Sunday, January 17, 2016

Every Blog Needs a Intro: Welcome to My Current Projects and Obessions

(From j4p4n's collection)
Maybe other writers are more organized than me?  The ones I've met seem to be fairly scattered and spread thin.   I fit that mold well myself.  Reading writer's work and process often feels like roaming through my own inner mindscape.  It's very homey and insightful at the same time.  There's a lot of "I do that and I didn't even know why till now" or "I'll have to try that" or "Lucky me I'm not currently procrastinating on my project like this person is".

These blogs about the process along with gems of insight into how to make it all come together seem to be very popular--or at least popular in my circle.  I thought I'd try my hand at my own blog on my writing and project process.  If nothing else, I thought it might be fun and a perfect diversion from writing.  It's procrastination that I can pretend is productive or meaningful in some way
( from Fabuio's collection)

My writing and project work process is scattered at best.  I consider myself a pretty creative person, and I get a ton of interesting ideas that spawn more interesting ideas that spawn even more interesting ideas that then keep me up at night so I can neither sleep nor create anything because I'm soooo tired.

Then I go to my day job and think about all the progress I'm going to make on my totally cool awesome ideas when I get home.  This of course makes me scattered and irritated in dealing with customers while I sling coffee for a living.

(from jean_victor_balin's collection)

Just To Date Projects I'm working on Include:

1. A novel that's in it's fourth revision and about 20 pages short of an ending.

2. A Small scale aquaponics blog that dovetails very nicely into a larger outdoor model I'm studying to create--which doesn't sound creative but finding cheap supplies, thinking of different things to plant, and recording it all is a very creative process.

3. A blog responding to all the Kindle Unlimited Books that I'm reading.  Currently the blog is a template but I have about 20 articles sitting on my computer waiting for publishing to proceed.  Indeed, I was actually supposed to be posting there today when instead I decided start ranting in this blog that's been without any writing for about four months.

4.Learning Swift so I can make a writing related app.  This is going slowly because I hate learning the programming language and it's really very new, but I really like my app idea so I'm sticking it out at a few hours a week learning the junk.  I'd actually had an idea for a blog addressing changes in Swift 2.0 to Swift 1 and how to augment online free tutorials for the code changes--but I'm not that good at the coding yet and I don't want to spend more time with Swift than needed to have a pretty clean and sleek looking app.

5. This blog with project notes and thoughts.

(from j4p4n's collection)

Projects that Are on Hold or Dead in the Water:

1. My Barista to Boss blog.  The sad thing is I have about 7 posts edited and ready to go up, but I just couldn't take being so cheerful and happy about coffee and customers who as a general rule are terrible people.  Beyond that, I don't want to read any more about SEO or how to write a catchy post.  The experiment taught me a lot in how to get views.  It also reminded me that I'm not  social even on a computer screen and I need a lot more me time than networking was allowing.  I require a more slow and organic creation of online presence.  Preferably with one social media outlet.

2.  My children's book series.  I have two books written and illustrated with creative commons pictures.  I needed to revise them as each page was a little too busy and I needed to add a small dictionary in the back but otherwise the projects were a bright and colorful success.  I'm just not interesting in hawking them in the market.  I enjoy looking at them from time to time though.

3. A tarot card/ meditation series,  Was going to be active in this as it would generate interest potentially in my urban fantasy novel and be something fun to do, but 5 projects is more than I can handle already.  Plus swift is very time consuming and there's a lot of pressure to perform in that project from loved ones in my life.

4. Three vague novel ideas.  I'm waiting for the first to be complete and to have a few publishing inquiries in.

So how do I push through on these projects?  

My Aquagarden Blog is pretty simple.  As I'm here in my studio working I can see my fish tank and the green wheat grass going. It's physical presence reminds me to take a few pictures, upload and edit those pictures, and write a few words that come up off the top of my head on the tank's progress.  The visuals tell most of the story really.  Occasionally I have advice or a potentially helpful tip to add.

  Doing that usually brings a few questions to mind that I track down online or collect some research from amazon to look at later.  The whole process can be as brief as 30 minutes or as long at five hours depending on research and how much has changed in the tank.  As the tank stabilizes, my update will be fewer--though if I do end up setting up an outdoor aquaponics system this March, that blog may take off.

Since this project is mostly for my personal enjoyment I don't have to do a lot of selling on it.  Yes, I publish to my google+ feed and I tried to find some relevant communities.  It would be good if other people enjoyed my project or it inspired them to try their own gardening project, but the goal is just to record the tank's growth. I'm actually surprised with how many page views it has.

Swift is another fairly structured project.  Because my fiancee and my mother continually ask me about how this is going I sit down, schedule time and plug through it.  Also I'm not in the creating part yet as I'm still learning the programming language--I'm not even on how to program with the language yet.  Plus I keep learning notes and journal notes on how I feel about what I'm learning and sometimes how I imagine what I'm learning will work in creating my app.  Since I like to write so much that actually fuels my continued progress. I have a feeling this will stall some once I'm doing more than learning the basics and sketching potential App screens.  Who knows though, by then I might have it all worked out.

The real work--at least for me-- is going to be promoting my app and getting people using it.   I'm hoping that I'll have worked out some following somehow by then that will at least get people downloading it to play with it for a little bit.

My Kindle Unlimited project feels promising but isn't ready for presentation.  So I've spent the last three months reading like normal and writing feedback on my reading.  The main difference is that this reading and writing has all been focused on what books I can read through the Kindle Unlimited program.

This blog has the most potential to transform into money and networking gold.  Here I am reading and reviewing independent authors, the very thing I might become when publishing my novel.  These people could help me promote and sell my book.   Of course a major stumbling block here is that so far I hate the works by independent authors I've read and my reviews, when or if I post them are scathing.  That seems counter productive to my aims of making connections in the market.

Likewise, since my blog may help interest people in Kindle Unlimited, if I promoted correctly and had a high enough following, it might be a blog that amazon would notice and want to work with me on.  Maybe not, I mean Amazon is a huge company and little old me has never successfully created a blog with a crazy market changing following.  It's this potential that has me stymied on how best to proceed, because there are concrete things I'd like this blog to do along with just being a bit of fun.

Writing my novel comes in spurts.  The idea came to me in a dream, and I started writing it later that month.  The original outline  was written in out of order chapters--most of which I had to write but were scrapped in actual production.   I have a ton of bonus content though should readers enjoy my characters and writing style.

The serious work started in June this past year.  I actually took a week of work to churn out about 100 pages of content and finish the outline on what happens and how the characters get resolution.  I have two different people proof reading these efforts for me and I'm exploring agents and self publishing options.  Neither is going smoothly enough for me to feel confident.

I love my book.  I love the plot, I love the characters.  I love both the fantasy and real world elements.  I love the many different themes and messages in the work.  I love the hundred or so different things I'm trying to do and I love the prose tie it all together.  With all the heart, soul, and joy in creating this book, I need to invest equal quality in getting the book published and marketed.  I just don't love that side of the process as much at the writing part.  In fact I think approaching that part of the process has slowed down my writing.

This blog is a thought bubble, and so should be easy enough to produce.  I'm just sharing thoughts on my creation process and hoping they resonate with others.  As such a personal blog it shouldn't take extensive editing.  It shouldn't require very regular updates and it should have just as much promotion in it as I feel like putting in.  What will probably take the longest is finding and adding the clip art in to make it look more interesting and break up my writing.  

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