April 24, 2013

Good News, Everyone: I’m Employed.

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 3:44 am
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It’s not a writing job and not a permanent position, but I will be working until the summer of 2014 on something semi-related to my degree. The Research Council of Norway has hired me for their Tax Incentive Scheme and their Core Competence and Value Creation in ICT program. So far, it’s both challenging and fun.

In addition to professional life, I’m doing two parallel training programs, participating in a relay race and a Norwegian Spartan race, and trying to keep my morning writing routine going. I’m slipping a little, but I’m sure I just need to get used to my new work load. I’m working on a new novel, and once I get my scheduling down, I should be writing that in the mornings, and editing the other one in the afternoons.

I repeat: the most important thing is to keep writing. Just keep writing.


April 6, 2013

Early Bird Writer

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 11:33 am
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I’ve started a new experiment. Every day I go to a cafe and write for an hour before work. And now, after a whole week, I’m ready to share my initial findings.

1. My daily word count is up.
It’s impressive how much more I jot down while my brain is fresh. My goal is 350 words per day, but so far, I’ve been averaging at about 800.

2. My inner editor is off.
I struggle with my inner editor. There’s a voice inside me that tells me to polish and polish individual sentences, keeping me from producing more text to slave over. But whether it be the already mentioned fresh brain, or the semi-desperation of caffeine deprivation and half-sleep, when I sit down at 7:45AM, I write without second-guessing.

3. The quality of my writing is improving.
I think the early morning flow is something for me. A quiet cafe. A quality cup of coffee. An hour to myself. It’s a great way to start my day, and it shows in my writing.

But there’s a back to this coin. The extra hour at work makes me grumpy, unfocused and dead tired. After training, my evening consists of lying on the couch, watching television or reading. Then again, I used to spend those hours writing, but I didn’t produce more than I’m doing now. Perhaps exhaustion is a fair price to pay for better quality text?

What do you think? Have you tried writing before work? What are your habits like, and what works for you?

March 21, 2013

Find the Thing You’re Most Passionate About

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 3:19 am
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…Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life
By David Ferguson

I have always been a big proponent of following your heart and doing exactly what you want to do. It sounds so simple, right? But there are people who spend years—decades, even—trying to find a true sense of purpose for themselves. My advice? Just find the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else, your one true passion, and do it for the rest of your life on nights and weekends when you’re exhausted and cranky and just want to go to bed.

It could be anything—music, writing, drawing, acting, teaching—it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it’s far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you’re stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life.

Is there any other way to live?

Read the rest of the article over at The Onion.

Anyone else out there who want to quit their jobs and dive in 100 percent after reading this? I sure do.

March 14, 2013

The Lure of Social Media Marketing

I’m a big fan of twitter. Not gonna lie, it might be my favourite social media. That’s why I’ve been bitching and moaning about all the indie authors out there who’re using it mainly as a tool to spew out ads for their latest novel. Why on earth would they do it, I asked myself. Don’t they know that it’s dull? That people skim past the noise to look for actual tweets? That they might be sorted out or unfollowed?

And then I entered a contest. And I wanted people to vote for me.

pick me!

Suddenly, I wanted to yell the loudest. I wanted to tweet every hour. I wanted to hold up a virtual sign over my head saying “Make my dream come true!” and jump up and down until everyone realized my book was the best and voted. I got it.

But even though I get why people want to tweet five (or ten, or twenty) times a day about how great their book is, it doesn’t change the truth: it’s bad marketing. I follow people on twitter because they’re funny, interesting or quirky. Not because they blast me with tweet after tweet about their five-star reviews.

There’re two days left of voting in the contest. My book, number 56: Fire and Blood, is currently at ninth place and I’m hoping and praying for more votes. But I won’t tweet about it. At least not more than once a day.

March 3, 2013

Starve Better

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 12:54 pm
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I’m trying to figure out my best path to success. Is it through freelance writing and translation gigs, working long hours but with the freedom to set my own schedule? Or is it through a safe and well-paid job that leaves evenings and weekends open for writing?

Option A stressed me out, and the long hours left little creativity for my own projects. Option B made me complacent and slow, leaving me with little push to drive my own deadlines.

So which do you prefer? Do you like to starve on your way to inevitable success, or risk the dangers of complacency in a safe and well-regulated office environment?

I don’t know which fits me better yet, and I’m definitely open for secret option C. Lay it on me!

