Archive for the ‘Discussion’ Category

Video Game Time

Hey, squiders! First week of the new year is down. How has it been for you so far?

I’ve done okay, though I’ve been focusing on the easy things first.

(Also, as I think I told you, I made a resolution to read a book off my TBR lists once a month. I’ve ended up with three books, however, because I kept looking them up at the library and they weren’t available. So I put a couple of holds on stuff and eventually found a book that was available.

And then, of course, the holds came in.)

You know what’s easy? Playing video games. In theory.

Here’s the deal with video games. I am a binge gamer with obsessive tendencies. It is really hard for me to play, oh, an hour, and then go do something else. I tend to play several hours in a go, have a hard time refocusing onto something else, and, if left to my own devices, I will do this for a week or so and then wander off and not touch that or another game for months.

This isn’t true of all games. Multiplayer games I can normally play for an hour or two and be good for the day, and I can do that several days in a row and on and off. I think it’s because my brain categorizes those games as socialization or spending time with friends or something, something that separates them from video games as a whole.

Like, when I and everyone else in the world was super into Among Us last year this time, I wasn’t playing five hours of AU in a day. I’d play an hour and a half on average and then I was done. When I play AU these days–admittedly a lot less than I was–that still seems to hold. It might also be because multiplayer games tend to be fairly repetitive so they don’t lend themselves to repetition aside from competing against other people.

The other exception is dancing games. I love dancing games. I am good at dancing games. I used to Dance Dance Revolution all the time back in the day, and these days I play Just Dance on the Switch (or the Wii) before it. I think if you played six hours of Just Dance in a go you’d probably die. I average about 45 minutes, maybe an hour.

But, anyway, I said to myself that I should get the video game goal going. I think, maybe, my thought was I’d start a game and then play it on and off through the month, apparently forgetting the last several decades of evidence about how I actually play games.

The first thing I tried is called Spellcaster University. I got it for free through Amazon Gaming, which I didn’t realize was a thing (apparently it comes free with your Prime membership). It’s your fairly standard build and maintain sort of tycoon, in this case a magic school that gets destroyed every ten years when the dark lord rises up. I played, oh, four years of the first school on the first, then played some more yesterday, where I spent like six hours finishing off that first school and then two more (and had just started the fourth when I stopped for the day). Depending on the students’ training they can get different jobs when they graduate, and I think those bonuses must stack in between schools, because I feel like I got way more powerful a lot faster this last school, to the point was I was starting to be able to fight against the dark lord to some extent.

There’s the binge gaming kicking in again.

Over Wednesday and Thursday this week I also played a choose your own adventure visual novel based off of Hamlet called To Be or Not to Be. It was pretty fun–I especially enjoyed some of the Ophelia paths–but the base game got boring pretty quickly. I found a guide that told me how to unlock all the achievements and did that, then found one that explained how to unlock the artwork (my favorite piece being the ghost of Hamlet’s dad making friends with the sea creatures), but then I realized there were 100 art pieces and that my time would be better spent making magic schools, so I called that game done and moved it into my Completed section on Steam.

So I count the goal done for the month. I started two new games and beat one of them, and I’ve definitely played five hours.

Probably should work on figuring out how NOT to binge game. I had honestly forgotten that was a thing I did, since most of what I’ve played in the last year and a half is either Among Us or Just Dance. I did play a great horror adventure game over the summer called Oxenfree, and I didn’t binge that either. Wonder why not?

Maybe it’s just tycoons and MMORPGs I binge, and if I can stay away from those, I’ll be fine.

Things to ponder.

Thoughts, squiders? About games (and how to stop playing them at appropriate times)? Or resolutions?

Okay, Let’s Get on the 2022 Train

Okay, okay. We’re three days away from 2022, so I guess we should act like it.

(On a side note, I’ve checked out a laptop at the library, which, on one hand feels very neat, but on the other hand, kind of makes me anxious about logging into stuff on a shared computer. My understanding is that they reset between people, but eeeeeeee all the same.)

(Will just have to log out of everything ever.)

My pondering about goals over the past few days has mostly followed the train of thought that I have spent a LOT of time procrastinating over the past two years–no spoons to be had–and how to fix that instead of getting sucked into time sinks for hours on end.

I’ve two main time sinks: Discord and YouTube.

