It’s the start of a new year, and like everyone else, I’ve decided to set a goal for 2022 that may or may not stand the test of time. What that goal is… well, you’re already reading it. I’ve been wanting to do something fresh and exciting on my various platforms, something that isn’t behind a paywall and that could engage more than just my usual circle of followers/patrons. Starting an author blog was recommended to me by my long-time friend and editor (and nemesis ‘til the very end), NIL, and out of everything I could have chosen to try, it definitely seemed like the most doable, and the least taxing on my already strained schedule.
So… here we are. Now what?
I’ve never really tried blogging—at least, not with any real sort of intention behind it. When I first began publishing books I tried to keep up a monthly update/blog thing over on Goodreads in order to keep readers up to date on my progress on Tempest sequels, but that only lasted… I want to say 6-8 months before Goodreads as a platform began to eat away at my creative spirit. It’s a whole big—hand waves—thing. But because of that experience, blogging wasn’t really much of a priority. I had two series to finish and future books to figure out how to write. I suppose growing older gives you perspective though, and New years are all about embracing change. I’m still not all that sure what I’m doing, but I’m doing it, and hopefully we can see this attempt last more than 6-8 months.
So again… here we are.
I figured that I’d start this out the way I start my book projects: with a thesis statement. It’s really more for me than for you guys reading this. Academia sunk its claws into me during the height of my writer development, and it’s become one of the only ways I’m able to organize my intentions before beginning much of anything. Those of you who have seen my chapter notes for book projects are already aware of this. It may not make much sense, but please, bear with me.
The intent behind this blog is to give readers more insight into my creative process, growth as a writer, and to show the sides of my work you wouldn’t otherwise see just by reading the end product—or even by talking to me casually. I want to be honest and upfront about how I feel about my work, how I handle the pressures I put on myself with all I do, and hopefully something in this mess of mental stream-of-thought will resonate in those who read it. I get lots of questions by aspiring writers. I don’t know if I’ve given a good avenue for those questions to be asked. Not everyone has the confidence to DM me upfront, and I don’t want to make them regardless. I want to engage with my audience on as equal a playing field as possible—however meager it may be, and however silent I feel it is sometimes—and I want to talk about things that make me passionate without having to wait 2+ years for a book to drop, as selfish as it sounds.
Think of this blog as a public diary. Director’s commentary tracks. A reddit Q&A. A place for me to be unabashedly my own biggest fangirl, because let me tell you all something: I have so many great ideas and not even I can be patient enough for the corresponding books to come out before I talk about them.
I want to go through my books one by one and talk about what was going on in my life while I wrote them. I want to share the sorts of insight into the creative process that no one but my closest friends might know. I want to talk about the Dark Vagaries world (dakeverse to those who have been with me from the start), and I want to tell you about Jericho, Keaton, Eden, Asher, Blair… and so many others who won’t see much screen time in these books but whose creation mean the world to me. I want to tell you about the people you see named in every acknowledgements page. I want to tell you about the artists and editors who have made what I do possible—because believe me, without them, I wouldn’t have published one book, let alone nine. I want to tell you about my writing process and how I handle blocks. I want to tell you about my relationship to old work. I want to get you excited about what has yet to come.
More than anything, though, I want to know what you all want to know, and I want to make it a conversation.
I don’t want to just talk; I want to listen.
But what does that even mean?
For right now, this blog will be monthly. That may change. It may become bi-monthly, maybe even weekly if I have enough to say and the time to make it happen, but for now, once a month is me hedging my bets. My structure-seeking brain wants it to always drop on the 1st, but the realist in me knows that probably won’t always be possible. I’m going to stop apologizing for things being late (another resolution of mine, since I know you guys don’t care and I probably care too much), and I’m going to do things when I can, and be content with that. Every place I post this, be it on patreon (publicly available, no paywall for my word vomit here), my website (tdcloudofficial.com), or tumblr (tdcloud.tumblr.com), will have spaces for comments or questions by you guys. If questions are asked, I’ll do my best to answer them—either at the end of my planned blog post or as the subject of an entire one if the answer demands that much attention.
And here’s the call to action: this only really works if readers ask questions.
Trust me, I’m perfectly capable when it comes to ranting about my thoughts and methods and characters for several thousand words. If you’ve ever had the misfortune to meet me in person, I’m sure you’ve all realized that by now. But… alright, here’s where I’m overly honest and vulnerable (consider this a warning as to how the rest of these blog posts might go at times). I’m used to writing fanfic regularly. When you write fanfic (or at least when I write it), comments are constant. Enthusiasm is a given. I don’t crave attention, but it makes me happy to know readers are reading and enjoying what I’m doing. Ever since I’ve switched over to primarily original content… that sort of response just hasn’t been there. Amazon reviews aren’t guaranteed, and Goodreads… well, I think we’ve already addressed that me and Goodreads aren’t on speaking terms most days.
That leaves social media. Patreon. This.
I’m not fishing for compliments here. That’s not what this is about. But any creative person will tell you that writing to an empty room isn’t very fulfilling. So… that’s what I’m asking for from those who read this, those who may read more. I want reciprocity. I want conversation. But what I want most when I bring this up is to let everyone, anyone reading this at all, that this is my explicit permission—nay, my encouragement to comment on my posts if you have something to say. You will not annoy me. You will not be ignored. You may be the first on the post to say something. Hell, you may be the only one saying anything at all. But it means a lot to me to see it, and I want this blog to be collaborative.
Like always, I want to provide content that you want to see, not just what I want to write.
So comment. Ask questions. What works are you curious about? Have you heard me tweet a name or a concept and want to know more? What about my past work? Is there a series or book or short story you’ve read that you want to know more about? What about my fanfiction? Or hell, you can even ask about me as a person—within reason, but I know you guys are cool and won’t press those boundaries. The only things entirely off the table are spoiler-y content for future works, and even then… I’m a firm believer in the execution being most important, not the idea of going in blind.
This seems to be getting long. I’m not sure how long blogs are even supposed to be. I hope I’ve said enough, and if I’ve said too much… well, let me know. I want to know.
Thank you all for sticking with me into another new year. Thank you all for starting this new project. Thank you all for commenting or just reading, but hopefully commenting, even just a little.
I’ll do my best to work on myself and to keep on creating content worth reading.
Until next time,