2023 / 01 - NEWSLETTER? NEW DIRECTION!
What is a void deck? A deck in the void? A void on a platform?
From what I’ve been told, a void deck is a term seemingly exclusive to Singapore. In its fundamental terms, a void deck is the ground level of our public housing apartment buildings, where the lift entrances are, and the apartment letterboxes sit.
In its social terms, the void deck is also the community space where events take place - weddings, wakes, celebrations, ceremonies. At the same time, it is also the common place where people gather, play, meet, and most commonly, discuss. Whether it’s about the weather or something with more nuance, people talk shop.
Therefore, being a writer who likes talking shop and looking at the overview of what makes our environment and industry, I thought being a Void Deck Writer, someone who can hold space for others who want to seek clarification and talk shop, would be a great name for this newsletter’s revamp.
For those who have seen this newsletter go through its revamps, I thank all of you for your never-ending support and hope that this new line of content will bring both entertainment and thinking points moving forward.
And if you’re new here, welcome! I’m Joelyn Alexandra, and I am an investigative fiction writer based in Singapore. My works so far have been published independently as prose and games, and I am inspired by the storytelling mechanics and processes that mix mediums together. Particularly, games and prose - like what is done with puzzle books like Journal 29 or games like Inscryption.
What Is This Newsletter For?
I’ll be talking more about the details later on. However, this new iteration of this newsletter will be focussing on shop talk that is particularly close to my heart - creative practice (as a fiction writer across mediums) and the publishing process (both as self-publisher and in traditional publishing).
Who Is This Newsletter NOT For?
As the saying goes, a plethora of options will give you the tyranny of choice. And all of us are looking for different tones, different styles, different pieces of information. If what you’ve read so far sounds interesting, I hope it is helpful. However, if you’re not sure, here are some pointers to help you.
This newsletter is NOT for:
Creators looking for a quick fix to success, or a single definition of success. The reflections here are not for sure-win, single formula, one-and-done mission-style pointers. This newsletter mostly focusses on process, and sustainable practice.
Creators looking for technical skills for their craft. Craft mastery is important. However, I do not have the technical skills apart from prose writing or basic game design. If you’re looking for a place to improve your skills in technical craft, there are many other resources around. Those would serve you better =)
Creators only interested in gaming the system. The only game that has been consistent throughout is the game of creating pieces we want to create and sharing them with whoever we want to.
However, if you’re here for reflections on how practice and process have created a more sustainable creative practice for myself, or if you’re just here for the ride, then stay tuned!
What Can You Expect?
When I first started writing on Substack, it was an exercise to get myself to write more - or get into the habit of writing more.
Then, I tried to make this into an update newsletter for the pages, puzzles, and processes that I have been working on.
Guess how that turned out? LOL.
So I guess, what I’m trying to say is that after a good bit of deliberation, the renaming of this newsletter brings about its new direction.
The short answer to this heading? This Newsletter is for Clarity - specifically about the publishing process.
The long answer to this heading? This Newsletter, moving forward, is a way for me to share experiences and clarity on various aspects of the creative practice (in my case, prose and game writing) and the publishing process (both traditional and independent). If there’s anything that I felt to be missing over the years of literature and tips I have been reading, it’s the consideration of two main aspects - Mindset and Definitions.
Mindset - How we approach our writing on a daily basis and in the long term can affect how we make decisions and view opportunities. An example of this could be as simple as a writer not bothering to give collaboration opportunities or local publishers the time of day just because they were rejected once before. While this is a valid response, having a mindset that views collaborations as sketchy or local publishers as out-of-touch most of the time will affect how we view later opportunities down the road. Hence, the importance of maintaining a healthy mindset and mindset work process in sustainable creative practice. Which also brings me to the next aspect…
Definitions - One thing I did observe through my conversations with other authors while we talk shop is this. While we are highly aware of how many publishing systems work, how we view individual aspects differ from person to person. This is something expected, but varying levels of dissonance and intentions can inhibit discussions from happening on the same page. Therefore, I thought this could be a good platform to clarify and discuss different aspects and terms. And more importantly, how they impact our creative practices and careers.
I hope you will be able to glean something helpful from my reflections moving forward as well!
And that’s it from me this round! If you like what you’re seeing, have any questions about publishing that you would like me to look at, or just want to say hi, do drop me a comment or send me a message. I would definitely like to hear from you.
Keep the pages turning!