writing: Afterlife Book 6: Stones

  • ISBW #333 - Writing Hooks // Seanan McGuire Interview

    Sep 22 2014

    I talk about what it means to be a "wanna-be," and then delve into hooks, using Kameron Hurley's The Mirror Empire for example. Fantastic book. Go get it. Then I interview Seanan McGuire, from way back.  Relevant links: The Mirror Empire, Seanan's Blog What I'm writing now*: We Need the Eggs: detectives, wetware, and roller derby. Its status is proposal-under-edit-after-agent-comments. PUEAAC, if you will.  What I'm reading now: The Mirror Empire   *Like, right this second, today. I have many ir...more

  • ISBW 332 - Feedback

    Sep 05 2014

    We take feedback from email and twitter, talk research, diversity, and platforms and social media.  Don't forget to support the show via Patreon!

  • ISBW #331 - In Memory, Grief, Writing

    Sep 03 2014

    I am recovering from London, deaths in the family, and deaths in the extended friendship family. I broke my magic spreadsheet chain. It's been rough.  LonCon was awesome, though, and I will cover that at some future time. 

  • ISBW #330 - Amazon vs Hachette // Kirsty Logan Interview

    Aug 01 2014

    I have a couple of horses in this Amazon vs Hachette race, and although I will admit I don't fully understand all the details, I will say that I really dislike absolutes. On a brighter note, we talk to Kirsty Logan! 

  • ISBW #329 - Feedback

    Jul 18 2014

    Writing and running and grammar and thanks SO much for pushing the show past the $300 level in Patreon! 

  • ISBW #328 - Taking Care of Yourself // Gail Carriger interview

    Jul 09 2014

    This week we welcome Gail Carriger back to the show, and talk about taking care of yourself. Hint- it's not romantic to treat yourself like crap in order to brag that you're not sleeping or drinking too much in order to feel like a "real" writer.  Don't forget to check out the Patreon and support the podcast!

  • ISBW #327 - Feedback

    Jul 03 2014

    Hello new listeners! We have a feedback show for you. Coming soon- interview with Gail Carriger! Don't forget to support my Patreon.