Day 160 - It's Not You, It's Me

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

I enjoy a well-done display
New Direction

I started a new book, “Write, Publish, Repeat.” To be honest, I thought it would be just filler. Something I had just loaded up from Steve’s library, but probably wouldn’t take much from. Wrong. Wrong!

Geez, they had such good arguments and approaches to writing that are in line with everything I think about work and career goals. It seems to me that the effort I’m currently putting into blogging could be funneled towards writing fiction, probably with more benefits.

Online Publishing

I used to group fiction in the same sort of lottery as bands: small, winners-take-all, and the rest are left floundering. Not so. With online publishing, it seems like you have a real shot in today’s market, though that may be reaching a saturation point. The difference, still, is that the cost of entry into writing fiction is much lower for writing than it is for music. Music requires you to physically be there, or to pay expensive recording studios, buy expensive equipment, and probably split up the cost between multiple people. I’m beginning to be thankful that I put so much time into my writing. Still, I don’t view myself as a writer.

20% Activities

The book defines something called 20% activities. That is to say, it’s something that will return 20% of the results you want, but consumes 80% of your effort. So far , that's the blog. Maybe it's due to my lack of capacity in writing engaging copy. Maybe it's because have no clue what my audience likes or wants. I throw words up, and they sometimes stick, sometimes fall flat. More or less, it feels random.

The blog might have served it’s purpose. With my current volume of writing, I could probably write a book a month if I were to really buckle down. It seems easy. Then again, I've never written a book of fiction before. But given that I pour so much effort into this, maybe that’s what I got out of it.

If you haven't been following this since the beginning, let me fill you in on the progression. The beginning had a terrible, shoddy appearance. Posting was sporadic, and in bursts, and the writing quality would often be (even more) dull. Part of this project was what I saw as “cutting my teeth.” Drilling into a skill without throwing it to the wayside when a newer, shinier skill captured my attention.

Indoor, Summertime Skating Rink
It’s Not You, It’s Me

Despite saying that, I’m not breaking up with you, dear reader. Not just yet.

What I am going to do is pull back, give you some space. Writing less and focusing on main insights or notable events. Possibly introducing more elements of fiction into my reporting, while still delivering whatever insights I discover. It’s easy right now since I have all the time in the world - which still doesn’t feel like enough. It’ll probably get even sparser as school starts up once more. I suppose this might answer my ever-present question that’s lingered in my head: what the hell do you discuss on a travel blog when you're not traveling?

Fictional Resistance

As for this lateral move, here are my thoughts on the progress: heaps of resistance. I’ve put it off forever, though I've thought about trying my hand. 

I'm afraid to even start because then it'll actually force me to put myself out there, not only in view of others, but in view of myself. For me, I'm afraid to see the painful, trite, awkward, flat character-filled, passive voiced, comma spliced, cliche riddled, sloppily written garbage I'm going to vomit onto a page. And then I'm going to do polish it, and put it out there. Then I’ll do it again. And again. And again. Until finally I have something worthwhile. 

Lined up to get into the subway
Today while editing, I wrote something off the cuff as a subhead and thought I could use for a story. Evil and Ice Cream. If that was your writing prompt, where would you take it? I liked the contrast because ice cream makes me think of sunshine, summer, happiness, family, delicious. Evil is almost the antithesis of ice cream. Unless you’re trying to lose weight, you probably hate neither Ben nor Jerry.

Advantage of planning many books: no pressure to pick 'the best idea" for this one and put off writing it. Let's start pitching ideas with Steve and friends, and see what I can come up with. 

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
[goo shih]

Editing Music

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