Mid-life Resolutions, Part 2


My mid-life resolutions strategy can best be summarized like this:

Throw enough stuff at the wall that something’s bound to stick.

  • Network:  Sure, I Twitter, and I blog, and I love the guys and gals over at Gail Simone’s You’ll All Be Sorry forum on CBR, but what about everything else?  There are literally new social media and forums popping up daily.  Why shouldn’t I be out there on them, getting to know people?  These are potential readers, potential employers, and most of all, peers.  It’s a wide-open space out there, and it couldn’t hurt to check it all out.
  • I’m currently auditioning for a slushpile readership.  Who knows if I’m a solid fit for that sort of thing?  Until the ride’s over, I can at least use the opportunity to see how the other half lives.  I have four sample query letters in my inbox as I type this.  I have to critique them and decide whether I would keep or reject them.  I should be able to take away some insight into the proper (and improper) things to include in a query letter/submission.  Also, I get to stand a little closer to the hidden publishing doorway.  My goal: to sneak in when they’re guard is down.
  • For my birthday, I’m getting Manga Studio 4 and a MousePen and tablet set.  Up until I hit puberty and came down with a bad case of the brain-haze, I could actually draw pretty well.  I even won third place in a contest, drawing Doomsday (the creature that killed Superman) when I was around thirteen.  Over time, however, my talent has mutated into something that is better left in the bottom of a storm drain.  It’s my goal, however, to practice, practice, practice on my art until I can at least produce some decent pin-ups and webcomics.
  • As you know, I have an eight-page story coming up in an anthology to be published by Incubator Press.  Since I began writing, I’ve always thought in long-form.  Novels, in other words.  Since I broke down a script into comic book format, it taught me that, hey, I’m okay with the short-form works, too.  In the past couple of months, I’ve had so many short story ideas run me over that it’ll be hard to know which one I want to start with first.  When I do get them all knocked out, you can be fairly certain they’ll be flying out of my outbox and into every inbox I can.
  • My first love will always be novels (Well, ok, besides comics).  Without a doubt, I will never be without a novel in one form or another on my hard drive.  I’m currently working on my second Truth Saga novel, the first in my Grim Wars series, and I just came up with a heck of an idea for a done-in-one thriller.  I’ll be living with these characters for years and years to come.
  • Writing for comics has always been my number one goal.  Even while I’m writing prose, I’m doing it with the hope of being noticed and breaking through that ungodly wall that cuts off the legion of comic fans who wish to be comic writers.  With many thanks to Incubator Press, I now have a spark to flame.  In time, I will start a blaze to ENGULF US ALLLLLLLL!!!!  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! [Twirls Mustache]
  • Everyone familiar with the Kickstarter program?  This is phenomenal.  They help out creative minds that control little to no capital.  If you want to get that indy movie, comic, novel, or song made, but you just don’t have the dough to get it started, you can go to kickstarter.com and set up a project.  Then, you can direct your friends and supporters to your project, and beg and plead for their dollars in exchange for really cool rewards that you set up.  You can give away signed copies of your work, recognition, etc.  Check this out for sure.  Chances are good you’ll be seeing me up there some day soonish.
  • One other idea I’m kicking around is becoming an indy book reviewer.  If I did this, I’d start out with the books of those I know, and try to help them get known.  I just received my first novel for review today.  When I can clear off a little of the ol’ schedule, I’ll test the waters with a little bit of a review on here.  Maybe I’ll ask for yours some day.

I’m also looking into ebooks, modding for a well-published friend’s website, writing a script or two with my friend Terrance, and probably a million other things.  Plus, I have a new ingenious plan every day.  I can’t wait to look back on these upcoming thirty years and see how much of this I’ve been able to dabble in.

Do you have other ideas or opportunities that you’re excited about?  Share.  Yeah, comment away.

- Ray

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4 responses to “Mid-life Resolutions, Part 2

  1. I worry about trying to keep up with the myriad forums/sites/platforms for writers and potential readers. I much prefer to build those kinds of relationships organically, but there is much to be said for getting out there and making it happen NOW. With only a finite amount of time to spend in forums/etc., is it better to make fewer but deeper connections, or many shallower ones?

    First love is novels, but first goal is comics. I wonder if you’d get better reward/satisfaction focusing on one? That said, I am a firm believer that you always need a “B” project (and maybe a C and a D/etc.). Obviously everyone works differently.

    Thanks for the interesting discussion and glimpse into your 30th year…

    @badgerpendous

  2. No problem, badger. I think that as far as forums go, you should be a major player (5-10 comments/week) in a couple and then a minor player (5-10 comments/month) in a few more. Comment on blogs, etc., of course.

    Here’s the thing: Be genuine. Everyone can tell when you’re faking it. I take a genuine interest in what I comment on (at the very least, I value the person who made the post in the first place). It takes a lot to bare one’s soul in any medium.

    As for sticking with either novel or comics, that’s not going to happen for me. Besides, you never close a door unless you’re slamming it shut. What I mean is this: Dan Didio at DC Comics does heavy recruiting for their current lineup through everything but comics. He’s hired musicians, novelists, and screenwriters. Also, folks like Greg Rucka and Peter David bounce back and forth and love it. They say writing one reinvigorates the other.

    Take care, and thanks so much for the feedback!

    – Ray

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