Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lessons In Being Better

Back in December I started a new project. I started writing guides on writing. I wanted to put in writing all the things I have learned over the years and make it clear for me and for others. I wanted to present practical, experience based advice on how to write a book or any other kind of fiction.

Writing is hard but anybody can do it if they take the time to learn.

I've written some more writing guides since then, aimed at the pre-writing work you should do. They are available on my deviantArt but I've also put them together as a project on figment. You can follow them here:

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Most Important Lesson

I like teachers. Teachers are cool. I have a lot of respect for teachers and the teachers I've had, especially the good ones, are the people I generally remember the most fondly.

I had a lot of teachers, growing up. Some bad, some good. Some were excellent and they had a huge impact on me. I'm thinking of one in particular.

But I do wish that somewhere along the line, one of them had said to me...

"Hey, you ever notice just how amazing EVERYTHING is? All this stuff we're trying to teach you is just to help you fully comprehend how absolutely awe inspiring both the universe and human condition is. Just the chance to be alive, even once, and get a chance at seeing a fraction of all there is to see is a huge pleasure and you'll be able to appreciate that, the more you know about, well, anything.

"This knowledge isn't just so you can get a job when you graduate, work for sixty years, retire and die. Education is so you can look at everything that's around you and understand the context of existence and be constantly mind-blown by what has happened to bring the world to this point, what is happening now to propel the world to places we can scarcely even imagine. And also by the trillions of little social, mathematical and scientific principles that are at work just to sustain a universe and a planet and a people that is here for seemingly no other reason than it can be.

"That is why you should pay attention and that is why everything - EVERYTHING - we go over in class is important and will be applicable to your life no matter who you are, where you live or what you do."

Actually, I don't mind if it was a teacher but SOMEBODY should be saying this to our children early and often

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Belated New Years

Happy new calendar, everybody!

I'm still working hard on my next novel. It's at 42,000 words at the moment but I'm taking a break to say hi and check how things are going for all of you.

Sorceress' Blood, by the by, was 50,000 words. That's short for a novel. My current novel is nowhere near it's climax so that's kind of exciting for me. I'm probably 1/2 to 2/3 of the way done on the first draft. I really hope I can get it all out by early February.

So how's things? Looking forward to 2013 and all it has to offer? I know I am. This is going to be a very good year for me. How do I know? Because I've already decided it will be.

I don't usually go in for new years resolutions. I think every time of year is the right time to be resolute and make changes and commit to new plans. As it happens, though, the new year coincides with the resolutions I would have made, regardless so I'm calling them my new year's resolutions! Yay!

So, here's what I'm planning for 2013:
Write more, talk less. It is so easy to get distracted for anybody who is passionate about something. You just want to talk and talk and talk about what you love. But sometimes I find I am spending all my time talking about writing that I stop writing. So I need to shift that ratio around a little bit. I'm not abandoning dA or the forums and I'm still going to work on my series of writing guides but I just plan to spend more time actually writing.
Finish two novels. I've set my goal to be two completed novels by the end of this year. That's a huge leap from doing one novel in three years but I think I can do it. Hell, I'm half way done on the first one! Okay, so I started that before this year begun but I'm still counting it. When I say finished I mean written, edited and ready to publish. The second novel I plan for this year is in the planning stages but I already know what it will be. That makes it easier and gives me reason to be confident.
Stay optimistic and don't forget to be awesome The saying "Don't forget to be awesome" is the catch phrase of John and Hank Green - internet personalities I stumbled across this year and am immensely impressed by. It's not only their work that impresses me but their unstoppable commitment to being positive and optimistic and wanting the world to be more amazing. I think creative people are prone to being insecure (or maybe insecure people are prone to being creative) and the only cure for that is positivity. External affirmations are all well and good but the best kind of optimism is the kind you breed in yourself.

Those are my commitments from here on out. And you know, if I can do them then so can you! I'd like to see all my fellow writers striving towards a positive attitude, further dedication to their craft and the completion of a couple of big projects in 2013.

All the best, my brothers and sisters and don't forget to be awesome