On this April Fools’ Day, I will be taking a break from reading social media, but I guess that doesn’t mean I can’t post my own stuff. (No April Fools’ jokes here.)
I feel like I make a lot of plans for the future on this blog (when I actually post), and they don’t always come to pass, so now I’m focusing on the present. Time to report on what I have done and what I’m doing and not what I plan to do one day.
I’m finishing up the first draft of my sex magic romance novel. I’ve also been rewriting the first 40,000 words. My short 60,000 word romance novel looks like it is going to be closer to 80,000 words. I’m not sure how long I’ve been working on this one, but it’s a lot longer than I was planning.
I’m rewriting The Forgiving to release it as a paperback. I have no idea how long this will take, but I’m not going to rush it. I’m not going for any major changes, but there are a few parts I’m not satisfied with and I want improved before the book is in print.
I’m in the process of learning how to make comics. This includes doing the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook and going through Drawing Words and Writing Pictures. I’ve also written a four page comic for a contest. A novice artist is drawing the art.
I’m reading drastically more books. Most of these are romance novels and Image comic books. Some romance recommendations: Rattlesnake, The Lightning-Struck Heart, and Erica’s Choice. Some comic recommendations: Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars and Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine.
I’m in the middle of American Gods.
That’s me right now. I hope I have more to update you on soon.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Four months have passed since I last posted, so this is a bit like starting over.
Welcome to Self Write.
I’m not sure why today is the day for new beginnings, but here I am, bursting with new ideas and aspirations. It could have something to do with the fact I’m writing a romance novel, Lake Arcadia. Or it could be that my only romantic relationship is with my writing.
Art is a worthy lover.
While the writing is going well, Lake Arcadia probably won’t be finished and ready for publication until next year. I’ll be doing some other things in addition to writing in the meantime.
I have a new ten-year goal (I’m thinking long term here). I would like to write and illustrate a graphic novel. This will require skills I don’t currently have. My plan is to start with the basics.
This is Year One. Year One involves a lot of reading, writing, and drawing.
I’ve upped my reading goal to a 100 books this year. This includes reading a lot of comics, but I’m also just reading more in general.
Writers read and I just haven’t done enough reading in my life, especially since I like to write in multiple genres. If I want to write romance, I need to have read more romance novels. I have a sci-fi novel planned, and a fantasy novel, and all sorts of crazy stuff in the works, but I need a stronger foundation if I want to create amazing work people fall in love with.
Blowing past 100 books should be easy, even though I only read 51 books last year. This year, I’ve already read 23 books. I’m 11 books ahead of schedule already.
Today, I start my drawing practice in earnest. I’m starting with the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook, which arrives in the mail today. I’ll make regular posts on my progress.
Reading more, writing more, and drawing more will give me more to post about on this blog. I’m getting older and my skills just aren’t where I’d like them to be. I’ve done a lot of writing, and now it’s time to come at my craft from some new angles.
I don’t just want to be good. I want to be amazing. Amazing takes an obsessive amount of work. This blog will show the work.
I do not live in a bubble. Do you know how? I have a secret.
There are news sources and rebel academics that actually talk about factual reality. I know, I know, crazy. The world isn’t just opinion. And yes, there is bias in everything, but investigative journalism still exists. There are still some intellectuals independent from the capitalistic system. Science is a real thing, and in many ways (though limited) the world is observable and knowable. This includes the social sciences.
I don’t need my social group to reaffirm my reality. Facebook and Twitter are nice for camaraderie, but even though I surround myself with people I agree with and like, the confirmation bubble is always popped because I still have a mainline to the real world.
I have opinions, and they form and they change because I keep encountering facts. I seek out scientists, artists, academics, activists, and journalists with integrity. We don’t need to seek out biased, opposite opinions to balance out our own; we need to keep searching for and paying attention to the truth.
For National Novel Writing Month I’m trying to finish writing the queer romance novel I’ve been working on. The plan was to write it as quickly as possible, but that didn’t happen. I’m not sure why I failed, but I’m trying to fix that with #NaNoWriMo2016.
A ton of reading is another goal on my list this month. I was planning on reading 75 books this year and I’m at 48. Even if I finish the ten or so books I’m currently in the middle of, I’ll still be way behind. Time to read some quick picture books or something.
Last year my goal was 50 books and I barely made it, so 48 so far this year isn’t that bad. I can’t believe I only have two months left.
Two amazing books I’ve read already are
I hope you have a good month of reading and writing.
I’m still trying to figure out the official release of Brief Pose. To be honest, I’m not trying very hard. I’ll get around to it.
I have some vague ideas: There will be some kind of discount at Amazon timed with the release. I need some reviews before the big day. The sales copy still isn’t finalized, so that needs rewritten. Some feedback on that would help. I also need to write something for the mailing list.
You write on a book until you’re sick of it, until you couldn’t possibly look at it anymore, and then it’s time to get hyped about it and try to sell it to everyone. It’s a bit counter-intuitive.
Brief Pose is amazing. I worked on it for eight years. That’s a lot of my life. I need a little rest before I market it. That seems fair, right?
You can already buy Brief Pose HERE.
Why does writing make me feel good?
I don’t have an answer to this question.
I know very little about writing. The more I write, the more I know this to be true.
Writing doesn’t make me feel good because I’m good at it. Writing hasn’t brought me fame or fortune. So what is it?
One truth I’ve found is that the older I get, the more I depend on writing to feel whole. If I don’t write, I don’t feel well.
For a while, I tried to ignore this correlation.
Mentally, I get cranky and short tempered. It’s like being without coffee in the morning for a caffeine addict.
If I don’t write for extended periods of time, this is followed by a general depression. When I feel like this, I don’t feel like writing, even though writing is the only thing that will bring me out of these dark feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Physically, I get sick too. My immune system becomes compromised. I used to think that when I get sick, I don’t write, but now I realize, most of the time, it’s the other way around.
Even a little bit of writing can stave off these negative effects.
In contrast, if I write, I get a mellow high. I feel at peace. How I see myself and my actual self are in agreement. When I’m not writing, I’m not a writer. But when I’m writing, everything is right with the world.
Not all stages of writing are like this. Copy editing can be tedious, and not knowing what could make something better can be frustrating. Every so often I can be attacked by self-doubt, but mostly writing is a mellow bliss, creativity pouring onto a page, punctuated with thrilling realizations and moments of synchronicity.
It’s almost always a challenge, often a challenge beyond my capabilities, but while I’m doing it, while I’m playing with words and imaginary people, I never feel like I should be doing something else.
Writing is a drug. It may be some kind of sickness. I’m a writer, and there is no way for me to stop, not if I want to stay sane and healthy.
My new book is Brief Pose. You can read a sample HERE.