Ever since my first post, I’ve known I’m not a blogger, but I didn’t want to get rid of this blog because I thought maybe if I persevered enough it might turn into something.
It seems the thing to do when you start as a writer. “Get a blog,” everyone tells you. Well, after reading a few marketing books, I learned this is not good advice. “Blog if you’ve got something to say,” is better. It’s a common fallacy to assume that if you write stories, then you’re a blogger; but this isn’t true — writing stories and blogging are as different as Mercury and an asteroid in the asteroid belt. I’ll certain tell you trying to perfect a blog post has often times been as stressful for me as a trip between Mars and Jupiter.
But, I persevered, and my thanks to those who put up with my laundry lists and dear diaries and attempts to write about craft — all in all, my attempts to figure out just what I was supposed to blog about.
I did find it, but not how I expected.
Out of this perseverance came World Builders, a series which has run for 4 months now and has seen more than 40 installments! I just loved it — particularly because I love sharing how other writers who do what I do approach it differently.
Doing this, I got a glimpse of what I might like to do with this blog, and that glimpse was exciting!
Over the course of getting to know numerous Inkshares authors through interacting on our Goodreads group, and through staying connected to past World Builders guests, I found there were many authors of epic fantasy whose worlds and prose excited me. I wanted them to come back and write some more. But I didn’t just want more world building questions, nor did I want to stick with the Q&A format. I wanted to build a small community, have regular contributors — different voices in epic fantasy who can speak to this growing community of epic fantasy enthusiasts.
And so an idea came to life. It’s been growing secretly in a private Facebook group now for more than a month, and I’m proud to finally unveil it:
Epic Fantasy Writer is becoming a community blog.
Starting this month, you will meet several of our contributors while we share some Christmas-related short stories set in our worlds (some posts will not be stories but essays on how this time of year translates in a given author’s story world). There will also be a few more World Builders installments (I plan to keep that series up, but it will be periodic throughout 2016). Starting January, every month we will post on a certain theme relating to epic fantasy writing. We will also open up our Facebook group to the epic fantasy writing community and welcome anyone who is passionate about the genre to join in.
Meanwhile, I’m becoming a YouTube celebrity. (I’m kidding, of course.) But seriously, I have just LOVED video recording my computer screen while I write and the different things I can do with it. This has opened my eyes to just what it means to “blog” and that, though I’m not a blogger in the traditional type-it-out sense, I still love to share.
Take this last video. I just LOVE it, even if I make all kinds of goofy faces in it. This video is a nearly-7-hour writing session where I write the climax of Blood Dawn all in one sitting. Thanks to my friend and fellow author, Elan Samuel, this video takes that session and crunches it into 15 minutes, with the climatic Lord of the Rings soundtrack playing while I write with focus, make mad-man faces, and do other incredible feats like devour pastries in mere seconds.
(Just be warned — if you read what I’m writing, it might spoil the book for you!)
So, I’m having lots of fun with YouTube and exploring other ways to naturally be me and share, and in it I’m realizing it’s okay NOT to be a “blogger”. And this is great!
I’m presently in a 2-month mastermind collaboration with Dan Blank, and a big topic that’s come up as I’ve looked at ways to add focus and clarity to what I’m doing is the idea of where does my time and energy go. I wear many hats and juggle more balls than I can count, but which hats and which balls are helping me toward my ultimate goal to give all my time and energy to creating the fantasy epic that is the soul of who I am? Dan has taught me to double down on what matters, and cast aside what’s not helping, and in the spirit of this principle, I’m looking at what adds to the energy and momentum of my ultimate goal, while abandoning what’s not.
But abandoning doesn’t mean losing the baby with the bathwater. And I’m so glad I didn’t abandon this wonderful blog as I look ahead to this month and 2016 and the community I hope to build here through our team endeavor. You’ll still hear from me now and then, and once in a while I might join our contributors if I feel I’ve got something to add. Otherwise, you all know where to find me.