As the beta roll-out looms, it’s about time I had a sit-down with myself and addressed some of the important questions that you, the readers, have about my upcoming novel, Gardens of War & Wasteland: The Ruptured Sky.
And so 2017 draws to a close. I for one can not be more relieved.
This year has been a tumultuous one indeed: I moved countries, got married, began a new day-job, bought my first car, and moved again (domestically this time); I said goodbye to my Grandmother, a second mother who raised me alongside my own; and lost two public figures (Chester Bennington and Kim Jonghyun), who have been a source of love, comfort and inspiration, to this terrible illness called depression, of which I also chronically suffer. It really has been all over the place–I have been all over the place. Personal rollercoaster aside, though, and my writing career(?) has been a pleasantly stable fixture. Let’s take a look.
The results of my recently conducted Twitter poll came up a draw between Garden of the Gods teasers (the first of which can be found here) and insights and tips from my writer’s life.
Despite being full-time worker with a wide and varied list of hobbies, I’m just as serious and dedicated to getting my writing published as any other indie author. I’ve never been one for NaNoWriMo–something about the pressure makes me crumble–so getting through my first draft has been a laborious three-year feat. Slowly and steady wins the race, right? Perhaps not, but at least I’ve remained (relatively) block- and stress-free. While there certainly is no one way to be a writer or publish a book, here are some tips and pointers that have helped me survive the daunting first draft.
After five years teaching English in Japan, I have packed up my belongings, my soon-to-be husband, and marginally overweight cat and made my not-so-glorious return to Australia and unemployment. Hooray(?) for me!
I suppose the one good thing to come out of the fruitless task of tracking down work in rural NSW is that I have endless time to devote to my writing. I should be jumping at the prospect. All through my full-time working life I whinged and bitched about how I didn’t have enough time to put into writing or reading or updating my damn blog; this morning (day twenty-five in Australia) I turned on my computer, made a mammoth cup of coffee and proceeded to organise files in My Documents, dating back to 2008.
Score 1, Procrastination.
Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015 is underway and I … am already behind.
While I could whip up excuses about how I’m tired and it’s hard balancing a full-time job, an online store, an exercise routine and house work but the fact of the matter is I’m just not focused.
I’m in the middle of a long chapter. A long, important chapter at that. It introduces a key character who has otherwise been absent from the action (referenced, but not seen) and, despite his apparent significance to the story, remains woefully underdeveloped. That makes me a little apprehensive to write. And so, like all mature twenty-something-year-old’s I did what I do best: I procrastinated.
One week until Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015 officially gets underway.
I’ve not had much luck with the NaNo experience, having quit partway through last year’s November haul. I made it to the 30k mark on a literary project specifically designed for the event only to label it a monumental piece of shite about two weeks in.
Since devising characters and a world for a fantasy project some thirteen years ago I’ve found it hard to forge attachment to any other story or characters while my original endeavour remains incomplete. I couldn’t make myself care about the characters I wrote for NaNo2014; I wasn’t interested in what they did or why. The whole thing seemed hollow and boring that, even for a first draft, there didn’t seem to be much worth pursuing. So I gave up.
This year, instead of try and squeeze a new novel out of nowhere, just because I think it has more literary credibility, I’m going to use Camp NaNo to focus on a story I’m actually passionate about. These characters have been with me longer than my oldest friends. I can’t give up on them.
Hopefully I’ll make it more than half way this time.