How's Your 2017 So Far?

Hey, gang!


I've been out of the loop on saying hi to everyone, which has been biting me because I've missed talking to a lot of you.


Just to avoid a thread of chitchat for chitchat's sake, how has everyone's 2017 been? Any New Year's Resolutions happening?


Since last summer I've sort of been stumbling headlong through weeks of 'just gotta get through this week and I'll be all clear to relax', every week. Stuff consistently coming up, having to be negotiated, having to be tackled. Mini-tax audit, renovations on my building, bat infestation, appointments, extra chapters to be written, travel, family obligations...


In the fall I was approached by a number of people from the entertainment industry. 3 earlier in the year, and then something like 10-12 in the span of five weeks. Each one being someone I have to reply to very carefully and in a very diplomatic way. This has fed into several days like the one where I didn't have a chapter due, but I'd wake up, make breakfast & tea, bring tea over to my office and sit down to check emails... and at 9pm I was still responding to people I couldn't/shouldn't ignore and I hadn't eaten since breakfast.


It's all adding up to me feeling a little burned out. I'm happy that I'm able to keep going with Twig and avoid the issue I ran into with Pact where I autopiloted through and left readers frustrated. That said, I may have slipped in the last couple of weeks, with an overfocus on character interaction - albeit character interaction readers were arguably craving (with them having missed some of the characters involved).


Hoping for next month to be a little quieter & give me a chance at getting stuff done and out of the way... but then again, have been saying that since the end of August, 2016. Really hoping this isn't my new normal.


On upside, hey, attention from entertainment industry, and being busy is a good thing in an abstract sense. Doing fine financially with the full-time writing schtick, am enjoying what I'm writing, and am enjoying socializing with fans & family as I travel here & there in Ontario.


Me, I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I only decide to do things that I'm pretty sure will stick, which is an ongoing process regardless of time of year.


As far as the writing goes, I've put out 40 posts so far in 2017. Before anyone gets too impressed:

- 15 of those are for my "Time & Tied" serial, which completed it's edits in late October of last year, so it's simply a matter of formatting and linking. Only the monthly "Commentary" posts are newly written. And I have no new regular readers.

- 7 of those are non-fiction mathematical related posts on my personal blog, and another 7 are weekly summaries I post there for accountability.

- 8 of those are personified math comics, the most popular of which has only 15 views during the last six weeks (which is admittedly better than any of my new T&T posts for 2017).

- The other 3 are short works or opinion pieces. Also, I've been taking the year off my job, which gives me the gift of time (though January was a bit busy for personal reasons).


In January I did an interview with a local author on his website, this month another one on a Serial Fiction Facebook site (shoutout to those on twitter, follow @SerFicDigest), and I have started poking my head more actively into "Royal Road Legends". In fact, I've been reformatting "Time & Tied" with the intention of launching it on RLL sometime this month, for the lulz. As soon as I get Book1's possessives straight and stop overusing exclamation marks!!! Oh, and insert random reminder about the April Fools Thread here, where Alex posted a link; assignments won't be going out for a week yet, anyone reading this, feel free to sign up.


As far as my pageviews go, they're declining, whereas they went up to start 2016... but given that year showed an increase of 200 to 270 (Jan/Feb) whereas here I'm on track for dropping down to 360 from 460, I suppose I can live with it. In 2015 I was barely breaking 100 views in a month. It's always the little things that keep you going. I've actually had commentary from THREE separate individuals since Jan 1st (FOUR, if you include the fic I posted on Wattpad), and that helped give personified math a new direction (finally). I've had someone recommend one of those opinion pieces I mentioned above, and just this past week I got math colour fan art for the first time ever. Gotta focus on the positives, am I right?


So what've you been up to, Tartra? Grand adventures?


2017 is already shaping up to be an interesting year, both personally and professionally. Is it too early to be excited? Probably, but i am regardless.


My serial is going along just fine. The numbers are good, considering how long I've been going (only five months), but I don't concern myself about it too much. I have a handful of regulars who comment every week, and I'm super duper grateful for it every time. It's a fun, cozy place to be, my comment section.


It's funny really, that I've been getting more eyes on my writing than the other stuff I do. I have a main art blog (not Balloon Day), which has everything I've done (that's worth sharing) from art, photography, video, other writing, etc., and the numbers are significantly less over there. Granted, this is no surprise, since I update my serial every week, and my main art blog only sees updates whenever I have the time to sit down and draw, film, edit, which is never, in recent months. I still draw, but its been arc covers for my serial, and not for commissions or other art projects. I've always considered myself an artist before considering myself a writer (drawing for the internet for 6 years, only writing for almost 3) but I've never achieved the 'numbers' or 'following' I've had drawing than I have writing. It's an observation that I find interesting, personally.


It's only February, so the only place I hope to go is up. I'm excited.


My webserial has been sputtering along. Huge surge of readers since Gloomybear posted a review, so that's making me happy.