I’ve been on Discord for years but never used it terribly regularly until about a year ago. That’s when I joined my Among Us server. I still was spotty for a bit, until the tournaments started up. Even now, when everyone’s back at work/school, I still spend a fair amount of time there even though it is less active. The biggest issue is first thing in the morning. A lot of the people are in Europe/the UK, which means it’s their afternoon in my morning, which is when they’re active. So I tend to stop by in the morning to say hi/catch up on stuff that happened while I was asleep, and then, since that’s when it’s most active, I get sucked into whatever’s happening or I hang out and ditz around seeing if something is going to happen.

On one hand, socialization is good for me and I do truly like the people in that server. On the other hand, stopping by in the mornings derails me first thing, which makes it hard to switch into a productive frame of mind later on in the day.

The YouTube issue goes a bit like this: I have a couple of channels that I subscribe to that put out regular content on a weekly basis. So I’ll go on to watch that week’s episode, and since I listen best when doing something with my hands, I’ll play my coloring game on my phone while the episode is going. (Plus it makes it feel like I’m not just wasting time watching YT.) My episode will end, but I won’t be done with my picture, so I’ll go on to a different video. I’ll finish my picture, but the video’s not over, so I start a new one. And eventually I run out of subscription videos and will move into random stuff, ad nauseum. And even if the picture/video end at the same time, it’s still hard to break out of that and move on to something else.

I think the solution here has got to be to limit my time.

I don’t necessarily want to miss out talking to my friends on Discord, but I’ve noticed that if I check it on my phone rather than my computer, it’s harder to engage (i.e., type) so it’s easier for me to move on to something else. I think I can do a morning check-in on the phone and then move on to more productive things while still making times for special events that may happen occasionally. And for YouTube, I think I’ve got to do one video at a time and then cut it off. It’s too easy to get into that “One more, oh, one more, okay, one more” mentality otherwise.

And, I think, if I’m not at work, I’ve got to set a time (say, 10 am) where I get off my desktop and do something else, no matter what, whether that’s a chore around the house, or walking the dog, or going to a coffee shop. Forcing myself to move should help me get out of a Discord/YouTube rut even if I’ve fallen into one.

(The other thing I’ve noticed is that I’ll sit down at the desktop to work, get distracted, and then stay there even when I realize I’ve been sucked into a time sink, because maybe in five minutes I’ll stop messing around and work, but that point never comes.)

Identifying the problem is the first step to fixing it, as they say. So we’ll see how this goes.

As for finite goals, my hope is that if I can convert even a third of my current procrastination time into productive time, I can get close to my pre-pandemic levels of productivity. Getting Book 1 ready for submission is my top goal, followed by finishing my novella for TDP, editing/revising my scifi horror novella and my cozy mystery, and getting out a couple more SkillShare classes (with less fixing needed next time. May need to invest in a better microphone). I should also finish my serial (part 3 will be out on Saturday) early-ish in the year and I can put that out as a novella as well. Hopefully more than that will get done, but it feels like a good starting place.

Non-writing wise, 50 books like normal, with the added stipulation each month that one book is from a TBR list, and one book is off my shelf at home. I’ve been reading a LOT of library books, but meanwhile everything else just grows.

And I am going to try out that video game goal I was thinking about. A new game each month or, if I haven’t beaten the previous month’s game yet, at least 5 hours of gameplay. I shall have to ponder what I want to play first. I have 60 or so Steam games and I’ve only beaten like 10 of them. (And I bought a new one a few days ago. Whoops.)

I have a bad habit of playing the games I’m least interested in first (saving the best for last, I guess?) which works when eating your dinner but is a silly way to game, so I’ve got to overcome that too.

Anyway, squiders, do you have goals for the new years?

Wait, When Did November Get Here?

Just as housekeeping, squiders, I’m going to officially go down to blogging once a week through the end of the year. We’re dealing with some things around here, and I need to dedicate my time to those.

Anyway, hi, it’s November. I feel like it came on really fast. Well, like, it was October, and I was on top of things, and I had Nano all planned, and everything was going great and then BAM! November, and everything’s fallen apart.

It’s the third, I’m already a day and a half behind on Nano, and things outside writing just keep getting harder.

It’s frustrating, to say the least.

On top of Nano being behind, SkillShare pulled my outlining workshop because I didn’t follow the template for the intro class. Which, looking back, I always follow the template, so I don’t know why I didn’t this time. Spaced it, I guess? Got so excited about doing a workshop that I just threw convention out the window?

Anyway, I need to fix that. Shouldn’t be too hard, just need to write a script and re-record the video, but it’s been almost a week and I haven’t managed to find the time. It’s probably going to be Friday, at this rate, unless ongoing issues eat my Friday and everything continues in a downhill slide.