February 5, 2013

Out in Italian

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 4:20 pm
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In 2005, I published an article called The Collective’s Little Red Book. It was collection of thoughts and ideas on how to organize live action roleplays collectively (yes, I’m a mega-geek). This week, that article came out in the Italian Symposium Ragionando di larp. Opinioni e riflessioni sui giochi di ruolo dal vivo (Reasoning about larp. Opinions and reflections about live action role-playing) by Andrea Castellani.
Order your print versions here for a measly $8.75 or get the ebook version for free.

Now I can say that my work has been translated into Italian. How cool is that?

(Before you start thinking I’ve turned this blog into a bragging space, let me tell you that I’ve been rejected from publications 4 times this week. I’m keeping the balance right between good news and bad.)

January 30, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 7:04 am
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It happened a while back, I was just too busy applying for jobs to notice.

Age of Conan’s latest content update, Secrets of the Dragon’s Spine, went live.
Secrets of the Dragon's Spine
With that content update, my very first dialog lines have been published. Making me an official game writer (sorta). So play, enjoy, and look for Jamila, the Tempest of Set, and dancing, half-naked women.

See you on the battlefield!

November 6, 2012

You Never Read the Same Book Twice

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 4:23 am
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Save one unfortunate decision to return to an old job (it lasted 2 months), I’ve never moved back to anything in my life. Not to my home town, not to my old school, not even to my old hobbies. Until now. Now, I’m back in Oslo.

I used to say that there’s no going back, only forward, so the thought of returning scared me. I worried that I’d feel the same way I had when I tried to go back to that other job: that Oslo would be an old dress that no longer fit. Not to mention all the people – writing buddies, colleagues, friends – I would leave behind in Montreal.

I do miss my Montreal people, I even miss the Montreal version of me, but being back in Oslo is exhilarating. I’m trying my hand at a new career in freelance translation, I’m figuring out how to write in Norwegian, and I’m re-connecting with old friends.

And, as it turns out, my self-made saying held true. Going back is impossible. Although I’m back in Oslo, I’m not back in my old Oslo. People have changed and so have I. It feels like I’m rereading a well-worn favourite, and finding a whole new book inside the old covers.

October 25, 2012

Make or Break Your Routine

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 4:28 pm
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In a writing rut: break your routine.

This is the advice I’ve gotten lately. Go on vacation, take a walk, write at different times of the day. But as someone who’s suddenly without a home or a conventional job, I have to admit that the lack of routine is what gets me. Sure, I have no trouble finishing my freelance gigs on time, outside pressure is a perfect motivator, but my own projects? Forget about it. I’ve written 1500 words in 2 weeks.

I’m sure it will be different once I settle down in a new country and the vacation feeling passes. I’m sure it will help once I get a few more freelance gigs so the paycheck thing will be taken care of. And I’m sure renting office space with other freelancers will help me mimic a traditional work day. But I don’t want my creativity to be shackled to an apartment and a set space.

So what is a poor girl to do? I need your advice here. How do you keep up productivity without set routines? Or how do you create routines when everything else is fluctuating?

October 14, 2012

The Right Place to Write

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 7:59 pm
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What constitutes “right” when it comes to a place to write is elusive and according to taste. Do you need silence? Noise? Music? People around you? Privacy? I can’t answer these questions for you, but I can give you an example of the perfect place to write for me.

Ninth Street Espresso in LES – New York.

Music: soft electronica, mild country or Leonard Cohen.
Drip Coffee: round, dark, with just a hint of bitterness.
Lattes: damn near perfect, in a range of sizes, all deliciously blended.
Charging possibilities: plentiful.
Wifi: free.
Clientele: a good mix ranging from seniors to hipsters to families.
Sound level: low, with a buzz of conversation. Haven’t broken out the headphones yet.

In my opinion, Ninth Street has it all. Plenty of seats at 1-2 man tables with just enough space to put a coffee cup and a computer. Good chairs. Great coffee (yes, I’m a bit of a coffee snob, so this has become one of my main criteria for a place to write). Friendly staff that do not mind long bouts of writing interspersed with few purchases of coffee. This is a place where people come to work, and it shows. If I could bring this coffee shop with me wherever I went, I’m pretty sure I’d be more productive.

What’s the perfect writing place for you? Inquiring minds want to know.

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