So many, many interests

I have so many different interests. Writing, I think, is the most obvious for people who follow this blog – it’s mostly what I talk about! Then art – I’ve posted a lot of my artwork here, especially last year. And conlanging.

Sometimes I feel that I’m spreading myself thin, that having so many different interests cuts into the time I could be using to actually focus on getting good at one thing. It’s possible to be good at more than one thing, of course, but I don’t think I particularly am.

In my mid-teens, I made a goal: to be satisfied with my art skill by the age of 25. I’m 28 now, and I’m definitely not satisfied with my art, whether it be digital, pencil, ink, or acrylic. If I could pick one of those things to focus on – say, acrylic painting – and work on it consistently, then I’d see improvement in my skills. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does mean improvement.

I spent a lot of time drawing in my mid-teens, and ended up going through a rapid period of improvement in the span of a year. My artwork from 2008 and 2009 don’t look similar at all. I improved because I was almost entirely focused on drawing. I did do a little writing, but not that much. My main focus was drawing.

I want to get better at writing. I want to get better at drawing. I want to get better at painting. I even want to get back into conlanging.

But working on one of those skills takes time away from all the others. I’ve been focusing on writing for the past few years, and as a result, I’ve become an artist who doesn’t draw, a painter who doesn’t paint, and a conlanger who doesn’t conlang. I didn’t want this to happen, but it did.

I don’t want to give up any of these interests. I don’t even want to “excel” at any of them – except maybe writing, since I’d like to be a published author someday. But I do want to get better at all of them, and I feel like this isn’t going to happen unless I pick one and stick with it at the expense of everything else.

Mastodon.online

Back in 2017, I made an account on mastodon.social. Then I deleted it in early 2022 as part of my account cleanup – I was deleting various accounts that I hadn’t used in a while because there was no use in keeping them. Then in April I made a new account on mastodon.online and started posting art there. Well, in August I decided that it was best to keep my artwork off of social media, and in October I started using Mastodon again, for fairly obvious reasons.

I’m using Mastodon in essentially the same way I use Twitter – random thoughts, writing updates and comments, etc. In fact, I’ve been mirroring most of my Tweets. The ones where I post links to other social media aren’t mirrored because that wouldn’t make much sense.

My Mastodon account is @selenicseas@mastodon.online, if you want to follow me there.

If you pay attention to the front page of this blog, you may have noticed that I removed the sidebar widget that displays my most recent Tweets. Apparently, that was a legacy widget and now there are all kinds of sidebar widgets. It’s way more than I remember it being when I added that Twitter widget back in…2014.

Anyway, there isn’t a Mastodon widget, so I will probably update the sidebar manually to add a link to Mastodon and other social media sites I regularly use.

Double-Up Donation Day

Today starts Double-Up Donation Weekend (though for some reason, I always remember it as Double-Up Donation Day instead). This year, it runs from November 4th-6th. Donating $25 dollars gets you the rewards from the $50 tier, and donating $50 gets you the rewards for the $100 tier – for this weekend only!

National Novel Writing Month is something I’ve participated in since 2008, and I’ve been donating during this weekend for as long as I’ve been able to. The program has been hugely beneficial to me, so it’s only right to give back.

The “double” part of this weekend doesn’t solely refer to donations. Some people also use it as a way to double their wordcount. I’m going to try that this year…though, honestly, it’s not that impressive. At the end of day 3, the target word count is 5,000, which would double to 10,000 by the end of day 6. Which has a target word count of 10,000 anyway.

Well, let’s see if I can write a little more than that.

Some changes in post content

For the most part, this blog is mostly about writing. There are the occasional posts about conlanging, art, reviews, and the monthly recommendations, but most of the posts are about writing.

Due to Twitter’s ongoing implosion, that’s going to change a little. I’m going to be posting more varied stuff here now, and that includes things that I would normally be content with retweeting. That means I’ll be promoting other peoples’ work.

If I buy something from an artist, I’ll post about it here. If I support a Kickstarter for a SFFH magazine or a print version of a webcomic I’ve been following for years, I’ll post about it here. If I come across a cool event that I’m not particularly interested in but others may be, I’ll post about it here. If I find a mutual aid fund or charity for an ongoing or new crisis, I’ll post about it here.

I’m not quite sure yet on how I’m going to do things. I might make a weekly roundup post, or simply dedicate a post to each thing. Depends on how long they end up being, I guess.

Recommendations: October 2022

Fiction

Sharp Things, Killing Things by A. C. Wise (Nightmare Magazine)

Ten Steps for Effective Mold Removal by Derrick Boden (Apex Magazine)

The Dirty Golden Yellow House by Debbie Urbanski (Lightspeed Magazine) (warning: sexual abuse, coercion, & apologism)

Nonfiction

Reclaiming a Traditional African Genre: The AfroSurrealism of Ngano by Yvette Lisa Ndlovu (Fantasy Magazine)

Too Dystopian for Whom? A Continental Nigerian Writer’s Perspective by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Uncanny Magazine)