Oh boy oh boy oh boy! It’s been quite a fruitful year for Word Salad Spinner. My goal for this blog is to present 1,250 words per week. After 52 weeks, that means I’ve submitted a minimum of 65,000 words for the site, and calculated that 35,000 of them were for original content instead of old stories or skits! Consider that the average NaNoWriMo submission is 50,000 words. This blog is essentially my own personal NaNoWriMo, although it should be called Nick’s Blog Writing Year, Yo! (aka NiBloWri, Yo!) Here’s a quick look back at what I brought to my project.
BEST: I think the best post I wrote (and certainly the most popular one) was On Writing With Depression, which discussed how my mental illness influences my writing and my views. I found a way to bare my soul while remaining logical, clear, and informative. And if I were to brand myself for this blog, I suppose it would be “thoughtful soul-digging about writing.” It’s definitely my best work here, and the one I’ll try to emulate going forward.
WORST: New Caveton Part 1. Let me let you guys in on a little secret. Sometimes I get exhausted or busy or for whatever reason can’t write something for the blog. That’s when I put up a skit, or a play, or part of a short story. Usually, I put up a work that I’m not sure how to improve on at the time. Works like “The Lost Day” or “The Son, The Son, and The Son” went through many edits before they got featured on the blog. New Caveton was still a work in progress, even now after I’ve finished the entire screenplay. I want to publish the best work I can here, not my junk drawer, not my drafts. It’s one of the few times I feel like I let my readers down.
MOST SURPRISING: People really seem to like it when I fuck up and do some introspection. Whether it’s getting fired from a P.R. internship or getting booted from a feminist club, those moments garner a decent amount of sympathy and views. I guess this is my “You really do like me!” moment. Fair enough, I suppose. This’ll be all the motivation I need to go out there and try more experiences, and maybe fail a bit more. I’d make some snarky comment about you all enjoying my pain, but I like you too much.
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED: I’ve gotten a bit better at blogging since I started, using tags and engaging with my audience and what not. But when it comes to my own writing, I’ve really learned to pucker up and KISS— keep it simple, stupid. I’ve let non-fiction, non-literary sources inspire many weird metaphors and odd turns-of-phrase in my work, and I’d say that’s enough of that for now. I’ll work to be more down-to-earth in my prose, letting my ideas and my characters speak for themselves instead of hiding behind flowery language.
WEIRDEST TIDBIT: I think my Star Wars Episode VIII: Dark Force Rising post was ok. But for some reason, every week there’s someone checking in on it. If you’re out there, people who go to that post every week, I must ask you: what about it do you dig so much? What’s the thing I did there that you’d like to see more of? I’m a tad confused.
PLANNED CHANGES TO THE BLOG
- Look, I know I’m not going to magically stop procrastinating. Some may even argue that procrastinating is healthy for the creative process. But under the current system, I end up publishing a mega-upload every Saturday. That needs to change. So while I’ll still keep to the 1,250 words per week, the end of the Word Salad Spinner Week is officially Tuesday. If I post on Tuesday, you’ll know I’ll be cutting it close, but I’ll be cutting it close on a day that’ll get me more views.
- I’ll also focus on doing more and smaller updates instead of weekend binges. This should be easier for me in the long run, plus more entertaining for you.
- This site is also going to become more goal oriented. I see the first year of Word Salad Spinner as the getting-to-know-you phase, where I show how I’m starting out as a writer. But I began this blog with three goals in mind, the first being to get published. I’ll still talk about writing experiences and do reviews, but the new focus will be on documenting my progress in getting published. Will this happen this year? Who knows. But whether I do or whether I don’t, this blog will tell you why.
- Since I’ll be more goal-oriented, my Twitter page will document my progress on said goals. This’ll likely be in the form of “Project X is Q% done!” in addition to the usual updates whenever I post something. If you’re eager for news on my progress, check it out here at @wrdsaladspinner. I’ll also retweet funny stuff and give my thoughts on what I’m reading at the moment.
What will I be recording progress on?
- More Progress on Let’s Get Cracked! I’ve decided on the topic (The Subculture of Magic: The Gathering) and have begun research by printing out someone’s 100+ page thesis on the subject! You’ll be seeing the pitch relatively soon, I reckon!
- Glimmer Train Reviews! I’ll go more into detail on this in another post, but here’s the skinny on it. Glimmer Train is a short story magazine friendly to never-before-published writers. I want to be published on Glimmer Train. I have a ton of their short story magazines I still need to read through. So I’ll be posting reviews of each of the short stories from every magazine starting with Fall 2014. After I finish each issue, I’ll recap and state what I’ve learned about Glimmer Train’s tastes and how that’ll improve my chances of getting published there. Do I have something I might want to submit there? Funny you should ask…
- New fiction! After considering what I’ve learned for fiction writing, I’ve been hard-pressed to find an old story of mine that I’m inclined to re-read. I’m actually a little ashamed of my old stuff. I have one I like, however, and I’m 12% of the way through editing it. I’ll post it on this site when I’m satisfied with it, and then take you through my process of trying to get it published! What’s the story about? Let’s just say I was inspired by one of the posts I linked to on this update…
- The rest of the Comprehensive Character Guide! Complete with downloadable template and an example of a character I’ve created with said template!
A big thank you to anyone that liked, shared, or commented on this project of mine! I’m grateful for my followers, and can’t wait to provide them with more entertainment and wisdom each week! Here’s to another great year!