Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Goals and Progress

Many times I don't take the time to put anything on the blog because I'm working so hard on the book. Well maybe I'll take a few brief moments to expound on it anyways. I've been so spartan with my blog I haven't even taken the time to tell any would-be readers about myself, despite a blog being a virtual journal and supposedly a view of someone on a personal level. But it was for this very reason I abstained from a blog for many years. I always felt that it would impact my chances of finding a career in art since any would-be employers might have their perceptions of my ability colored by conflicts with my viewpoints. I just wanted my artwork to speak for itself, but the funny thing is that since most jobs (of any real worth) are gotten through networking and word-of-mouth how can I accomplish this without being more open? Besides, no one's going to disagree with me...right?

Anyways, back to the point, I am currently looking for full time work in art (all kinds really, though digital and 3D are my favorites) and my day job is in insurance. I'd like to say it is incredibly rewarding, but not really. It is a job that pays the bills (or at least some of them), and I'm thankful to be employed as I am reminded every time I see the unemployment rate. Too bad I can't give this job to someone else more interested in it and pursue my creative endeavors full time -- Come on LOTTO!! Win big money! Wait...I guess I need to play first, before I can win. Oh-well, hopefully one day. LOTTO winnings or not. But in the meantime I am enjoying writing my novel, even if only part time. The art is taking a bit of a back seat right now, while I'm looking to hopefully increase our financial standing. So onto the novel...

My book is Epic Fantasy. It will stand on its own as a single novel, though I suppose *wink* that it could be expanded on if I wanted to. It is heavy with battles and though it has a traditional good vs. evil theme, I have tried to fill it with interesting characters and push it along with speed and style. I started writing in the world-setting for it over ten years ago. That was, as writers call it, my "Golden Idea". I'm told you should never try to make your first book about your Golden Idea, because you'll be too enamored with it and wanting of perfection. Despite a stark inability to achieve it, due to your incredible newbiness. Well I say why not?! Or at least maybe I'll get side-tracked and do an offshoot of the original story first. Hah! I figured out a way to write my Golden Idea but not, at the same time. However I suppose we'll see if it a success and marketable when I've typed the last word.

The offshoot story follows a "historical" character, and gives me great opportunity to build up the world and figure out concepts that were too fledgling for me to do justice in the original story. Why I couldn't build those up in the original, I don't know. Perhaps just lack of experience or that attachment factor that had me too nervous to screw anything up. Working in the world but with different characters and in a different time is very nice because I can use what I work on but I'm not always tied to it. I actually did another short story before this one centered around another "historical" character in the world. I've submitted it to F&SF magazine so far, but I need to resubmit elsewhere when I finally take some time to make some revisions on it.

So the novel has developed from an initial short story concept to 90,000 words and will probably hit about 95k when it is done. I'm nearly done with the second draft, though I will have to take a break from it before I start on a third. Then after that I may be looking for some opinions from Beta readers. All in all, I hope to have the book ready to court agents and publisher in a couple months. Maybe mid-year at the most.

So that is where I'm at on the book and where I'm going. I'd be interested to hear about your progress and goals and how you're achieving them (or not). One thing that makes me nervous with the time expenditure is all of the changes in the industry. I wonder, at times, if publishing a book will even be viable when I'm done. If I'll ever be able to make a living wage off it. But that's why we write because we love the story and not because we need to get paid -- though it would be nice...


  1. Good post, looks like we have almost the same background with art. I freelanced succesfully for a couple of years and turns out I don't like the irregularity of the paycheck. My day job has nothing to do with my degree so I freelance and do consulting on the side to fill the creative void.
    I've been going full-force with writing as of late, networking with other writers who want to create a mastermind group to help promote and support each others work. That's where I'm at.

  2. Thanks for the note RVS. I only wish I had hit the writing harder and earlier. Funny thing is I never really thought too much about publishing. I had an idea and I wanted to finish it, but it was always that "One day..." kind of thing. I was just focused on art and breaking into the video game biz. I wish I hadn't let it fall to the side so thoroughly though. Maybe I'd be farther along with my novels. But alas... At least I regained some sense a couple years ago when I got back into it.

    I'd be interested in hearing more about your ideas with this group of yours? My e-mail is on my portfolio website (top right), to speak on it further.


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