3 Things that are Going On: a Mid-Month Update

So far, my decision to keep this blog updated and refreshed with “content” has seemed to be a good one. I’ve more or less held to my schedule (despite having not posted at all last week) and I have made some decent progress on a few projects.

So what’s going on?

  1. I am frustratingly close to the end of my novel’s first draft. The last chapter, it seems, is the most difficult to write. I suppose that’s what happens when you get to the end of your outline and realize that the ending you had in mind is, well, lame. So it goes. I’ve got the thing figured out and am confident that the changes I’m making are to the benefit of the larger work. That said, once I’ve squeezed the conclusion of the first draft out of my brain, I’ll have to begin revising so that it will make sense to anyone but myself. I think it was Stephen King who said that first drafts are never to be read by anyone but the author. If it was, he was right on.
  2. I’m playing around with writing more nonfiction. Essays, reviews, that sort of thing. It’s not something I generally do a lot of (outside of school, that is) and a blog feels like the right platform for that sort of thing. Just an occasionally examination of whatever is on my mind at the time. It’s fun and, if nothing else, it will keep me in the habit of exercising my writing muscles.
  3. Lastly, and not really writing related, I’m trying to quitting smoking. barely 24 hours have elapsed since my last cigarette but I’m already noticing some changes. First of all, I don’t have cigarettes breaks to distract me away from writing. Just last night, instead of sitting on the back porch and chain-smoking until 1am, I wrote a solid 1300 words or so of my novel. It hadn’t occurred to me how much as I’d been leaning on cigarettes as a means of procrastination! Second, I got a decent night’s sleep and woke up before my wife. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I’ll take it. Third, and most noticeable, I didn’t start the day by hacking a huge blob of phlegm into the bathroom sink. Sure it’s gross, so is smoking though.

In conclusion, I’m writing stuff. Be safe out there kids and be nice.

HINDSIGHT 2020 Or: how I learned to stop worrying and enjoy the process

Four years ago I started this blog. A few months after that, it was abandoned. Why? Because I was using it to promote a creative works for which – in all honesty – I no longer cared. But here I am. Four years later and giving it another go.

What’s changed? Mostly, everything.

I used to draw comics.

That’s a tough thing to say. I mean, yeah, its true. But putting it in the past tense like that, admitting that it’s something that I no longer do. Its tough.

Thing is, I love comics. I do. It’s a fantastic medium and when I first started making them I had a blast. I met a lot of really cool fellow-comic-makers and had some amazing friendships come out of it. But a time came when I no longer got any pleasure from the act of making them. I still draw here and there. I even paint occasionally. But sitting down, committing to the endless hours required to churn out a comic sounds like a living nightmare.

When I started this blog four years ago, I was spending far too much of my time going through the motions of a person who aspired to be a “real” comics artist. Then, I quit. It wasn’t a conscious decision to quit; I just stopped.

But my passion to create never abated. I continued making notes for stories. I wrote scripts. A short story here and there. An outline or two.

Then one day while cleaning out my closet, I found a manuscript I’d written for NaNoWriMo way way back in 2008. I read it.

It sucked.

But thing was, I realized, I had enjoyed writing it and prospect of rewriting it filled me not with dread but excitement.

Oh shit, I thought, am I a writer? Maybe not a great writer. Maybe not even a good one. But I’ll be goddamned if I don’t enjoy it.

So, since finding that old manuscript, I’ve written a novella and now I’m 60k words into a novel.

So here I go, writing.