Hi, long time no speak.
In my time (so far!) I’ve run maybe eight or nine blogs of varying content, from the tongue-in-cheek reviews of Crap Looking Books to the crossbow-skills-development of Points ‘n’ Pens. They all end the same way, a slow reduction in posts accompanied by apologies for not posting more.
And then they die.
That’s the one great thing about this member’s community, I don’t feel the need to deluge you with substandard content or apologies in order to retain your interest. So when I say “Hi, long time no speak.” it’s neither a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just a thing!
One thing I promised you last month was a little behind the scenes peak at my writing process, specifically for the short piece Can you Feel the Force? Star Wars vs Pride. Here it is.
Like pretty much any work, the First Step was to put off writing it for as long a possible, until it was screaming at the inside of my head, begging me to get on with it.
Step Two. Demented scribbling. It’s important to me to write every day. Sometimes this means a neatly typed letter. More often than not, it means demented scribbling.
Step Three. Type up those scribbles, correcting any mistakes and madness in the process, then print that out, because fuck the planet, apparently.
Step Four. Multiple start-to-finish passes on those neatly typed paragraphs, with multiple pens. This is the real edit, where things I’m proud of that make no sense get thrown out, and the key points that were in danger of drowning get brought to the surface.
Step Five. Type up those freshly-scribbled edits again, then read the whole piece out loud multiple times in multiple styles, usually while pacing the room. My brain always lets mistakes slide in silent reading, but I can’t ignore them when they’re being read out by CAROL AND HER SILLY VOICES.
Step Six. Post that thing online, send it to you guys, and sit quietly hoping that somebody loves it, and by extension, loves me.
Here’s the real behind the scenes scoop though – whilst the article was something I really wanted to write and genuinely felt strongly about, my main reason for publishing and sharing it was to test the effectiveness of Facebook’s audience targeting.
Sinister! Sounds a little sinister doesn’t it? Cambridge Analytica and a bunch of Russian hackers might have ruined the image of micro-targeting, but it’s actually a great resource for making sure that the people who might enjoy something are more likely to see it.
Targeting the post to people who read English AND are interested in LGBTQIA+ issues AND fans of Star Wars gathered a lot of positive responses… and a few erroneous Star Wars hatin’ homophobes who really need to examine their online footprint (and maybe their attitude).
It’s encouraging, because when 500ish Days In The Quiet Room and All Better Now are launched later this year, I’ve got the confidence to properly filter the audience for those too. Loud, confident voices might get heard the most, but it’s the targeted, thoughtful voices that get heard by the right people, the people who need to hear what I have to share.
I hope you are well.
P.S This month I tried to go 7 days without saying or posting a negative word about another person. It was difficult, refreshing, and I’ll tell you all about it soon.
P.P.S. I haven’t made any new work recently but I did review two books, The Night Circus, and The Ravenglass Eye. Spoiler: both were pretty good.
P.P.P.S. Remember that as a member of this community, only you will get the opportunity to pick up 500ish Days In The Quiet Room at a scarily low introductory price, and after launch only you will get a digital copy of the companion collection All Better Now for absolutely free!