Mur Lafferty

All writers face that nagging, guilting critical voice telling us: you should be writing. This episode’s title comes from Mur Lafferty’s podcast: I Should Be Writing, and Mur talks with Grant and Brooke about some of the challenges she and her many guests face in their writing. Writers will always face time constraints and other obstacles to getting their writing done, so today’s episode, perhaps more than anything, provides comfort in knowing you’re not alone (with a bit of inspiration and few good tips thrown in for good measure!)


Mur Lafferty is an award-winning author of urban fantasy, science fiction thrillers, and nonfiction. Her latest book, Six Wakes, has been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel. She has also written for the Star Wars universe (Solo). Her nonfiction book I Should Be Writing is based off her award-winning podcast of the same name. Her other podcast, Ditch Diggers (with cohost Matt Wallace) is a two-time nominee for the Hugo Award for Best Fancast. In 2015 she was inducted into the Podcast Academy Hall of Fame. Find her on Twitter @mightymur.

Writing Action: The Unit Technique

This comes from Grant’s friend, novelist Jan Ellison, who introduced him to a style of writing called the unit technique. She sets a timer to 45 minutes and starts writing. This helps with several things:

  • She feels time pressure, an urgency, similar to NaNoWriMo.
  • If she hits a wall at the 20-minute mark, she knows she only has to keep writing for 25 minutes, so it’s not as daunting as if you sit down to write for 2-3 hours.
  • At the 45-minute mark, she gets up for 15 minutes and does anything (doesn’t matter what) to replenish.
  • Then she returns for another 45-minute session.

Give it a try!

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