In this week’s Showcase Sunday, I want to introduce you to Kent Wayne from Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha. He is a brilliant writer with the ability to captivate his audience in a fantastical science fiction world. I had the opportunity to interview him and much to my surprise, He was very amusing with his answers. Before you run to check out his latest chapter in Echo, read more about him below.
What made you get into blogging?
I got into blogging as a way to promote my actual books. I noticed that indie author and runaway success Hugh Howey had used a blog to promote his works, and I also saw it as a way to learn how to produce content in a consistent manner, as well as sharpen my writing skills.
Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?
All training I’ve had in writing and philosophy has been a result of my independent pursuits—my own reading and experimentation. I’ve known I was an overthinker since I was very young; writing has allowed me a constructive avenue with which to utilize my [curse/gift].
What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?
I won’t get into the specifics of my greatest failure, but it basically convinced me to switch my internal operating system from that of mindless persistence to one that’s focused on precision. I used to glorify the aesthetic of just grinding away, always loyal to the same routines and habits. I still use the discipline I’ve gained from that approach to tackle my projects, but now I’ve learned that I should always be looking for a more efficient way to put out better product. Success is a relative concept—what was awesome 20 years ago is cliché today, so I always try to increase my “rev.” The way I do this is I try and look deeper into the subjects that interest me at a faster pace than I did before. When I do this right, I gain insights which can be funneled back into my writing and blogging, and I also gain an increase in capability; now I’m able to put stuff out at a speedier rate
When did you first start writing and when did you first publish?
I started writing around late 2014/early 2015. I first published in March of 2015.
Who has influenced you the most with your blog?
I would say Bill Watterson—author of Calvin and Hobbes. I like to use my blog as an informal way to express random observations and funny stories.
What is your favorite genre of writing? Is it different from your favorite genre to read?
My favorite genre of writing is hard to define—I guess I just like the fantastical, whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy, or modern-day life with an added edge of impossible. My favorite genre to read…I don’t have a favorite genre, but my favorite book series firmly fits in the aforementioned category: The Dark Tower, by Stephen King. (I grew up loving the saying: “There are other worlds than these.”)
Do you watch movies that are based on books you’ve read?
Yeah but not as a rule or anything. If there’s a movie people praise then I’ll see it. (Loved La La Land and I hate romances and I hate musicals even more lol)
How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?
I’d say blogging is like another job for me. Even though I rarely sit down to blog for more than half an hour or an hour at a time, if you add it all up it probably comes out to around 20 hours a week. I try to utilize observations I see in traffic patterns and specific kinds of content to maximize the “flow” and reader experience of my blog.
Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
Blogging is my hobby. I’m just a freewheeling vet/college student that’s trying to avoid the Office Life. If I have to work in an office then so be it, but at least I’ve learned a lot while I’m attending school and set up good systems which I can perpetuate if I have to transition into a real job.
What piece of advice would you give aspiring writers out there wanting to get into blogging?
I would say to aspiring writers that creativity is like a muscle. Even if you’re short on time, write every day. 250 words takes five to fifteen minutes, and will give you a publishable length manuscript (80-100k) in one year’s time.
Also, from what I’ve seen, there are two approaches to creativity—obsession or awareness. Obsession is unhealthy—you focus on your work to the point that you achieve a meditative state, ignore everything else, and tap into some kind of universal truth. (think Steve Jobs). The downsides to this approach are obvious—it’s very hard to balance the rest of your life and not spiral out of control.
Awareness allows you to maintain a good work/life balance but it is EXTREMELY unpleasant—basically you need to question the viewpoints that make you “you” and not someone else. My method is to use “what if”s to push up against personal boundaries. So for example: “What if the person you loved/respected most in your life is a villain? What facts/anecdotes would you use to make that case?” Or: “What if the person you hated most in your life was a hero? How would you make the case for that?”
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but you can see how trying to understand multiple perspectives exposes where one might draw a mental line in the sand and refuse to explore any further. Nevertheless, I feel it’s an essential tool for being able to illustrate theme and philosophy through a mosaic of different characters
Do you keep a daily journal? Are you more technological or physical?
No daily journal. I’m definitely more technological. I write 3500 words a day 5x a week and that’s hard as balls on my wrists. Writing would completely destroy my forearms, haha!
What is your passion?
My passion is physical activities. My joints are too busted for me to do more than some rudimentary weight-lifting and biking, but one day, if I make enough money, I’d like to get some stem cell therapy and get back into martial arts.
What is your ultimate goal in life?
My ultimate goal in life is to entertain people and have my days completely to myself. I’d like to live in a different place every 3-6 months without worrying about money and have a few dogs around to make me smile. (My ex took mine in the divorce, but it’s okay ‘cos the studio I’m living in right now is too small for ’em).
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
I don’t know if I want to leave any legacy behind. People tell me they enjoy my blog and my writing, and honestly that’s enough for me. I feel privileged that anyone’s bought my books or liked any of my posts—and I feel FLATTERED that they leave good reviews or comments! Just knowing that I contributed something that I made by myself—rather than just perpetuating a bureaucracy for the government or shareholders—feels amazing. I think if my time on Earth was up at this moment, I would have no complaints. I feel I’ve been given blessings beyond what I ever could have expected.
Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?
I guess that if you took the core things in spirituality (we are pieces of an infinitely powerful being that chose to forget it was infinitely powerful so it could experience the joy of rediscovering itself) and science (we are short-lived specks hurling through space) and followed them to their logical ends, you would come to the same conclusion: Enjoy the time you are here, because it will soon be over. This doesn’t mean give in to hedonism—from what I understand, any form of addict is driven by compulsion more than enjoyment—but to foster whatever qualities you need to (discipline, creativity, knowledge, toughness) in order to drink as deeply as you can out of the well of life. That’s the way I try to live. I hope that everyone gets their full drought of their amazing experience as human beings. That’s it.
Don’t just take my word for it, please visit his blog and let him know that you saw him here on “Sunday Showcase.”
As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to feature you next Sunday.