As tough as it is to write a novel and getting it published, how many published authors can lay honest claim to having a tweet published?
Working On My Novel is a short experimental book that collects a little over a hundred tweets of writers on Twitter who tweeted the phrase “working on my novel.” One of my tweets was selected, so I received a contributor copy and am obviously I bit biased in the book’s favor. Still, it’s interesting to see the various contexts in which people work on their novels, from the writers who are able to watch random TV shows while they write, to those excusing themselves from writing because they’re too busy or tired, to those who claim in one way or another that they will surely find success, though one can’t tell whether their tweets are written with honest hope or sarcastic despair. But by the end of book, I actually found myself inspired to get working on my novel again. (Not the same novel that my tweet in the book refers to, of course; I finished that one.)
I recently finished a few weeks of freelance programming, creating some custom software that allows the client to quickly format / generate bid documents for a demolition company. It’s nice to finish something that’s actually productive, something I haven’t done much of this year…
Anyway, I’m now back to having a bunch of free time and a continuing burning desire to not have to get a real job that will steal it all away again (even though I’m really broke). I have a lot of projects I’d like work on, including:
- Finish writing that book on melodies that I’ve been planning for years
- Write a fantasy series and indie-publish it on Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, etc.
- Write more music and put together another album
- Write and draw a web comic based on that cartoon series I created back in 2012
- Write fairy tales — I’ve been wanting to write short weekly fairy tales, just for fun
- Do something with computer game programming — I have a short mystery game I planned out a year ago that I still haven’t done anything with. I’d like to learn how to use Unity or something, create some pixel art, and actually try to make it
Of course, the problem is that making any sustainable revenue from any of these areas of interest takes time… too much time. So much time that a sane person would get a real job in the mean time.
But I really don’t want to have to be sane.
The other problem is that it’s hard to have focus when there’s so much you want to do, but lack of focus is the bane of progress.
But I do want to be more disciplined, which includes setting and following deadlines, something I’ve never been very good at, especially with more creative-oriented projects like writing. But… I have to.
I’m not sure how this is going to work out, but here’s my current plan: My book on my theory of melody will be my top priority. I’m setting the deadline of having an eBook version of it available on Amazon Kindle by November 25th (my birthday). Meanwhile, I’ll set smaller piecemeal deadlines and goals for the other projects each week. I’ll see if that will help me accomplish anything, or if I’ll need even more focus than that to make progress.
I’ll probably also try to blog more, because I think blathering about updates on my progress helps me actually make some progress because it gives me something to blog about. Weird circular psychology, but it works, like making a to-do list and crossing things off…
Oh, and I’ve still got some co-authoring projects going on, which are exciting, so they will be stealing away time as well.
Anyway, for the remainder of this week, my goals will be to:
- Plan the “book on melody”, breaking down the project into smaller chunks that can be given deadlines of their own
- Finish plotting that fantasy book I’m working on called “Stormground”
- Co-authoring stuff
I’d also like to try to use some of the money I made from that freelance programming gig to buy a new set of headphones. I haven’t had a good pair of headphones to compose music with for over a year now (maybe even two years… or three… it’s been a while). I usually use wireless headphones, but they’re not very good for composing because they make automatic volume adjustments, keeping things from being too soft or too loud. Which is great when you’re watching a movie or just listening to music, but it’s terrible when you’re actually trying to compose it. Plus, wireless headphones always have that faint white noise in the background, which is very annoying when you’re trying to hyper-focus on sound. And my other headphones have pretty much worn out, or were cheap and terrible to begin with. So: must buy new headphones. Especially since composing some new music will be necessary to help advertise the melody book, and I want to start building interest for it as soon as possible.