Why A Writing Career Is Like Playing An MMO
In case you missed it, I did a piece for Fantasy-Faction earlier this month where I talk about why a writing a career is a bit like playing a MMO. A lot of people have told me they liked this article so do be sure to check it out!
Five Ideas For Missions For Your Trackables
I’ve not had a lot of time to get out Geocaching these past couple of months, and I’m looking forward to the time when I can start going out caching every weekend again. Still, that hasn’t stopped me doing a new article for GPSTracklog. This time I look at trackables and try and give five good suggestions for ideas for missions for them. If you’re a geocacher, be sure to check it out.
So What’s The Fuss About Scribbleton?
In all the excitement of getting an agent and immersing myself in rewrites, I seem to have forgot to tell everyone about this article I did for Fantasy-Faction talking about the personal wiki software, Scribbleton. If you’re worldbuilding and trying to figure out how to keep track of everything from currencies used to the history of religion in your worlds, it might be worth giving it a try. Be sure to check the article out!
Things have been pretty quiet on the blog in the last month but that’s not because I’ve not been working hard, but because I’ve been focusing on the rewrite.
Whereas previous months have a wide number of projects on the go, I’ve cleared my slate to just focus on Black As Knight. Looking back at my plans for my Year of Hard Work that was always the plan – to be able to scale up and down as needs must.
So for July, other work went to the background as I focused on the novel.
With over 350,000 words written so far this year, I’m having quite a productive year. And as can be seen from some of the success I’ve enjoyed so far, productive writing doesn’t mean bad writing. I recently did an article for the British Science Fiction Association on productive writing and how to implement it. If you’re a member, then you’ll be able to find the article in the Summer 2015 issue of Focus Magazine.
The BSFA provide some excellent resources for writers looking to get published and were certainly a help to me in years gone past, so if you’re not a member, it’s well worth considering joining (and not just for my excellent article!)
In many ways, June was a funny old month. From the perspective of my overall plan for the year, June was to be the month I knuckled back down after May’s storm chasing adventures. My slow April had enforced that even more. June was the time to launch myself into a new writing project and start doing some insane first draft word count again.
But then everything changed in May.
So I realise that I’ve been very quiet since coming back from storm chasing. Those who have somehow missed the “worst kept secret of 2015” have asked me if I’ve “stopped the writing thing”. No, the reason I’ve been quiet is because a LOT has been happening behind the scenes these past couple of months.
I’m happy to say I now have an agent… and an exceptional agent at that.
Caitlin Blasdell of Liza Dawson Associates has an amazing industry record and I would have rated her well within the top 5 genre agents in the world even if she’d rejected me. She represents Brian McClellan and Charlie Stross amongst others and I still can’t believe that she now represents me. I honestly cannot express into words just how stunned I am.
I’ve been trying to draft everything that’s happened into a single blog post, but I think they’re better being split out into separate articles. I’ll do one on my agent process and what worked for me (it’s a little boring so don’t expect any real insight, but I know I read a lot of similar blog posts by other authors and they helped even if just reinforcing what I already knew). I’ll also do one about the experience and the excitement surrounding it (because I sound slightly deranged in it but it’s a happy post that is the written equivalent of me having to breath into a paper bag whilst hyperventilating). Look for those over the next couple of weeks.
So for now, let me just say that I’m hard at work on doing rewrites on Black As Knight. The editorial feedback she gave me was so incredibly helpful and as much as I loved the book before, this rewritten version is going to be incredible. Progress is a little slower than my first drafts but I’m still a good 20-30,000 words into the rewrite.
As you can imagine, I’m very, very excited about the future (I’ve had to level up my aspirations as a writer many, many levels over the past couple of weeks) but after a few weeks of bouncing around with glee, I’m knuckling down and getting the work done.
Working hard is what got me here, and that’s what will carry me on. And the end of the day, whilst I’m enjoying the journey it’s not at the expense of getting stuff done.
So I’m aware I’ve been incredibly quiet since coming back from storm chasing. We’re nearly half way through the month and I’ve not posted an update in nearly two weeks.
Whilst it’s true to say I haven’t done a lot of writing, I have been really busy. There’s been some huge things going on in the background over the last month that you’ll all hear about in good time. And I do mean truly huge! I can hardly contain my excitement.
It’s meant that I’ve had to completely re-jig my schedule and prioritise some other work. But that’s fine, my approach to the Year of Hard Work was always that if something came along I could rejig and reprioritise without everything falling apart. Looks like that’s now going to be put to the test!
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks dealing with the business side of writing and I’m sure I’ll have a blog post or two on that when the time is appropriate. I’ve also been doing a LOT of outlining as well (Project Ultron). And remembering something I read in a Neil Gaiman interview I read once… I’m taking a bit of time to enjoy the journey.
But it’s now time to knuckle back down and return to the word mines. However, far from being a grim prospect I’m actually eager to jump back in and get to work. The first six months of this year have been hard work, it looks like the next six months are going to be even harder.
Bring it on!
I feel like I’ve been very lax lately. Just writing this blog post feels like a lot of work. I worked hard until Easter and then found myself treading water until I went Storm Chasing in May. Of course, this meant that May has effectively been my month off – I can count the number of words I’ve written over the last month in the low thousands.
Truth is, a break from the word count was healthy, and just because I wasn’t writing a lot of new words didn’t mean I wasn’t working. There’s been a lot of the business side to writing going on in the background. One of the things I hope my processes allow is for me to adapt quickly if something comes along. This is going to be put to the test in the coming month as a previously unexpected piece of urgent work has come up (I’m calling it Project Ultron because I found out about it as I was leaving the cinema after seeing the latest Avengers movie) and it means I need to shift things around. It’s a spanner in the works, but a really good spanner and I’m excited to see how well my processes can adapt to these sorts of things. As an added bonus, it should mean a lot of work count!
Fantasy-Faction Article On Writing Journal App
Catching up on things that happened whilst I was away, I see my article on the Writing Journal App was published by Fantasy-Faction whilst I was away.
I swear by this software and credit it for helping me get so much work done, so be sure to check out the article!