Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Year In Review Part 2: May-August

For those who missed what I'm doing here, I was super bummed out about my overall writing performance in 2014. I had hoped that I did better than my poor memory can recall, and so I went back through my 2014 blog posts. Must say, I was right. It WAS a better year than I remembered, but not as good as I had hoped. Either way, going back through all of those posts was a bit more of an undertaking than I had originally thought. So I ended up running out of time before I could make up for the dinky New Years post I published, then I failed to hit my first official Wednesday Blog Update of 2015. However, I DID manage to get my post up finally on Monday.

Major project, indeed. The post was becoming so long that I had no choice. Sure, you all have dealt with epically-long posts before, but this was a multi-page beast. I ended up breaking it down in to three four-month parts.

So, without further ado, here is part two of my recap of last year.

While the first four months of the year actually went a lot better than I recalled, May was definitely the point where I started sliding downhill. All, in part, due to Phfylburt. In 2013, most of my writing was focused on the X-Future boards. I was either obsessively on the boards roleplaying, or I was working on theX-Future: The Second Generation Begins, or I was writing another piece for X-Future: Snippets. Sure, the holiday season sort of killed role playing like it did in 2012, but I was still consistently on it; reading it; prodding people to continue to play. Then Phfyl became board one night and did a major thing with one of his characters. I shook me to the core for some reason. I was dumbfounded with disbelief. I actually wept. I also raged about the whole thing in my blog; making poor Phfyl feel way more guilty than he ever should. He apologized "in person" via Skype, and we've been better friends ever since.
What Phfyl did on the board became the main driving force for me to work on converting X-Future in to an original webcomic. This way I could have control of the story - for the most part; I took on Phfyl and Hubby as co-writers - and I could avoid the stunt Phfyl created on the boards. Given that Ronoxym has also been having writing troubles lately due to his inability to use Devon like he wants, I think including him on the X-Future reboot might help his inspiration as well. Either way, I've done a lot of world building and character development for the X-Future reboot over the past nine months, and it is all thanks to Phfyl just royally pissing me off.
That being said, I also haven't really been on the X-Future boards since... the roleplay itself is dying... so here's hoping Hubby has an idea of how to revive it now that the holidays are once again over.
Now, as I stated, May was largely spent trying to reimagine the world of X-Future. I started off wondering if we could just straight convert it in to comic form; similar to what I'm doing with TSGB. However, there seems to be a larger likelihood that Marvel finds X-Future and sends us a cease and desist, then it is likely that they take X-Future in as canon. Not to say the later wouldn't be flippin' awesome! Imagine, a dinky Play-by-post-role-play-turned-webcomic becomes accepted as Marvel canon: making the story universe of Earth 11616 a real thing!
Anyway, fearing the higher likelihood of the C&D - as well as people calling it out as glorified fanfiction - I decided to make it a completely original world. We barely involve the Marvel universe and characters anyway. At most there are about seven Marvel characters that I have to rewrite as originals. The trick was figuring out the world to tell the story in. Throughout the course of the month, I bounced between four different world concepts: near-future cyberpunk, fantasy, cyberpunk fantasy, and no-powers. Phfyl actually gave me the idea of "no powers" in July, and was really pulling for that concept, but Hubby and I decided we liked the Near-Future Cyberpunk setting best. The real drive for that setting was the categories and terms for the mutants that Hubby and I came up with.
The reboot wasn't the only good that came from a bad-place this month. I had hit a point where I questioned my writing talent. It seemed like everyone else could find inspiration within for their writing, but I needed some sort of outer catalyst: X-Future, working with Phfyl or Ron, fanfiction, even collabing with AngelBlood666 - something that only lasted for a week; need to get back to that. As I said though, even this downfall has a silver lining. When I bounced back, I ended up writing - in my opinion - a nice pep-talk post.