Nano’s feeling a bit shaky too. I’m writing first person, which I did last year for my murder mystery, but everything feels clunky and weird, and I can’t tell if it’s because first person was the Wrong Choice, I’m starting in the wrong spot (feels a bit slow), or if that’s just how Starting a Story Goes. If I could get some time here, I might try writing a section in third person to see if that feels better.

I’d hate to write the whole story in the wrong point of view and then have to change it later. That way lies madness.

But also, if things don’t hit their stride a bit here, I’m never going to catch back up.

Aside from Nano and SkillShare classes stuttering along, I haven’t even started my trip journal from our trip to Portland a few weeks ago. (I just realized I didn’t tell you guys we went to Portland. Hooray for pre-writing and scheduling posts, I guess.) At the beginning of 2020 I started a sketch travel journal, where I’ve dutifully drawn my way through every trip since, along with including commentary, which has been an interesting but unintended way of examining the pandemic. Normally I work on it during the trip, but I didn’t even touch it, and I continue to not touch it.

I realize, in the great scheme of things, it’s not that big of deal, but it’s that whole anxiety about not doing something you meant to do on top of everything else.

Anyway, tl;dr, November is off to a rough start, and I’ve got to figure something out or else I’m going to go mad. I hope things are going better for you!

Realistic Fantasy Travel

As promised, here are my notes from the MileHiCon panel that ended up just being about horses rather than realistic fantasy travel in general. I have notes on three different areas: horses (ubiquitous in almost all forms of fantasy, since people need a way to get places that’s not walking, and horses are easy), boats (specifically tall ship-style boats), and trains (for your steampunk and related needs).

These are mostly stats, kind of as a way to be like “Here’s how these things work, and if you’re having them work differently you’d better have a dang good reason.” The biggest issue, we all agreed in the panel, was that people tend to treat horses like cars, i.e., something that can keep going and going as needed as opposed to living animals that have thresholds and needs. (There was also a large side tangent about whether or not horses needed to be treated as characters, with half the panel saying yes, horses are characters and the other half saying it depended on the story and the horse.)

(I am in the depends on the context camp.)

Anyway! Here are your horse stats. This is your average horse that is not specifically trained for long-distance trips in most cases.

Horses:

  • Can travel between 25 and 100 miles a day, based on fitness levels/training
  • But if traveling for weeks you want to do 20-30 miles a day so you don’t wear the horse out (walk or trot)
  • A horse that is not used to endurance travel is not going to be able to do it
  • Harder terrain obviously diminishes the distance that can be traveled
  • Can only gallop for about 2 miles (canter for up to 5)
  • Should stop being ridden at age 20-25
  • Many horses cannot carry two people (need big, strong, calm horse)
  • Most horses have a max carrying weight of about 250 lbs (rider(s) + gear)
  • Takes about 2 years to competently learn to ride a horse, assuming one lesson a week
  • Takes an average horse about 5 hours to go 20 miles (horses walk about 4-5 miles an hour)

Now, on to boats. Now, you may be asking, why did I do research on other modes of transportation when the panel was specifically about horses in fantasy? Well, because I thought we were focusing on the “realistic travel” part of the description and not the horse part. So I thought it would be worth it to be prepared to talk about other transportation if they came up, and I picked boats and trains since those seem to be the next most popular modes that come up regularly.

Not to say there are not other modes of fantasy travel, because there absolutely are. I was trying to avoid more fantastic modes, however, since I’m not going to be able to tell you the average airborne velocity of a dragon or anything like that.

My stats for boats are, as I said above, for tall ships. Think 2-4 mast ships that are generally ocean-going.

Boats:

  • A tall ship travels about 7 miles per hour (6 knots)
  • Older ships may be more like 4 mph
  • Wind direction is important (tail wind vs head wind)
  • A sailing ship is going to average somewhere between 60 and 100 miles a day (also depends on if sailing overnight or not)

I got progressively lazier from this point on.

Trains:

  • Depending on year, in 1804 they ran about 10 mph, in 1850 they ran up to 75 mph (in England)

Trains, of course, can now run up to a couple hundred mph, but I was focused on steam-powered locomotives, since that seems to be the most applicable.

And, finally:

Walking:

  • A person can walk 20-30 miles per day (if trained)

(More 10-15 miles if untrained, and then you also need to think about things like footwear and other things that may make things harder.)

