The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

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The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).


What am I working on this week?

The final phase of Project Countdown hits its end this week, as I finally get Brain Jar Press officially started and prepare The Birdcage Heart and Other Strange Tales so I can open it up to pre-orders on November 1 and delivery by November 30. This means finalising the copy, setting up the files for the print edition, and running through a pre-launch checklist to make sure I’ve got everything ready to go. It’s a bit of a soft launch, as I’ll be working on the press in earnest in 2018, but I wanted to get all the publication processes down before I moved on to adding new work to the mix.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I’ve been reading volume one of the Shadow Unit project, which is a bunch of professional writers getting together to create fanfic for the best TV show that doesn’t actually exist. It’s one of those interesting not-quite-crowd-funded projects that would have made a lot more sense a decade later, with the existence of Patreon, and it’s interesting to look at how they’ve implemented the concept in light of my PhD project. 

The whole series has been online for a while, but I’ve been collecting them in ebook and reading everything that way.

What action do I need to take?

I’m due to show my supervisor progress on the thesis novella this Friday, and I’ve been distracted enough that I still need to do some final drafting and rewriting before it’s in a state where I can do that. I keep putting it off because I’ll also need to cut about six to eight thousand words out of the final draft, based on the wordcounts I’m meant to be hitting, and it’s frustrating to know that before the project is done.

  24 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

  1. 08/10/2017 at 10:01 AM

    Peter: are you able to box off a stretch of a half day or two this week to get some sprints done on the novella? Where are the distractions coming from at the moment mostly? (I’m guessing that GenreCon is the biggest, and most unavoidable one…)

  2. 08/10/2017 at 10:54 AM

    What am I working on this week?
    Last week was pretty much all client stuff, so this week is prep for PAX panels, tax stuff which is still outstanding, and work on the Animated Series project. That, and pushing auditions and lead emails out the door now that client work is under control.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    Media-wise, The Expanse season 2 is continuing to delight. It has such tight writing and respect for the audience in what it’s doing, along with great performances. It’s refreshing to see a show firing on all pistons so consistently – it’s like taking the messy more average stuff out of a show like Battlestar Galactica and just being left with the strongest moments. Short runs are starting to feel like the strongest choice for serial TV.

    I also really dug this episode of The Futur podcast on growing your business. The “Big 3” concept of Accidental Creative is a great yardstick for planning, but I’ve always felt a little at sea in making educated choices around what to focus on. This episode suggests a framework for evaluating competing goals that feels quick and relevant to keep you on course towards a north star of Survivability. It also points to a short YouTube video on practical scaffolding toward your goals which is on my to-watch list.

    What action do I really need to take?
    Presently, it’s preparing for those PAX panels. That looming deadline and visible accountability means that getting that properly under control is going to free up a lot of energy that’s starting to ball up in a little bit of anxiety.

    • 08/10/2017 at 11:46 AM

      As a small favour, too – if people are able to share this link if you have an Australian audience, that’d be ace!

    • maggiedot
      09/10/2017 at 1:41 AM

      All the best with the PAX panel prep! Getting your head around what you need to do to feel comfortable will definitely help the anxiety fade back. Which panel are you looking forward to the most?

      (And the episode of The Futur sounds really interesting. I’ll have to check it out!)

    • 09/10/2017 at 11:26 AM

      I’m glad season 2 of the Expanse is holding up! I haven’t had the chance to start it yet, but I was very excited about all the Work Health & Safety signage in Season 1.

      All the best for tax. I had to do two lots (different countries) this month, and it is AWFUL, but such a real relief to have it done.

  3. 08/10/2017 at 1:25 PM

    Take a deep breath Peter and just get into that novella project. If it helps any, I’ve just done another major rewrite of my PhD manuscript project 3 years after I got my PhD. So my advice is meet your deadlines for your supervisor but also take the long term view for the story.

    • 08/10/2017 at 8:20 PM

      Link’s actually a little borked – this looks like it ends up at the right Sunday Circle for you.

    • 08/10/2017 at 8:24 PM

      Is that Judy Blume class one of the Masterclass series that’s going around on FB? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it post-course. I’ve heard mixed reviews on just how substantial the courses are, but there’s like, THREE different courses of theirs I’m super interested in (Usher’s Art of Performance, Kevin Spacey’s acting class, Shonda Rhimes teaching writing for TV, and Patrick Marber teaching writing. DAMMIT! That’s four!)

