Eric Shay Howard

Bad blogger. Complicated. Gay.


Read the blog, below. Eric blogs about creative writing, business, education, lgbtq+ AND DIVERSITY, and other things. he’s a little bit complicated. he blogs in first-person.

the blog ⬇️

  • The Balancing Act of Blogging and Working

    The Balancing Act of Blogging and Working

    First, I’d like to clarify that while blogging IS work, I currently work a full-time job and use the terms to separate my day job from my blogging activities. This week, I made the mistake of not pre-writing as much as I needed and wasn’t able to get my blog posts organized for their usual 8am schedule post time. That means I had to write for my blog some on my lunch break and in the evenings when I got home. That’s totally fine, but normally I just work on my fiction in the evenings.

    Anyway, this week has been weird because I have been figuring out how to not blog on company time and still get everything posted on time. The short version of the story is I haven’t been able to, so my blog posts have been a little late this week. So, LESSON LEARNED! I will pre-write on the weekends. Geez.

    Dear HR Department, I’m writing this on my lunch break. Please don’t fire me. Thanks.

    Excited to post my short story tomorrow! That one WILL be up on time.


  • I Applied To Four MFA Programs

    I Applied To Four MFA Programs

    I applied to Four MFA programs. Just Four. I probably won’t get into any of them, because they’re MFA programs. But, it’s a lot like submitting to literary journals and lit mags; you just sort of apply anyway. I didn’t want to apply to all of the MFA programs in existence or anything – there were a select few that I’d been thinking about that I meet the qualifications for. Those were the programs I applied to and I guess we’ll see what happens.

    Why I’m Applying To MFA Programs

    My MBA is nice and it’ll help me wherever I end up in the future. It was a degree I got because I needed the security of having well-rounded business education. The MFA is what I WANT. Applying to MFA programs is sort of stressful because you have to write letters of intent and submit a super vulnerable creative writing sample, and sometimes and essay. I wrote a complete different letter of intent for each school that I applied to because, well, I just figured you were sort of supposed to?

    Whether I get into an MFA or not, I’m still going to write a lot, and keep posting my short stories on Fridays.

    Anyway, short blog post today because it’s been super busy. I just found out that I have to go pick up the dog from day camp, because he is spoiled and goes to day camp. A storm is coming and everyone is closing everything. I also just found out I’m working from home tomorrow. The last day I worked from home, I completely messed up my beard before a presentation and had to shave it all off. I can’t promise anything tomorrow.


  • How I Plan My Blog For the Week

    How I Plan My Blog For the Week

    I thought it would be a good idea to be a little transparent and tell you all how I plan my blog for the week. First, I should mention one thing; I didn’t actually do my pre-planning for this week. I know, I screwed up. In my defense, I was doing, um, “other things”. I’d say I’m sorry, but I guess I’m not, because those other things were kind of important. Anyway, normally, when I don’t do “other things”, I pre-write most of my blog posts on the weekend and schedule them to post Monday though Thursday.

    How I Plan My Blog

    Basically, the routine goes like this: on Saturday I wake up and I get coffee, do my morning teeth brushing and cleaning up, then I put on my pajamas. Yes, I do these things in that order. Then, I sit at my computer for an hour or so and I pre-write.

    When pre-writing, I basically think up “topics”, or blog post titles, and write a few paragraphs about each. These blog posts are not in their final form, I just sort of go ahead and get them started and titled. Then, I go ahead and schedule each one for Monday through Thursday. I use Things 3, a to-do list app on my iPad (and Mac) to keep up with this task and a few others.

    How I Schedule My Blog Posts

    I mentioned that I use Things 3. Things 3 is pretty central to my planning process because I work full-time and was recently in grad school as well. Without a to-do list, I simply do not do things that I’m not thinking about. I’ve attached a screenshot of what I’ve got going in the app to this blog post.

    In addition to the blog posts, I also plan some of the tweets for the week – these are the important tweets that are for “marketing” my short stories that I post on Fridays. I do the same thing for Facebook. I know Facebook has a reputation, and I personally don’t like to use my personal account very much, but my Facebook Author page generates me the most traffic some weeks so I kind of can’t let it go yet.

