January had a fairly tall order: reading, writing, research, online persona creation.
As per usual, trying to grab a big bite is a recipe for failure.
- Stephen King’s On Writing – both amusing in its anecdotes and instructional in its advice;
- Paulette Perhach’s Welcome to the Writer’s Life – more prescriptive and offering a trove of guidance and resources;
- Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer – because reading is important to a writer, it’s worth learning how to read as well;
- Thomas C Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor – before finishing the book I realized this was the “for Kids* edition; just the same, it was really useful to learn about various story sources, ideas, and literary wells.
In in all, I also managed to find time to write a short, 1,000-word story. (It’s not much but it’s honest work meme)
It was … unexpectedly difficult. It was effectively fan-fic, in a way, but I combined two ideas that were very dear to my heart. I doing so, I thought it would’ve been easy, that words would freely pour out of me. An incident comes to mind: it’s [the story][dropbox] of a meeting between Steve Jobs and Drew Houston, the creator of Dropbox, in which Jobs tells Houston, derisively, that Dropbox is a “feature, not a product”. It’s an apt analogy for I thought I had a product – the story, but what I really had was a feature, an idea, without too much of a path to full realization.
Even with the pieces in place, it was hard to write the connecting text and do so with consistent tone and quality. Perhaps this is something that gets better with time. Right now, I cannot even begin to imagine what it takes to write a whole novel.
The online persona creation started with a Reddit account so that I can participate in discussions. I still need to figure how to create other accounts that are common with writers – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – keeping in with both their respective terms of service and the need to not have it connected to my identity.
Research is where it all faltered. I started going down that path,
but I wasn’t able to make much progress. I am trying to take a
programmatic approach to this research that would allow me to create a
repeatable solution in order to be able to explore niches quickly.
Or at least quicker.
February will need to pick up the pace on research.