FenCon!!

Went to FenCon this weekend and met soooooo many people. Pardon me, I am part geek, I’m not good at keeping lists of them — but everyone (really everyone) was so nice. It was a blast to be there. Among the many great folks:
– The usual suspects (you guys should know who you are!)
– Chris of Books-a-million (who gave awesome insight into the state of libraries and book stores and what people are expecting to happen next, technologically)
– Felicia of Geeky Blogger Fame, and crew.
– Lou Anders (nice enough to talk to me for about 20 minutes on the state of Epic and Low Fantasy, thanks Lou!)
– Toni Weisskopf (publisher of Baen Books, who graciously allowed me to ramble on and on about completely unimportant things)
– And a whole host of new people who I am still sorting through business cards for, and will be catching up with shortly.

Accountability – Trifecta

Accountability details.
1) Writing: +1000 more words on that shortstory I am rewriting from scratch. It’s going pretty well, really. It’s a funny little story, all I can hope is it makes people laugh. I like it.
2) Kung Fu: Did Yang Taiji 24 today, and Xingyi Wu Xing Lian Huan (Xingyi 5 Element Linking Form). Not much, but some!
3) Guitar: Played the stuff I normally play. I really only have two songs.

Trifecta complete.

Writing Again

I’ve been writing again, +1000 words Thursday, +1250 words today (Friday). Rewriting an trunked short story that was more summary than action. originally it was only 2,000 words long, now it looks like it may hit 4k or 6k.

No trifectas recently. To be honest, I’m not sure that since the baby there is time to do trifectas anymore. Two things per day I could fit in — but three? Man, it will be hard. We will see.

Still, I intend to keep the posts up for personal accountability more than anything, but right now it looks like there won’t be any more writing until Sunday (or even Monday) at the earliest.

Paul Jessup’s Weekend Novel-A-Thon

Ever wondered how the words get written, the magic gets summoned, the real heart of a book gets made? Here’s your chance.

One of my favorite writers of the strange and surreal, Paul Jessup, is going to a weekend-novel-a-thon. This weekend (and the two days prior), he will crank out a whole novel — that’s 40-50 THOUSAND words. That’s a LOT, ladies and gentlemen.

…But wait, there’s more.

He will also blog about it as he writes it! You will be able to follow along, near-live, as he spins a novel whole-cloth from his head. And, better yet, you can vote on the title.

More info, here:
http://pauljessup.com/2011/07/26/my-weekend-novel-a-thon/

Go Jessup go!

What to do when you’re tired and discouraged

So maybe you’ve been plugging away at short stories for a while and nothing seems to work. Or maybe you’ve got a novel that never seems to end. Or maybe you’ve got something done, but you just can’t seem to sell it. Maybe you’ve got several novels sold, but you’re starting to hate what you write.

What do you do when you’re starting to give up hope, when th e world and deadlines and everything else starts crowding in?

There’re three major options:

1) Keep on plugging away, with bloody minded determination. This is the standard solution if you want to be published, and I highly recommend you try it sometime if you haven’t. Sometimes putting your blinders on and doing what has to be done is the only way to get where you want to go.

2) Give up. This is the most common response. There’s no shame to it — “Writing ain’t for everyone,” as the saying goes here in Texas. (But giving up is not what this journal is about!)

3) The middle road: Retreat to your sacred space. Take the pressure off. Let your bliss return, so it feels less like a job. The danger here is that you’ll never come back, but to lessen that danger, lay some ground rules — you don’t have to write in your sacred space, but you can’t go internet surfing either. Make a short list of acceptable behaviors (reading certain books, studying certain subjects, writing poetry, staring insensate at the wall/plants/traffic, meditation, taking a nap/sleeping). You’ll probably find that you resort to a lot of staring — this is because a lot of burnout comes from stress and exhaustion. Your mind probably just needs to rest and heal.

Whatever you choose to do, make peace with yourself. You’ve chosen that option, and you’re going to give a shot no matter what. Promise yourself 10 days of trying before you move on to something else.

Writing in the spare moments

This is the secret to fitting writing in: Write in your spare moments, especially if you have “spare” moments that occur the same time every day — a smoke break, lunch, etc. Some folks even write during their 2-5 mins in the restroom each day (I don’t do this, and nor do I particularly recommend it — this is just an example of how far you can go).

Make space for writing in your life, and keep going to that space every day. Joseph Campbell called this your “sacred space”. I use it for writing, but he meant it to be your personal time for anything — your withdrawing from the world time, where the world cannot touch you.

He also said that at first it may not seem like much is happening, but if you build your sacred space — and you keep going there — eventually something will happen. You will find your center, and from there, your bliss.

In my opinion, if writing is your bliss, you will write.