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  • Writer's pictureA.J. Sobel

...*beep*...

The idea of a blog was first suggested to me about a year ago by my wife. At the time, I dismissed it out of hand, thinking I didn’t have anything important enough to say (let alone continually say) in the format that would be required.


However, the idea had taken hold. Admittedly, it’s taken a while, but I’ve finally decided to give it a shot. If nothing else, I’ll be able to stop having these conversations and discussions with myself (don’t judge -- I know you do it, too).


So let me give you a little rundown on what I expect this blog to be: As Douglas Adams put it, Life, the Universe, and Everything. Musings on writing, books, movies, video games, music, what have you -- I’m sure I’ll post about all of them eventually.


For what I hope are obvious reasons, I’m going to try to stay away from the big three, i.e. religion, politics, and social issues. I’m not starting this blog to battle it out with others over the internet. There are already plenty of places for that to happen (looking at you, Twitter).


The research I’ve done says that blogs these days run anywhere from five hundred to two thousand words per post. While I hope I’ll overshoot the former, I highly doubt I’ll consistently hit the latter, if at all. I’m not looking for a word count here. I’m not trying to drown a reader in overwrought ideas. I’m simply trying to convey my thoughts in the best way I know how.


The point, I suppose, is this: I don’t know what this is going to be yet, but I hope it develops into something pretty special. I’m new to this side of writing, so I’ll be learning as I go. I hope you join me for the ride.

 

Before Empire (my first novel) was published, I, like most writers, had amassed a fairly large backlog of short stories and ideas. I’d written them down and typed them up, with the intention that I’d have things to put out for years to come. Like most writers, I was much more optimistic in my early years.


My original plan was to rewrite and publish every story I’d written, and develop every idea into an eight thousand-word masterpiece. Then, life sat down beside me and cuffed me upside the head. There just weren’t enough hours in the day (stupid nine-to-five day jobs and their paychecks).


They all got stuffed in the proverbial desk drawer that every writer has (mine’s a flash drive in case you were wondering) in favor of full-length “big boy” projects. Time went on, as it often does, and they gathered years'-worth of digital dust as I lurched from idea to idea, trying to find one that I could develop.


The funny thing is that Empire actually started out as a short story that just kept growing and growing. I added characters, locations, sub-plots on sub-plots, mystery, magic, and mayhem -- it all went into the pot. When all was said and done, I had a 108k-word monster that I had raised from a little baby, and was obviously the best thing anyone had ever written ever.


Then life cuffed me upside the head again. More on that later… maybe.


By the time I’d finished, I realized that not everything I wrote had to be Ulysses. One of my favorite writers, H.P. Lovecraft, made a legendary career off of short stories and novellas. It was okay to not constantly be trying to write sagas worthy of Viking myth.


So I took some of the best of what I had out of the drawer, reworked and rewrote, and in the end, I had three stories I could put out in the year after Empire’s release.


At this point, I was fully committed to my next major project (Veil) and didn’t have time to trawl the shallows that was my writing portfolio. I still don’t; I’ve got so much planned (there’s that word again) that I would have to grind everything to a screeching halt to divert attention to polish another short story, let alone write one.


That’s an idea scares the hell out of me. I don’t know about other writers out there, but I kind of live in the future as far as writing is concerned. What’s coming next? Do I have another idea? Oh God, I’m closing out this project, do I have another one? I need an idea. I need an idea. I NEED an IDEA!


Thus far, I’ve always managed to find one, but I live in perpetual fear of the day where that won’t be the case. I don’t know, maybe I’m just weird.


I’m not going to lie to you, I’m a little worried about being able to consistently keep this blog going. I tried writing journals as a kid (thank you, Last Crusade), and I was never able to keep them for more than a few months at a shot. Every spring cleaning I’d find spiral-bound notebooks with their first twenty pages filled with things that seemed incredibly important at the time.


I suppose the one thing I’ve got going for me this time is that I’m trying to make a career out of this shit, so I’ve got a pretty good incentive to keep it going.


Anyway, ramblings aside, I’m hoping this blog will keep the creative juices flowing, and, if nothing else, will provide a modicum of entertainment to those that happen to stumble across it.


Catch you on the next one.


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