Thoughts, squiders? Favorite form of fantasy travel, realistic or not? Thoughts on horses, cuz why not?

WriYe and Social Media

Catching up, catching up, lalalalala, where is the month going?

Do you use social media for your writing life?

No.

I mean, I do vaguely. When I blog, it copies the link to my Twitter and my Tumblr. But that’s literally about it. I don’t Facebook, I don’t Instagram, I don’t actually interact with anyone. Social media is one of those things that the marketing books say you should be doing, but I find it really unnatural.

I did try to do it more, back in the day–schedule posts, keep up with mentions, etc. Used HootSuite, which is a nice program. But there’s only so many hours in the day, and I don’t have enough or enough brain power to care most of the time.

Are you happy with the way you’re using social media in regards to your writing?

Hm. Part of me wants to say no–that I know I’m not utilizing social media like I’m supposed to, that perhaps all that’s standing in the way of me and breakout success is the number of times I post on Twitter.

But I really don’t care. Did using social media more (and correctly, as per the marketing gurus) help? I mean, yeah, a bit, in terms of followers and networking. But did it ever really connect to book sales? I wouldn’t say so.

A lot of the networking opportunities I have gotten have come through the blog, actually–people seeing my writing here and reaching out for one thing or another. Maybe they saw my post initially on social media, but maybe not. I don’t know.

So, while I guess I’m not “happy” about the way I’m using social media, I’m also not upset about it.

Why or why not?

Oh. Reading the whole post is important, people.

Here’s the deal. For two or three years, I did social media as I was supposed to. I reposted things I thought would be of interest to my ideal reader. I posted several times a day, and I responded quickly when someone mentioned me or responded to something I had posted. I discussed news items in the SFF world, talked about movies and books I liked, reached out to similar authors and collaborated where I could.

Did I get some success from it? Sure. Some. Not a lot. Not enough to justify the amount of time I was spending on it.

Cuz, at the end of the day, while your social media presence can help (or hurt, if you’re a jerk), if you don’t have the books to back up what you’re doing, you’re not going to get anywhere. I don’t put out multiple books a year, and thus far I have no series. It’s hard for me to attract and keep readers. And the way to fix that is to focus more on writing, and worry more about marketing when I have things to market.

Anyway, squiders, hopefully that doesn’t come off as too bitter! Bottom line is that the social media stuff didn’t work for me because I didn’t have anything to link it to–but it might work better in the future when I have other things out.

Any thoughts on social media, squiders?

MileHiCon Loometh

SQUIDERS! MileHiCon is NEXT WEEKEND omg.

They’ve moved it to the first weekend of October rather than the fourth, and I am apparently unprepared for this change. But at least now it’s not going to interfere with Halloween activities some years.

Anyway, I’m behind on preparation. I mean, it’s not a lot–most stuff I just carry around from year to year with little variation. And it’s my own fault panel-wise, I’ve had the schedule for, like, almost a month. I’m moderating another editing panel this year (whee, must have done a good job last year or something) and am also on a panel about how far horses can travel, which I think is about realistic travel in fantasy, but I’m not 100% sure.

It’s in person this year too! I’ll admit that makes me a little nervous, but they are requiring masks and you get a special Vaccinated! ribbon to hang off your name tag if you’re vaccinated.

(I do love my con ribbons.)

Anyway, hopefully this isn’t a horrible mistake. The Critter Crunch is on again this year, and the larger, mobile one has expressed interest in going (also building his own robot, but that ain’t happening before the con), but I think I’m going to wait and see how safe I feel the con is before I commit to taking him. He’s not old enough to be vaccinated and with how dumb some people are about everything, I want to be safe.

Emotions suck. I’m excited for the con, yet scared. Luckily it’s not that big of convention, in the great scheme of things, so it could certainly be worse.

In other news, my favorite coffee shop is open for inside dining again, provided you show proof of vaccination, which is fine for me. As an added bonus, the vaccination requirement has a bunch of people up in arms, so I don’t have to worry about those people being in said coffee shop.

Anyway, here’s my normal to-do list for the con, for my own use so I can find it again later:

  • Sign up for author co-op table slot
  • File sales permits with the usual government agencies
  • Figure out what horse panel is supposed to be about (alas, no descriptions are available yet)
  • Research how far a horse can actually travel
  • Prepare moderator questions for editing panel
  • Costumes? (Probably too late, but ponder anyway)
  • Make Writers’ Motivation Series fliers to put out
  • Order fun masks?

