New Year, New Digs, New Schedule

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Image by Hector Alejandro.

Image by Hector Alejandro.

And…we’re back!

Maybe you noticed I haven’t been posting as much lately. Even before the holidays, I’d slacked off in creating truly useful content. I used Voice Week and computer crashes as excuses, but even without those interruptions, I doubt I would have been able to come up with anything substantial. Honestly, I’ve had to step back from blogging for a very different reason.

I’m running out of things to say.

While this past year, thanks to some awesome suggestions by you guys, I’ve posted some of my best stuff, I haven’t been doing as much learning as I should have. I read fewer books and watched more pointless TV. I wrote less, on the blog and in the old WIP, and I spent more time watching forgettable YouTube videos and browsing the Geek section of Pinterest.

I have allowed the Information Super Highway to become The Great Distraction. And I’m sorry about that. Not just for myself, but for you guys.

Your time is valuable. It’s an honor to be given some of that time every week, and I don’t want to waste any more of it by posting half-conceived notions just because it’s Friday and I always post on Friday.

So here are my resolutions for 2014

  1. Refuel the Mind. That means reading more blogs and more books, both fiction and non. It also means actually listening to all those free university lectures I got so excited about in August.
  1. Finish Another Draft of the Old WIP. I call it the Old Work In Progress because I’ve been working on it for more than ten years, but it hasn’t started really taking decent shape until this year, thanks to all the stuff I’ve learned running this blog. Now it’s time for the blog to start learning from the WIP again. Which means making more time for said WIP.
  1. Post Better Stuff, Less Often. I won’t be writing an article every Friday this year—but there will be at least one new post a month (not including Inspiration Monday, which will continue weekly as usual). And, drawing from things I’ve learned per Resolutions 1 and 2, that post will either be truly useful, or wildly entertaining. Or both. At least I hope so.

This new blog layout (schnazzy, huh?) will allow me to feature some of the more useful posts from the archives, so as you stop by for the week’s InMon prompts, you might run across an article you haven’t seen before, even if I haven’t written anything new that week.

How can you help?

The real question is, how can I help? You guys have always been amazing sports, telling me you’ll enjoy whatever I write. I’m so grateful for that. But I really want to know—what are you struggling with as a writer? What keeps you up at night? Maybe we can figure out a solution together.

Want more of me?

Okay, if you really, actually enjoy reading whatever tickles me or pops into my head, you can follow me on Google+ and/or Pinterest. I post storytelling stuff, nerdy jokes, book recommendations and more.

And that’s all she wrote!

 

About Stephanie Orges

Stephanie is an award-winning copywriter, aspiring novelist, and barely passable ukulele player. Here, she offers writing prompts, tips, and moderate-to-deep philosophical discussions. You can also find her on and Pinterest.

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13 Comments

  1. First, a word of advice from someone who’s been down that road: Give yourself permission to shelve the old WIP and start a new one. Especially if the old WIP is your first book.

    Don’t do what I did, and spend ANOTHER ten years trying to finish it or make it better. You can always come back to it, but my advice (from experience) would be to start a totally new story. You’ve learned from the first, now it’s time to prove to yourself that you’ve got what it takes to have a career, and not just a one-hit wonder.

    Great choice on the resolution to refuel the mind. In 2012, my goal was to read 100 books. Not all of them new, but a fair chunk, and most of the new ones were non-fiction that got me thinking. Trust me on this one as well–if you manage nothing else but this, you’ll be on track to more and higher quality posts.

    My own struggle is with consistency–I’ll go like blazes for a couple of months, then start slacking off. So my goal this year is to post on my poverty blog twice per week, and to write at least a sentence every single day.

    • Thanks, Ruth. You may be right! In fairness, though, it isn’t really the same book it was 10+ years ago. It’s not even the same book it was three years ago. And now that it is finally working, I can’t shelve it. Not yet, anyway. If it is no closer to being finished by the end of 2014, then perhaps I will have to switch focus to one of my newer projects. For now, I press on.

      But you give excellent advice – thank you. Best of luck with your 2014 goals!

      • I say finish it. Send it to an editor. Then publish. After all that work, it’s gonna be a masterpiece. Part of this is for selfish reasons though, because I’d love to read it.

