30 Day Blog Challenge – START!

Featured30 Day Blog Challenge – START!

So, I’ve spent the last few days racking my brain about how I can post more frequently. And then it hit me – a challenge! I mean, if YouTubers can post challenge videos and rake in views by the millions, how hard can it possibly be?

In all seriousness, challenging myself to create something every single day for thirty days will do me a lot of good. It’ll help me get into the feel of writing and make me more comfortable about writing for longer periods of time. Also, I’ve been dying to fully integrate writing into my daily routine so this seems like a good place to start.

What did was, I did a Google search for “30 day blog challenge ideas”, and I picked out the list that came up the most, and wasn’t directly targeted towards females. (A lot of the ones I found had really feminine topics and I don’t know why):

I’ll be posting the Day 1 post published a little later today.

Baby Steps: My 2017 Game Plan

Between a lot, and I mean a lot, of celebrity deaths, and the three-ring circus CNN called “the election” – regardless of who won – 2016 is a year that not a lot of people will be looking back on fondly. First off all, I just want to say 2016 wasn’t all bad. Second, on a personal level, I’m pretty content with how my 2016 panned out. I’ve made progress on my debut novel (“Aegis Alliance” is its name now), and I scored an internship late in the year, finally setting my career in the right direction. But like all things, there’s always room for improvement. 2017, in all its awkward-sounding glory, is going to be a year of self-improvement where I fix my biggest problems.

I lack discipline. I said it. That’s what I want to work on more than anything. I spend most of my time in a state of being worried about things that I should be doing, instead of actually doing them. Writing this blog being of those things, interestingly enough. I’m hoping 2017 is the year I get things done as soon as possible instead of sitting on it. I have enough self-awareness to know that I have some serious confidence issues, which probably stems from my inability to get things done.Get more things done, feel better about myself. That’s the plan.

Also, I need to get out more and make new friends. I’d really like to reconnect with old friends and go out more. I am just on the outside of Toronto, and I pretty much never go there unless I absolutely have to. I want to join some writers’ guild and actually meet people who write and fully immerse myself in the world.

New Years’ Resolutions get a bad rap, and it’s everyone’s fault. Nobody ever gets them done because people love to go big with them with tasks that they can put off until December 2017. I’m going with smaller tasks that I’ll have to do every day if I want to succeed. It’s all about baby steps for 2017.

 

 

TVTropes Saved Me

 

Like most writers, I’m in a constant state of worry that my writing is a five-alarm dumpster fire, even though I’m probably pretty good. I have over 5,000 words trimmed so far, reducing my total word count to 102,190 with only the first major story arc completed. Can’t wait to work on the second arc, where shit gets real. I’m also flipping between two or three titles and I’ve changed the name of one of my main characters partway through the second draft.

While I’ve been writing, my anxiety is pretty broad. I worry that my dialogue, writing and character development simply isn’t good enough. Then I discovered how addicting TVTropes and my worries became a lot more specific. The other day I spent over an hour scrolling through all the negative pages – which resulted in me sleeping through my alarm and ending up late for work – looking for any awful tropes I’ve fallen into without realizing.

There’s the ‘Idiot Plot’, which highlights a story that has a plot that could have been solved from the very beginning if all of the characters weren’t idiots. And then there’s the ‘Cliche Storm’, where you are trapped in an endless hell where everything is something you’ve seen before. Finding stuff like this had me self-conscious that my story is exactly this, but you know what?

Finally reading up on what can kill a story has potentially saved my manuscript. From now until I’ve decided I’m done with writing (so, probably never), I plan on keeping TVTropes around as a reminder of what not to. After all, I can’t stand stories with conflicts that could have been solved from the very beginning and I’d hate to create something like that by accident.

So, that’s where I am right now. Still scared. Still slowly going insane.