I feel like I’m forgetting something. Hold on, checking previous years’ lists.

Oh, yeah, business cards. I never remember my damn business cards. Oh! Credit card reader! Good job, past!Kit. Very on top of things.

Has anyone been to a con recently? Tips you would recommend?

Already Distracted

So, yesterday, my spouse woke up and was extremely upset about his lack of camping and specifically backpacking this summer. And I said, “Look, we’re super busy this month, so the only day we have to go is, well, today.”

So guess who had to go backpacking out of nowhere yesterday.

(Also just after we booked the campsite we got a freak hailstorm, which shredded all our plants and also flooded our basement, so we got out of here late to go backpacking. Yesterday was…something.)

So we talked Wednesday about World’s Edge being done finally, and how now I need to either revise Book One or outline/write the novella I owe Turtleduck Press or both.

And then I proceeded to do neither.

One because choices are hard, but, two, because I have two writing books out from the library. You see, a month or so ago I was going through some list of recommended writing books, and I thought I might actually read some of them.

But not now, no, that would be crazy.

So I put some on my To Read Later lists on my library card, or downloaded some samples to my Kindle, but there were two that my library did not have/were not available on the Kindle, so I decided to request these through my state’s Interlibrary Loan program, with the idea they would show up at some point but probably not soon.

(It’s been a year on my request for The Man Who Was Thursday. I know it’s still in the system because I check with the librarians periodically.)

So of course they came immediately.

They are The Story Grid, which is a revision technique, and a book called Plot Perfect, which is about plotting, as the name implies.

Now, the issue with Interlibrary Loans is that you get a single renewal. Six weeks and then they go back from whence they came, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. And from last year when I was attempting to read a writing book a month, I know that it is not fast to go through a writing book. You have to sit and absorb them, or sometimes do exercises. You have to try out the content, or what is the point?

Anyway, I’ve started working through The Story Grid. It proports itself to be a system that allows you to pinpoint what’s wrong with a story so it can be fixed in revision, which sounds like a lovely idea, and maybe will be helpful with my Book One revision.

I’ve mostly just made it through the set-up part of the book (because backpacking) but hopefully we’ll get into the process here soon. I admit to being a bit skeptical that this or any system is going to be able to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong, but here’s hoping!

My revision process works pretty well in general, but I’ve already run Book One through it once, so it probably wouldn’t hurt to try something new.

So, it’s kind of like I’m working on my revision? Very kind of.

But it does throw a wrench into things, because I do still need to get to my novella and if I’m going to try out a new revision technique, it may mean that it’ll be longer before I can switch projects. I mean, you don’t want to stop something new in the middle. That way lies madness.

Sigh. Dang it, occasionally efficient library system.

Have you tried the Story Grid technique, squiders? Thoughts on stuffing both projects into my schedule?

Also I just realized we’re less than a month from MileHiCon. Oh no.

No, no, I’ll worry about that next week.

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

Pondering a Series Bible

I’ve heard about series bibles before, but I’ve never really considered making one. A series bible, for those unfamiliar with the terminology, is a document where you keep all your information relating to a series, such as character information, worldbuilding, plot summaries, etc.

If you’ve been here for a while, you know I don’t tend to write series. In fact, aside from my trilogy and the Fractured World universe, I’ve never written multiple stories in the same universe (aside from little scenes here and there for my own edification). So while series bibles have sounded interesting, they’ve never seemed like they would be much use to me.

However, today I was working on one of those little scenes I mentioned above. These are little vignettes related to the main story that aren’t meant for any specific except to help me flesh out character and worldbuilding. Most of them are backstory, though some of them are scenes from alternate points of view. But, anyway, I was working on one related to the trilogy, since I’m still running it through the critique marathon and will be working on it again shortly.

And I ran into some issues where I couldn’t remember some of my worldbuilding. Or if I’d done that particular worldbuilding.

And then I had to do said worldbuilding, which slowed down the process, and made more work of random little scenes than I wanted.

So maybe it wouldn’t hurt to consolidate all my notes in one place, where I can find everything when I need it. I mean, I do this for individual books, so it makes sense to move all the stuff from the whole trilogy into one place, right? Or copy it over, maybe, so the information is still in place for the individual book and I don’t have to dig through everything to find it.

Have you guys used a series bible? How many stories are necessary in a world before you start up a bible? What do you use?

