Yep, getting back to it. The "it" being writing and my pursuit to get published. The software consulting project I was involved with for the past so many months is over, I just finished Robin Hobb's Renegade's Magic, and things are just getting back to normal all around. So normal, in fact, that I actually found some time to work on the first revisions of the rough draft of my second novel over the past weekend. I didn't make much progress, but I've started the process, and it feels good.
Also, I've dropped most of the pitch concerning my first novel, The Hall of the Wood. It's still in my fiction section, ready for download, but I've dispensed with much of the shareware idea. I did receive a small amount of money from a few readers, and for that I'm thankful. Hopefully it's a sign of the future when people will pay money for a real, physical book of mine. That being said, the "donate" button is still there, but I'm not forcing it on anyone. I still want people to download my book, and if someone wants to throw a buck or two my way, thanks. But there's even less obligation now than there was before.
Now, back to writing...
There was a pretty good take on the Vigorous Writing blog (which apparently, as of 11/28/08, has disappeared) concerning the question of how much time one should spend blogging.
"Newer writers still trying to build their credibility and client list might protest that they have much more free time than Bly has and they need to find a way to market themselves so blogging is a great, forward-thinking way of doing it. There's something to that, but honestly, I think it's an easy way out, the path of least resistance--what new writers should probably be doing, instead of blogging and reading other blogs and commenting on other blogs and brain-storming ideas for their latest blog post, is what many writers hate doing--cold-calling for leads non-stop."
Of course, this applies to people like me--mostly unpublished, 'new', if you will, and looking for a way to promote my name and my work. First and foremost, this blog is a marketing tool. It's all about increasing exposure. But it's also about connecting with like-minded individuals and sharing information.
According to one referenced blogger, one shouldn't spend more than 10 minutes/day or an hour/week blogging. How in the world are you supposed to have any quality posts with such time constraints? Geez. The guy is really saying that blogging isn't really work, and that time spent blogging is time not spent working.
Another blogger says to blog in moderation--only post every 4-6 days. That way each post has time to stew, be read, and garner comments.
Robin Hobb weighed in on the issue in a decidedly negative (but productive) way. Her reasoning is that time spent blogging is time NOT spent writing. In a way, blogging is a distraction, and we all know that distraction is the enemy. Another way to look at is this: ask yourself if you are a creator or a consumer?
What it really boils down to is finding a happy medium between the two. For some that medium might be more of one and less of the other, or it might be both in equal portions. It's up to the individual and, ultimately, one's goals. If you are or want to become a writer, though, best to heed Hobb's words: "Don’t blog. Write."
This is pretty cool. It's a compilation of book covers released in 2007 that have been "seen by Locus Online", which I guess means they reviewed the titles or some such thing.
They list the authors and artists along with links to Amazon if you wish to buy the book (which obviously helps Locus Online keep doing what they're doing, so go buy something).
Here's a few of my favorites:
I don't think I have a problem with using clichés in my own writing, mostly because such phrases as "easy as pie" don't usually fit within the context of my fantasy world. Perhaps in dialog, where really anything goes (with exceptions, of course), but not in the text in general.
Despite the need to avoid clichés, the author of the post suggests letting "the clichés come", at least at first. Trying to avoid them is a potential roadblock, and you don't want any impediments keeping you from making progress.
However, once you've got that first draft completed, "equip yourself with the right armory, and snipe at them clichés one by one!" I'm not sure what "snipe at them" means, but I get the gist of it: get rid of them!
Why Cutting Clichés From Your Copy is as Easy as Pie | Copyblogger