Originally, my plan had been to stay on Tumblr until I got published and paid for it. That was the idealistic plan that governed that blog's limited existence. But due to my own ideals being very at odds with the ethos of a number of Tumblr's users, I've left prematurely. And I'm here now. And, sure enough, none of the money for this domain has come from writing (though it did come from a film project, which is something, I guess).

So I finally left Tumblr. I got a job, and the cost of this whole Squarespace thing is pretty minimal in terms of how much I’m currently saving, and it’ll be a nice holiday project to work on bringing this site to fruition over time. I’ll upload a whole portfolio of film and photographic works, though I’ll primarily be using this site as a way to showcase my writing. It’ll be nice to be able to build something like this that can be independent of any community stigma etc. I just need to find a couple days where I can hunker down on this thing on my own and work out what I want to showcase specifically on here.

In any case, I’ve had a very prolific number of weeks. I’ve been writing a lot, and many of the pieces I’ve been putting out and sharing with fellow writers/university assessors has been the best I’ve yet produced. And the feedback, also, has been the best yet. I have an idea of my flaws as well as where I can very specifically improve, and I’m going to do so. Cool.

I’ll also be entering the State Library of Queensland Young Writers’ competition in July. Currently, I am nurturing a very specific piece to a publishable standard for entry there. It’s close, I think, but it’s currently resting for a week or so until it leaves my system, so that I can tear it to shreds when I next see it. That said, I’ve had an author look at that one for me, and it’s been reordered based on that feedback. Actually, come to think of it, there’s someone else I should try…

…okay, so that’s a coffee date for tomorrow booked. 

I’ve not been writing much in these past few weeks. Mostly, I am trying to find my bearings again, and work through some more personal things that have affected my ability to write well, or even healthily at all. But things are looking up now, which is why I’ve purchased this domain, and which is why I’m writing the first reflective blog post I have in a while.

The following are my in-the-works projects, then:

  • This website
  • Constellations, a short picture book I’m working on with my girlfriend
  • We Ran Anyway fourth draft
  • At least two short stories a week of between 1.5 and 3k words (beginning next week)
  • Isjaki, my SLQ competition entry

And hopefully all of this will build towards a November start on my third novel. So far, there are very few ideas as to what I want to tackle in it. I don’t want to write a drama or a roadtrip, because I’ve done those before, and I want to keep experimenting while I’m young and nimble (n.b. I cannot touch my toes) so I guess I’ll keep brainstorming. What keeps coming back to me is the idea of writing a much clearer and linear narrative than We Ran Anyway, but I’m not too sure. I could brush off that ‘ghost town’ short story collection idea I had a year or so ago, but we’ll see. It could be the first year I write a book with the same title as a Coldplay album—you never know.

But yes, I’m a busy man, and today’s a day off, so now that I’ve listed all the shit I wanna get done, I’m gonna head off and do none of it.


Jonathan O'Brien