    What I Do Monday through Thursday

    Hopefully by sometime on Saturday, I’ve got a good little set of first drafts for my posts on Monday through Thursday. I try to remember to look at each post the day before and do a touch up on what I’ve written, plus add some details about my life that day that I can tie into the topic. Then I take a picture of something, usually my iPad on my desk if I can’t think of anything else. I put in tags and then I save the post again and go on about my week.

    The Friday Short Story

    This is the only post I don’t pre-post, because I’m usually working on a few short stories through the week. I try to pick the story by Thursday so that I don’t have to freak out Friday morning about it. I’ll do a quick, awful, horrible drawing for it in Procreate the night before and get the post scheduled before I go to bed. I spend all day Friday overthinking things like the title and toy with the idea of changing it. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I just let it go. Letting things go is kind of hard for me so I’m trying to do that more. The reason I’m posting these stories on Fridays is because I want to make myself write more throughout the week. Eventually this will hopefully lead to a second fiction collection.

    By the way, you can read my first fiction collection, Crushes, for free on Kindle Unlimited for a limited time. You can also buy it in print if you’re really feeling generous.

    And That’s How I Plan My Blog!

    Then I wake up on Saturday and do it all again. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing throughout January and so far it’s been working. Have you noticed any issues this month with how I’ve been doing things? Are my stories awful? Am I blogging too much? Let me know in the comments.


  • I Don’t Think My Patreon Was Working

    I Don’t Think My Patreon Was Working

    A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was trying to utilize Patreon by showing early drafts and stuff. Well, it wasn’t really working the best and it was also making it super hard for me to keep enough stuff for myself to work on. For those reasons, I’ve basically axed the idea. I think Patreon would be better used with other things, maybe my podcast one day or when I have more books available, or novels, or whatever.

    Welcome to the creative process! That’s how these things go I suppose. Nothing wrong with trying new things every now and then, right? It’s becoming more and more important for me to write a lot though. I’ve done pretty good I think! I’m actually kind of proud myself so far. But, having the pressure of one very short story to post on my blog on Fridays is enough I think. Now I can take my time on my longer work and not have to worry about just posting something to beat a strange weekly self-imposed deadline. Not sure why I thought that would be a good idea.

    It shouldn’t be a problem with the very short stories that I post on Fridays, because I tend to hoard those. That IS a good idea because it helps me play with character and stuff, and they don’t take forever. It’s also good practice for me to just let some stories go when they’re “good enough”. These Friday short stories have been great for that.

    Anyways, it’s Monday so gotta get back to the office. It snowed last Friday and there’s still snow on the ground.


  • Knees – Short Story

    Knees – Short Story

    Here is this week’s short story, “Knees”. If you like my fiction, please buy a copy of my fiction collection, Crushes, available on Amazon in Print and on Amazon Kindle.

    Knees

    Mark drove as straight as he could after Betty pulled over when she screamed at the deer in front of us. We all laughed. Mark kept his head high and his smile on when the cop pulled us over for driving too slow. I explained that Betty had almost had an accident. The cop looked at Mark’s eyes with a light. The cop put Betty in handcuffs after she ran the car’s plate. She told us to tell her sister to come get her. Mark drove a little faster on the way home. When we got to his mom’s house, we laughed and he pulled back out to take me home. When we remembered we were in Betty’s car, we laughed again and we just went to my couch. He fell asleep with his hand in his pants. He woke me up when he yelled at someone outside the duplex for being too loud. When I told him that I thought I’d ordered pizza before I fell asleep, he told me he loved me and put his hands on my cheeks. We lay there, his knee folded into the back of mine, and laughed until we both fell asleep.

    A few months later we heard Betty had moved to Salt Lake City and was set up with a job at a church. Mark still has her car parked in his mom’s garage. We laugh sometimes about it. I still never told him that I think it’s cool his legs have no tan lines.


  • Switching My LinkedIn Profile To Creator Mode

    Switching My LinkedIn Profile To Creator Mode

    Hi, fellow creative types! Or business people. Or whatever. I did something a few days ago and I’m not sure why. I switched my LinkedIn Profile to Creator Mode, which I think lets me share stuff like articles and blog posts easier. Although, I haven’t really tried it yet. I’m kind of afraid. I haven’t mixed my creative writing life with my office life very much yet. I also write about weird things so my co-workers could totally be like “OMG Eric is weird”.

