Writing gimmicks

March 6, 2018

I was listening to a podcast where the writer was talking about using AI to write books. This writer was all for using every tool available, wanting to feed in her books as well as books by authors she likes and have it spit out a new novel for her.

Wow, I guess I’m old-fashioned. This appalled me to my very core. Yes, I’m all for using tools. I love to use Word over my old typewriter, or writing by hand. I love to draw in Clip Studio and am learning to use the vast array of tools in it like the perspective rulers. I’ve used the materials to make my drawings better. But letting the tools do all the work for you?

Where is the fun in that?

Don’t get me wrong: I do believe that technology offers us many great things. I’m glad to be living in this day and age. I’m so glad that technology gives me many opportunities with publishing that I didn’t have 25 years ago. I work digitally and traditionally with my art. But I don’t want technology actually “thinking for me” and creating my art. I never did like the software programs that helped a writer to plot a story. I like the process of discovery, of learning the story as I write. If AI is doing all that for me, or even part of it for me, then it is no longer my story. Why would writers want this?  Are we evolving to such a point that even creativity is being turned over to technology?

This just scares me as I see more and more people trying to convince others that they have a “system” that will help them to achieve success. Come take this seminar. Here’s my step-by-step program to________. All you have to do is X and you will receive $$$.  It feels like one desperate cry after another. Coach me. Follow this plan and you’ll get 10,000 people on your mailing list. Get you next 10 reviews on your book. Give me quick, give me easy, give me steps I can follow — gimme, gimme, gimme. Oh wait, get my advanced course and if you act now you’ll get my $999 course for only $49. Don’t forget the bonus content worth $2500. Granted, I wrote all that bonus content and you can actually get it for free from following my blog, and I set the value on it, but you’ll get it free.

It’s no wonder that everyone gets their hopes up and then feel devastated when things don’t work out.

Now it’ll be: take my free seminar and learn how to program your AI to write, market, and review your book. When does it end?

When is creativity no longer creative? If you take the human out of the art, either in partial or whole, can it still benefit humanity or is it just a tin can now? Once the novelty has worn off, will creativity actually created by human hands come back into fashion?

With all this going on, I just want to tell great stories and draw beautiful pictures. I like writing stories that play with people’s minds; I love being the first one to enjoy the adventure before I release it. I’m still working on the beautiful pictures — I’ll probably never being the artist I wish I could be, but that’s not going to stop me from enjoying what I’m doing.

People want success and they want it now. They forget they are building. My dad always told me that forts without foundations didn’t last long. I didn’t understand what he meant because he never explained what a foundation was in a way that I understood. I get it now. People take the seminars and adopt anything that can shorten their journey without actually working on their craft. When the going gets tough, they give up or hope for another strategy.

I wish I could say I was any different. I wish I could spend more time writing and make more money from it. I want it now. But I know that no seminar, technology, or success guaranteed or your money back box set is going to do what really needs to get done: the work, my work, my stories, my drawings. Only time and doing my best work at that moment in time will actually build the audience to sustain my career over the long term. AI won’t tell the stories like I will. I want readers to see my stories, not stories from someone else’s brain. Same reason I won’t hire ghostwriters.

Maybe I love doing all this work too much myself.

Maybe I’m too stubborn.

Maybe I am more old-fashioned than I think.

Maybe someday I’ll be in vintage fashion, a human actually creating art from my own thoughts. How can that possibly be? What do you mean she doesn’t use any gimmicks?

Yeah, that’ll be the story to tell.



Illustration progress – February 27, 2018

February 27, 2018

While I didn’t get to work on any kid’s books last week, I did spend some time working on my Rockin’ Life and Weblink’s comics. I still haven’t decided what book I want to work on, but I suspect I know what I’m going to do.  Hopefully this week I’ll be able to get to working on it, if I don’t feel too tired from being sick (or, heaven forbid, get worse).

This is an in-progress page for Rockin’ Life:

Rockin' Life 15

Eggs at Play

February 23, 2018

I finished my children’s book. It’s really amazing to think that this day is here.

Here’s one more page from the book:


As you’ll see below, this page also became the cover for the book. I haven’t decided yet if I want this to be the actual cover or if it’s just temporary. Decisions, decisions.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these pages each week. As of my writing this, I haven’t decided what I want to work on next, so I might just spend a little time working on Weblinks and Rockin’ Life.

If you’re interested in the full book, you can pre-order the ebook now.


More links coming soon.


ACEO Painting – February 16, 2018

February 16, 2018

Another ACEO I painted last weekend. I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of painting on these canvas sheets. Practice, practice, practice.


3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on canvas
©2018 Dawn Blair

ACEO Painting – February 13, 2018

February 13, 2018

Here’s a new ACEO I painted last weekend:


3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on canvas
©2018 Dawn Blair

Progress – February 12, 2018

February 12, 2018

I have to wonder what I was thinking with Onesong. Really!?! Let’s take a story that I know has to happen before the Sacred Knight series and make it into a novel. Brilliant idea. Not! It’s like taking a skeleton you found lying around and deciding to put muscles and flesh on it.

Yeah, can you say, “Frankenstein’s monster”?

I must be just as mad as the good doctor.

Now here’s what may really surprise some of you: this story should have been told from Alityka’s point of view.  I really intended on it being her story. I have no bloody idea why I started telling it from Rivic’s vantage. None.  Well, okay, maybe an inkling. I remember thinking that I needed to tell the story of how Rivic build Lilinar. I honest thought it was going to be something like this: drop Rivic in Gohaldinest, destroy Gohaldinest, begin Rivic’s wandering. Read the rest of this entry »

Painting progress- 02/09/18

February 9, 2018

Like I said in my Monday progress post, I didn’t get much painting done last week, but I did enough to do a 10″x8″ study painting. Read the rest of this entry »