        Hurry up. LOL

        • I’m trying! Haha. Although I do have this fear that I’ll finally finish it, publish it, and you all will read it and go “THIS is what she spent 15 years (or however long?) working on?” It’ll be like when the Star Wars prequels came out, but with no good versions to compare it to.

          But of course we all have that fear, and we put ourselves out there anyway. Thanks for being so excited about it. : )

  2. Hi Steph, Good to see you back on-line.
    I have had a re-think of my activities for next year, too. Yes, the inter-web sure is a time-waster! My hopes (Resolutions are no good for me, I get distracted too easily) are:
    1 – To contribute to InMon and OWC (Talkback One Word Challenge) on a more regular basis
    2 – Spend more time on my arty projects
    3 – Read more – anything.
    4 – Try to blog a little more consistently (Like Ruth, I set off at a gallop only to end up dawdling by the first hurdle)
    I will drop some activities that I feel are not achieving any positive result, and focus on creativity and progress. I have signed up for a free six week, on-line university course starting in January – Crime Scene Forensics – should be able to find something suitable to help with the writing.
    I look forward to your words of wisdom, anything that keeps my mind on writing is good, so keep ’em coming.
    So, here’s wishing you, and your followers, a happy, healthy and productive 2014.
    (… I think I’ve followed you on Google+)

    • I like #1, especially. : )
      Crime scene forensics – how cool! Maybe you could post about some of the things you learn as part of #4. We’re always needing more information so we can write accurately instead of just copying the fallacies that Hollywood produces.

      Hey, thanks for following me on G+!

  3. Arrgh! I just typed a long and interesting (?) comment, and I think I lost it.
    Oh, well, suffice to say I will try harder in 2014.
    A happy, healthy and productive new year to you and all your followers.

  4. *does a shuffly little dance* 2013 has been a tough year for a lot of people, me included. Here’s hoping 2014 is a little kinder. Maybe we can try to keep each other accountable for WIP work.

  5. Hey Stephanie,

    First off, I love the new layout. The blog has always looked admirably crisp and clean, but now I feel like you’ve reached a whole new level.

    Second, in terms of the Old WIP. I completely understand wanting to keep with a story that’s near and dear to your heart. But at the same time, I can’t help but agree with Ruth, at least in part. Make sure you’re in complete agreement with yourself that finishing the Old WIP is in no way an obligation. I know the feeling of being attached to your ideas and wanting to do them justice. However, we aren’t writers because we have to be. We’re writers because we want to be. In terms of what I can advise you to do in practice, take a productive hiatus from the Old WIP and write another first draft. Not of the same project, but the OTHER piece you’ve always wanted to write. Let it go, let it flow, because a) that story will probably be VERY good, and b) after having written a completely different story, you’ll be able to view the Old WIP not as a Writer Of Old WIPs, but as a Writer Of Great And Fascinating Stories Of A Wide Variety. I know it might feel like a sense of betrayal to put this Old WIP aside for a bit, but it’s done for both of you.

    Now, I’ll try not to take too much more of your time, but in terms of how you can help us, I would like to see what YOU write. Give us your own InMon, show us how the woman behind the curtain does what she does. Or even if it’s not InMon, show us what you write and how you write it. Just a thought 😉

    Thank you SO much for making 2013 that much better for us all. Here’s to a bright future.

    May you remain existential,

    Evan

    • Hi Evan,

      Thanks! It’s all in the theme. This one’s called Parabola, and it’s free if you’re a WP.org user. I love it so far – everything is customizable and it’s super easy to use (nice since I barely know any code).

      On the WIP: there’s a lot of wisdom in what you say. There is a lot of value in shelving something for awhile to get a new perspective (it’s one of the things I recommend in one of my editing posts). That said, this one has spent time on a shelf – part of the reason I’ve been working on it so long is that for years I’ve only been working on it once a week (if that), and it has gone months without attention. Now, between writing and studying for this blog and as a copywriter, I’ve finally come to look at the WIP in a new light – to the point of completely uprooting the structure of the story. Time and effort, rather than perspective, have been my chief problems of late. Now, I’m excited by what’s happening and my momentum is good. I am ready to put my nose to the grindstone on this baby. There may come another day when I set it down to wait for fresh eyes, but it is not this day.

      On writing more fiction for the blog: Challenge accepted. XD

      I’ve been thrilled to have you around in 2013 and am glad to have you along for 2014, too. Thanks for being a part of all of this!

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