writing about your writing

I periodically will mention projects in various states of existence both on here, on Twitter (where most of my daily babbling goes), and also in a slightly longer and more coherent form at a super-informal Tumblr blog I have, appropriately called Notebook Werks. I like to think of it as an “Internet notebook,” an online public version of the various notebooks and notepads that I’ve used over the years, dumping grounds for not just inspirational stuff but also more informal diary-style ramblings and rantings.

A couple of years ago when I was seriously getting into writing, I had a blog up that was pretty much just a place to preview samples of columns and essays and short stories for others to see, out-of-context stuff. I scratched it after a while because it didn’t seem necessary, and was honestly a bit redundant.

However, as several projects the past few years have sort of crashed and burned, I’ve found that it actually helps if I break a semi-fundamental rule (apparently) of writing, which is talking about what you’re doing. I think i saw Wil Wheaton talking about it on his blog years ago, and he mentioned that one of the keys to becoming a writer was not to talk about writing, but to actually sit down and write.

This is solid advice, sound advice that separates the men and women from the girls and boys when it comes to actually writing material for publishing, be it blog posts, books, comics, articles, essays, scripts, novellas, anything.

At the same time though, I find that not only does it help you build and audience in talking about what you’re writing, but it helps to remind you that there are Things To Be Done, every day. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I’ve always been fortunate enough to have day jobs that give me a bit of freedom during the day, at nights, and weekends, when I can sit down and write, script, plot, research, draw, thumbnail, etc. I don’t always do it, but I feel that I can almost guilt myself into creating content if I’m basically promising it to others.

I did this with drawing/writing/laying out AWESOME TALES! issue 1, not letting myself put it down and step away from it. I inked and lettered and scanned pages a day and would mention it on social media, setting myself up basically to look like a chump who gave up.

I think it’s important to be able to do that, especially in this day and age of self-publishing without set deadlines imposed by editors and publishers, where we write for ourselves a lot and tend to, at times, let those self-imposed deadlines for self-published and personal projects become flexible. That’s another rant for another day, but the point is that I need a deadline. I need the pressure of someone expecting something, even if it’s just in my head that the deadline is there.

So I expect other people to expect stuff of my work, and basically drill myself this way to be able to, on a semi-reliable and semi-constant basis, turn stuff in.

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