Hello there, bandwagon. Mind if I hop on for a second?
My RSS feed is just chock-full of people writing their New Year’s posts, and I figure that I would follow suit. I’ve neglected this blog (and other projects) for too long, and this is a good way for me to outline my plans for the year.
Also, to discuss a slight reworking of the way I approach the blog.
So first thing’s first: the blogroll. I purged it.
Let me apologize to anyone who didn’t make it to my short list. It’s nothing personal. I figure that the blogs I link to ought to be the blogs I can’t keep myself from reading. The blogs I always read every word of. Every entry, even if there’s a backlog.
There aren’t too many of those, but the few there are, are fantastic. In some way, they’re also all in some way inspiration for my new approach to Professor Beej in 2012.
- Terribleminds – Chuck Wendig is a penmonkey with enough wit and insight to either counter or enhance (depending on your preference) his foul-mouthed wordsmithy. He drops the f-bomb like he’s a postmodern Enola Gay with a quill, but that all part of the charm. His “25 Things” posts are fun, and he’s realistic about indie publishing, unlike many people. If you’re not reading him, start.
- Whatever – John Scalzi runs one of the longest-running blogs on the Internet. He’s been blogging almost daily since 1998, before most of us were even aware that blogging was a thing. He’s a hell of a writer, and he drops a lot of writerly advice. The thing is, he also posts pictures of his cats, talks about politics and religion, and in general, says whatever he damn well wants. I’ve found more good reads from his “The Big Idea” series than I have almost anywhere. He’s a smartass and more than a little knowledge of the industry, practical knowledge. Keep your eyes open.
- Bio Break – Syp has it all figured out. The man balances being a full-time gamer, writer, and father in ways that I cannot even begin to fathom. He always stays positive about his life and his hobbies, which is a unique, shining spot in the MMO blogosphere. He updates all the time, even if it’s just a neat picture from his current game of choice or a quote from a good article to show its author some link love. If you game online, drop yourself into any kind of avatar, and like to support all-around nice guys, keep up with Bio Break (and his columns over at Massively).
- Tobias Buckell Online – One thing I like from an author is candor. If someone shoots me straight, they have my respect. Tobias shoots straight about writing and publishing, posts neat videos and articles that pertain to all aspects of speculative fiction, and publishes more short fiction than anyone I know about. He experiments with media, and his own writing is just different enough from typical SF that if you don’t have an eye on him, you’re all but walking around blind.
- A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing – I don’t particularly like Joe Konrath, at least from what I read about him. He’s egotistical, full of himself, and his blog posts are full of so much rhetoric that he should be writing presidential campaign speeches. But I still read every blog he posts. Despite being sensational and over-the-top, there are nuggets of goodness that indie authors can glean from his stuff. However, go in with your bullshit detector at full-strength. He speaks in absolutes, and he’s good at it. Just be aware that whatever sounds too good to be true…
- We Fly Spitfires – Gordon’s a good guy. He doesn’t update his MMO blog nearly as often as he used to, but pretty much every time he does, there’s a good idea in the post. He plays a lot of games, and he writes about them with an analytical eye. Where most MMO bloggers fall into the fanboy/hater dichotomy, Gordon stays a realist. If he likes a game, there are reasons. If not, there are reasons. And they’re well explained and interesting to read.
There are other blogs I read, too. A lot of them. But not every post. I’m sure there will be link-love posts coming where I’ll highlight those, too, but for the time being, these are the ones you should really check out.
So, goals. Resolutions.
I hate these things. I always feel bad when something doesn’t work out, you know? I’ve squandered a lot of time this past year, had a lot going on, made excuses, yadda yadda yadda.
This year, I’m working on getting my head back on my shoulders, and here are a few ways I plan on doing that.
- Put the polish on Birthright and get it uploaded to various ebook distributors and start querying agents
- Work on a Kickstarter campaign to make that happen and pay for the myriad of self-publishing expenses that include, but are not limited to finding and paying a cover artist, a professional editor, a layout editor, formatter, and website designer.
- Write and finish at least 2 new short works–a faith-themed novella titled Where Angels Fear to Tread and a Birthright-universe story called “The First Day.”
- Over the summer, write the first draft of Lineage, a sequel to Birthright.
- More updates for the blog. They’ll probably be shorter, but about just about anything I want. I miss blogging, and I always have a lot of stuff to share, but not the most time to write a 1k-2k article about it. Hopefully, this will fix it.
So there it is, the new year and the new Beej. Here’s hoping it goes well for everyone.