What I Learned from Chuck Wendig, Delilah Dawson, and Kevin Hearne When We All Took Over Barnes & Noble The Other Day

Today’s Brew: Eggnog from Dunkins because time is meaningless

By Julie


Guess what, the other night I got to go out! And I got to go out to a triple book signing and panel with my amazing friends and as amazing authors Chuck Wendig, Delilah Dawson and Kevin Hearne. I mean, I’m not trying to name-drop but seriously. I am. Anyway, this isn’t about measuring coolness, it’s about a couple of things I took away from that panel that I bet you’d like to hear too. SO LISTEN UP.

When asked about their writing processes, the answers were so vastly different and so important, even if you’re not a writer. They’re good guidelines for all kinds of life stuff. Remember this is the first time the three of them have been out in public in two years. Here’s what I got:

Delilah Dawson during the pandemic forced herself to stick to a routine which of course was nearly impossible with kids, everyone being at home suddenly… You know the drill. But she made herself MEDITATE for 15 minutes a day. And only then would she allow herself to write. The best part of this for me is that she hates meditating.

So writing became the reward for sitting through the bad thing for 15 minutes and she’d be so antsy to STOP meditating that she couldn’t wait to write.


My pretty pretty Princess Chuck Wendig always centers me when it comes to writing advice. This time when asked about his writing process he told a cool story about when he was mentored by a screenwriter. When his mentor told him to make an outline, Chuck laughed, saying oh hell naw, novelists don’t do that. But all his hundreds of books later, maybe he does. Or not. Or halfway of such.

Chuck stays true to one piece of advice which is basically, “You do you.” Make the rules, then break them. Screw up and fix it, don’t take it too seriously until you do. But this night he said DON’T DEFINE YOURSELF BY THE WRITING PROCESS YOU THINK YOU HAVE. Basically, anyway. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into this idea of what your process is. It should be ever-changing. It should grow with you, it should be an experiment, it should never be stagnant. I added that last stuff. But it’s easy to see why I love this guy so much.

Kevin Hearne is a wizard from another dimension. He usually writes one draft and it’s editor-ready. He’s clearly very disciplined and knows his tools. He uses Word docs like the rest of the world until he has a multi-faceted story and world (so everything he does), in which case he uses Scrivener first. What I get is that he boiled it down to a science that works for him without a lot of need to experiment and he does it right the first time.

This isn’t a thing that will work for everyone, but remember, SOMETIMES it might. It won’t always be the same for everyone and for every book. Unless you’re Kevin Hearne and know yourself so well that you’re invincible.


Published by Julie Hutchings, Pretty Scary Author

I write scary stories with pretty insides. Mythology-twisting author and editor, reptile hoarder, coffee drinker, harpy. Author of The Vampires of Fate and The Harpy.

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