Of late, I have wondered why I maintain this blog. Short of a few dedicated souls (I DO appreciate your comments/likes!) This doesn’t get much traffic or interaction. I’m not overly concerned with “building a platform”. Write an awesome book and the fans will come.
In the short term, my goal is to have this novel wrapped up before the start of GenCon. That gives me 8 days and I think that is achievable.
Just a quick status update. Writing is flowing onto the page lately. I’m ~12K words over my current goal for the year. I’m roughly a chapter or two from the end of the current novel. I’m planning the next novel. It will be a change of gears to a science fiction (space opera) story. I’m ready for a little break from fantasy. Yeah, it’s going well. I love doing this.
Yoda: Do or do not. There is no try.
Yoda gives Luke this advice as he is training to become a Jedi on Dagobah. All Luke can see is how hard everything is, how impossible it all sounds.
Luke is defeating himself, quitting before he has a chance to really succeed.
Writing is much the same. If you have decided that writing is impossible, you will never even start. If you decide that you don’t have time to write, you will never find the time to write.
Each of us has the same 24 hours to work with. Even carving out a half an hour out of the day will, in time, see a novel in your hands. It may not even be a good novel. Write the next novel. And the next.
Luke: I don’t believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail
Don’t let yourself fail. Keep writing.
There is a lot of writing advice out there. Pros and non-pros alike, with advice from every angle. Some of it is even good advice. What’s the best advice?
All other is extraneous. Writing advice is also highly individualized. What works for one person may not work for the next. It’s like Neo, you can’t be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.
Writing is much the same. Knowing about novel structure or character development is all well and good. Until you actually sit down to write, you won’t really know what works for you and what doesn’t. That doesn’t mean there is no good writing advice to read. Just temper all the writing advice you read with your own perspective.
So swallow the red pill and keep writing.
Terry Brooks is easily one of my earliest influences in the Fantasy genre. I spent much of 6th grade reading through everything I could find in our library and I’ve continued to read his work over the years. I wrote him a letter during middle school which he personally responded to.
(The earliest influence was Tamora Pierce.)
There are definitely times when I wonder if I’m wasting time writing fantasy. The field is quite saturated. I read something like Rothfuss and have to wonder if my writing will ever be at this level.
But fantasy is what I love. Even when I write SF, there are usually fantastical elements to the story. Fortunately fantasy readers are voracious readers, too. They will devour books they enjoy in a matter of days while these massive books take years to write and publish. There is always room for more. I just need to keep writing to get up to their level.
So here is a TedX talk that Terry did on why he writes about elves. It was grea to hear him talk about this and I couldn’t agree more.
I need to do a better job of mainting this blog. Put some actual content here rather than just letting it rot. So Monday posts are my goal from here on out.
I was about 20 minutes into my workout today when my mind started giving me perfectly valid reasons to quit.
It was a busy day at the new job.
I ate pretty good today. (Well, the first half of the day at least.)
I already worked up a good sweat/burned a good chunk of calories.
Was it time to quit, though? No, I still had another 15 minutes to go. I pushed myself to keep going and instead ended up burning the most calories I’ve done in a single workout.
The same applies for writing (or any other task that is hard). I sit down to write and my brain starts finding all this other stuff I could be doing.
Weren’t there some blogs I wanted to read?
Man today was busy at work, I’m fried.
I bet there was a new g+ post in the last 30 seconds.
Wait, I could write a blog post. That counts as writing, doesn’t it? (Worry not, I finished my writing goals today before I wrote this.)
I’m this close to getting the next level in Super Awesome Fantasy Game!
All these are just excuses for me to not write. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, there was no quick path to publishing. Some days would be better than others. Still I have to tell that doubting part of my mind to get out of the drivers seat. Today is the day I write. And the next day. And the next. Until I have a novel sitting here before me.
Oh, and unplugging the internet doesn’t hurt either.
Maybe I’m just really tired. Not sure. Writing just isn’t coming tonight. I already met my goal for the day, but I thought I’d throw a few more words on the novel. Then I thought, ‘Hey, I haven’t updated my blog in a while’, and here we are.
Two weeks ago I finished editing the first draft of my novel. I have a few gaps I need to fill, some parts that need expanded on, but otherwise I feel like it’s pretty good work.
My wife and I just got back from Seattle where we celebrated our 10th anniversary. It was a fantastic time. We saw a lot of cool stuff and generally had a great time. I hope to go back soon.
Other than that, life is happening. All the time.