Thursday, June 02, 2011

Bark/Byte: Sweeping away the tumbleweed

As my first full year as a qualified pedagogic facilitator draws to a close, I'm starting to feel the need to scratch the writing itch again. And now that I'm getting much more efficient at my job, I'm actually starting to be able to make the time to do it.

Unfortunately, regular games reviewing or feature writing is kind of out of the question (since it's just too time consuming), but I am gradually finding some time to re-start work on a couple of short stories (one sci-fi, one fantasy) that I've had on the go for over a year now. I'm concentrating on the fantasy one first (given that I'm in a fantasy mood, thanks to The Witcher 2 and my ongoing relationship with the worlds of Azeroth and Outland). I'm setting myself a target of trying to write at least a hundred words a day until the first draft is finished (at which point I can have it mercilessly picked apart by some of my closest confidants who know the odd thing or five about writing). It's a fairly modest target, you might think, but my greatest problem as a writer is that rather than just bashing down new words, I continually go back and revise and revise what I've already writing, rather than just finishing the story. This goes a long way to explaining why despite having lots of ideas for short stories (and even novels), to date I've not finished a single one. So those one hundred words a day need to be *new* words. I think I'm about a third to half way through the fantasy story so far (weighing in at around 17,000 words so far), so getting finished by the end of the year is a bit of a tall order. Though at least I do have the summer holiday in which to get some serious writing done.

Since I've never been one to really concentrate on one thing at a time, I've also got another non-fiction project on the go - a kind of gaming autobiography. I've only got a skeleton of the book ready so far - I know what games I want to write about, I've just got to sit down and actually bash out the text. Between the two of them, I've got enough writing to keep me busy for probably another year, but I do want to start blogging more regularly again - I really miss taking the time out just to reflect and keep a record of what's been going on and what I've found interesting. I'm not really interested in setting up a Twitter account - I'm not nearly vain enough to believe that the entire world needs to know what I think, as I think it, in 140 character brain dumps. If I'm going to write about something, I want it to have been really considered and thought about - knee-jerk or off the cuff responses to things just tend to get you in trouble anyway.

I'm also not falling into the "social" trap of Facebook, either - for me that's always seemed like an excuse to "keep up" with people without actually interacting with them socially. I guess I'm just old fashioned that way (though I've also got other, professional, reasons for steering well clear of it, too). Incidentally, I saw The Social Network a week or two back - brilliant film - and how ironic that probably the greatest social networking tool of the digital age was invented by someone so utterly socially dysfunctional... but I digress.

So I'm going to stick with the blog for now and try and update rather more regularly than I have over the last year or two. I'll blog later about the new PC and what I've been playing on it. Surprisingly, it's not all just about World of Warcraft...
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