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Posts categorised ‘Writing’

My Idea for NaNoWriMo

Yesterday, on a walk with my sister, I had an idea for how I could participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

Basically, the idea I’ve been working on all this time is too long to fit into a single book. I’ve gone back and forth on this because some part of me likes the idea of a single, epic-length book that jumps back and forth in time – like Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex – but I keep coming …

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It’s been quiet on this blog for the last few days, and a large part of why is that I’ve been writing. Well, rewriting. In 2017 I completed a first draft of a novel which reached about 140,000 words, and I’ve slowly and haphazardly been refining it ever since. In an ideal world it would not take another five years before it reaches a state I deem releasable, but we’ll see… 🙈

One thing I do find kind of difficult is just how solitary writing can be. Even when I feel satisfied that I’ve achieved a lot in a day’s work, it’s hard to explain that to anyone, because they’re not immersed in my story the way I am and they don’t get what I’d be talking about. In a way, it kind of sucks that the expectation with writing generally is that you keep it to yourself through the development process until finally letting it go, fully-formed, like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. Compare that to, say, hobbyist programming, where it’s way more common to release very rudimentary alpha software and develop out in the open. Obviously, a novel is not a piece of FOSS software, and you can’t expect end users or readers to experience them similarly. Still, the lack of public milestones or acknowledgement makes it hard not to feel like I’m just treading water 🙂 One day I’ll have something I can feel proud of…

Link: “Against Neoliberal Dogma: Art And Creativity”

Original post found at: https://cphmag.com/art-and-creativity/

If there is one thing that you really want to concentrate on it’s your focus: show up regularly, and see things through. Those two aspects are literally the most important parts of the creative process. Everything else — the false starts, the surprises, the failures, the experiments, … Those aspects are essential for your creative process. They keep you on your toes, they keep you exhilarated, and they help you embrace something that is deep inside you on your own terms.

And you actually don’t have to produce and share something all the time. I realise that in the day and age of social media, that’s a strange statement: artists are now thought of as “content creators”. But is that really how you want to see yourself? As some sort of drone who puts out stuff every other day just to feed some machine that mostly does nothing for you (other than making you feel bad)? How is that a good idea?

Git for Writing

In recent days, I’ve been making good progress on the novel I’ve been working on, off and on, for years. Back in 2017, I “completed” a first draft (the third quarter was still much too rushed, but at least there were no outright missing bits) and since then I’ve been trying to refine it into something actually presentable. One complication I found was that, while …

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Link: “Self-publishing” by Cory Doctorow

Original post found at: https://doctorow.medium.com/self-publishing-41800468bcfe

Publishing is doing great. Despite panic at the start of the lockdown, book sales were actually up during lockdown, as people turned to books to pass the time, joining online bookclubs and finding ways to support their local indie booksellers. But authorship? Not so great.

Every part of the publishing supply chain has undergone radical concentration over the past 40 years, starting with consolidation of mass-market distribution in the 1980s.

Despite the title, the majority of this article is about how traditional publishing has changed – become dominated by a few key players with the power to crush workers and authors because it’s not like they have anywhere else to go. Highlights that the problem with self-publishing is marketing (reaching readers), but the impression this article leaves me with is that it’s still, overall, the best choice.

So for the first time in maybe six weeks, I cracked open Scrivener and made some great progress rewriting my novel 😅 I’m a real “binge writer” – do thousands a day for a bit, then nothing for ages – but it feels so great to make forward progress. I wish I would more often.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.