Welcome to the New Mechanical Bird Site!
Nov 6, 2021, 5:33:38 PM
I took this site offline more than six months ago, almost immediately after I made it, but for good reason. The old site was done in Wordpress and now this new site is done using GatsbyJS.
If you're new here, my name is Glenn Song and I'm the author of The Mechanical Bird and also a webcomic called This Mortal Coil. I program video games, websites, write books, and draw comics. Some of it for a living. Some of it for fun. I'll leave you to figure out which is which.
This website is dedicated to the novel series I created called The Mechanical Bird. Here you can find the preview to the first two novellas on Amazon:
Those books were published in 2017, 2018 respectively, and I realize it's 2021.
Where's book 3?
Well, I'm still working on it. It's been an on and off affair now for about five years or so. I got into self-publishing because of the Facebook group 20BooksTo50K, and while those folks were able to handle rapid releases and firing up their marketing engines, mine took more of an opposite approach.
I burned out on the whole concept. In fact, back in 2018 I burned out on a lot of creative work. I didn't want to be on the hook for it anymore.
It wasn't until 2020 when I decided I had framed things wrong in my head.
See from 2010 to 2016 I wrote a graphic novel called This Mortal Coil: The Rabbit and the Moon. I actually choose that project over another project of mine, you know it if you're here on this website, because it was The Mechanical Bird, which I created back in 2009.
It took 6 years to make the Rabbit and the Moon, a 128-page graphic novel including the website where you can read it (for free mind you).
Six years. Right?
And when I finished that's what my brain took away.
Sure, I took away a lot of other learnings too. I honed my art skills, production skills, and storyboarding skills. I wouldn't claim I was a master at any of it, but I got better. I also came away with a couple hundred bucks by selling the graphic novel at a convention. So, not all bad, but the thing that lingered was that it took six years.
And I thought of every other project as a six year project and that frozen me out from wanting to try again.
But, I framed it wrong. Or rather, I forgot my original idea.
When I started This Mortal Coil as my big project, my goal was to learn by doing. My thought process was to do a little everyday whether it was writing, programming, or drawing. Yes, that project, that big vision took six years, but the real work happened each night in 2-3 hour blocks of time. That's also the time I spent watching TV, so I figured, I could do both. Draw a little, watch a little, and over time, page after page, month after month, it got done. Now, it still wasn't as easy as that. There were other creative roadblocks, but that's where a lot of creative problem solving came into play.
Book 3 is a direct continuation of the end of Book 2, of course. Back in 2016 I began in earnest to write and decided I would tackle The Mechanical Bird. I filled up blank space with words. In 2017, I decided to try my hand at self-publishing and put out The Tale of Two Ladies and then a year later The Country Girl and Noblewoman.
I also began working a full time job again and burnt out on writing, drawing, and anything creative. The only time I committed to something creative was during November, because you know, National November Writing Month.
Progress came in fits.
The novel's direction changed a few times. Over the years it's accumulated a lot of words, notecards, ideas, and baggage. I started to doubt myself. Should I be the one writing this story? I don't know who else would, if not me, but why should I do it?
I'm no closer to the answers today than I was then. But yes, I have to be the one to write the book whether I'm the right person to do it. It's the story that's in my head and I can't foist that work off on anyone else.
I'm also no closer to finishing Book 3 than I was all those years ago.
But, I have flipped my thinking on how to approach creativity with...
A comic gets done drawing by drawing. A book gets done act by act, scene by scene, word by word (and if you've read Anne Lamott, bird by bird).
When I started again (for the fifth time) I thought I should take everything and chuck it out, baby with the bathwater.
Start again on Book 3, but I liked a lot of what I wrote for book 3 already. It's not terrible. It could use a lot of work though.
If this book is like a painting, then I've got parts of the painting sketched out and I've even put some color down. The rest of the canvas isn't yet done. So I took some steps to roughly fill out the rest of that canvas with large blotches of color (i.e. I outlined things I'd like to see happen in Book 3).
From there, write.
My process, the new habit I'm trying to form, is to write everyday. My job is to type and along the way I hope to tell Alicia and Elena's story and bring it to a conclusion. FYI, it doesn't end with book 3.
So word by word, it'll get there. Then I'll have a whole glob of words and it won't be pretty or nice, but it'll be something. I can work out the finer details (if we go back to my empty canvas analogy). As for the results... will book 3 sell? I don't know. I measure success by whether or not I can finish the project and what I learned along the way.
Being creative takes a lot of time. I can't say when this will all be completed. I thought in the past I had Book 3 roadmapped out. I thought I was on my way to finishing a few times only to run out of steam or to allow my self-doubt to rob me that success.
But I am trying to instill the habit of creativity. Or maybe I should say, the habit of typing. The story will follow.
How This Site Is Used
It's mostly a marketing a thing from my perspective.
You can read the first chapter of each novella, because Kindle Unlimited allows you to print 10% of your eBook outside for people to preview.
I don't know how often I'll blog since blogging can be a distraction from writing Book 3. I keep thinking I'd love to share more of the journey to Book 3's completion or even author some short stories with Alicia and her friends to put on the site, but that's all a distraction from the main goal too.
So that's what it is right now. Welcome to the new home of The Mechanical Bird.