The Bow of Destiny

Goals For 2015 Pt. 8: Blogging Template & Scrivener

Late in 2014 I began using Scrivener with increasing regularity. I found all sorts of uses for this software and I continue to learn how to use it more efficiently.

As I committed to my blog the last quarter of the year I found that I need something to better manage the amount of posts I was writing and Scrivener fit the bill. I found a template to use that covers all my posts for the year. As with all templates in Scrivener keeping the project organized is both fluid and effective.

Blog TemplateWith my 2015 blog template, I’m easily keeping track of my schedule and posts using the binder and an embedded table for a calendar. I’ve created folders for each month and sub-folders for series posts and weeks.

If I have an idea, I simply create a text container and list my notes there for later reference if I’m not writing the post outright. I date and title each post so I know what day I intend to use it. However, if I find that I need to change my schedule, it’s very simple to drag a post to another folder or re-arrange the order.

But best of all I’m never confused about what’s next or to find it. Everything I have done, will post or intend to write is organized and easy to find. I don’t waste time on the post management, I simply start writing as needed.

BlueprintsSo, how am I doing? At the point I’m writing this post, I’m well over a week ahead for what I’m writing including scheduled features. At this point, I just keep writing posts to increase my backlog so I can plug them into my schedule and transfer to my site. For me, staying well ahead of the schedule is great. If I need to handle other things for a day or so I feel no pressure about publishing a post. Additionally, I feel no pressure to write something or else so I actually write more.

I highly recommend using a Scrivener blog template to organize a blog. It’s made my 2015 blogging much easier and enjoyable. It’s the perfect blueprint for my year of blogging.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyAre your changes for 2015 bearing fruit? Are to able to meet goals more frequently with better organization? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Goals For 2015 Pt. 7: Publication and Short Fiction

Soccer Ball Hitting NetOne of my goals for 2015 is to submit up to six short stories to SF&F magazine markets. I currently have one story under consideration with one market and I’ve almost completed a second story. But why would I bother with short fiction when I’ve got numerous books to write and one I’m definitely preparing for publication later this year. Here are several reasons:

1. I hope to show readers I have a wider ability and scope with my fiction writing. I think it’s important that readers have an idea of what they’re getting from my fiction and submitting short fiction is an outstanding way to attempt this goal. If a reader likes my short stories they are more likely to like my books too.

2. Being published through a magazine market provides greater credibility for me as an author. If a reader trusts my fiction content they will certainly look further in to my books and perhaps become a fan. Gaining fans is the best way to increase the number of readers for my fiction because they spread the word.

3. Short fiction is a great way to continue improving my craft. While my goal is to write books they take a long time to complete. A short story gives me the chance to hone my writing skills while taking less time. Gaining acceptance of any short story at a paying market also validates that I’m improving at the craft.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

4. If a short story is accepted it becomes a great source of secondary income. The goal of my writing is to entertain well enough to make some money at it. A short story can be sold several times through podcasts, re-prints and anthologies so they offer several pieces of pie to an enterprising author.

5. I enjoy writing and short stories are a lot of fun to write. I wouldn’t be writing if I didn’t like it and short fiction by its very nature provides loads of enjoyment for me. I get to develop ideas in all kinds of settings with all kinds of characters all in a small package. There’s far less commitment of time for development and writing which makes this a pleasant break from the grind of a novel.

6. Short fiction is inherently challenging. A short story requires an author to weave a tale in limited space. The goal is to tell a lot with far less words so you have to be conscious of the length at all times. Brevity is a great creative exercise.

So those are my reasons for spending time on short stories. Do you like to read or write short fiction? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so The Black Bag by P H Solomoncheck my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Cover art provided on commission from Chris Rawlins

Writing

Goals for 2015 Pt. 6: Site Management Follow-Up

HammerLast month, I wrote about my goals for 2015. However, those were just stated, good intentions. At this point, I want to begin sharing how I’m progressing with these goals. The effort is not to toot my own horn but, rather, to share my journey as an author for both readers and authors – especially newer authors regarding the latter.

One of my stated goals for the year was improvements to my website. As an author, a writing platform is essential in this digital age. Social media serves to bring readers your website and direct them to your content. As a consequence, my website is an effective tool to present myself to readers so they can get to know me. My blog exists to inform but also to present content that prospective readers come to trust.

I’ve come to understand that a website, much like the platform, is a growth project. It may experience construction followed by a lull and then more work. But always it needs to be in use.

One of the ways I want to grow this year is by improving this website visually. I want to use custom themes as well as possibly shift to self-hosting though my current needs are well-fulfilled. The custom themes will server to further brand my site and content that identifies my work with the fantasy genre. Getting there is an important milestone.

WritingHowever, I currently lack funds to enact these major site changes and branding. In the meantime, I’m working instead to brand the site in a different way – with content. I’ve begun a new feature named “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” which presents interviews of other fantasy authors. With this and more genre-related content I’m identifying this site and my content with SF & F fiction.

I’m also sharing more of my journey to publication and growth as an author to inform readers of the process and encourage other authors. I’m also beginning to write more about other facets of development and hoping to submit guest posts on other sites and beginning to do some author interviews myself.

So, while I’m not yet able to directly address my final goal for this website I am working to further brand it for fantasy genre readers and authors. My content is slowly changing to favor that of more general writing topics and those of fantasy.

The Bow of DestinyHave you made goals for the year? Have you taken steps to enact your goals? How? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Cover art provided on commission from Chris Rawlins