      Congrats on getting the rewrite off! You have such solid momentum with following through on your targets for the week!

      • 09/10/2017 at 5:29 PM

        Hi Kevin, yes it is the one from facebook ads/posts. It doesn’t start until February next year. Usually I’m so careful in really looking into the background of courses before I sign up but I didn’t with this one. I made the assumption that Judy Blume = good. I hope I’m right!

    • 09/10/2017 at 11:29 AM

      I’m interested to hear about the Judy Bloom workshop as well!

      Do you have a strategy for going into workshops/getting the most out of them?

      • 09/10/2017 at 5:34 PM

        Hi Kathleen, no I don’t have a strategy. From what I can work out this one is going to be mainly video content and you will be able to go back and re-watch it any time. I don’t think it’s particularly interactive. There is a community forum but I don’t usually find those all that useful because there are so many people writing things and going off on their own tangents. But we’ll see.

  4. maggiedot
    09/10/2017 at 1:34 AM

    Congrats on the getting the press ramping up, Peter! Having worked on the inside, it’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun, too. All the best with the launch!

    My Sunday Circle is here!

    • 09/10/2017 at 11:31 AM

      Argh, French! I’ve just finished Dunnett’s Lymond series and am seriously considering learning French properly after all these years picking up the bare minimum. I don’t like feeling left out of the joke.

      • 09/10/2017 at 5:36 PM

        I’m in my 4th of learning French. I’m determined to master it but I am not doing so well. I go to a great meetup at New Farm on Sunday mornings sometimes though. They’re a really friendly bunch!

        • maggiedot
          16/10/2017 at 8:51 AM

          Ree–have you checked out the Pimsleur French? I did Swiss German and some Mandarin with it, and everything I learned through it have stuck with me pretty well, and I find it helps a ton with accent. My husband did the Russian, and he’s always being complimented on his accent. We’re hoping to get the French for Christmas this year!

          • 16/10/2017 at 5:41 PM

            Hi Maggie, no I haven’t come across that one. There are so many language sites/apps/books/classes etc available! But I’m finding the content from TalkInFrench the best for me. I listen to verb conjugations while I walk in the mornings 🙂

      • maggiedot
        16/10/2017 at 8:49 AM

        Most definitely!! 😀 There are a bunch of French quotes in the Letters of Van Gogh, too, which would be nice to not have to track down the footnote for…

  5. 09/10/2017 at 11:24 AM

    Peter! Such exciting news about the press.

  6. 09/10/2017 at 11:42 AM

    What am I working on this week?
    – Structural edits on a novella.
    – Selecting art for an art show and getting it to the framers.
    – Getting ahead on calendar & other Patreon matters for next month.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    – I’m working in a cafe this morning, and there are some mothers reading stories to toddlers nearby, and it’s so lovely listening to small people learning how stories work. They’re on There’s a Monster at the End of this Book which is such a delightful literalisation of how certain types of novels work.
    – I just, finally, finished reading Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond books Game of Kings; Queen’s Play; The Unruly Knights; Pawn in Frankincense; The Ringed Castle; Checkmate. She’s such a marvellous storyteller, erudite and opaque and thrilling, with this mastery of the occasional perfect description, the bright particular word. She was an artist too, and that comes through in the light and set-pieces of her stories.
    – I’m not sure what’s next, though. I just got Paul Tremblay’s Disappearance at Devil’s Rock and Jedediah Berry’s The Manual of Detection, so they’re strong contenders, being at the top of the pile.

    What action do I need to take?
    – Big Decisions Regarding Next Year, which is always the case, but exhausting.
    – Work out whether and how I could use an occasional intern, since one is occasionally volunteered.
    – … not sleep?

  7. 09/10/2017 at 5:41 PM

    I love There’s a Monster at the End of this Book!
    I had an intern I’d get them to make me food 🙂 So I’m not likely to ever get one. But I’d suggest writing out a list of tasks you’re willing to hand over with minimal supervision. If there are several of those, perhaps that could form the core of an intern’s work.
    Good luck with making the big decisions.

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