It’s time to get this ship back on course! By that I mean, me… although, I’m not sure I should be calling myself a ship… Anyhow, I’m sure you know what I mean, but if you’re not entirely sure, keep reading…
I’m going to start this post by pointing out that it’s an odd one in that I usually reserve my Sunday Sevens posts to deliver anime based lists (and sometimes manga). This post coincides with the end of the month and we’re now five months into the year. Sure, the last three have been a bit different with all the self-isolation and working from home, but it’s as good a time as any to take stock off things and work out if I’m heading in the right direction or not. Spoiler alert, I’m not!
All right, that may sound a little dramatic, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. I’m going to go into this in more detail in my Author Journey post later today. The main thing that I’ve noticed of late is how little time I’ve been dedicating to writing fiction and doing more with the Author part of the brand. Well, these are seven steps that I plan on taking to get things going again.
7. Less Seasonal Anime Coverage
Now, this may come as a shock to some, but I never intended to cover seasonal anime. If anything, I’m a binge-watcher so watching one episode a week of a series is tough. This may seem like a crazy notion since I’ve covered seven titles in each of the last two seasons. The truth of it all is that I started writing anime reviews as a way to have something to talk about on my author blog. I didn’t want to be yet another unknown author talking about writing techniques and story structure, so I decided to focus on my other love – anime. It seemed like a great way to create content that fulfilled both sides of my branding.
So, what is going to change? Starting next season, I am only going to cover three series on a weekly basis. One of those is likely to be Fruits Basket as I’m certain this season will be a two cour series. I will be watching much more (I already have eleven on my to-watch list), but will only put out season reviews for the others. There have been a lot of great shows that I haven’t been able to write about and I’d like to focus on the stuff that I loved.
6. Writing Accountability
Back in 2017, I started working on my novella series. It was planned to be fifty-two books long with each book coming in around fifteen-thousand words. I started slowing, writing about one-hundred and fifty words a day, but I tracked it and reported my word count on Twitter. It may seem like an odd thing to do, after all, who cares how many words of a first draft I’d written, but my tweets got noticed and the more that happened, the more I wrote.
Within two months, I was writing three-thousand words a day. There’s a writing event called NaNoWriMo where writers around the world attempt to write a fifty-thousand-word novel in a month. Well, I did that for three months in a row. By the end of June 2017, I had writing almost three-hundred thousand words. So, if you follow me on Twitter, expect to see some daily word count updates.
5. Writing Partners
Similar to the accountability side of things, but this is more of a behind the scenes sort of thing. When I was writing at my most productive, I had recently joined a group of writers and we regularly discussed what we were up to and it was incredibly helpful. I’m still a part of that group, but it has slowed down considerably. So, if anyone is reading this and thinking that they would like to write a book, a short story, or anything else, let me know and we can gently encourage each other to completion. That last line sounds way dirtier than I intended, but I’m going to leave there…
4. Listen to Writing Podcasts
So, this is another thing I was doing back in my fruitful years… Basically, I was listening to a lot of podcasts on writing. I couldn’t tell you exactly how many it was, but it was a lot. Hearing what others were going through and how the industry is working for independent authors was fascinating and it always helped to get my mind focused. It’s going to mean I listen to slightly less anime music, but I will have plenty of time for that when I’m actually writing.
3. Write more Shorts
Attacking a large project is always fairly daunting, but I’ve found that if you occasionally throw a smaller project in that can easily be completed, it can give you a boost. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you aren’t getting anywhere. These could range from two-hundred and fifty words up to six thousand words and maybe beyond, but there are a million different ways to come up with ideas and at the end of the day it’s all practice. I imagine that I’ll end up publishing some of them here, so watch out for them.
I already mentioned writing more shorts, but I would definitely like to look for more anthologies to be a part of. Sometimes, it’s just about finding the right group and jumping in when someone puts forward the ideas and sometimes you need to be the person to drive the project. Hopefully, I’ll get to the point where I have enough to put together a collection of shorts all on my own. Maybe, you’re reading this and thinking that you’d like to have a story in an anthology. When I was a part of the Otaku on Writing podcast where we would watch classic anime and come up with new story ideas after watching them, we released six collections, each with three stories in. They were a lot of fun to put together, so maybe an anime-inspired anthology would be an idea I should look into. Anyone interested in being a part of it?
1. Just Write More!
The bottom line is that I need to write more. I can say that I will and often do. If you glance back through my Author Journey posts, you’ll see a running theme where I say I’m going to write more and then didn’t. Hopefully, all of the steps above will help me to push forward and finally get myself back to where I was a couple of years ago. I have no shortage of ideas and plans, I just need to put them into action. That starts now… well, once this season finishes, I’m not a complete monster. So, I have one month to get everything ready to hit the ground running in July.
And those are my thoughts on that. It’s something that has been weighing on my mind for quite some time and I’m not sure how I fell so deeply into writing about seasonal anime. I don’t have any regrets other than the time it’s taken away from writing fiction. It’s about time that I take a bit of control back and find a way to balance the two.
Have you got any suggestions or are you interested in writing some fiction of your own? Hit me up in the comments or DM me on Twitter.
Other posts in the series
- Best Anime 2019
- Best Boy 2019
- Best Girl 2019
- Best Villain 2019
- Best Fight 2019
- Applications of BOFURI Technology!
- The Trouble with Plunderer!
- More Please!
- Make it Anime!
- My Introduction to Anime!
- What Am I Reading?
- Apocalyptic Anime
- Best Anime Winter 2020
- Best Boy Winter 2020
- Best Girl Winter 2020
- Best Villain Winter 2020
- Best Fight Winter 2020
- Seven Swords!
- Guilty Pleasures!
- My Pirate Crew!
- Course Correction!
- Guess Who I Drew!
- It Might Happen… Summer 2020
- Name That Anime!
- Anime Favorites A-Z Challenge
- Best Anime Spring 2020