Greetings, True Believers!
Yes, it's been too long. Still, these things happen. The school year starts, and I kind of disappear for a while. The writing slows down. Even though it's a daily practice for me, I may write as little as 50 words a day instead of my goal of 400-500 words (that's about two full pages in my notebook). Still, the projects are very much alive.
My apologies for not posting as much work on Steampunk-a-Go-Go. It was an awful tease, just setting that first chunk with no follow up. There will be more to come very soon. As you know, August is a busy time for me, and honestly my work tasks involve so much keyboarding and analysis of things on a computer screen, when my time is finally my own, the last thing I like to do is more screen time. Nonetheless, I'm going to need to suck it up and deliver the goods out of respect for your loyalty, True Believers.
Okay a few updates before I get to my pep talk for all of you.
As much as I desire to be a more serious author, I have to admit that lately, my love of good old pulp fiction, comic book fun has just taken over my mind these last few months. The subgenres I've been working in just fuel my imagination. There's just something about the melange of technology, tradition and innovation in steampunk that just makes it all a joy to write. You own't ever see bee walking around wearing goggles, a top hat with a door in it and a kilt, but hey... I'm hearing steampunk is huge in Northern Europe. I'm happy to be huge in the Belelux nations. Once I finally get the self-publishing project underway, the Euro to dollar conversion should be pretty solid.
Right now I'm working on finding the balance of being fully engaged with my family and profession while finding time to be genuinely productive with my work. At the same time, I'm suffering through a serious backlog of material and fighting to get ideas on paper.
Which leads to today's lesson and the power of focus and discipline within a context of fun.
Look, your art needs to be a source of joy for you. Whether it's a way of exorcising the agonies of your own human condition, a way to find those moments of flow or just escape for those few minutes a day, it's got to be fun. However, the work has to get done. You need to sit at the wheel and fire up the kiln. You need to keep the saws sharp and rev up the router. It's one thing to admire the moon setting, it's another to be the one tow set the f-stop properly and share what you saw in a way the enriches the lives of anyone who sees what you were able to capture.
The only way to do the work is to do the work. That takes discipline and focus. Sometimes it's just as simple as what I did last week. I woke up on Sunday, grabbed the notebook and said to myself that it was the day to finish the first draft of "Revenge of the Squid Queen" (Seriously, how could I resist that title when it pooped into my head a few years ago?). I'll be honest, there were other things I wanted to do that were more easily accessible fun (Season 2 of Daredevil for example). But I knew that if I didn't buckle down and get it done, the aggravation of not getting it done was going to screw with my head all day.
Funny thing, somehow in all that bite-the-bullet and act like a writer thing, three hours went by, two thousand words got inked and some seriously fun things hit the page, all in time for lunch. Sometimes, even if the joy seems elusive, like a good workout, you just need to make yourself do it.
So what am I making myself do? Well, you may have noticed a tab on Steampunk a Go-Go called "Sorcha Finney". Look for that brand new story arc soon. Not talking about it. Just gonna write it. I will deliver the entirety of "The Case of the Soggy Carpet" before Halloween. I can't promise my usual new Ivan story in time for Halloween, but I will finally finish something especially for the greatest holiday of the year.
So, that's your takeaway for the day. Get off the internet and open up Scrivener. Put on some music and prep your canvas. Sit in the park with your sketch pad or your notebook. The oak won't sand itself and that clay only stays good for so long. Sometimes you need to make yourself sit and do it, but it's always worthwhile.
So let's get to it.