You’re not a writer if you don’t write

The title of this blog post isn’t pointing fingers at anyone but myself. To say that I’ve been “bad” at setting aside time for writing over the past couple of months would be an egregious understatement. Truth be told, I’ve hardly written a single word of anything for the past several weeks, and the fault lies entirely with me.

Thankfully, I’ve been much better about working on WordKeeperAlpha on the weekends, and I’m getting ever closer to that big update that I’ve been promising for quite a while. Soon as I get all the little fiddle bits working, a few bugs ironed out and verify some security questions that I have, users will get a brand new interface for working with goals and projects, have more graphing options and should get a faster experience all around. Its still a few weeks out, but it is coming soon.

As to my writing, my lack of progress is due largely to my inability to step away from my video games for any measurable length of time. The main culprit is Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but I’m sure that Persona 5 is quickly going to start claiming more and more of my brain space. This is on top of my normally scheduled gaming time … and that leads me here. Silence on the blog for well over a month and nothing measurable to show since the start of the year.

This, my friends, will not stand. I’ve got two active projects right now, both of which could be finished and left to cool for a little while if I’d just finish them out. While I still don’t think that Impervious is right to send to publishers, due mostly to its size and my inexperience as an author, my second project, still lacking a title might serve as a nice jumping off point to get me an agent and publisher.

To that end, I’m going to be starting a strict “No writing, no gaming” policy. If I don’t hit a minimum number of words on any given day, I don’t get to save highrule and / or capture demon’s in Tokyo. That starts today, here and now. I’m going to focus on finishing my unnamed project, then smash the ending of Impervious to paste. My goal for this month is 10,000 words, to start off small, build up the habit of writing every day, and then ramp it up as the year goes on.

I may not sell a book this year, or self-publish one, but I certainly intend to finish two books and get a start on a third. My goal, at this point is to produce something that will get me representation by an agent as a first step to getting published. I’ve got several projects that will serve that purpose, and those that don’t work I’m completely open to self-publishing. Still, none of that happens if I don’t write. So, this month, the goal is 10,000 words. That’s about 500 words per day, every day, for the rest of the month. Wish me luck!

There’s only one real rule to being an author. Writers write. Its high time I got back to work.


February Update

Well. So, 2017 is certainly starting off interesting. I'll save the politics for a specific post sometime. I imagine that most of you who keep up with me in the real world and online know my political leanings, so it won't surprise anyone to know that I'm not enjoying the new regime.

Now, I'd love to be able to blame my lack of writing progress on that, and there might even be some credit to that, but it feels a bit like a cop out. I mean, not everything bad that happens can be blamed on Trump. Doesn't mean I can't try.

That being said, work on Impervious is progressing, though I have to say, I've been a little less enthusiastic about the project since I discovered I'd have a next to impossible time selling it, no matter how good the finished version turns out. Also, its becoming increasingly obvious that its going to need another fairly substantial edit, with a significant amount of world building going into the next draft. I'm having a hard time figuring out if shelving it until my career is at a point where I could have a shot at publishing it is the right move or just cowardice.

It's a good story, I like it…but the ending just isn't giving me the punch that I want. I'm sure that my author friends can relate to those feelings.

While all this is going on in my head, I stumbled back upon my NaNoWriMo project from 2014, a first-person urban fantasy about a novice vampire. Its nerdy, its fun, and (in my opinion) a surprisingly well written first draft. I spent the last week just reading it, wondering how in the world I'd forgotten about it. The project doesn't have a name right now, but I'm leaning toward punching out an ending to the first draft, then smashing out a second draft.

It would be a shorter novel, but something that would be much easier to shop around to agents and editors, or if that doesn't work, something much easier to toss together into an eBook and put up on Amazon to start a little self-published series. You'll undoubtedly hear me talking more about this in the next couple months, because I'm itching to do something with it.

I'm also going to be working on an Edge of December light novel: something the size of a novella that Glenn would then add illustrations to. Like last year, my New Years Resolution is simply to write more than I did last year. So far, that isn't working out so well, but I think if I focus on some smaller projects, things I can get done quicker and not get burned out on, I'll have a decent shot at increasing that word count.

I'm also regularly working on WordKeeperAlpha again. I know that progress on that hasn't been anywhere near as fast as it should be, but the features I'm working on are turning out to be bigger than expected. Still, they'll be worth waiting for. I've got a big update coming soon for Goals and Projects, and then I'll do some minor tweaks to the front page and a couple more small upgrades that I've been meaning to get to.

I've been promising social functions for a while now, and I'm still going to do them, but they might have to wait for version 3.0, which I'm planning to get to next year to really get going. Sadly, I've only got so much time in any given day, and its just really hard to fit in writing and working on WKA. Progress will continue…just slower than I'd like. For the most part I'm working on WKA on the weekends while I write during the week. At least that's what the plan is. We'll see if I can stick to it.

