It's been about a year since I've updated this blog and in that time, quite a lot has happened in my writing career. Before I list out some of the major accomplishments of 2017 and writing goals in 2018, I'd like to address why the blog has been quiet for so long.
When I first began my self-publishing journey back in 2013, I had this totally original idea that I should start a blog about writing. It would feature all kinds of tips and hacks on writing that nobody else had written about and I'd give out expert advice even though my experience in all of this amounted to two month's worth of research online.
Needless to say, I didn't set the blogosphere on fire with my measly posts.
So I trudged along with a few helpful posts like this one and that one, but overall I found the whole blogging experience disappointing. I wasn't capturing anyone's attention and, more importantly, I wasn't being true to my own passion. I love writing and I love teaching others about writing, but sometimes I don't want to just blog about writing or self-publishing. There's so much more that's involved in my creative process and part of me feels that this blog should capture that.
The creative dissonance I felt from doling out posts on writing, self-publishing, and cover art tips eventually led me to put the blog on hiatus. Now I've gotten the itch to blog again, but this time things will be different (I hope). Rather than try to rank well on Google for writing relevant keywords on self-publishing or writing more of the same, I'm aiming to turn this blog more personal.
My goal is to write posts that not only lay out my writing processes, but also communicate what my thoughts are on the world around me. After all, creative writing is about observation and communicating a unique perspective on the world.
Will there still be writing and self-publishing here? Most likely. Though it won't dominate the blog like before.
In order to keep this going and let the creativity juice keep bubbling inside me, this blog needs to be more eclectic because I am. Although I hope that you--the faithful reader who's still reading this--will find value in what I write on this blog, ultimately this will be more of a creative exercise for me and I'm not so much concerned about building a large audience as before.
Looking Ahead to 2018
With that being said, here's some of the major happenings for me in 2017:
- Used speech-to-text for most of my writing projects
- Began brushing up my graphic design skills for book covers by taking classes on Skillshare
- Started designing t-shirts for Amazon and other print-on-demand sites in May
- Finished the final book in the Azuleah Trilogy, Keep of Dragons, in August
- Decided to switch genres and write a sci-fi series in September
- Created my first ever fiction boxset in November for the Azuleah series
- T-shirt side business took off in early December
There's probably more to add to the list, but these are the things I'm most proud of as an indie author and designer.
Designing has definitely taken on a bigger role for my plans in 2018. I've learned a lot from creating bad art the last five years and I'm at a place where I'm more confident in my abilities. Having strangers actually pay for my art and wearing it on a t-shirt also does wonders for your confidence. Though there are many people out there with a horrible fashion sense, so perhaps I shouldn't get too excited.
As for goals and resolutions for 2018? Here's my quick list:
- Publish 2-3 science fiction books
- Attend a writing conference or retreat
- Design 1,000 t-shirts
- Sell exclusive books/products on my website
- Enjoy writing and blogging with little heed to expectations
That last resolution is the key to all of this. The reason I started writing in the first place (way back in 4th grade) was because I loved telling stories. I'd constantly have stories of heroes, wild adventures, and good vs. evil playing in my mind.
Somewhere along the way I began worrying too much about success rather than enjoying the ride.
I'm hoping 2018 will be the year where I go back to basics and write for the fun of it rather than hitting any bestseller lists or finding favor with Amazon's unpredictable algorithms.