    Well, they probably already think Eric is weird, so I don’t guess it matters too much, does it? But, I know LinkedIn wouldn’t care about a basic blog post like this. It would have to be a blog post about something more substantial. Maybe my post about my experiences of the Udemy and LinkedIn Learning platforms or something. Then, of course there’s a the short stories that I post on Fridays. Those are like, the whole point of this thing.

    I also just realized that’s pretty confusing. I’m using this blog to help with my creative writing, but I’m talking about business stuff a lot because of the MBA that I just got. (There I go again, bragging about the MBA.) Actually, since we’re bragging again and since I’ve been taking stock in my academic accomplishments lately, I have another thing that I forgot to share. I have a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate from the University of South Florida. I did it back i nMay but I was so busy with other stuff that I kind of forgot about sharing it. Also I wasn’t as into bragging about my academic accomplishments then.

    Anyway, It was an interesting six week program. I got to enjoy some intriguing discussions and hear fro some great industry leaders.

    Okay, it’s a work day so I have to go into the office now.


  • How My Writing Is Going This Week

    How My Writing Is Going This Week

    since I’ve been marketing my blog as a blog about creative writing, it’s probably a good idea to write about my writing some, huh? I’ve been blabbing and bragging all week about my successes with my business degree. I’ll probably do that a lot. Maybe I should write at least once a week about how my writing is going?

    I must confess, I haven’t actually been able to start on any writing this week yet. In my defense, it’s only been a few days. Although, I do usually do some writing over the weekend and I didn’t do that this time, either. I have been busy with getting my documents in order after graduating with my MBA. (There I go again, bragging about the MBA!)

    I am going to write some today when I get home from work. I have some stories already for my short story posts on Fridays, but I’ve still got to keep a good supply of those going so I need to get on the ball. There will also be another rougher draft of a story on my Patreon page this weekend. If you are interested in supporting me, for $3 a month you can see super early drafts of some of my stories every weekend. These drafts are super early, but if you’re interested in the writing process, I think it’s cool to see early stuff.

    This was just a short update today, huh? I have to go into the office now for the day job.


Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA Summer Residency, 2022. Photo by Ben Keeling.

I’m Eric Shay Howard and I’m a bad blogger. I’m also an author. I live in Louisville, Kentucky and work at a law firm.

I’m currently a graduate student in a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. Lately, I’ve been blogging about that. I also have a Master of Business Administration and have completed a few certificate programs in Human Resource related studies. Occasionally I blog about business and other MBA-related things. Blogging about my day, bad dates, or package delivery issues are also not out of the question.


I wrote a fiction collection called Crushes and self-published it because sometimes I just like to push buttons and see what happens. I think this book is pretty alright, I suppose. Buying a copy helps me out. Feel free to leave a review on Amazon as well.

crushes by eric shay howard fiction collection book cover

I’m an Amazon Affiliate and occasionally post affiliate links to products in my blog posts and throughout my website. I always disclose these links, just so there’s no confusion. There’s more information about this on my page about my privacy policies and disclosures.

If there’s ever any confusion about this feel free to drop me a comment below the post in question, or you can email me or reach out to me through my social media. Other contact methods are here.


Eric’s bookshelf: currently-reading

The Silkworm
tagged: currently-reading
Words of Radiance
tagged: currently-reading
The Cloven Viscount
tagged: currently-reading
Dark Rise
tagged: currently-reading
The Gunslinger
tagged: currently-reading
It
It
tagged: currently-reading
Mistborn: The Final Empire
tagged: currently-reading

goodreads.com

Blogs and People I Like

Here are some other blogs and people that I like to read or keep up with. The order is arbitrary because I started out going for alphabetical order but then got busy with classes or something so now sometimes I just rearrange them for no reason.


Equipment Test! Podcast Artwork

I made a really bad podcast over the summer called Equipment Test! because I bought a microphone. But if you like really bad podcasts, you can listen to it here, or find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other places.