Making Room for New Things

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my plans for the future.

As much as it pains me to do, I know I need to make a few changes to how I run this blog. The first few months have been fun, but they’ve really eaten away at my time, and since I recently announced my plans to self-publish some of my adult sff in tandem with my search for an agent, I really had to rethink how I use my time and what I put it in to.

Self-publishing is going to mean a ton of work and at an accelerated rate. I’ll need to spend more time every day not just writing but researching. The responsibility for everything falls on me, and it’s just not easy to do that when I spend so much time trying to get blog posts out semi-regularly.

It was becoming a scenario where I was falling behind in everything because I was trying to give them all the same amount of attention. And that wasn’t going to be possible. So I had to choose what was most important and make some compromises.

And this blog happens to be a big one.

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How to Make a Map for Your Fantasy World

I love maps, and let’s face it they are a staple of fantasy. Every fantasy book I open has a map inside of it, and I enjoy it every single time. It makes the world feel so much more real and immersive. It gets me excited about all the places the characters are going to go and makes me want to know more.

I also play D&D and I love when the DM unrolls the map or gives us one we can use. Maybe it’s because I’m a gamer, but exploring parts of a map is just so satisfying.

And what worldbuilder doesn’t want a map of their own? You spend all that time creating the darn thing, but it doesn’t have to exist as just text! Drawing a map is a HUGE part of the process, and it can be really fun!

But when you’re first starting out, it can be really intimidating. And I know from experience that my first attempts looked terrible. Thankfully I’ve learned a few things since then and found some excellent resources. So I decided to create a simple, easy-to-follow guide for making your first map.

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Transparency, Platform & the Ethics of Online Business

As an author, I like to stay up to date on the discourse, and with some recent drama that’s popped up, I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss some qualms I’ve had about the ethics of building a business online.

We spend a lot of time on the internet after all, so business is going to follow the money. And it’s become so easy to start a business of your own. Which is an amazing thing! It’s great to work for yourself, and know that all your hard work puts the money in your pocket and not someone else’s. It’s exciting to see authors and bloggers and artists making a living off of what they love, and to know that is possible for me and many others.

But there is a downside to all of this, and I’ve noticed it more and more over the past couple of years but it’s got to the point where I feel I have to express my thoughts on the matter. Because let’s be honest, there are some trends and practices out there that can only be called shady, and make me more than a little uncomfortable.

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5 Songs from My Writing Playlist: The Wolves of the Far North

Doing something a little different for this little listicle. If you’re new here, hello! I’m Alyssa, your host, an author of fantasy and science fiction, and I felt like sharing a little more about my work in progress today.

Since the middle of last year, I’ve been writing a YA High Fantasy I’ve tentatively titled The Wolves of the Far North. I go into it a lot more in this post where I explain the plot and where the idea came from, so I’m not going to rehash it here. But I will say that it’s a Nordic-inspired fantasy about the rivalry between two sisters fighting for the honour to join the same order of warriors. It has lots of strange, natural magic, deep culture and lore because that stuff is so much fun, and takes place in a harsh cold climate. It’s so different from anything I’ve written before and it’s been so much fun to explore worldbuilding on a much smaller scale.

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Why I’m Choosing the Hybrid Publishing Model (& Super Exciting Announcement!)

I mentioned briefly in one of my Writer Diaries a few weeks ago that I had established a pretty intensive publishing plan for the next couple of years. And it wasn’t a decision I came to lightly, but one I ultimately felt worked best for me and the projects I’m writing and I thought I’d explain my plans a little more in case anyone else was firmly undecided.

And if isn’t made clear by the title, I have something I’m really excited to share: I’m publishing my first book!

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