Tag Archives: Audience

Just writing is easy. But Actual Writing is hard.

Overwhelmed?So, the blog began as a little extra work to keep me in the practice of writing. Also a way for me and my readers (aka friends) to keep on top of my work, progress, and writing career. (Even though the most lively discussions are, predictably, a little off topic.)

Things have changed.

The overall feeling of having an audience has been trans-formative for me. The best thing I can compare it to is that if you’re at work and conversing with a buddy, you might talk about anything that comes to mind. If you’re in that same conversation and suddenly your boss walks by, you may or may not change your topic or tone, but you’re likely to be a little more self-conscious. (Even if your direct supervisor doesn’t make you feel this way, chances are there is someone who does. Regional manager. Vice president. Auditor. Whomever.)

This makes me want to present the best of myself, especially in the focus for the site: My fiction. The various political commentaries are just an exercise…stretching my descriptive muscles, as it were.

To that end, writing has slowly but inexorably taken over the cracks in my life. It used to be that I would play video games or other forms of recreation for most of the evening/weekend, and then fit a little writing into the bored cracks between other activities.

Now the reverse is true.

I listen to podcasts on writing on the way to work and back. When I’m doing mindless data entry, I listen to podcasts on writing while I’m at work. And when I’m not learning from these podcasts, I’m mentally critiquing them — still literary exercise.

Now I even listen to podcasts about writing at home, because it’s as close as I can get to having professional writers in the comfort of my own home giving a constant stream of advice.

Sometimes I’m writing. Sometimes I’m formatting a work for submission. Sometimes I’m buying supplies. Sometimes I’m working on the website.

Sometimes I’m planning what to write. I spent about two hours this evening just working on an outline for a novel — and bear in mind, this is a novel for which the first 10,000 words have already been written — not a new concept.

When I started, the blog was extra work to get me to write at least a little bit every day.

Now, blogging is where I turn when I need a break from writing fiction.

Oh, how far we’ve come in just two months.

I hope this trend continues indefinitely. But more-so I hope it is reflected in the scope and quality of my work.

A buddy told me at work today that until I’m reporting earned income on my taxes, I’m still an amateur writer. This was partly good natured ribbing, and partly his excuse for why he hadn’t read any of my stories even though I explicitly printed one out and handed it to him…I think over a week ago. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think he realizes how seriously I take this — and that’s understandable. I’ve certainly met my fair share of wannabe writers whose work makes me think, “Are you kidding?” I personally cringe whenever someone says, “Will you read this? I wrote it!” so I can hardly blame others for setting those pages aside.

But even if he was totally kidding, there’s some truth to what he said, and it only inspires me to drive harder to reach that magic benchmark of publication. Will it be this year? Next year? Ten years from now? My next submission? God only knows, but I won’t stop until it happens, until the work sells, until the first movie contract, until the first blockbuster, until I make so much money writing that far beyond having a regular day job, writing is my job, and not only that, I’m so good at it that I no longer write because I have to…I write because I want to.

That’s negative reinforcement. I also get it from www.101reasonstostopwriting.com.

Positive reinforcement comes when Mr. Snuggles posts that a scene is my cleanest yet, when my brother-in-law who I never even expected to check the blog tells me he gets my RSS feed, and he and his girlfriend have real feedback on my latest story. When Elizabeth comments on one of my rants and I know she’s still reading even though I probably drive her nuts.

Slowly but surely, writing is becoming as much of a constant obsession as online gaming ever was. Keep pushing me in that direction, I beg you.

Now I must return to that outline and consider adding another scene to Second Chances.

Break’s over.

Woman’s Best Friend: What we know so far

The Bad

There are a number of missing words…11 or so. It’ll be nice to get these corrected before the story is submitted for publication.

I used the wrong version of “emergency” (oops).

Some transitions have gotten mixed reviews.

The Good

I made a few corrections prior to sending it out — the things I corrected have not been named as concerns, so this makes me think 1. the corrections worked and 2. they weren’t obvious (or jarring).

The best thing I’ve heard so far is that this story kept people guessing. In truth, I was afraid it would be too predictable, given the title.

Still Wondering

Hopefully (nobody has stated this explicitly), this means the story was also suspenseful.

My #1 goal writing WBF was, “Write something suspenseful.” I hope that it was also a little scary.

I haven’t decided where to submit it yet. It clearly isn’t right for Analog or Asimov’s, my first two submissions went to Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy is always requesting more sci-fi…this might fit that request but I doubt it. I could try and outright horror magazine, but my fear would be that this story isn’t scary enough for an outright ‘horror’ audience.

Website Launches

Champagne ToastHappy New Year!  2009 is in full swing; vacation’s over.

Have you made any resolutions? I don’t normally (who keeps em, right?) but this year is an exception.

I’ve resolved to maintain a website for showcasing my writing, as many authors do. Primarily I’ve been inspired by this by Brandon Sanderson who not only keeps a blog, but publicly reports progress for his current projects.

My purpose for emulating him is two-fold:

Primarily, I intend to keep myself honest, motivated, and focused. If my blog is publicly tracked by my parents, friends, co-workers, and my wife, then I can hardly shrug off inquiries about my latest projects per the usual procrastination. They’ll know if I’ve been writing. And (hopefully) they’ll pester me for the completion of interesting projects.

Secondarily, every writer needs an audience. I find I’m most motivated to finish a story when I picture printing the hardcopy and handing it out, or emailing it to the few readers I have already. A website automates that process. My mind’s eye constantly pictures the website’s readers, even if they’re only immediate family, as people for whom I am writing. This encourages me to take the stage with gusto.

Welcome to Jason R. Peters dot-com. I hope you enjoy my work.