But what's really got me elated is that my 2017 diet is working pretty well this year. I'm down 13 pounds from Jan 1. Granted, I'm huge, so there's more to lose, but the feeling of making progress on a tough issue is a great one.


My year has been a good one so far! I recently gave my website a complete overhaul which took me two about two weeks to knock out. I am very happy with how it looks now though I am still making edits for my serial. I started taking up serial writing this year (I am a complete newbie) and have six entries up (and about three backlogged) and are very excited! I know that these are low numbers but it is the most I have written in a very long time so I am proud of myself. I am lucky that I have traffic on my site for my old web-comics and I am seeing a slight conversion to viewing my serial,


I just started posting on here and have been pleasantly surprised with how nice the community seems! I have already learned a lot from you guys (though I imagine I still have a lot more to learn). I am looking forward to what this year has to offer and I am eager to dive further into the serial community!


I recently moved my serial to a new site (www.gravitytales.com) which predominantly hosts translated Chinese web novels, and does so very successfully. There are a huge number of translators, original authors, editors and tech staff over there who have made things a lot easier for me. Most of them are college age (and at college) but they are very passionate about web serials in one respect or another and I've been able to find people to help me proof my ebooks, sort out technical issues, set up various bits and bobs to make my presentation look more professional.


It's already a thriving business on the translation end (to give you an idea, my story has about 400k views so far this month, some of the Chinese novels have over 6 million) and there is definitely an audience for English language stories that are being drawn to the already established scene in China and Japan. If you think of it like comics, the big hitters are like Spider-man and Superman, flashy OP MCs with ever more ridiculous storylines trying to top themselves, but like comic books I think there is room for more quirky, left field stuff (at least I hope so). Should be interesting to see if I can expand my audience into that world

.


400k in a month? That's impressive Mooderino, especially if you just started there! Well done! :)


What's up Tartra and everyone else. Belated happy new year I guess! I've been struggling with balancing my day job, writing and dadding, it's been a difficult year so far but I couldn't be happier. I finished the Archive of Unusual Events, the next challenge is trying to keep my word output steady when I don't have external deadlines. So far, mixed results. If it doesn't work I'll just have to make my next story a serial from the start to keep me honest, but I want to try writing "normally" for a change. ;)


@Stable I already had quite a large established audience before I moved (about 300k per month), plus new readers are binge reading my older chapters (I'm up to ch.197 currently) so I expect that to tail off soon. But there is a very large demand for serial fiction that isn't being served very well by English writers, I feel. Partly to do with genre (fantasy is by far the most popular), I think, and partly to do with regular supply of content (I post 5 chapters a week).


I've managed to put out a dozen or so chapters I'd planned to release last summer. Should have the next lot ready for autumn!


Pretty lousy so far! Gotta turn that around...


@ubersoft

That sucks man, I hope you do! I know it is none of my business but what is wrong with it so far?


I just can't seem to get everything sorted. So far 2017 has been an unproductive muddle.


This post was a good thing, though, it managed to push me forward on at least one front.


I didn't make any resolutions, especially not writing resolutions.


So far the years been good. I'm nearly done getting all my stories moved to RoyalRoad which has done surprisingly well in my opinion. I mean, I don't have large following but, better than I've done on not only DeviantArt but way, WAY better than Wattpad has ever treated me. I suppose the genre sticks out so much among all the LitRPGS it has a chance. Not to mention RoyalRoad is a smaller community. I don't have to fight the artwork and fan-fics like on DA or the romance and more romance on Wattpad.


I've three of my stories posted. I now have a third to finish and a novel to re-write. That's actually my goal is to get Hy'Ruh-Ha's sequel done. Then I need to figure out if how to make the new website I want so I can have a better hub I suppose. I never planned for Hy'Ruh-Ha to extend much outside itself. However, with two novellas, another novel in the waiting, as well as two more stories that I can add to the mix, it become the fiction project I was practicing for.


I'm still on track to hit 300K views for Anathema, but reader numbers dropped by half when I started the last arc (apparently people waited to binge to the end), so I stopped updating weekly - I was getting burned out and the quality was suffering. Best decision I made in a while. Now I post 2-3 chapters monthly and the quality is much better. Still on track to finish the serial before summer, which would mean it's been running for about 3 years, start to finish. 2.5 of those years I updated weekly without fail.


I can't wait to finish this serial because I'd really like to invest my creative energy elsewhere and get another book out. Then another. I want to release a standalone novel (same series, different protagonists) this year and promote that one heavily since it will be a complete story in one book. Much easier to market than a book of build-up followed by a book of stuff actually happening.


I had a nice, fat response written to everyone, but I wrote it on my phone, and my phone logged out, so I said, "Screw it" and went back to playing DnD. So here we go: Take 2! In which I am still psyched to see all of you guys again, 'cause damn, I really have missed you people.