(In the interest of full transparency, I do have a bible for the Fractured World stories. Because the Fractured World is designed to have multiple authors telling stories in it, I made a governing document so that everyone’s worldbuilding is consistent.)

Being Limber

I’ve been so excited for this week, squiders. The small, mobile ones are back in school (cross your fingers) and I have hours to myself every day to Do Things. And I thought I was going to be so productive! Writing, drawing, editing, you name it, it was getting done.

But here it is Thursday, and I haven’t written at all, I’ve drawn and inked (and half colored) a single picture, and I’m not really sure what I’ve done with the rest of my time.

(I am on top of the critiquing marathon, so that’s something, at least.)

Like today! Today got off to such a great start. I got up and started this blog post, then took both small, mobile ones to their respective schools. And then I picked something up from one of the schools, and ran errands at Target…

…at which point I realized I was 15 minutes late for my blood donation appointment.

I think a lot of it might be because my spouse has been like, oh, great, now you can fertilize the lawn and call the concrete company and clean the kitchen and figure out the doctor and so on and so forth. And I feel like I need to do his stuff, since he asked, but I also resent his taking up all my time with awful chores that were his in the first place because he’s the one with the skills that match those (talking on the phone makes me anxious), so I just mess around and nothing’s getting done.

I realize, of course, that if I would just do things and not stress out about them, things would get done.

ANYWAY

As you might imagine, I’ve been a bit high strung this week due to the difference in preconceived ideas of how the week was going to go versus how it has gone. But it is what it is, and instead of stressing about it, I’ve got to adapt.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. As the meme goes.

Unfortunately, it’s just a fact of life that things don’t go according to plan most of the time, and you’ve just got to deal with it.

Be limber. Be flexible.

Normally over the summer I wake up early to write before everyone else gets up, but I can’t do that now unless I get up REALLY early. Which might still be a possibility. My first thought was to write as soon as the small, mobile ones were out, but that’s a really convenient errand time since I’m already out.

I might pick a time and try stopping what I’m doing and going then. Or just whenever I get home.

Anyway, it’ll get sorted, at least until the next schedule change, and then we’ll have to start all over again.

Oh well!

How’s your week going, squiders?

Thoughts On the Writing Journal

Well, it’s been about two months since I started my writing journal, and, as I know this is a recommended writing habit among writers, I thought it might help to hear how it’s going.

I’ve talked about it quite a bit lately, but in case you’ve missed it somehow, a writing journal is kind of like a normal journal, except you focus on writing-related things. A lot of people write a couple of pages in them first thing in the morning.

You can plot out bits of story, draw maps, keep track of bits and pieces that were interesting but don’t fit in what you’re currently writing, do backstory, etc.

I will admit to some trepidation about the idea, mostly because it’s on paper.

Story time!

A million years ago, I had a spiral-bound steno notebook that I used to take with me everywhere. I’d plot in it, write segments of stories in it, do worldbuilding, etc. Kind of like a writing journal, except I just kind of worked wherever and it wasn’t a consistent practice.

(Actually I had two. I still have one of them–I think–which is falling apart at this point and is covered with many, many years of Nano stickers.)

I used to keep it by my bed so I could write down dream ideas in it. One night, I had a dream that would eventually be turned into Shards. I woke up, and wrote down everything.

And the notebook went AWOL. I mean, I never saw it again. To this day, I have no idea where it could have gone. I thought we’d find it when we moved, that it would emerge from wherever it’d fallen or whatever, but nope.

It’s been over ten years since that notebook disappeared. I did go ahead and write Shards, obviously, but I’ve always felt that I missed something from the initial idea that would have been really neat.

(Not that I dislike Shards or its world at all! Just that I am aware that what I ended up with from the vague memory of the dream is not what I would have ended up with had I had access to my original notes.)

So the idea of having a notebook where important ideas are stored and which is not backed up elsewhere makes me a little anxious. But, on the other hand, I think much better on paper, and I have almost always plotted and worldbuilt on paper. There is something about drawing and writing things out by hand that gets my creativity flowing.

I will admit I am not using it consistently. I’ll go for a few days at a time then take a few days off, normally to catch up to where I’ve gotten idea-wise. But when I do use it…it’s amazing. Aside from the realization that I have been actively avoiding my main goal for the last five year, it’s just been great for figuring out the next bits on World’s Edge and working through other things.

So I guess I do recommend the practice, with the caveat that any really important things might be worth copying over to a back-up somewhere.

What do you think, squiders? Do you use a writing/creativity journal? What practices do you find work for you?