R/W: Resolve, Rethink, and Write [GIFs]

My deepest regret for 2014 is that I spent so little time writing. Instead, I focused on growing the site — worth the attention, obviously, and it did pay off. But I’ve been wanting to get back into a rhythm of writing substantively, regularly, and without agony. Then Angel tweeted about building a personal blog calendar and whoa — whoa, whoa, whoa. Of course I maintain one for the site, but for myself? Not so much. My writing time tends to be an afterthought, but maybe if I scheduled it…

So let’s talk writing calendars. Let’s build some writing calendars.

1. What is your overarching goal?

My goal is to write more and to write better. I want to publish one long form review, one long form feature, and one info-graphic (I’m studying stuff, people, interesting stuff) every month, while keeping up with my other contributions to the site.

2. What’s your writing schedule? Don’t have one? Try to make one.

Generally I write on my days off, while reserving the evenings for editing. This would work better if I could keep myself from responding to email during writing time. I will also have to identify clear goals for each day off and stick to them. UGH. PRIORITIES. Gross.

GIF kill bill, the bride, eyebrow raise

3. What are some themes or ideas that work towards that overarching goal?

2015 is the year I finally complete my magnum opus Joss Whedon hit piece… uh, I mean critical analysis. This is something I’ve started and stopped several times over the years but I’m outlining and researching it now, so the writing part should come fairly easily. One hopes!

I want to do a close reading of each of the Frontier books (Youth In Decline). Not big reviews with reference to the cartoonist’s previous work. Nope! Just dig into each issue and see what I find. If that goes well, I’ll probably move on to doing close readings of anthologies, because, why not?

Cartoonist primers! Overviews, essentially, of their major works, and the themes and ideas they’re super into. It’s hard to jump from one stream of comics reading to another and the main barrier to entry is a simple lack of knowledge. I’d like to do some very accessible introductions to interesting and potentially intimidating cartoonists.

Another big one — more writing on hiring practices, economics, etc. Lots of industry writing, either through data analysis or through opinion pieces. I want to write about money: who has it, who doesn’t, and how do we change that distribution.

GIF the bride, kill bill, blue fight

4. Are there holidays, book releases, conventions, or other events you can tie into and use to boost your writing?

Ok, this is hard. Much easier to think about tying the site’s overall blog calendar into events and holidays. But convention season — that should be good grist for my industry writing mill. More thinking is needed here, obviously.

5. Build your actual calendar.

UGH. The worst. But I’ll be thinking about these questions and slowly patching together my writing calendar for 2015. Hopefully I’ll have a working draft before January, but gosh, who knows. I’ve got liquor infusions to make and write about, and cool comics to read.

GIF the bride, kill bill

 

So now it’s your turn, friends. What are the big themes you want to tackle next year? What will your writing calendar look like?

Megan Purdy

Megan Purdy

Publisher of all this. Megan was born in Toronto. She's still there. Philosopher, space vampire, heart of a killer.

29 thoughts on “R/W: Resolve, Rethink, and Write [GIFs]

  1. I went to the Gothic Exhibit at the British Museum while on vacation, and am thinking of doing a Year of Gothic. I’d read a bunch of the classics and do in-depth reviews, plus survey the comic book and RPG versions of such. For example, when re-reading Dracula, I would also look at the Dracula: Company of Monsters graphic novel, re-watch Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and play the Rosemont Bay RPG (or Vampire: Masquerade or Annalise again or…yeah.).

    How’s that sound? Too big? Not interesting? Just right?

    1. Sarah, I have found that year long projects (or 6 months) are a really good way for me to focus on something and go in depth so I am ready to move on the next project for next year. It keeps me on track and it keeps things fresh in my head. I am much more likely to work on a single, creative non-fic piece over a 6-month to year stretch than something shorter or significantly longer than that. I think the year of gothic is a great idea, and I hope you do it, so I can read your work!

  2. I want to be more consistent and faster with content. I want to get more involved with the site and promoting our work here elsewhere. My short-term goals for the site are simple, create more content, product content faster. My long term goals for the site are promoting our work and products, building our brand.

    Personal goals are getting my personal geek blog up and running, post consistent content there, get my youtube channel up, keep improving my writing, and continue working on my comic resource website.

