Monday, 28 April 2014

Notebooks and Targets

I am a terrible person. Last week, last Wednesday in fact, I intended to write a post about the food festival that was in Nottingham last year. It came back this year and on Wednesday, all excited, my friend T and I got on the bus expecting to try lots of tasty food. Sadly it wasn’t to be. The food festival was gone and we were left staring at the square in total disbelief. We didn’t really know what we were going to do with ourselves.

Then we decided to do what any self respecting writer would do and went looking for notebooks. I love notebooks. I’ve said this a dozen times and I’ve often shown you pictures of them. I have changed in my approach to buying notebooks though and I realised this on Wednesday, when we were walking through all these stationary stores, staring at some beautiful creations and yet I didn’t really want to buy any of them. It used to be that I saw a notebook that I vaguely liked and I’d buy it without thinking. But that’s all changed. I’ve realised that for me to buy a notebook now, it needs to speak to me on some level. I know it sounds corny but unless I have that desperate urge to get it then I won’t buy it. If I think ‘meh maybe it’s alright, maybe I’ll get it’ I won’t buy it. There has to be that punch in the gut, that ‘Oh my god I need it’ moment or I don’t spend my money.
It’s the same approach I take with my stories too. Unless the idea won’t go away I won’t write it. I won’t even plan it. I make a note of the idea, sure, but I don’t go back to it unless I’m pulled back to it, my mind racing with a dozen ideas. I don’t know if that’s because I’m changing as a writer, or because I’m becoming a grown up. I do know though that I like the new attitude. It means I’ve not got dozens of works in progress plaguing my mind and running on my computer trying to get me to split up my attention.

But enough about my crazy new attitude towards notebooks and stories. I just want to talk about the notebooks. Look aren’t they pretty?!
I'm not the best at photography I would like to add.
The first one, the one with the colours and the bird, I got from Wilkinson’s for a couple of pounds. It might have been less than that actually, I’m not sure, I lost the receipt. It’s small, it’s slim and for the price the paper quality isn’t that bad really (It turns out that there's actually an entire range of things with the same pattern/theme... type... thing). I have in fact already begun to write in it for some stuff regarding something I talk about below. I’d include pictures of my writing but it’s a bit scrawly and hard to read. Besides, the pages won’t stay open enough for me to photograph.
The second one, the brown plain looking one, (Actually called a Kraft A5 exercise book I have just learnt,) is from Paperchase. Most of you probably know that Paperchase is known for being a bit pricey when it comes to anything that they have to sell. That’s why I was so surprised when I saw that it was only £4. I grabbed it, I bought it and I’m already getting around to using it. The paper is gorgeously creamy, there’s a lot of it and the cover’s pretty hardwearing despite it being so plain. I think by the time that I’m done with it the cover is going to be battered to pieces and covered in doodles. It’s weighty and for some reason I’m totally in love with its plainness.

Bask in the majesty of my amazing handwriting

The writing on the cover at the moment is all me by the way. It’s connected to something I mentioned last post, about Autharium, the indie publisher community that I recently joined. They were asking for member contributions to the blog that they run. I decided that I would offer to write a series of blog posts about publishing a book, from concept to release, in six months from the perspective of a newbie writer. It’s the six months bit that scares me. I’m hoping though that it might finally encourage me to finish something and get it out there. My introductory post goes up on 13th May and from that point onwards I’m going to be posting my progress and hopefully working to deadlines as I go.

That doesn’t mean that I’m abandoning this blog though. On the contrary, I plan on updating this blog every week with a little progress report. The Autharium blog has had a lot of response to the request for contributions so my posts may be spaced far and few between. But I want that added responsibility, besides the whole working to deadlines and aiming to be done in six months (as if that wasn’t enough pressure, I’m clearly a crazy person), of being reportable to someone else, to have to explain what I’ve done each week.
It should be interesting. We all know that I’m not the best at sticking to a reliable schedule or staying on track for posting. But I’m hoping that I can manage it this time. There’s a lot to share each week, or at least I hope that there will be. So I’m just going to try to do at least two posts on here a week, one for the progress and one for my general jibba-jabba and nonsense. And we’ll see how long I can keep that one going.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Oops! Again!

Oops, I did it again.

No I’m not turning into Britney Spears although I do love wearing piggly tails.

What I’m referring to of course is the fact that I forgot to update my blog. Again. For the hundredth time. I’ve got no excuse, no real reason. I’ve not had a life shattering event, I’ve not been overly busy with work, I’ve not broken my computer. I think I just got fed up with only ever posting the One Freelancer’s Journey series I was working on and as a result I didn’t post anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully intend to continue and finish it. Maybe even shove it into a little book and put it up for sale at some point. But I wanted to blog about more than just the business side of writing for a change. I spend most days thinking about my work, doing my work and continuing that on to my blog, something that I really mostly use for fun and brain farts and rambling sort of took the fun out of the blogging. There is a lot I want to cover and I think I went into it all a little too quickly. Maybe I should have finished the entire series first before posting? Then again the way my mind works I would have finished it and then it wouldn’t have seen the light of day again.

So I figured I’d take a little break from posting about the admittedly dry aspects of being a freelancer and give you an update on my own personal projects. I’ve not started anything new. I won’t lie, there have been one or two ideas brewing in the back of my mind but I’ve decided not to work on those yet. The fact most of them faded away sort of suggests to me that maybe it was a good choice. I have been working on ongoing projects though, like the Feral Diaries Book One and I’ve been working, slowly, on the outline for Wolfe. Not an actual word has been written for that one yet and I’m not even halfway through the editing process for Feral Diaries. But they’re slowly trundling along.

I’ve also been working on a webcomic idea, the same idea that’s been brewing in my mind for well over a year now. It’s coming along. The events and settings are taking shape in my mind and the outlining is slowly coming along. I’m nowhere near ready to begin drawing yet though, mostly because my art skills are really very rusty and I need to do some more practicing before I set anything in stone. That and possibly get a technology upgrade. But those are all in the future.

I think the biggest thing for me though, that’s happened in the last few days is that I’ve signed up with an indie publisher of sorts. I always thought that I wanted to go directly to self-publishing and I will admit that the responsibility and all the little things that you need to do before you actually got your book out there scared me. They scared me so much that I sort of froze up and stopped working towards anything at all. It’s a sad state of events. But now though I found Autharium and hopefully, sometime soon, I can actually have a book or three out there with my name on them.

You may wonder why I’m telling you all of this. Well the reason for this should become apparent in the near future if everything pans out right. For now just keep your eyes open and look out for the eventual next part in the series. Or another of these rambling posts. Whichever comes first.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Apologies All

Apologies for the lack of promised article today. I've been working hard since Monday, finishing some projects for a couple of clients and haven't had time to finish and edit the article I intended to post today. I promise that the article will be up tomorrow and look forward to your comments.