Some post-wedding prioritisation

Well, it’s a week later and I’m still married, which speaks volumes as to the patience of my new wife.

And a busy week it’s been, as we’ve taken our American houseguests on excursions, shuttled back and forth between the airport, unwrapped far too many presents and drunk the last of the special wedding beer we commissioned for our guests. (They got most of it, okay?)

In particular, it’s been far too busy a week to write, especially since there was someone sleeping in my study. And, let’s be honest, it’s been hard to write, or to think about writing, with the excitement and stress and work involved in the lead-up to the wedding. But that’s done now, and in the wake of perhaps the most significant thing I’ve ever done, I’ve got a renewed determination to get stuck into my writing projects and to finish some of them for fuck’s sake.

So tonight, let’s go through a bit of a to-do list, because I know how exciting that must be for you, my loyal fans and friends, to read and consider. These are too early for New Year’s resolutions, and as we all know those exist solely to be broken before the bedstains dry on the first of January; I’m taking these seriously, and I encourage people to call me a slack bastard at those times when I ignore writing for trivial things like having fun, spending time with my wife or going to my day job in order to pay the rent.

Arcadia: Languishing for too long in a half-finished – alright, only-barely-started – state, my number one priority is to regain my focus and momentum for this novel. I’ve written already about how the lack of a strong premise has made it tough going at times, and I’ve been stewing on that for a while, trying to pin down more concepts before getting back to writing. But you know what? Fuck stew. It’s oily and full of carbs. Momentum is a whole lot more important than polish and clarity of vision in a first draft; all that really matters in a first draft is writing some fucking words. So I’m just going to dive back into this and write without angsting about it too much, and if that means I produce a draft that’s uneven and full of notes like WRITE 200 WORDS OF SOMETHING HEARTWARMING YET UNCOMFORTABLE HERE, that’s still better than a blank page. Anyway, here’s the current progress marker; let’s see if we can push that up to the 30K mark in the next month or two.

The Obiutarist: The new novella that I spoke about two weeks ago is underway, and I have a pretty good idea in my head for half of its contents. The other half… well, still working on that, but I can do more to work that out while writing from what I already know. The themes, the premise, the character voice and the other stylistic elements are strong in my head – things are always strong in my head – and I’ve got someone to talk to about the ins and outs of identify theft. Plus, you know, I’ve actually written a bit. A little bit. So while Arcadia gets first dibs, I’m still planning to devote some time every week to this one. Especially since my deadline for a finished, publishable version of this is quite a bit closer; I’d like to have that out by January. So I’ll be juggling these two projects back-and-forth in a hopefully-amusing fashion for a while, and we’ll see which one falls to the floor first and cracks open like a raw egg filled with poodle blood.

Other writing: Do I have time for other writing? Christ, probably not, but I have a couple of ideas for new short stories that I’d really like to work on. They’re cool. So if everything else works, the heavens align, the good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, I should have a few things ready early next year. Whether I submit those to magazines/journals, sell them as 99c ebooks or just give ’em away in an effort to buy love get attention… well, I’ll work that out later.

Speaking of other writing, I have an article in issue 5 of Inscribe, Darebin Council’s biannual writing and literature magazine/journal. It’s about self-epublishing, but rather than try to claim some kind of authority on the subject, I talk about what I’ve done and what I’ve learned, with an aim to share that experience and (hopefully) be of help to other writers in the area that want to go down the same path. Inscribe is a community effort aimed at motivating and promoting local writers, and there’s some great stuff in this issue. If you live in the Darebin region, keep an eye out for Inscribe 5 in bookshops, cafes and the more intellectual bars; if you don’t, keep an eye on the council website for when they put up a PDF version of it.

Oh yeah, and I need to keep up the blog posts. Possibly with less ranting and more insight/wisdom/cleverness. Which reminds me, I need to respond to some emails, discuss some ideas with my peers and line up an interview post in the next week or two.

Relentless self-promotion: Now, in addition to writing things people want to read (fingers crossed), I’d also like to convince more people that they want to read said things, and so I’m trying to lift my game about self-promotion, building a presence online and generally whoring myself out like a strumpet drenched in cologne. I bitched a while back about the lack of online ebook review sites, but I went on to do some research and found quite a few, which means that now I could instead write a blog post bitching about how few of them are currently taking reviews or getting back to me as to whether they want to look at my stuff. But I won’t; I’m just gonna concentrate on getting Hotel Flamingo and Godheads out there and hope people talk about why they like them. Or don’t. Don’t is fine too.

(I’m contemplating dropping the price of Godheads to 99c, but I’m still thinking about that and I’ll probably write a post about it first. The joy of a blog is that you can blog about anything before doing it. Or even before not doing it.)

I also set up an author page on Goodreads, which offers a few tools and options for writers that I’m going to start exploring. I don’t know how useful they will be, as I’m not really sure how useful Goodreads is in general – enjoyable, yes, but useful? – but that’s (of course) a blog post for another time. But in the interim, go check it out – and if you’ve read Flamingo or Godheads, please feel free (feel encouraged) to put a review or even a star rating for them onto Goodreads. It all helps. Probably.

Distractions that are generally much more fun than writing: I just bought Batman: Arkham City and borrowed Dragon Age 2 from a friend, so I admit that everything I’ve just said I would do may evaporate like beer spilled on a barbecue. But my intentions are so very, very good, and surely that must count for something.

Oh, and I should probably spend time with my wife.

…man, I really enjoy writing the phrase ‘my wife.’

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