Tag Archives: Personal

Where Do I Focus?

I’m thinking about taking on a new project.

I have this thought at least a couple of times a week.  99% of the time I tend to dismiss these thoughts, reminding myself that I want to focus on a couple of things, rather than dabbling in everything.  When I started this blog a few months ago I was trying to draft new material for one book, revise two others, search for literary agents, write query letters, all while reading and writing short fiction and this blog. The first casualty was the new book, then one of the revisions, the agent search, the reading and the short story writing until I’ve winnowed it down to revising one book and blogging.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Trying to switch between narratives of three different novels was getting confusing, and the agent search is still something I’m doing from time to time. The blog affords me the opportunity to write on a variety of subjects, and even try out some short stories while getting useful feedback. And it integrates well into my life remaining (for most posts) confined to the hour I spend every lunch writing it.

But I am always thinking of new ideas, or revisiting old ones.

Sometimes I can integrate a new project into an existing one. Before I started this blog I had been giving some serious thought to starting a blog on one of my favorite hobbies, getting old games to work in new systems. I would call this blog AGFV or “A Game Forever Voyaging”, an allusion to the famous Infocom game “A Mind Forever Voyaging”. Knowing a little better now the amount of energy that goes into maintaining one blog, it’s unrealistic for me to try to do two and continue to revise. But that doesn’t mean I can’t stop from time to time to cover the topic here. Starting tomorrow and recurring every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month I’ll cover either a game, an emulator, or something else relating to old PC games (hope you’ll enjoy).

But sometimes you have to choose.

I’m thinking about a non-fiction book project, one that might take me (and possibly a collaborator) 5-6 months to complete. It would involve programming, research, and learning more about eBook publishing formats, all good things to know for my eventual fiction publishing goals. For reasons I’ll get into another time, this moment seems like a better moment than others to work on this project, but it will mean my novel revision schedule will slow down considerably or grind to a halt.

I’ve been working for about 4 months revising my latest novel and have (for the most part) been enjoying that process. I just recently started typing in my hand revisions and even have the first chapter in Kindle format as a bit of a reward to myself. I don’t really want to stop, but I’m excited about the prospects this new project might have, both for expanding an audience, and for filling a void that I think someone should address.

For the moment I’m not sure what I’ll do. Maybe this’ll be like the other 99% of my ideas, but maybe not. I’m praying about it, and in the meantime trying to get work done on the things I know I need to do. There are moments in all of our lives where we have the opportunity to stop what we’re doing and do something else, whether it’s changing jobs or deciding to exercise, or pursuing an interest. Sometimes we’re right where we should be, and other times we need to take a detour to get where we’re going.

If I figure it out, I’ll let you know. Thanks for riding along with me!

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Filed under Internal Debate 42, Writing

When Should I Talk About Writing?

I used to have a rule about when I was allowed to talk about writing. If I had not worked on my book in the last 24 hours I could not talk about it. It didn’t matter whether it was drafting new material, or revising as long as I had been working on the book. The idea behind this was two-fold. One was to motivate me to actually do work on the book, since I love talking about it, and two was to limit the amount of times I was bombarding others.

We all want to talk about our passions, even when we know that those around us do not care. Actually, it’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they don’t want to dicuss the subject as often or in as great of detail as we would if given the opportunity.

I especially have a tendency to voice every little idea I have in my head, usually to my wife. I do like to have a sounding board, and there are times when these interactions are great, but you have to pick your moment. Sometimes I sit on an idea for a while, just to make sure it wasn’t a flight of fancy, before really getting into it with someone else.

I thought for a while that the blog would be helpful in this regard, and sometimes it is. It’s a great proving ground for ideas and stories, and for a while I thought that it would slake my thirst for talking about writing all the time. It’s actually had much the opposite effect, I end up talking about the blog and the writing constantly. Talking with fellow writers also has the same effect. The more you talk about something, the more you want to talk about it with others.

My rule worked for when writing was something I did from time to time, but since I’ve made it my daily business, I need a new rule (and probably one for talking about computers as well).

Maybe I need to be a little more deliberate, choose specific times and places, instead of while my wife is cooking dinner. It’s not wrong to be excited, to be passionate. In fact some people even find these qualities attractive. But there is a difference between being passionate and yammering on about something. Maybe instead of talking so much, some doing is necessary.


Filed under Writing