@Wildbow - I figured that with as much content as you've produced and the following you've got going for you - enough to be flippin' full-time - you'd have industry people coming at you, but it's really awesome to hear it officially. :D If nothing else, congratulations on unlocking a whole new level of problems. You're going to need a damn office soon. Don't forget to rest twice as much as you're doing your tour, and if you're over in my neck of the woods at some point, give me a shout! I'll buy a you drink.


@mathtans!!! I'm going to count myself as one of those new regulars, before life did that whole shame-on-you-for-not-being-productive routines and I stopped reading everything I was enjoying. What are you planning to do with all the time you have off? Are you focusing exclusively on editing, commentary and interviews? Not that that's not a lot that's on your plate, but if you've got anything else in the works, I'm game to hear it. :D RRL is also probably going to be really good for your exposure. You've got everything written, which means you can do those lightning fast updates everyone's looking for. If you're really feeling cheeky, you could even break things up and go for daily posts. As for me, I've been really struggling to write. I've been watching a lot of movies, though - hot damn, I definitely recommend Get Out!


@nippoten - Don't sell yourself short! Comments are fantastic, and having a regular crew is exactly what I'm hoping to get up to someday. Are you looking into doing more regular companion pieces of art for your writing someday, too? I don't want to stick anyone with more deadlines, but - hey, that could really work out in your favour for building buzz. That's stuff you can put on Pinterest!


@Walter - Hey, Walter! I think you're a new name for me, so it's nice to meet you if I haven't already. Nice work on the 13 pounds! The hard part is always getting your mind into the weight loss game, so the fact that you've lost any at all is a solid sign of success already. Best of luck hitting your goal!


@revfitz - I think you're a new name for me too, so hi! I've been through that whole overhaul phase too, so I'm giving you an automatic gold star for getting to a place where you're happy with it overall. It drove me nuts, pulling it off. Welcome to the serial community, and good luck with your writing! I've never had a backlog, so I'm just going to be jealous forever now. :)


@mooderino - So you've got translations of your serial underway? Am I reading that write? 'Cause damn, that sounds fantastic! Since you've moved, do you find your serial fits right in, or are you finding you have to make changes to what you already have or the directions you're headed towards?


@Stable - Hey, buddy! :D Congrats on a successful conclusion. What are the internal deadlines you're working with so far? Are you doing a monthly word count or weekly chapter or...?


@Dary - Ooh! Are you writing in seasons? Are you aiming for backlogs and then doing something like weekly or quick updates? Because I'd love to know how things feel to write and release on that sort of schedule.


@ubersoft - Don't worry, bud! I'm right there, deep in the puddle with you. I've had some weird sort of amnesia on how to write or even focus long enough to write, but I've done a lot of rejigging of my objectives soooooo hopefully it comes back and I can post before WFG decides to list TOKoR as 'abandoned' (it's not. I'm in it to the end). :P


@LadyAnder - It seems like there's a trend of signing up to Royal Road happening. I heard one of the big things for success there is very constant and quick updates. Congrats on getting organized enough to HAVE that many projects on your plate and not start immediately hyperventilating. :D


@Chrysalis - Less content is significantly better than no content, so yes, if you're actually able to stave off any burn-out, do whatever it takes. :D How often do you write a day or in a week? I'm trying to pick as many brains as I can to get a jumpstart on my productivity. And yes, the marketing's a definite snowball effect. Keep riding that wave, bud! I'm routing for you, and I love seeing your banner on TWF when I poke around.


@Tarta

Hello! I have to say, your site looks really good! Whatever sort of overhaul you have done it looks like it paid off! I will give your serial a read when I have the time.


@revfitz - Hey, thanks! :D It's aaaaall in the colour. You can have the nicest, most functional site in the world, but if the colours clash like Katy Perry got in fistfight with all of My Chemical Romance, you've hit a snag in the design.


@Tartra: Life's crazy, huh? Thanks for the comments you were able to leave. The main thing consuming my time is actually the math web comic, largely because everything else (T&T, daily RRL posts, non-fiction entries) is now almost on auto-pilot, and can be slapped together on cue if necessary. The comic, less so, particularly when real life stuff keeps happening (coordinating a conference, smoke alarms giving me issues at home). I don't know if it's true for anyone else, but I have a very good sense of how much I can handle, and as such often space things out to teeter on the brink without falling off.


As far as your writing struggles go, maybe try writing a review of some of those movies? Or a reflection of how one of your characters would or wouldn't enjoy it? Once you start the muse going for one thing, it might help translate into other forms of writing.


@Tartra: I'm not writing in seasons, I just hold off on releasing stuff until I have a set of chapters ready to go. I usually work on large batches of content at once, then tighten focus over subsequent rewrites. Sometimes this takes longer than planned, especially if I have to rewrite entire sections multiple times. Thankfully, I structured the story so I can work around that. Sure, it probably costs me some readers, and it won't appeal to those who want 10k installments every week, but it's what works for me, and what works for the story, and that's the most important thing.