Archive for the ‘ Just me ’ Category

Cha Cha Cha Changes!

I’M MOVING!!

Please note this will be my final post on this specific WordPress blog and is cross-posted to the new Copious Notes. Please use the URL blog.aaroncrocco.com to get to the new Copious Notes and you’re golden. That’s been redirected and will point to my new home. Please update your bookmarks / links if you’re still pointing to aaroncrocco.wordpress.com.

Also, please note comments for this post are disabled. You can comment on this same blog entry by going to the updated address.

This post has been a long, long time coming. For the past three weeks I have been getting some heavy lifting done and moving into some new digs. There’s a fresh coat of paint, a new server and some awesome WordPress stuff going on here. The changes to Copious Notes are obvious but you’ll also notice that my entire site is integrated as well.

Why the change? You may have heard about Apple’s big news recently. While iCloud sounds really great, they’re also killing MobileMe which has hosted AaronCrocco.com for the past two years. Instead of waiting for Apple to throw the switch next June, I packed up and headed out. This provided the opportunity to spruce up the place and really integrate my website with my blog.

Even more exciting is I will be using the whole site as a place for some awesome projects coming up and to not only speak about them but also promote / distribute them here too. All in due time of course.

So pull up a brand new Ikea chair and enjoy that fresh carpet smell ’cause it won’t last long. We have work to do and this is just one reason why 2011 is a great one. Thanks for stopping by!

At A Crossroads

It’s been a week between posts here but I wanted to update Copious Notes because it’s writing that I want to get done. Lately I’ve felt that I’m at a crossroads with my writing with all three projects that’s going on.

An opportunity arose last month to write a short story and to get it done in time to submit it out. ‘Project X’ as I’ve dubbed it, is completed, back from one beta and will be back from a second beta reader in a few days. I’ve enjoyed starting something and then finishing it in such a short amount of time. It’s lead me to wonder if I should write some short stories on my own and put them up on my website or self-publish them for free on Kindle, Nook, etc.

On Thursday, with Project X in the hands of others, I returned to Loopback and wow it’s not easy coming back to a WIP! I was away from it for a month and my groove I’ve had with it was nowhere to be found. I found myself referencing my outline multiple times and completely re-reading the previous chapter I had completed. My output was decent (1,128 words) but I know when I revise this book, these chapters will need a lot of work.

This leads to me to the final WIP: good ol’ Spirit Hackers. I’ve had it back from my second beta for two months and haven’t touched it. That needs to change.

So I’m at a crossroads and need to decide in which direction I need to go. My plan right now is spend one day editing Spirit Hackers and the other writing Loopback. Ambitious as always, we’ll see what happens.

How do you decide what to work on?

Capacious Kindle for May 24: eBooks Arrive

One interesting thing about not updating this blog too much over the past few years is the fact that I’ve failed to capture the rise of the Kindle and eBooks as a whole. The Kindle has been the best-selling device on Amazon’s website for years but now we’re hearing about a whole new class of writers either breaking out (Amanda Hocking) or moving to it (JA Konrath). The eBook has certainly arrived. With the additions of the B&N Nook, Apple’s iBooks app for the iPad and the Sony Reader, there’s no shortage of ways to read on the go.

Here’s where things get REALLY interesting. On May 19th, the New York Times published an article showing that for the first time ever, Amazon is selling more Kindle books than print books. This isn’t more paperback or genre or anything else. Physical books. “Amazon sells 105 books for its Kindle e-reader for every 100 hardcover and paperback books, including books without Kindle versions and excluding free e-books.”

The eBook has arrived and we’re in the middle of this revolution. We’re not only in an exciting time for readers and their access to content but also for authors that have regained a huge amount of control over their destiny. As a writer AND a reader, I can’t wait to see where we go from here.

The Weekender for May 20-22: Stop Aspiring

Twitter is interesting in the fact that it’s a collection of the vast knowledge we all possess and the people it brings us into contact with. Besides being a huge time-waster we can utilize it to find out things by ‘asking the masses’ and also searching it. Used correctly, it’s not just for saying what you had for lunch.

I’m talking Twitter because last week I came across a tweet (I’d link to it but unfortunately it’s lost to the ether of the Internet) saying that if you put “aspiring writer” in your description, you shouldn’t. If you write, you’re a writer. You’re not aspiring to write. I’ve given this advice lots of thought and realized that person is right. I’m writing my third book in four years and I’ve hit a stride in my life where writing is important. Plus I have a goal in mind. We always hear about people saying “treat writing like a job” and “envision yourself at the end so you know how to get there.” I’ve done this and I keep reaching the same conclusion: I am a writer.

So from this point on I’m dropping the ‘aspiring’ moniker from any of my descriptions or titles. I don’t need my name in print in order to be validated as a writer. Of course that’s the goal and ultimate prize but I am a writer, book deal or not. I’ll say it once more:

I am a writer.

