Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mid-Year Update - And I Suck at Blogging!


My first week back from vacation was a trying time. I think most of my problem is that I suffer from the same issue that Neo did in the first Matrix movie. Namely, the world I live in when I’m at work doesn’t seem real to me. The real world is the one in which I lie on the beach and drink fruity alcohol most of the time between trips to the men’s room, seafood buffets, and naps.

So, until Laurence Fishburne shows up with a handful of pills and says I can return to the ‘real world’, I think I’m going to just have to get used to the feeling like things are amiss.  

As it stands though, I have been trying to get back into the grove, not only for work and home life, but for online things and writing. I figured I should take a few moments and share some minutia that I’m sure no one is interested in… I'm sure everyone's thrilled.

First, I’ve come to realize over the course of the past year or so that I’ve been blogging at the expense of writing. I’m sure anyone who was keeping track of my online activities has noticed that since the end of the A-Z challenge I’ve been spotty at best, and non-existent at my worst. It’s just been me trying to find a balance that allows me to actually write, do artsy things, and not to mention hang out with the family, in the short time I have daily to do such things.

So, blogging has been on the outs, I’ve been posting some, but visiting infrequently. I’m going to try to be post consistently – twice per week – and then devote 30 minutes or so daily to visiting others. I know from experience that that might not get me around to too many places, but committing to 30 minutes is better than crossing my fingers and wishing for the best.

BUT – I HAVE BEEN WRITING, so all that extra time I’ve been freeing up hasn’t been a waste. And if anyone recalls, I had a lot of goals I posted at the beginning of the year regarding my writing. So, here’s my mid-year update: I’ve been doing a lot of short stories, and I’ve been submitting them to markets as I deem them to be appropriate… so far I’ve gotten only a ton of rejections, but at the same time, I’ve been submitting exclusively to the largest and most prestigious markets first, and working my way down from there. My goal was to write and submit at least a story a month. So far in 2012 I’ve written 10 short stories.

I have also been working on a novella with the intent to self-publish. Yay for me. I wrote it last year and thought it was pretty good then, but I was having this one little problem, I put it away for a few months and picked it back up a month or so ago. It was much rougher than I thought it was, but because I loved the story so much I decided that instead of chucking it, I’d do a complete rewrite. I’m in the middle of that now. It’s going much better…

I hope.

And finally, I’ve also been working on my Epic Fantasy novel – which I’m thinking might end up taking a year or so or working on it before I can even think of asking someone to consider critiquing it (and I don’t want to even think about how to go about that, it’d be a huge commitment to ask of anyone). That thing is more complex story wise than anything I’ve ever tried to write before - half a dozen viewpoint characters, each with his or her own arc, and a whole world history and magic system to develop. If the way the first draft is unfolding holds true, then this will easily be the two and a half times longer than any other piece of fiction I’ve ever written.

That’s a lot of words to put towards something you’re not entirely sure you can pull off. But whatever, I’ve always been a weak plotter and I think this is forcing me to make sure I am careful and meticulous with it. No better way to learn than to do.

And also, I think it’s something I would do even if I knew now that no one would ever be interested in it. It’s a story I feel like I need to get out.

20 comments:

Ciara said...

Epic fantasy with half dozen POV's is a tough job, but I'm sure you can pull it off. Good luck on the short story submissions.

Cherie Reich said...

Good luck with the epic fantasy novel! Yay for writing!

Cindy said...

I'm in the same boat as you, but even worse as I decided not to force myself to blog. I'm only going to blog if I feel a sudden inspiration. But who knows when that will happen. I would rather work on fiction and I can't do both.

The Golden Eagle said...

Good luck with your submissions and your Epic Fantasy novel--it sounds fascinating!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You can pull it off! And you know I will be the first to download it when it hits the market.
Twice a week posting and thirty minutes to comment sounds do-able. Know your limits. I'm trying to write my third and final book and I know I just can't put in the hours blogging that I was earlier.

Tonja said...

I'm sure it will be great. If it's on your mind in front of everything else, you have to write it, right? I'm beginning an epic non-fantasy kind of thing that's so complex I'm going to need to bust out some diagraming tools and maybe a project plan.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

I do most of my blogging when in theory I'm supposed to be working. Also, the scheduling feature is your friend.

Brinda said...

I was on the same beach in the Matrix world. Ah....

That fantasy project sounds very time consuming. It's good that you feel so strongly about it, because it makes me tired and in need of a fruity drink just thinking about it.

Jay Noel said...

We're in the same boat, but you've done much better than me. A-Z just sapped the hell outta me.

And I've been scarce here on the internets...but I haven't been writing. I've been working. Like a dog. Traveling all over the place.

When I do have the time to write, I'm too drained. Hopefully I'll get out of that funk!

Epic Fantasy...now we're talking!

Deborah Walker said...

That sounds pretty great, Rusty. Short stories, novella and novel. You're running the gamut.

Blogging can be time-consuming. Here's my tip, write shorter and more rubbish posts-- it works for me.

M.J. Fifield said...

As a fellow writer of epic fantasy, I know exactly what you mean.

Good luck with it all... and if you do need a reader, feel free to drop me a line.

Susan Roebuck said...

Finding time for everything is hard work - especially when you have an online presence. I'm finding that too. But I'm beginning to think that it's time to concentrate on my WIP too - yours sound fascinating. It'll be a hit!

Jo said...

You authors need to concentrate on your WIPs, but if you don't blog, how are we readers ever to find you? I have discovered several authors, who's books I have now read, through blogging. So don't neglect your blogs entirely.

M Pax said...

I look forward to reading your epic fantasy.

I hear you about finding a better balance. That's the major reason I'm axing one of my blogs. Can't wait. And I'd love to go down to posting 2x a week. When the observatory closes again, I suppose I can get away with that. I carve out a set time every day for blog visiting [except weekends]. I find that helps.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Congratulations on all those short stories! That is a terrific number to have gotten through in just six months! Good luck with finding that balance - and when you figure it out, will you share the secret with me? :)

Nicole said...

I'm a huge epic fantasy fan, so I say go for it! It's a big time investment, but it's so worth it when you have the story you really want to tell. ;)

Stephen Tremp said...

Epic anything is rough. Sounds like its ready for Hollywood with all the POVS. Good luck!

Danette said...

I'm with you on the reality thing. The "real" world is far, far away from my daily life. And I understand the blogging thing. It's hard to have a full time job, family (and all the other chores and responsibility that go with that) and blog. Something will go to the wayside. I've been laying off blogging a bit too and have noticed others have too. The ones who don't are the newbies or the ones who are promoting their books. (which is probably another reason to chill on blogging until there's something to promote)

Briane P said...

I would critique it. I'm not very good at that but I'd give it a shot.

I've slowed down my blogging. It was becoming too much like work, which, interestingly, has become more fun lately and so while work became more like blogging blogging became more like work. Weird. I'm in a weird spot.

Anyway, I only blog because I like it. When it begins to feel like work, that's no fun and so I cut back. So with that, I can say: I hope you don't cut down blogging because your blogging is good, but I understand.

Andrew Leon said...

It sounds like you're doing a lot better than I am with meeting your goals. Wait, I'm not trying to meet your goals, so that's good. You're doing better at meeting yours than I am at meeting mine.

I need a time machine. Not a machine that allows me to time travel but a machine that makes time. Yep, that's what I need.
Now, if I only had a story to go with that idea.