Intro, let’s go: For 2015, I’m recapping what I read, watched, wrote and listened to and whatever else. This isn’t a favorites or best, it’s just what happened to me in the cultural landscape. Music and podcasts are first, then what I watched and my year in reading. Finally: what I wrote this year.
Total Words on the Blog This Year : 41,609
That doesn’t include this post and this is cheating a bit, because I did more interviews this year than I have in the past, so not all of those are mine. That’s actually pretty low, in my mind. Many bloggers I read do 100s of thousands of words each year. It may seem like you hear a lot from me, but you don’t :). Also, at the beginning of 2015, I changed focus a little bit and went away from regularly blogging about books, writing and literature. That was a mistake. I lost momentum for some of my other creative projects. I’m going to double down in 2016 (more to come on that).
Months With The Most Words
July: 8,714 words
Those three were the highest by a long shot and the months that I did the most interviews. I’d also say those months are when I work the best. I have rhythms to the way I work and I usually peak in the summer months before fall takes it big swing at me.
The Longest Blog Posts
All of these were interviews, so they weren’t really my words…
- Be Ware The Champions of Life :: An Interview with Paul Hanson Clark: 3,217 words
- Vast and Nuanced and Idiosyncratic Interiors :: An Interview with Chris Dankland: 2,655 words
- Super Dangerous or Super Empowering:: An Interview with Nolan Allan: 2,041
Most Popular Blog Posts
(Not counting the homepage)
Writing This Year
1) Almost Finished a New Novel
What’s it about? Um, it’s about New York and I make fun of the idea of New York novels. It’s ‘semi-autobiographical’ and ‘metafictional’ and I make fun of my own writing, my own writing attempts, but with plenty of imagined scenarios. It’s about micro-internet celebrities and I make fun of the idea of micro-internet celebrities. It’s about work and the difficulty of finding value. It’s about family and old personal relationships and what it means to be stretched.
What’s the process? I wrote it by hand in a notebook. I (mistakenly) thought this journal would solve my transcription problems, but instead they created PNG scans of all the pages. This didn’t help me avoid typing out the whole thing, but it did help me type it straight from my laptop rather than have the journal constantly in front of me.
Did you outline the story? No. I’ve tried in the past, but it didn’t feel right for this story because I was pretty familiar with the beats I wanted in my head. It is loosely based on some real events and I knew the real events I wanted to include, which helped me add in the fictional events.
But….I feel like some of my timing and pacing is off, which an outline may have helped with.
But but…I thought of another element that I want to layer on top of the story. An outline would not have helped me with and may have kept me from including. I’m still editing and updating for this new inclusion.
Did you write more than 1 draft? Yes, 3 actually. In the first version, the handwritten version, I wrote the story in the first-person. Then in the second “draft” where I was typed everything from the longhand form, I made some small edits. The third draft was the biggest editing project of them all–I completely changed the point of view, tone and sentence structure. The story and dialogue remained the same, but line-by-line, it is completely different.
Why did you make a drastic change? It invigorated my interest in the project and story. Basically, I was kinda bored with it, which is not how you want to send your book into the world. Your book has to be vital. Cutting edge. If you’re bored with your own book, multiply that boredom level by 10 for everyone else. What’s next? Not sure. It’s not short, but not long enough. A novella, I guess. I’m thinking of some different options for it. Have some thoughts or interested in publishing it? Let me know.
2) Edited Taco Jehovah
First, thanks for your patience with this book. I’ve been talking about it for awhile and I really thought it was coming out in 2015. But the editing process and then some of the publishing details are still being worked out. I didn’t hit the release date I wanted, but the indie press game is hard because it’s everyone’s hobby. That said, I did put in some extra work in the early summer to really shape up the book. It’s in a good spot.
3) Released PLS ADVISE: SELECTED TWEETS FROM @JOSHSPILKERPLUS
I use Gumroad to sell my books and they offered a small product launch challenge in late summer. The goal? Create a product and launch it within a week. Inspired by status update lit, I took some tweets from my “other” (or main, depending on who you ask) Twitter account, @joshspilkerplus, where I try to post funny and creative stuff (or stupid, again depending on who you ask). This was a quick fun project and gave me lots of ideas on how to make something like this bigger and better. It didn’t really work in the context of Gumroad’s thing, because most of those projects were focused on “how-to” guides and such. I only sold a few copies, but maybe that’s because I keep giving the thing away.
Tell me what you think when you’re finished with it.
4) Started “How To Be A Failing Novelist” Series
This was a tiny idea I had for an essay that I will turn into something bigger. It’s the most autobiographical thing I’ve ever done. Each essay is about 1,000 words and I’m imagining 10 parts. You can read the first one here and the second one appeared in Inklings, a PDF subscription mag and affiliated with Human Parts. It was meant as a possible exclusive with Human Parts, but they’ve shut down (a big loss for all). I enjoyed writing the first two on a monthly basis, kind of like a column, but I’m not sure of the direction I’ll go in now–if I’ll keep the monthly schedule or write the whole thing at once and then parcel it out. More to come on this.
5) Anything else?
Well, this list doesn’t include the tweets, random emails and the tons of job-related writing I did. But I don’t know how it could. I can’t think of any other major creative writing projects I worked on this year…
Great question. The answer: Keep Going. I’ve got (too) many ideas. I’ll share more of those in 2016. But here’s a hint: It’ll include more writing and more blog posts and yes, I have my next idea for a full-length book.