Sunday, January 20, 2013

Forums, Free Time and Freaking Out

The title of the post pretty much describes the past week, though not necessarily in that order. I started out feeling strong and firm in my decisions last weekend. By Monday night, I was in a state of panic. 

Second Guessing

Last week, I mentioned that one of my big flaws is being indecisive. I don't mean to brag, but I actually have more flaws than most. I've got lots of them to talk about, and another one of the really ugly ones turned up last week to mess with me. After I decided which idea to pursue for my next book, I felt good about it. 
Then, I started second guessing it. I started asking myself questions. I started thinking that maybe nobody wants to read about the particular subject matter that I've decided to write about. Should I write something else instead? 

It was Monday night when I freaked out like this. The questions just started playing through my mind on a loop, until about twenty minutes went by and I got a grip on myself. Finally I decided that if no one likes this book, it's fine. I'm just going to write another one, anyway. 

That made me feel better, and on Tuesday I sat myself down and got some serious work done. Now I'm pleased to say the book is fully outlined, the next book I'm going to write after that is fully outlined, and both books are in the first draft at least up to chapter 4. I didn't do all of that this past week, but we'll get into the backstory of that book in future posts. 

So how's the next book coming along? Very well, thank you. I re-did the first draft of the first few chapters, did some more research and worked out more logistics, and now I feel I'm on much firmer ground. I'm pulling inspiration from all sorts of places to bring it together. I've been working on it for at least an hour every night, after I get done doing all the other stuff I have to get done.

Which brings me to another strong theme of my past week: forums...and free time. 

Do Not Squander Time

Followers of the blog know that I've recently embarked on a mission to join writing forums. I kept up the momentum this week by continuing to read all of them, and I even joined Wattpad. It's a new discovery, this site. It's a bit like a more social-infused, free-for-all-publishing platform, little brother to Goodreads. Sort of. Anyway, feel free to go find me there to see an old short story I posted. It's sort of what you do on Wattpad, post stories I mean. See how I'm participating? 

But I've got to be honest. A lot of it feels like a huge waste of time. The Amazon KDP forums are often stuffed with completely inane conversations, some of them incendiary. Many of the other forums I visit are chock-full of promotions, and questions I'm frankly shocked to see authors asking. I read a little of every thread, and sometimes I add something if I feel like I've got something to add, but it's taking a real toll on my time. 

All this forum-trolling, in addition to working on the book, has left me with no free time. It's been a long week, and I've spent an embarrassingly little amount of time actually writing. I'm going to re-evaluate this forum business as the end of the month and see if it's made a noticeable difference from a marketing standpoint, or a self-growth standpoint, or from any angle at all.

Still, I feel strangely energized. It's exciting to be working on a brand-new project, at last pursuing an idea I originally had over a year ago. I couldn't work on it then because I was still caught up in the Deck of Lies, but with each new paragraph I'm getting deeper and deeper into this new world. It's thrilling stuff, exactly the sort of stuff that I think all authors thrive on. 

Use the comments section to tell me about your week, or your current book project, or both!

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  1. I'm very excited for you that you have made a decision to start writing another book. That really is the first step.
    About the forums, I already have hardly any time to write. and with Twitter, the blog, goodreads, and Facebook, I can't imagine starting up the forums monster.
    But I wish you good luck with it.

  2. Thanks! I'm going to need all the luck I can get.