• Tag Archives indy publishing
  • Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

    So with the end of the year it is time for all sorts of reflection. I literally just got back from traveling YESTERDAY (and thankfully am not going to be away from home for months on end), so I haven’t had an opportunity to really update this blog in over a week. That means I should probably look at this webpage again and simply make sure everything is up to date, that my links all work, and just do basic maintenance.

    In the meantime, how about I look back and see how I did with last year’s resolutions, and come up with new ones for 2017?

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  • Been Writing A Bunch

    So I’ve finally gotten my grove back with writing. None of it has been on my book unfortunately, but I feel like the writing I am doing is ultimately doing a lot of good for my skill growth. It is also quite enjoyable for me, which I’m finding is important with everything that is going on in my life and the recent spat of bad news going around.

    Figured I’d talk a bit about writing, not as an art form or anything but instead as something done regularly as a job. There is a sort of coffee house chat I take part in with other writers when time allows, and one of the things we do is share progress. I often find that I write far more words in a week than others seem to report doing (often by a wide margin). This isn’t something I’m bringing up to brag about, although I do consider it a mark of pride, but it is something I’ve found myself wondering about.

    I am sure some of it is that I am able to find large swaths of time for writing. That certainly helps a lot. There is more I think, though. Basically, I write every day if possible. It may not be on a project I’m working on, or anything that I keep, but I always try to sit down and write something. There is a sort of momentum to it, and each day I do it the easier it seems to get. About the worst thing that can happen is anything that steps in to STOP me from writing for any extended period (such as the past couple of months).

    One thing I am very careful to avoid, however, is allowing my mood to dictate if I write or not. It may dictate what I end up working on, but never if I work. So if I’m feeling sad I may write a scene that is supposed to be sad in an attempt to capture that emotion, or I may choose to work on something light-hearted and fun to cheer myself up. Depends on what I think I need at the moment. Whatever the case, I don’t allow myself to use my emotional state as an excuse to avoid sitting down to put in the time.

    There is also one more thing: I give myself permission to suck. That doesn’t mean I don’t make an effort to write well, I just don’t fret over if what I’m writing is good until after it is out. All of it, the entire short story or book or whatever. There is always a chance to go back and fix a broken scene later, but you can’t edit something that hasn’t been written yet.

  • Better: Enemy of Good Enough

    There are a number of little tidbits of advice I got when I was young that either didn’t make sense at the time, or I never realized I had been given until later. One that sticks out in my mind was a saying I heard an old, retired engineer relate a story about how the designers at the shipyard he worked at were always given a deadline by the Navy, after which they could no longer make improvements to the ship plans unless definite safety concerns were raised. Apparently this was necessary because the engineers were always tinkering with the plans, trying to squeeze out every drop of efficiency possible.

    “Better is the enemy of Good Enough,” he said.

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  • The Emotion Cycle

    As I’ve just recently started work on the sequel to In Honor’s Shadow and the second book in my new Honor’s Path series there’s been something on my mind about the emotional changes that dominate the different stages of a project (at least for me). I’m not sure if this is something unique to myself, though by talking to others I get the impression that most people doing creative work undergo something similar.

    Perhaps this will be useful to someone, somewhere. If not, perhaps it will give a bit of insight into my personal creative process.

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  • Images For My Books

    As of today In Honor’s Shadow has officially hit Release Candidate 2. I doubt this is the version that will be released (there are still a couple of improvements I have in mind). Still, at this point I’ve started to focus more on the actual layout. The result has been actually a little eerie for me because I’m starting to get something that looks like a professional book, only it is my story.

    Getting everything to look nice has really forced me to dig into the formatting options available to me. The tricky part is that a LOT of the formatting with ebooks is handled automatically by the reader, so what might look nice on one platform can look simply bad on another. That said, most of it is just pushing text around subtly, checking to see how it looks, and then tweaking things again. There are a few flourishes that really make things pop though.

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  • Book Progress

    Intended to do something else for this post, only to have a whole bunch of things come together all at once. Since this is my first ever push to publish something the process is completely new to me. I’m constantly alternating between this feeling that things are moving too slowly for me to make the deadline I set, and that things are moving so fast I begin to feel concerned that perhaps I am trying to rush this out the door.

    I’m sure a lot of my uncertainty will go away for future books, though experience tells me this “hurry up and wait” sensation is an indicator that a project is nearly finished. Once the book is actually published I’ll probably take some “lesson learned” notes. If it sounds like I’m complaining that isn’t the case at all. Really I’m surprised with how well everything is going, but all of that isn’t nearly enough to overcome the feelings of being lost as I grope my way through this.

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  • Publishing Minutiae

    Busy this week, but nothing much exciting. Most of what I’ve done is the dull work of getting my book ready to publish. I still expect it to be a bit off, but things are coming together and I want to have everything ready to go. It would really suck if the writing itself was ready to go up only for me to find out that I overlooked some simple detail, like my product description.

    I doubt many people will be interested in what is under the fold, so feel free to stop reading here. It’s mostly just going to be me talking about what I’ve worked on (very) recently.

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