Weekly Update: January 7, 2022 (New Year, New Website)

Happy Friday, y'all.

So, the first week of the year flew past in a flurry of getting youngest student ready to return to college. I'll be accompanying her, so the weekend is basically me, on planes.

Crossing fingers weather and flights behave.

While all that was happening, I pulled the lever on a small, yet significant change which some may already have noticed.

If you look up at the URL, you'll see you are now visiting outrageousfiction.com. Rather than just me, Kathleen, being on the header, the entire co-op can be represented under the OF umbrella.

There have been only a few technical hiccups, but I expect there will be more as we start making better use of our little tiny corner of the internet. Basically, if the site doesn't load or looks funny, it'll get fixed.

In addition, the epilogue for The Libra Gambit was posted on Tuesday, which means that book is finished!

But don't bust out the fireworks yet, because it's not entirely finished.

Next up in the "making a book," comes the bit where I read the entire thing out loud, a chapter or two a day, which helps me discover and repair flow issues and continuity errors.

After that it goes to the Beta readers, who will add their impressions and suggestions, and then, when finances allow, it will go to the editor.

It's a process.

Beyond that, Outrageous housekeeping chores continue as I begin shifting from a very nice, but very expensive email host to another host, (also very nice, but affordable for teeny tiny indie authors). In fact, I'm moving back to the original affordalbe host after burning two years on the more expensive.

This is how we learn.

In addition, I have begun posting all three first in series novels to Wattpad, in conjunction with the posting on this site, in hopes of finding more readers who enjoy our little intersection of "future fantasy adventure meets Ted Lasso" (Yeah, we can go to dark places, but it's our job to make sure the characters, and the readers, come out of the dark forest to a better place).

And, following up on the previous report, this past week's fiction word counts were as follows:

  • Libra Gambit: 2632*
  • Crew: 668

I'm going to include—for those curious about processes and such—that, for myself, most of that writing happened away from the chair.

That is to say, my particular Strengths™**are the sort that need to grow ideas.

The fact is, my best writing happens when I've spent consistent time out of the chair, inputting experiences, learning, being part of the world (there's a balance with this, as I'm also high on the introvert spectrum, but I do need the out of house time), and doing the sort of mindless labor that allows ideas to grow.

If I fail to partake in these out-of-chair activities (or, in the case of the pandemic, am prevented from same), I find myself staring at a page or screen, desperately throwing down empty words and hollow characters.

It seems counter-intuitive, especially in a culture of "just put your head down and write" but as author and coach Becca Syme has so often and eloquently stated, Question the Premise.

It took years of flailing for me to Question that Premise, but thanks to Becca's Quit series, and her Better Faster Academy, I did, and it has resulted in more—and more productive—writing sessions.

That said, being too long away from the act of writing is also dangerous for me, because it makes the act of creation too important, too distant, too scary, (seriously, the human brain needs SO MUCH care and feeding).

In order to prevent the "Fear of Failure/Perfectionism" round that can cripple a story if I stay away from the desk, I use the Atomic Habits method of setting the lowest possible daily bar of five fiction related words a day.

Yeah, that's like, dead low.

Weekly Update January 7
This is my brain in burnout

But! It is also so low I cannot fail. And most days, those five words are at least 250, which is a page. And, as I recover from the long season of burnout (which began sooner but I finally noticed in, like, April of '21), I have days with up to three thousand words, and days as low as five (the fives are usually while traveling or on a cat-sitting marathon).

As far as the habit is concerned, what matters is not the number of words, or the quality of the words, but the fact that I write words every day, so it's not a big scary thing, it's just what I do. An atomic habit that serves my greater goals.

And I'm sharing all this now because I believe it's helpful to get an inside view into the various ways brains can perform.

Not just to see how one author works, but how all manner of people can succeed in a variety of disciplines, if their brains are allowed to work the way they work best.

As a for instance, back in the authoring world, for some of us, writing is not an appointment that is kept with the desk. For others, that daily appointment is mana from heaven.

Some authors create wonderful books on the regular using outlines while for others (*waves hand*) outlines are the death of story.

It all comes down to the basic truth that neurodiversity is real, it covers a lot of territory, and the more we know about our own internal systems, the more we can accomplish.

Wow, that was a lot for a weekly update! I can only hope it proved entertaining and/or useful.

But for now, I must dash off to continue with laundry, packing up the not-so-youngster, and, if there's time, fiddling with those things called landing pages. (Ugh)

The glamour, it never ends.

Best to all, and I hope to see you next week with yet more insights into the world Outrageous Fiction!

*That is how many words were written. Not all of those words made it into the final product. 

** Curious as to my Top Five Strengths™? Here they are:

  1. Intellection: I think. A LOT. About EVERYTHING. I also need periods of quiet to process. Part of that's the introvert in me, but it's also related to Intellection.
  2. Input: I suck in information, which is why I cannot be allowed on the internet first thing in the morning, but also fills the creative well, as it were.
  3. Individualization: I LOVE uniqueness, and different experiences, and seeing, hearing, reading, different things. Also, I am very determined not to be Like Everyone Else. Oddly, this did not translate to my palate. I'm a pretty fussy eater. 
  4. Maximizer: I want to help everything and everyone be their best—people, characters, stories, you name it—I want to give it a step up. This can be a danger in fiction, as it often tips over into perfectionism and never finishing a book.
  5. Adaptability: Serpentine! But seriously, I can pivot like crazy, and actually need to put myself in places where Adaptability can do it's thing, or I start to feel stagnant (I'm also fond of tai chi and rollerblading).

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