Sharing My Knowledge

UPDATE: Looks like I posted just a few hours too hours too early because the speaker schedule has been posted! I’ll be speaking from 1:55 – 2:05 PM so be on the lookout for me after you’re done with lunch!
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I’m taking a break from ‘The Weekender’ this week in order to bring an announcement I’m really excited about. Earlier this year I had heard through Twitter that the well-known 140 Characters Conference was coming to my neck of the woods, Long Island. The event is centralized on Twitter & social media and is a place where people can share their knowledge and passion for using this powerful tool for whatever we need in our lives.

Once I saw a local version of this event was heading my way, I signed up right away to speak and just recently I found out I was accepted to talk! Now Copious Notes is a writing blog and Twitter isn’t very good for writing (140-characters does not a plot make) so you may be asking yourself: “Self, what’s the connection here?” Well I’m glad you asked. 🙂

My topic for the conference will be writers and how we find & join communities through social media. I’ll be focusing on Hashtags and how I was able to utilize them to find a community and also get my book Spirit Hackers completed. In addition I’ll also be telling a cool story about how we are all connected in this crazy world.

If you’re within driving distance to Long Island, I’d love to see you at this conference on May 26th. You can use this link and save 10% off of your tickets. If you can’t make it, keep an eye on the website because the entire event will be live-streamed and you can watch my talk from the comfort of your couch.

We live in awesome times for communication and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned to those who think that writing is a completely solitary task. Hope to see you there!

Yeah, About That Second Book…

It’s funny how the grand picture in our heads gets us to think we can do anything. In a perfect world we have time to work on all our projects, work our jobs, and do everything we want to do with our lives. The reality is that even with time management, we’re limited in what we can accomplish.

I now bring your attention to this post in which I talked about the benefits of Self-Publishing. I posed a simple question: Can you have your cake and eat it too? My answer was a resounding ‘yes’ and I said how I am going to write a second book that will be pre-determined for self-publishing. That hasn’t quite worked out for me, or at least not yet.

I’ve been working hard to make time to write and get as close to my 3k per-week word goal on Loopback. In doing this, I’ve already made the decision on some level that this second book will not be written any time soon. As it is, I will need to balance this WIP and Spirit Hackers once I delve back into editing that based on my beta feedback.

The prospects and excitement of self-publishing are really exciting and I haven’t given up on it but I also want to produce quality work that people would want to buy. For the greater good, I am focusing my creativity into Loopback and seeing where it takes me. When the opportunity presents itself for this other book to start its life, I’ll be ready.

The Weekender for April 29 – May 1: Negative Advice

Welcome to another blast from the past! The Weekender series is here for another critical thought for your writerly minds. This week I want to talk about writing advice. Two weeks ago I was at I-Con 30 and took the opportunity to sit in on two writer panels: “Managing Your Writing Business” and “Breaking Into Print”.

The business writing panel was really about financials and managing your taxes. This is good information for those who are knee-deep in freelancing or working on their own but for this guy, I was out of my league. Luckily after 10-minutes my friend called that he had arrived and I had to quietly slip out to meet him & get his badge / ticket.

The “Breaking Into Print” panel was much more interesting and featured a number of authors, editors and others who deal with the ‘industry’. The information was nothing new: perseverance is key, keep writing, you’ll get a ton of rejections but if your work is good you’ll get an acceptance, follow submission guidelines to the letter, beware of people trying to scam you.

One interesting point that was made was a panel member stating that we should all be trying to network with each other and them as well. The opportunity to speak to people within the industry was there and we need to make the effort to speak to them. Everyone took the hint and at the end there was a big rush to the table to get some words in. I took the opportunity to thank some of the panelists for their time and advice and then focused on one writer who has been published. This is when things got strange.

I asked a question I’ve heard conflicting information about: ‘how many people should you query at a time?’ My question was met with a vague response on how it doesn’t matter and to simply query. He asked me what I write and when I said novel-length work I was told his company is only looking for short stories. He suggested I write some. I told him I really only write novels but I have a complete work that I’m looking to send out. His answer: You may think it’s complete but it’s probably not. This was said in a dismissive tone. At that time I accepted his business card, smiled and left the room.

I’m not sure where these were from or their intent but it felt condescending and gave the impression that I am incapable of writing a novel-length (80,000 word) book unless I’ve written short stories. Personally I think this is completely wrong and to pass on advice like that is guiding people in the wrong direction. Spirit Hackers is almost 73k because that’s how long it is. I intend for Loopback to surpass that word count.

So was this advice I was given out of line or do shorter works really contribute so heavily to novels that we’re doomed without dabbling in them first? Sound off and let me know what you think.

Enjoy your weekend.

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