Header Image - Getting the words out by any means possible.

Why I Blog

by Jonathan 0 Comments
The Symbol that Sucks Your time Away

The Symbol that Sucks Your time Away

I subscribe to a number of helpful blogs for writers and blogs by writers (Check out the blog roll to the right). I can barely keep up with all the posts, especially the link salad posts, which I love. I rely on these posts to provide a synopsis of the current goings on in the writing world because I’m not going to search on Google to find out. Part of me wishes I could provide something so useful, but I have to remind myself that I blog to be part of the online writing community and learn more about writing. My hope is that somebody will benefit from my posts relating some of my experiences as a fledgling writer. I like to throw in posts about what I’m reading, though I’m no book reviewer.

The conventional wisdom on the internets is that you must have a blog if you want to be part of the conversation–and that’s true to a point–and that your blog should contain information that’s useful and demonstrates your expertise in some way (especially if you are marketing–no one wants to buy from some shlub that doesn’t know what he’s talking about). It’s a good conventional wisdom, because, after all, we are selling ourselves in some way. Along with my hope that anyone reading this blog will find it enjoyable, I also hope that, somewhere down the line, an agent will ask, “Do you have a blog?” and I’ll say, “Why yes, yes I do.”

Lastly, I find that blogging allows me to do some more writing to better hone my skills. I tend toward the verbose, so I try to use my blogging as an exercise in economy a la Strunk and White.

Why do you blog?

If you are interested how to fine tune your blog, here are a few great resources I used in my former life:

Hubspot.comThe HubSpot Inbound Internet Marketing blog covers all of inbound marketing – SEO, Blogging, Social Media, Landing Pages, Lead Generation and Analytics.

seomoz.org SEOmoz serves as a hub for search marketers worldwide, providing education, tools, resources and paid services to help every SEO to be the best they can be.

WordPress – Yeah, I’m pimping my blog host because I like it.

Writing on the Road (or not)

by Jonathan 0 Comments
Yeah, Journey.

Yeah, Journey.

They say that the road ain’t no place to start a family.

–Steve Perry, lead singer of Journey.

The road is also no place for me to start a story. We just got back from Nags Head, NC where we visited with some old friends. I always marvel at how much I enjoy seeing those guys. This time our daughters, all around the 3 year mark played together and oozed cuteness wherever they trod. As much a success as the child’s play was, the writing suffered. I managed about 400 words during bed time one night and that was it. I didn’t get the opportunity to feel my way through the beginning of the story. The results were unsatisfactory, but at least they were something.

The weather was spectacular, not so much in a sunny paradise, brilliant sunset way, but in a rainy, windy, giant waves rolling in kind of way. Even so, it was a nice trip.

I also managed to read a hundred or so pages in Neal Stephenson’s Anathem. Good stuff. As he did with Quicksilver, Stephenson captivated me with his worldbuilding that is both alien and comfortably familiar–no small feat. I like to think of it as research.

Short Stories

by Jonathan 3 Comments
Here's hoping the bones of my next short story aren't so, um, combative.

Here's hoping the bones of my next short story aren't so, um, combative.

I wrapped up the first draft of my first novel three days ago. It felt good. Not great, but good. The following day, all I could think about was all the stuff that needed to be rethought, reworked and rewritten. The prospect of doing those things is daunting and exciting. I look forward to the revision process, but I also look forward to some weeks away from the novel.

To that end, I am working to stretch my short story muscles a bit. I’ve entered a few contests hosted by Jay Lake, Susan Adrian and Ken Scholes, but those were all of the flash variety. Until I started entering these contests, I hadn’t done much with short fiction since primary school. I am thankful opportunities like these exist. It is unlikely I would have written any short fiction while working on my novel if not for these authors’ offering incentive to do so. Now that I’ve done some, I’m encouraged to do more for the sake of writing. Prizes are nice (not that I’ve won any), but to explore short fiction can only help to better my writing.

Also, it is a nice break from working on one concept to explore many. The challenge for me will be to see if I can convey the feelings, tones, characters and stories economically. Today I’m mapping out the bones of a fantasy short story, probably something in the 3,000 to 6,000 word range. I’m trying out some tools I’ve come across with regard to setting up the story, so it’s an exercise of sorts. It’s also an exercise I plan to submit for publication.