That's about it for me. My goal for the rest of the month is to average 500 words a night for the month of February. Right now, I'm not doing all that well toward that goal, so I'll have to kick it up a notch or two over the next few weeks. I'll check in with you guys in March and let you know how I did. Give me a poke on social media and let me know that you've got your eye on me.


WorldCon and Inkshares

Oif. It’s been a busy couple of months here in the Swanson household. First, with the initial excitement of the Inkshares fantasy contest, then with the even bigger excitement of my first WorldCon. Both of these endeavors were stabs at kickstarting my writing career…and neither has gone off quite as well as I hoped it would. Granted, both were longshots. Still, its important to admit one’s defeats and move onto the next phase. Not only that, but both were valuable learning experiences.

WorldCon

MidAmericon II was an absolute blast. Sure, I went in all starry eyed thinking that I just might run into an editor who would want to hear the elevator pitch for Impervious, or just make some contacts in the industry. Don’t get me wrong. I met some awesome people, and met some excellent authors. Just no magical happenstance that put let me break straigh into the publishing industry. And really, I never expected that to happen.

What I did do was attend every panel that I could squeeze into my schedule without starving myself and dropping dead from exhaustion. I learned a ton of things that I didn’t know before. I attended a couple panels with agents and editors that will give me a big leg up when I’m ready to start shopping Impervious around in a draft or two. I attended a writing workshop that gave a rather staggering blow to my ego, but I have managed to recover from that.

WorldCon definitely put a lot of things in perspective, especially if I’m going to try and make a career out of this writing thing. I’m going to have to do more, be better and probably write a bunch more books a lot faster than I’m writing now. How I’m going to do that, I’m not sure…

Inkshares Contest

After a strong start in the first day, Impervious quickly fell off the top slots. I’ve gained a lot of followers over the course of the contest, but haven’t sold anywhere near the amount of books I’d need to win it, or to achieve the lower of the Inkshares goals that would get me an eBook. Granted, the contest still has thirty days to go, but unless Neil Gaiman or Brandon Sanderson points at my book and says make this happen, it isn’t going to happen on Inkshares.

And really, this isn’t the worst thing that could have happened. While I didn’t learn as much about this contest as I did from WorldCon, I have discovered one thing. I don’t want to go the Indie publishing route. It was fun for exactly one week, before I got tired of trying to think up interesting updates. And I have no desire whatsoever to email people individually to ask them to buy my book. Ugh… No…I have no stomach for doing my own marketing. This is something that I will gladly have some one else do on my behalf. Traditional publishing my be a harder road to walk…but I think its going to be the one that sees me writing more book and not tossing my hands up in frustration, trying to constantly drive people to my book listing on Amazon.com.

If you’re reading this and you’ve already pre-ordered a book, don’t worry. Inkshares will refund your money, probably in the first week of November. If you haven’t pre-ordered Impervious yet, and are wondering if you should…wait a bit. There probably won’t be another Inkshares contest in my future, but there will be other ways to support Impervious coming soon enough.

To everyone who pre-ordered. I can’t thank you enough. Your support has been awesome and even though it won’t be coming through Inkshares, Impervious will be in your hands soon…ish. Which will bring me right into my next blog entry which is going to be all about Impervious. Stay tuned! It’ll be coming soon.

(I promise. I wrote it as part of this blog entry but that just made this way too long and I like you guys. … Most of you guys. … … Yeah, most of you guys. And nobody wants to read THAT much on a book I haven’t completely finished yet.)


I need your help to publish Impervious!

This is something of a flash update, since I’m still busily finishing the second draft of Impervious. Thankfully, that’s coming right along and I’m nearing completion on it. I’m going to finish chapter 38 tonight or tomorrow, then keep on pushing right through till WorldCon.

The real reason for this post though, is that Inkshares finally started their Fantasy contest with partner Geek & Sundry (purveyor of fine geeky goods). Going with the theory that you miss one hundred percent of the opportunities you don’t take, I’m throwing Impervious’ metaphorical hat in the ring! Continue reading…


WorldCon or bust!

Heya folks. I’ve been a little lax in posting last month. This is mostly by design, since I’m in the middle of a two month push to finish the second draft of Impervious.

I’m doing pretty good so far. I’ve gotten about five more chapters finished, with an unknown number left. But I’m coming up on the end, which means the action is really kicking in. I get to finally cut loose with all the characters and plenty of folk are gonna die before the end.

<manniacle laughter>Mwahahahahahahaha!</manniacle laughter>

Continue reading…