Dream On (Or: The Destination Has Ruined the Journey)

The other day I saw a YouTube video about how publicly telling people about your goals and aspirations might not be the best idea. He mentioned a project about a guy who gathered a bunch of people to etch their goals on monuments scattered around the UK, for all to see. Its purpose was to make you accountable for your goals by having them visible, and it did work to a certain extent. However, he also mentioned that telling everyone your plans for the future can get you stuck. You might end up focusing on having that goal, and actually accomplishing it risks going to the wayside. I mention this because I’ve spend the last few months in the latter category, and it sucks. 

I don’t completely agree with the notion that telling people your goals is a bad idea, because it got me excited to tell people that I wanted to write a book. The problem was that I grew stagnant because I wasn’t keeping myself accountable for it. Nobody was. I haven’t been keeping up with this blog, yet at the same time I wanted to keep track of my writing progress, but I wasn’t keeping up with my actual writing so I couldn’t make an update. It was a vicious cycle and my new goal (oh, there’s that word again) is to kill my crippling lack productivity and to stop wasting time.

Don’t Stop Me Now

I started this blog because I wanted to always be writing. Exclusively talking about my writing progress isn’t the only way to do that. I have a lot of thoughts on the books I read and the TV shows and anime that I watch. Rather than spamming my Twitter feed I can talk about them here.

Keep Up

My phone has been little more than a social media machine, just scrolling and lurking when I should be getting shit done. So, I dedicated a whole section of my phone to making a habit of writing and everything else I’ve been negotiating. I’ll be setting a target amount of time every day dedicated to writing, instead of telling myself to edit and revise a chapter every week. A far off deadline only gave me more time to put it off till later, until the deadline passed and I should have finished working on that chapter two weeks ago.

I’ve heard that your mid to late twenties is the time when your brain solidifies. Your personality is set in stone and you’ll be like that for the rest of your life. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being a lazy ass who only complains about what he could have done in the past. Getting rid of the part of me that I hate the most would be the most freeing thing ever.

And actually making good use of my time wouldn’t be too bad either.

Writing Life & My Blog

Well, I’ve done a mighty fine job of updating this thing, right?

I may not be a big fan of New Years’ Resolutions, but I do have some goals I would like to accomplish this year:

  1. Edit My Novel: Finally finishing the first draft of my first novel was my crowning achievement 2015. I’ve finally decided on a name for it (“Soul of the Leviathan”) and it was about 110K words. My first writing goal for 2016 is to edit and trim this thing. I didn’t really get a feel for how I wanted the story to go until the last third of the novel. I’ll actually reveal what the book is about once I deeper into the editing phase and I actually start looking for beta readers.
  2. Read More: 2015 was the year I was fully immersed into the world of reading. I realized I wouldn’t be able to write a great book without knowing what makes a great book. And I couldn’t do that without actually reading some. I ended up reading a total of 27 books – more than I’ve read in the past few years. Now, reading is super fun and I hope to read more in 2016
  3. Utilize This Blog: This is the big one. I started this so I could build an audience for my writing. I do have idea for things to write on this blog regarding my writing journey, books, and random pieces of advice regarding writing. The problem lies in actually writing the damn posts. So, my goal for 2016 is to actually use this blog by posting on it at least once a week. I will be very cross with myself if I can’t get this down. I mean, I wrote 110K words. What’s a couple hundred a week?

I felt very accomplished with my 2015, and here’s to a fantastic 2016.

Starting a Blog

Today is a monumental day in my life. I have decided to start a blog!

Okay, maybe it’s not a huge deal in 2015 seeing as everyone and their mother’s dog’s offspring has their own blog, but it is for me.

I made the decision to start this blog as a way to market myself. One of my major goals right now is to write and publish my own novel. The end goal of me writing a novel isn’t to get rich and famous – but don’t get me wrong, that would be freaking awesome on the off chance that could happen. I just want to get my story out there, and some research has told me that a blog is the best way to that.

The main purpose of this blog will be on updates about my writing journey as well as my writing habits. Also, expect some talk of music and video games peppered in now and then. However, I will try my very best to keep the focus of this on books. But, more importantly, I will do my best to keep this blog properly updated.

Let’s see where we can take this.

Stay tuned!