A New Year & New Goals

A New Year & New Goals
With 2014 all set to be rung in tomorrow, it’s time to stop and think about what the plan is for the coming year. I know that I want to be publishing again, with an increased frequency and quality of work. I also want to be writing longer and longer stories, moving toward that eventual goal of novel territory. While I don’t know how far off that is, there are a couple of drafts that I am working on that I think will be the first novel candidates. If the last couple of days of writing are anything to go by, then there is every chance that one or more of them may be ready to go by the end of 2014.

In terms of what it means to have a productive day of writing, I am happy to have any day where I have more words on the page than when I started. I have set myself certain word-count goals, but pushing too hard to stick to a metric like that could lead to filler being produced to make some arbitrary limit, instead of the quality I have set for myself. It’s hard not to compare to the output and writing approach taken by other authors, and when I see what sort of output they consider to be a good day, then I find myself wondering how I can be writing quality material if I am generating so many more words in a writing session. I try not to think about it too hard, as my muse has been kind to me up to this point, and I don’t want to neglect her again (like I did earlier this year).

There are other goals and resolutions for next year, but they’re not as important to my writing. All I know is that I want to keep writing quality erotica, to keep building my fan base, and to successfully capture the stories and images floating around my head.

To everyone, have a Happy New Year, and here’s to a strong 2014.

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings
With Christmas now only a couple of days away, and with many distribution sites closing their author / publisher pages for the break, it’s looking even less likely that I’ll have anything out prior to Christmas itself. That’s okay, as a break from everything that has gone on this year will be welcome.

Christmas here in Australia is shaping up to be quite a hot affair, with fine, sunny weather forecast for most areas. We’ve just finished a weekend of hot weather and things have cooled down slightly, but it is actually looking quite nice for Christmas Day. Being Australia, it’s all about sport, so from Boxing Day / St. Stephen’s Day there’s plenty to keep us occupied while we sweat out the mountain of Christmas food we’ve just eaten. It is going to be the first Christmas in a while for me where I have actually had the opportunity to do nothing but rest and enjoy the time, and I’m looking forward to watching the Boxing Day test, the sailing highlights, and catching up on the other sport from around the world.

Christmas is also about family, and the kids are getting more into the swing of things this year, with it being the first time that the older ones have bought gifts for each other. It’s not much, but it’s another one of those little life events that tells you that they are growing up and becoming their own type of person. Now, we’ve got a couple more years wait before they can start giving us good presents that we haven’t already bought for ourselves.

As it is unlikely that I’ll have another update before Christmas, please enjoy yourselves and have a wonderful Christmas / New Year break. I hope to be back and publishing early in the New Year, and have grand plans for the level of output I am going to achieve next year.

It's Nearly Christmas

Nearly Christmas
It’s nearly Christmas and I am looking forward to the time off with family, and the time away from busy writing for a while.

I was originally hoping to have a Christmas special out before then, and another collection of this year’s works, but it could be a little later than expected to have them ready, although the Christmas story is ticking along nicely at the moment. It’s just that it won’t be ready in time for Christmas (at least I don’t think it will).

Looking forward to 2014, I’m already planning how I am going to make time to write, and where and when. I don’t want to be caught out like I was this year by any nasty surprises. Based off my Halloween story, I know that my muse hasn’t deserted me, so there’s always something positive to look forward to.

If you’re travelling over the Christmas / New Year period, please travel safely and I look forward to having you as a reader and fan in the New Year.

Some Deeper Thoughts

Deeper Thoughts
I’ve been looking back at the releases that I managed to put out this year, and at the handful of near-complete drafts I have scattered around at the moment. I’ve also been looking at the date and at the other work I have to finish off this year before I can think about books.

Unfortunately, it isn’t looking good for a release before Christmas. No matter how hard I try to make time for writing, other things seem to keep getting in the way. This year’s collection of my works is going to be pretty thin, and it is going to contain some books I’m not as pleased with as I should be.

Perhaps I should just wait for the new year and wipe the slate clean. I have been working extremely hard this year and, even if it isn’t being demonstrated in the number and quality of releases that I might want, the best thing for me may just be to take a rest and try again in a few weeks time.

On the positive side, I have managed a couple of good releases this year. I have also managed to prove to myself that I can still write, even when the world seems to be encroaching on all that I consider dear and special. Those thoughts are going to carry me through into whatever form my next release(s) take.

My experimentation with longer forms of writing has also been going well, even if the longer books still seem to end too suddenly. At least that tells me I have something going for me as I continue to write and devote time to honing my craft again.

After the last year and a bit, I guess I shouldn’t get into the habit of saying anything definitive about publishing, or not, as I somehow tend to prove myself wrong.

Who’s to say what the next couple of weeks might bring? Whatever it is, I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself.

Working With Technology

Working With Technology
While the new site is looking really nice, and most of the places that re-publish my blog comments picked up the changes without too much hassle, it seems that not all handled the change without difficulty. I am still waiting for the blog content to be carried across to Twitter and Facebook in the right way. I think I’ve got it all worked out, but my previous post looks like it might be missing in toto once the new feed is picked up again.

If it wasn’t for the large number of followers who seem to favour one site or feed over another, I wouldn’t be so concerned. I do hope that these teething troubles go away again so that I can get back to worrying about my writing.

Parallel Lives

Parallel Lives
It’s finally happened! After a lot of soul searching, an inadvertent loss of weeks of work, a last-minute lockout from my hosting server, and a little more soul searching about how to integrate what is old and new, and I’ve finally got my new site design and lay out in place.

It might have taken a couple of months longer than I was expecting, and far longer than I was wanting, but I have a nice new site, and a much simpler set of tools to keep it looking pretty. Not only that, but the website address is far more rational – appearing at the top level of xavieredwards.com, and not some random directory underneath it all.

I haven’t destroyed the old site, as yet, given that there are many websites that are pointing directly to some of my older pages. Gradually I will be redirecting those older links to the new content but, in the meantime, the new and the old will live side by side. This post is actually the first content that is purely being posted on the new site, and will not appear on the older formatted site.

Once I have redirected all the inbound links I will be archiving the site for my own historical benefit and then removing it from the internet completely. If I do it right, there should be no way for anyone to reach any redirected content on the older site, so it isn’t going to make any difference to visitors, other than that they will only get to see the wonderful new site, and not the older one.

I am still to determine whether to use proper permalinks for each blog entry, and book entry, and if I do, what format they will take.

Already my rss feeds for both my books, and my blog should be redirected to my new site layout, so anyone visiting off my feeds will be coming onto the new layout. The same should be the case for the sites which re-host my blog content.

Another benefit to the new layout is that paragraphs are now working properly across my site and the re-hosted sites. There were some issues previously, where paragraph delimiters weren’t appearing in the same manner across different sites, but that should hopefully all be addressed now.

If things end up going well, I will also be looking at enabling comments directly on the site, rather than having to redirect visitors to one of the re-hosted locations if they want to leave comments.

Perhaps, now that the redesign is in place, I can stop procrastinating and get back to writing....