    1. We have very similar goals, Desiree. I also want to be faster, more willing to send something out for an editor or friend to critique and provide feedback rather than obsess with getting a first draft perfect. And I also want to work more on promotion – I love this site, and I have so much belief in what we do and the people involved.

  3. I’d love to do some in depth pieces, either investigative news or critiques. Time is always of the essence for me since I work on multiple projects. Having a set schedule/calendar really helps!

  4. Obviously I want to keep writing content for the site and get caught up on my book reviews but this year I really need to carve out specific time for my space opera in progress. I have it all plotted out in my head and have finished the first few chapters but by the end of this year I want it ready for querying.

  5. I want to get back to the bi-weekly #WWACTV chats on Twitter and write up more in depth TV stuff for the post equivalent of #WWACTV. 2015 will also be the year I get into doing more comics/graphic novel reviews. More book reviews, start doing interviews and keep up the Thursday Book Beat. On a personal level, need to get this first draft of a novel DONE.

    1. Ardo I’d love to be a part of the #WWACTV. TV is how I got into comics and I still keep up on all the genre TV shows (from superhero to fantasy to supernatural etc). So hit me up if you ever want to bounce ideas back and forth.

  6. I’ve got a couple game projects to work on, and of course WWAC content! A lot of 2015 is looking like team writing for me, as opposed to solo stuff, so I’m hoping other peoples’ expectations (and how I hate disappointing people) will keep a lot of my work in check.

  7. I am working on the Game Section calendar today!
    My own personal calendar has really benefited from this post, Megan. I think these are all great points. I think the hardest point for me is number 4. It requires some good forethought and planning, and I’m going to work on it this year.
    My main goals for myself are to make sure I’m writing regularly for the game section (this new series I’m working on will enable that, I think), and a few guest posts on other sites.

    1. Oh good! And you’re going to do awesome work this coming year with the games section, I’m sure.

      I need to start doing guest posts. Man. I think I’d like to do more movie criticism and some music criticism. AAAAAND I’d like to have my own personal blog again.

    1. I’m building one and it’s making me realize things about my lack of time management skills.

  8. I want to create regular, realistic beats for myself for the site. A few that I’ve tried to make a regular thing were a bit too involved and required far too much background research. I’m hoping to create a regular post that has a more spontaneous creative vibe. I have an idea that I’ll be emailing everyone about shortly.

    I also want to make this the year I finally write a dag book. A long one. And not a collection of short stories. It’s to be a longish, bona fide book.

    1. This is such a useful point – it doesn’t pay to sap all the spontaneity from your work.

  9. I want to post more regularly here and on my book blog. I also have stories that have been sitting in my brain for over a decade that need out out out. No more excuses.

    My biggest problem is prioritizing my time and my writing itself. My house is also filled with distractions, on top of the distractions I make for myself. I need to find a writing space and time and stick to it, even if that means getting out of the house for a while to do so.

    1. Wendy, you need a room/writing nook/table at Starbucks of your own!

      I want to get back to writing fiction too. What do you think of a flash fiction or mini fiction challenge to alternate weeks with the Art Gala? Might be a fun way to get moving and not stressing about writing.

      1. Flash fiction would be a great idea!

        And yes, I definitely need to figure out writing space. I know I won’t do well with a calendar–at least not until I find the time and space to shut out the world.

        I did finally get back on my novel last night. Rereading and editing first to get back up to speed on it, since I’d set it aside for months to ghost write. But now I really want to push through and see where it goes.

    2. What are your exact distractions? I know for me, personally, tumblr is a huge distraction so I have to resist going there at all or log-out completely. Maybe make a list of things you need/want to write about on a notepad or using a phone app to help keep you on track.

      1. There are some services that turn off your internet access all together to help you keep on track. I know a few illustrators who do this.

        I’m also playing with the idea of not turning on my email or checking social media until the afternoon. If I start my morning with that, hours get sucked away. If I get straight to work instead, then it’s all, woah is it noon already?

        1. I have the same issue, Sarah, especially because I am most productive in the morning. The afternoon is better for activities that require less focus and concentration from me.

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