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June 29, 2011

Geek on Three Bucks A Week: Introduction

I've already tweeted and posted about this on Facebook, but I've only just re-gaiend access to the blog, so here's the oficial home base update: The first of what I intend to be a regular column on living geek in the days of global financial crisis has gone live on the website of gaming community Punch On Australia. Please head along and read!

May 05, 2011

When Does Accepting The Suck Not Cut It?

You know, it's amazing how long I can sit in my little bubble and pretend things are going just fine. It's also amazing what a good job I can do of panicking when the bubble threatens to burst. Now, though, I think it's time I went ahead and burst it myself.

Two simmering issues came to a head this week, and the first was writing related. More specifically, the first was Slamdance related. In hindsight, the fact that it took me three weeks to meet my writing goal should have been an indicator. I've found a neat writing pattern for myself. I can crank out five hundred words in around twenty minutes if I use Write or Die; three twenty-minute sessions per day gives me at least one thousand, five hundred words. As long as I make sure to slip those writing breaks into my routine, I can continue to be productive in writing whilst making sure that I do other things and let my writing brain cool down and percolate.

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May 01, 2011

Branding: Finding The Author's Angle

At the moment, a couple of projects of mine are merging. I've been meaning to update my web log's back end for ages. It's at least two version points behind the latest version of Movable Type and the last CSS implementation I applied has some problems, like a crisp-yet-uninspiring colour scheme and fonts everywhere but the articles that are too small to read.

At the same time, I've been thinking about how to present myself as an author online. Although I'm yet to complete the first draft of my first book, I'm taking to heart advice from the writers whose blogs I've been reading online that it's never too early to start thinking about just how I want to present myself. I want to start changing the core of my web presence from “online diary of some guy” to “centralised web presence of a talented author working on an awesome story”. I want to start getting people keen on what I'm doing, building an audience ready to buy my book when it hits the market – and then move on to the sequels.

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April 24, 2011

Rob Farquhar, Author's Brand

I had the idea of tracking down the Dilbert strip where Dogbert is about to offer Wally the "brand awareness" experience, but I've not read Dilbert in years, mainly because of the relentless cynicism. I know that the working environment that gave birth to Dilbert can't help but breed cynics, but that's part of the reason I got the hell out of Sydney.

Last post, I wrote about how every aspiring author, whether they decide to self-publish or not, needs to engage his or her prospective audience before said author queries an agent or publisher regarding his or her book.

This, according to the writing blogs I'm subscribed to, is where branding comes in. As I understand it, when my book appears with my name on it, my readers will asssociate my name with the kind of entertainment my book provides and will expect that any future books with my name on them will entertain in a similar way. That's my brand.

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April 16, 2011

If I'm Going To Self-Market, Should I Also Self-Publish?

A couple of days ago, I was sitting in the lunch room at work with notepad and furrowed brow. The manager of the digital department comes in and asks me what I'm doing, and I tell him that I'm brainstorming for the novel I'm working on.

His immediate response was, "Self-publishing, of course?"

It's a funny thing. Ever since I Googled for tips on writing an outline, I've been filling my subscription manager with feeds from the blogs of authors and editors, and the topic they all frequently discuss is self-publishing. It really does seem as though folks who are keen on writing books aren't just using the Web to get themselves out there. They're bypassing the grind of querying publishers and waiting another two years before their book sees print.

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April 08, 2011

The First Step

You know, the way the word "journey" gets bandied about so much nowadays is a pet peeve of mine. Yet... Have you ever had the feeling that you've actually started something? That, while the real work is still to come, you've taken that single step and the proverbial thousand mile journey Has Now Started? I've been feeling like that for the last couple of days. The last time I remember feeling like this was when I decided to put my suit to a certain lady in Cairns ten years ago.

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April 02, 2011

Writing Issues: Projects, Outlines and Notes

This is a bit scary to write. I'm not new to blogging or (necessarily) writing, but I'm sort of new to blogging about writing, especially about writing a novel, which I'm also new to. Am I inadvertently giving away some behind-the-curtain stuff here? Should I only be talking about my work and how I'm doing it once I'm done?

Stuff it. I'm holding my nose and going into the deep end.

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