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Why I chose WordPress.

Why I chose WordPress

I’ve been running an experiment, sharing the same posts between a Tumblr account and this WordPress account. I wanted to see which I preferred. I have used both for many years, and Tumblr is definitely the “cool” kid right now, but WordPress has a lot of options and a rich community. I figured it was a valid experiment. My results: after trying this experiment I decided to stick with WordPress.

To me Tumblr is a spot for curation. WordPress is for conversation. There’s a big difference between those two things and when it comes to a blog on writing, I prefer the latter. I had no idea what it took to get published, I’m not formally trained, I never took college writing classes. I am learning as I go, and posting as I learn. I have already gained a lot from the conversations I’ve already had and that’s why I am sticking around.

Running the Numbers #2

I’ll try to do these running the numbers posts as long as I have new data to share. For even more up to date info: follow me on twitter. I tweet about a lot of things, often my writing. Not a huge swing in the count this week. I had a new partial request (yay!) and one rejection (boo!) anyway… the numbers as they stand today:

  • Total Agents Queried: 81
  • Unanswered Queries: 51
  • Query Rejections: 30
  • Partials Requested: 4
  • Outstanding Partials: 3
  • Partials Rejected: 1
  • Fulls Requested: 0
  • Fulls Rejected: 0

Staying creative.

I went to a family reunion this weekend, not mine, my father-in-law’s family reunion… his extended family reunion. For me it consisted of a lot of standing around by myself, explaining what I do for a living to random strangers, and trying  to describe where I live to other Seattleites. However –  in the midst of this awkwardness – I had an interesting conversation with a nun-turned-landscape-photographer and she asked me a very pointed question:

How do you stay creative?

It it put me on the spot. You see I work as a user experience designer during the day and that’s a creative gig, at night I come home and write speculative fiction which also requires a lot of creativity. So how do I stay creative? Three answers popped into my head:

1. Study others creative process, and use what works for you.

This is why this and other writing blogs exist, it’s why writing groups are formed, it’s why online forums are created, it’s why we go to workshops and conventions, it’s why Stephen King published “On Writing.” As we post, read, comment, and write we’re forming a community, a community that builds off on another, as we build off each other we strengthen one another. Those connects and the strength that comes from them is just as important for staying creative as anything else.

2. Never stop learning. Read everything.

Read everything you get your hands on. The good and the bad and the boring: books, blogs, articles, tweets, and newspapers and above all don’t read only in a specific types of genre. You can glean great ideas from everything. A lot of writers justify reading only a certain genre because they write in that specific genre. I was one of them. Don’t do that. Branch out. There’s good ideas everywhere use them to fuel you creative fire.

3. Push through creative blocks.

This is the hardest one of the three.

There’s times where I sit down open my laptop and nothing happens. I stare at my screen and… nothing comes… the blinking cursor flashes it’s mocking laugh and I grow more and more frustrated.

It’s easy to close my laptop and walk away, turn on a game, grab a beer, watch an episode of Breaking Bad, basically do about anything other than write. I try very hard not to do this, instead I force myself to write. I write anything, could be a conversation between two random characters, it could be the description of an ancient city, it could be a shopping list, it could be a blog post. I just write! Forcing myself though my block shakes me out of my funk. Before I know it I have put aside my throwaway scribbles and I am back into whatever project I sat down to work on in the first place.

That’s how I stay creative. It’s not anything ground breaking, but it works for me. How about you? What do you do? How do you stay creative? I’d love to hear from others on any and all topics (not just writing) share your ideas in the comments!

Reading Recommendation: Atlas Obscura

Sailing stones of the Racetrack Playa

It’s late, and I’m struggling. I’m trying to come up with some fantastical (but believable) local and I’m  stumped. I could fall back on the tropes but thats no fun, I want something fresh, something new, and something unique…

To that, I present Atlas Obscura. A blog about the fantastical yet oh-so-real locations that exist all around our own little planet. Smartly written with loads of details and pictures it’s a resource I recommend you add to your RSS reader immediately. How else will you learn about the Twisted Trees of Alticane Canada or the secluded town of Margalef Spain built into the crevices of a mountain?

It’s a good read, you won’t regret it, besides… sometimes the most fantastic just happens to be real.

Small Update

Not a lot to update this week, sorry for the silence. Quick run down:

  • I had one of my Coal Belly partials rejected. (Bound to happen. Not a big deal.)
  • I’ve had family in town and things have been busier at my day job. It’s a perfect storm and I haven’t had as much time in the evenings as I’d like. As a result progress on my Stars manuscript  has considerably slowed down.

I expect to shift next next week – in the meantime I’ll keep trudging along and leave you with a picture of the steamboat America loaded to the guards with cotton.

Riverboat America loaded with Cotton