Sunday, May 26, 2013

Update -- Chasing Squirrels

I've had a more productive week than I thought I was having.  But I did spend a lot of the week chasing squirrels.

As distractions go, "squirrels" are at least fun.  (If you've never seen the movie UP; the talking dogs have a tendency to whip their heads around and say "Squirrel!" in the middle of any conversation.)  They're the shiny, pretty new things that can grab and absorb your attention completely for a bit.  They're kind of like Popcorn Kittens --with one vital difference.

Squirrels are temporary distractions which don't hold you.  You can think "Squirrel!" and hare off and play for a short time and then return to what you're doing.  As a matter of fact, a really good squirrel tends to become boring rather quickly.

For example:

One part of my Experiment in Mercenary Writing involves Twitter.  The idea of the overall experiment is to test whether the best promotion for a book is another book.  And as a part of testing that, I'm doing it under pen names and keeping a firewall between me and the book identities.

However, books hidden in your basement are unlikely to be found, no matter how many of them there are. So I felt I needed an announcement mechanism.  I decided on Twitter for many reasons I won't go into now, but you need to establish a Twitter follower base before you make the announcements.

And as long as I'm using both pen names and creating a new Twitter account, it seems like this would be a good time to use some of those "power user" methods of gaining a following and promoting to it. (I am modifying these to be less annoying, but that's one of the things I love about Twitter -- the users do not have to put up with or battle annoying behavior.  You can just unfollow and those people are gone.)

Thus I was chasing some Twitter squirrels this week. (Actually, though my other accounts don't follow them, there are a lot of very cool squirrels to follow on Twitter.  Particularly "Clyde The Exceptional Squirrel," and if you are into progressive politics, there's Beebz and Mad City Squirrel....  Whoops, I just chased squirrels again, didn't I?)

In the meantime, the writing:

Is going well.  Not as well as I'd hoped, but I now have four projects in the queue for the experiment (and the romantic suspense is back on) and I've been working hard on The Serial.

One of the things that set me back was that I was going to spend this week trying to get several episodes ahead on The Serial.  This did not work.  This is a story that likes to be written on deadline -- and real deadlines, not pretend ones I set for myself.  If I spend more time, I just spend more time, and don't get more story.  (I do get more and better plotting, though.)

So new plan: I have a time later this summer when I will be out of town and will have to have a couple of episodes done ahead.  I'll set aside the week before that to get more episodes done.  That will be on deadline too.

Now back to the drawing board...

See you in the funny papers.

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