Monday, August 3, 2015

On Pushing Through To Get It Done #IWSG

I’m deeply immersed in crazy time at the moment. ‘What is this crazy time?’ I hear you ask. Having delved into game development, the crazy time comes in many forms. The strongest source is the incredibly steep learning curve. I might’ve spent nine years in the animation industry, but that was a while ago and many things have changed since. I’ve had to learn new programs, new ways of doing things, and whole new concepts, like reflection maps, light probes, animator controllers, programming…The list goes on endlessly. And if it’s not the learning-new-stuff struggles, it’s the standard-stuff struggles every artist, writer, creative has to face—like, did I achieve the goal I was reaching for in this scene? Did I capture the right mood? …and on and on.

The struggles can become a heavy weight and, if left unchecked, will trigger those all-too-familiar doubts. So how do I push through? I look back at how far I’ve come and am amazed at how the old issues are no longer a struggle. There will always be new issues, new struggles, and there will always be those standard struggles that are a normal part of the creative process. The only way through, however, is to keep going. Don’t let the struggles defeat you. Celebrate what you have achieved, have a modicum of faith in yourself that you can get through, and know it’s worth the angst in the end.

What are you struggling with at the moment? How do you push through?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. Yes, I’m a little early but I’m sure you will forgive me. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.

I’d like to thank Crystal Collier for ‘The Very Inspiring Blogger Award’. You are a darling!!

I’ve also written an article for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website, about why writers shouldn’t substitute reading time for watching TV and/or movies. I’d love to see you over there.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why We Don’t Need to Stress over the Writing #IWSG

Immersed in game design as I currently am, I was thinking about what I liked about certain games over others. One of the major elements is beautiful art. The imagery can come from a range of different styles, as long as it’s gorgeous or awesome in some way. However, the art isn’t what holds me to a game and keeps me playing. There needs to be more to it—fun game play, a great plot, perhaps achievements to strive toward. And the list goes on.

This inevitably led my thoughts to writing. It’s not enough to have gorgeous writing. You also need an engaging plot, interesting characters, something to draw the readers to the end of the book so they come away with a satisfying experience.

And that’s why it’s important not to stress over the writing. If you want to make writing your career, then focus first on the story and get that right. Make sure the concept is marketable, the characters are engaging, and the holes are puttied so it holds together from beginning to end. Then fix the writing.

It needs repeating: Don’t stress over the writing. Our time is better spent getting the story right. The rest is fixable.

Do you stress over all those little details before the big details are sorted? What do you do to manage your time and your stress?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.

Also... the Insecure Writer’s Support Group t-shirt is available! Members can now show their support and commitment to the group. Purchase your IWSG shirt HERE.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why Writing Shouldn't be Lonely Work #IWSG

By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Writing can be such a lonely endeavor. We spend hours in front of the computer, shutting out the world so we can write. Often we think we’re on our own–that it’s all up to us.

But there is strength in numbers. Healthy relationships and connections can help us, not only with writing, but with finding our path, marketing, and chances for success.

In my latest book, Dragon of the Stars, Aden Pendar is a driven man. The son of a Duke, he’s determined to command his own ship. He has all the qualities of a leader save one–he doesn’t connect well with others.

Over the course of the story, he learns that he does need others to succeed. He needs the assistance of his crew to find the ship that will save their people. Respect and loyalty doesn’t come without effort, and he must care about the men and women who serve under him. As he learns this, Aden discovers devotion and friendship in the process.

We writers are in a similar place. We need the support of others. We need their wisdom, guidance, and encouragement. Our work will succeed with the help of critique partners, key connections, and those willing to share the marketing load.

And one of the best places to find that is through the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

Dragon of the Stars
By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military

The ship of legends…

The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?

One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

AmazonBarnes and NobleITunesKoboAmazon UKAmazon printOverdrive – Goodreads

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm. 

(A big thanks to Alex for his amazing supportive work over the blogsphere. You truly are an inspiration! --Lynda)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Game On and Valuing our Work

On the weekend I attended the Game On convention which is a part of Sydney's Vivid lights festival. It was super fun with lots of talks about the future of technology, the trends in the gaming industry and so forth. I went to a talk on how to pitch your game and discovered it was pretty much the same as pitching a novel. Know your audience. Be specific. When using adjectives make sure they are descriptive rather than subjective eg don't say, 'This is an awesome game!' Explain what makes it awesome.

I'm also over at the IWSG website with a few other authors and we are discussing valuing our work. Should we offer our work for free so others can profit from it? I'd love to see you over there and hear your opinion.

Monday, May 4, 2015

How to Recover from Writer's Fatigue and More #IWSG

Today I'm over at the IWSG website with a post about 5 Ways to Recover from Writer's Fatigue. I'd love to see you over there.

This post is also doubling up as my IWSG post for this Wednesday because this week I'm busier than normal. I think I'm actually too busy to feel any insecurities. Gasp! (And happy surprise). So instead I'm going to share with you a photo I recently took after the big storms in Sydney. No fallen trees, or broken branches. No debris or general mess created by the storms. Just a pretty plant in my garden that caught my eye.

Have you ever been so busy you just didn't have the time to feel insecure? (I think that's why I like deadlines).

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.