Writing got even worse this month. My "No Zero Days" mantra fell to the wayside, leaving me with not much happening, writing wise. Well, aside from officially picking "Glitches" for my original term for mutants and "Hacked" for mutates.
I hadn't touched Trish since finishing up a session with her in January, and so I attempted to write a Trish/Devon fight scene. I got about a page or two in, but never finished it. Honestly, while I kept attempting to write shorts, I haven't done anything with Trish in about a year. I'm so upset about that; I loved this character.
I tried to respark something by writing up recaps of the X-Future board for ChibiSunnie. That way she could read the Snippets since she would have all the info she needed. I had hoped that it would also help bring back my drive to work on TSGB again. I didn't get very far with the recap, and haven't touched it since - a reoccurring trend in 2014, it seems.
I also fell in to a funk while world building Gyateara. I found some of my old notes from back when I first started building one of the countries in Gyateara; notes from about 2004. One of the things I included in with the notes were articles talking about pitfalls screenwriters and authors tend to fall in to while world building. Instead of using this info the way I originally intended when I printed out the articles - a means of warning of what to avoid - I instead stared at this pack of papers; terrified that if I hadn't already fallen in to those pitfalls, that I was going to. I once more lost faith and halted all writing.

My father-in-law had Frankensteined my netbook back to life, which allowed me to partially revive my desire to write. Especially now that I can sit on the couch or in the bedroom and write. Sadly, this didn't up my beta-reading or my visiting Writers’ Huddle at all last year. I need to fix that for this year... in the meantime, I officially decided to revive my failed attempt at a local writing group. I have a lot of online writing friends who may not have the spare cash to be able to join Writers' Huddle, and so I decided to go ahead and start up my own. We jointly decided on the new name for the group: Struggling Writers Society. I spent a lot of time - and even posted late one week - putting together a forum, but people seem to mostly stick with the FB group. We didn't do too much last year, but I'm trying to get people more active this year.
While I was working hard on my own writing group, I did go back to Writers' Huddle for help on the X-Future reboot. I was still struggling to figure things out at this point. The people at WH helped me realize that my passion was for the cyberpunk near-future setting, and they - well, mostly Ali Luke mostly for this part - helped me figure out how to rewrite the key part of the Xavier Institute. Phfyl and I then whittled down the cast of characters down to about twenty; quite a feat with a starting list of over forty.
Chibi started up her own blog, but, much like Ron, she didn't get too far in to it before her getting nervous about her writing halted her. So, please stop by her blog and give her your thoughts. Even if they're critiques, I'm sure they will help encourage her.

The world was rocked by the death of actor/comedian Robin Williams. I posted a blip after his death pleading for people with Depression - or any other mental health issue - to reach out for help. Suicide should never be an option.
I had a huge list of stories that I needed to work on; haven't even started any of them. They included a Trish/Devon story, an stories about what Lia, Willow, and Chayse did over the summer break time-skip on the forum. All on top of TSGB, rebooting X-Future, Gyateara world building, and trying to convince Ron to work on the Devon/Willow story more.
With my writing stopped for months, no one really doing anything on the X-Future boards, and stress from work just piling up I fell in to a mild depression that pretty much lasted the rest of the year, aside from a few Highlight Days. One such day resulted in a bit of an epiphany: Mental Arthritis.


A much shorter post compared to Monday's Part One. Sadly, this only means that I really didn't do much writing in this middle portion of the year. I had some breakthroughs in the X-Future webcomic idea, but that was pretty much all I did for four months. Not too bad if I was working on it consistently, but sadly I wasn't.

I know that the last part of this Year in Review series is going to be just about as short, and that saddens me. When I worked on the first part I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of work I had forgotten I had done in those first four months of 2014. Then the summer hit, and then the craziness of holidays - Halloween through Christmas - and I just couldn't get myself back on the horse.

I need to learn from this. I need to keep this drive going past April. I need to push myself to stay consistent with my writing year round. I hope I'm starting right by posting this at noon on a Wednesday, as I promised I'd do.


  1. Don't beat yourself up, sounds to me like you did good. We all have times in our lives when things have to give a little. Be good to see you over in the huddle forums sometime?
    Happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year back to you, and thank you for the kind words and encouragement. I'm really trying to look back on these failures as places to learn and grow.

      Once I'm back on track with these blog posts - one more to go and then get myself set up for next Wednesday - I have a few stories to beta read and THEN I can attempt to become a WH regular again. I'm hoping February (or even "cheat" and use the lunar New Year if I miss my Feb 1st deadline...).

      Also, thank you for reading my blog. It's awesome to know that at least one person from WH is a reader of mine. :D