I was looking through my two blogs and I realized that a lot of the subpages — the links, the Buy Stuff and Newsletter pages in particular — are woefully out of date. I haven’t touched them for at least seven or eight months. And to add to that, I haven’t set up a newsletter in probably well over a year.
That’s gonna change. Not right now, and not overnight, but soon enough. Over the course of the next couple of months I’ll be updating those blog subpages and restarting a newsletter. That will most likely be a monthly thing, a cross between a link aggregator for my blog entries and any news and upcoming events, and maybe a special passage or two.
So how am I going to update this? Good question. Between finishing off a novel, writing a second one, revising that first one, heading to the UK for a week and a half in August and following that up with Worldcon — not to mention juggling all that with my Day Job — I’m going to be ridiculously busy. But I think I can do it.
It’ll take time, and I’ll probably be exhausted by the end of it, but I’ll do it anyway. Because come on — I’m trying to be somewhat professional here, folks! I can do better than the bare minimum here. Y’all deserve it.
It’s been an interesting year, I’ll say that much. Personally we’ve all had one hell of a bumpy ride. I’ve certainly had my highs and lows. And somehow I persevered.
Anyway, looking back over the past twelve months, I’m proud to say I went a hell of a lot further in my writing career than I ever thought I would. A project that I started in all seriousness twenty years ago was finally signed off as complete. I started not one but two completely new projects and sowed the seed for even more ideas. I kept a solid blogging schedule. I took part in panels on two different local science fiction conventions. All while still holding a Day Job.
—The Balance of Light e-book and trade release, and completing a long-term project. That was the toughest of the three to revise, so it took me most of 2016 and early 2017 to finish. Even the cover was a bear to get right. But at the same time, overcoming the hurdles I faced on this one made me an even better writer; it taught me to take all the time I needed to get it right before I released it upon the world. It was worth the wait, as that book went from the Troublemaker for a good few years to a novel I’m proud of. And added to that, it truly did feel like a weight lifted off my shoulders when I realized I did not need to work on that project any longer. I still miss it, of course, but I’m definitely glad it’s done. Most importantly, I saw a very long-standing goal to its conclusion and I couldn’t be happier.
–Daily words at 750words.com. I’ve been quite consistent with this as well, much more so than previous years. I trained myself to use this site as a place for playing around with ideas instead of trying to force myself to use prompts (suggested or otherwise). I just went with whatever popped into mind. In 2015 and 2016 I used it to write an extremely rough and incomplete draft of Meet the Lidwells, and in 2017 I used it to plot out most of the project after that. I’ve taken this month off from it for various reasons, but I’ll be picking it up again come January.
—Meet the Lidwells! This one surpassed all of my expectations, to be honest…so much so that I spent the first half of the project questioning whether or not I was doing it right! This project hit a lot of goals: writing a complete outline ahead of time, writing a shorter novel, writing a story that had a personal connection (music), and writing in a minimal amount of time. Because of this I have a minimal amount of post-writing work to do: some minor revision, shooting the cover picture, and prepping it for self-publication. Quite possibly the shortest novel project I’ve had to date.
–Untitled ‘Apartment Complex’ story. Having written out a few key scenes and plot ideas for this story using 750Words, I’m now working on the outline in the same manner that I did MtL. That way when MtL drops, I can immediately focus on writing this one. This too has goals: to see if I can pull off ‘writing econo’ again. I’m using the same process as the previous project, to the extent that I’ll play around with ideas on the project after this one for my daily words.
–Consistent blogging. I wrote two different blogs twice a week for nearly the whole year, with very few lapses. There were moments when it was tough, given that I always wanted to write something of interest and/or purpose, and did my best to avoid the fly-by entries as much as I could. I also wanted to avoid repeating myself whenever possible; I’ll totally cop to writing the same damn nostalgia piece over and over, and I’m doing my best to break out of that rut. And in the process, I’m learning how to expand my palette by expanding my interests.
–Participating in Convention Panels. This was another big one for me. I’ve gone to a number of cons over the years but always as an audience member, but never as a participant. After releasing my books I knew that this would be a great way for me to get connected to the non-writing part of the business. [Mind you, my very first panel was a reading, which went over well but I think could have been better. Once I got past that first one, the jitters were no longer there.] In 2018 I’ll be attending three more cons, and I’ve signed up as a participant at all three.
All told, I’m ecstatic with what I achieved as a writer in 2017. It was an extremely productive and fruitful beginning to my career as a professional self-publisher. There are some goals I wish I’d have hit, but I’m not going to let that bother me. I’m definitely looking forward to reaching those plus many new ones.
I have a small calendar notebook on my desk that I update on a daily basis; it’s where I log my word counts, blog entries, journal entries, and anything else creative. It’s something I’ve done off and on for years since the Belfry days. There’s no real reason for it other than I’m curious to see how much work I’ve done over the course of a certain stretch of time.
I do this because, like most creatives, I feel like I barely get anything done on any given day! This logging of work actually gives me a little dose of reality to combat that. I may grouse that I only got four hundred words done on a novel project (I’m not happy unless I get at least 500), but when I look at the day’s progress, I see that I’ve also written 800 words on the 750Words.com site relating to another project, maybe a few hundred words on writing blog post that’s not due until next week (like this one, for instance) plus a few hundred more for a music blog post, and cleaned up emails. And maybe noodled around on my guitar for a bit as well.
And it all adds up, because I’m pretty consistent about it. Hitting 500-600 novel words nearly every day for six months got me finishing Meet the Lidwells in record time. And with all those outtakes and notes on the 750, I’ve got a serious amount of worldbuilding done for the Next Project already.
So yeah. Sometimes I need a slap upside the head to show that I’m doing a ton of work, it’s just spread out over five or six different things.
Hey there! Sorry for the mess here at Welcome to Bridgetown. I’d been wanting to update the blog’s setting for quite some time, and of course the one day I was able to do so with not much interference, the site decided it didn’t want to cooperate. Every time I tried to play with the customization, something crashed. [In retrospect, I think WP was doing a server update and so most of the coding responded with LOL NOPE. Very much like this very amusingly excellent Nichijou segment above.]
I did manage to get a nice sunset picture of Dubai for the header picture to set the new mood. I’d like to give WtBt a much brighter view with easier navigation and readability, so I’m trying out a few different settings to see what works.
I’m also looking into different writing things to blog about — not just the writing, and definitely not just the Bridgetown trilogy! I’ve got a lot of writing-related ideas percolating in the formerly dusty confines of my brain, so hopefully within the next coming months I will be providing you with more entertaining, informative, or just plain silly things to brighten your day.
This will be a work in progress, so thanks for your understanding and patience!