The Journal, Wednesday, January 3

Hey Folks,

I’m constantly amazed at the variations among writer experiences.

In that regard, there are several informative comments on Dean’s post from yesterday. You can see those at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-few-words-about-starting/#comments. I was gratified to see that a couple of commenters on Dean’s post took away some of the same things I got out of it. Amazing. We aren’t quite as insulated and alone as we sometimes believe we are.

I also get an occasional blog post from a young writer named J.R. Murdock. You can see his latest at https://jrmurdock.com/2018/01/02/looking-back-moving-forward/.

Like some of the folks who commented on Dean’s post, J.R. experienced a major life event, the near loss of his job. J.M. Ney-Grimm, an experienced professional fantasy writer who commented on Dean’s post, lost her mother in October. Those are massive life rolls.

In the case of J.R., I exceeded his word count goal although I fell far short of my own annual goal. (I wrote 75% of the 12 novels I planned to write in 2017, but only 60% of my extended goal (15 novels). Yet I wrote only 41% of the overall annual word-count goal I hoped to reach.

Yet J.R. reached almost 74% of his own annual word count goal.

What does all of this mean? Only that goals, discipline, and life rolls are very personal things. I’ve always believed in comparing myself to others as a way of stretching myself. Dean has been the dangling carrot to my mule for years.

But the only truly valid comparison (the excused absence granted by life rolls aside) is comparing your own production with your own realistically set goals.

J.R. set a much lower goal than mine last year, and he missed it, though in my book at 74% he did pretty well. Especially considering that he has a stressful full-time job, still has children at home, and lives in Southern California, which perhaps holds the crown for the most attractive-nuisance distractions per capita. I applaud the guy, and I’m pulling for him.

I’m always surprised a little, in a good way, at the energy pouring out of the new starts we make at major junctions, like the recent beginning of the new year.

You saw that same thing recently from me (http://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-friday-december-29/), despite my cynicism regarding the way humans think about Time. I’d like to hear about your writing goals too, if you have time to add a comment below.

***

Despite rolling out at 3 a.m., I didn’t get started on the novel today until 9 a.m. That’s fine, in keeping with my new, more-relaxed attitude toward writing.

My daily word count goal drives me to the computer, but once I’m there I trust that I’ll get the words I need. So driven and relaxed. The best of both worlds.

In the first two sessions (still cycling) I added just over 1200 words in the Hovel. Up to the house for early lunch and to spend a little time with the baby (my cat).

I went back to play. I didn’t really think I’d hit the word count goal today, but I actually exceeded it. Man that feels good!

Back soon.

Of Interest

See John Gilstrap’s “Note to Copy Editor” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/note-to-copy-editor.html.

Some of the other posts at The Kill Zone blog might be of interest and/or useful to you as well: https://killzoneblog.com/.

See Dean’s “I’m Back Writing As Well” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/im-back-writing-as-well/.

See “The Kindle for Nonfiction Already…” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/01/02/kindle-non-fiction-already-exists-might-not-recognize-not-book/. Excellent, insightful article.

Kevin Tumlinson, who is a major mover at Draft2Digital, is also a good thriller writer and a podcaster, among many other talents. Check out his site at http://kevintumlinson.com/. He also personally answers his own email.

Fiction Words: 3189
Nonfiction Words: 620 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3809

Writing of The Origin Novel (working title)

BF…………… 32658 words.
Day 1…… 2689 words. Total words to date…… 35347
Day 2…… 2636 words. Total words to date…… 37983
Day 3…… 3189 words. Total words to date…… 41172

Total fiction words for the month……… 8514
Total fiction words for the year………… 8514
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1910
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 1910
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 10424

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 0
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Sunday, 7/30

Hey Folks,

Cool. I woke this morning to a request to include yet another of my books, Rise of a Warrior, in a bundle at BundleRabbit. Not only is it a good stand-alone novel, but it’s also the first book in the Wes Crowley series. Uh, yeah. I’ll do that. (grin)

If you don’t have your work listed with BundleRabbit yet, why not? Check it out at http://bundlerabbit.com. The account is free, and every time your story or book is bundled, you gain access to new readers.

And yes, you can upload short stories and collections as well as novellas and novels. Just do it already.

***

Still a few slots open for the writing intensive. As a reminder, it’s on Wednesday, 16 August, here in beautiful downtown St. David.

***

I actually sacked out early last night and rose early this morning. Feels good to be back on track. I spent the first couple of hours playing, looking at parlor-sized (3/4 sized) guitars online.

But I don’t think I’m gonna buy one just yet. I still have stories to tell, and I really don’t have time for more than one passionate pursuit.

Today, and Writing

To the novel at 6. I’m getting anxious to have this one over and done. That string of three-digit word counts is bugging me.

Ran into another problem with the situation. I know the end is close, but I also don’t have a clue where it is. Exciting but frustrating too.

I’m pretty sure now I won’t wrap this one until tomorrow. I won’t rush the ending either, but I don’t think I’ll need to anyway. As I said, it feels like I’m in the proximity.

Worked on it off and on during the day, mostly in 15 and 20 minute bits. Around noon I took a couple hours off to watch the Cubs play the Brewers. Then around 2:20 I headed out to the Hovel (first time since I’ve been back) to put in at least one solid session today.

Little girl’s been really needy today, following me around and so on. Right now she’s under the bed (thunder in the area) so I went to the Hovel.

I have to find a way to get to the Hovel more often. All day in those short bits, I wrote about 1700 words. In one hour and a half session in the Hovel, I wrote the rest. Wow. That’s the power of having a place where your subconscious is trained to write.

I think I could have written more too, but I worked myself into a corner and ran out of time. I might need to rethink what time I post the Journal. (grin)

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via Linda Adams on her Facebook page, you’re cheating yourself of a great time if you don’t read “Self Publishing Destroys the Universe at https://medium.com/@kevintumlinson/self-publishing-destroys-the-universe-9b4cb0276518/. It’s a little long, but a ton of fun.

See Dean’s “Novel Four: Day Four” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-four-day-four/. Incredible. Here I am struggling to finish a single novel of only around 30,000 words (maybe) and he’s about to finish his fourth 40,000+ word novel of the month.

I don’t compare myself to Dean, but I do use him for inspiration and to realize what’s possible. (grin)

Fiction Words: 3725
Nonfiction Words: 550 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4275

Writing of Graham’s Road (short novel)

Words brought forward…… 1070
Day 1…… 3012 words. Total words to date…… 4082
Day 2…… 2675 words. Total words to date…… 6757
Day 3…… 2181 words. Total words to date…… 8938
Day 4…… 4913 words. Total words to date…… 13851
Day 5…… 2543 words. Total words to date…… 16394
Day 6…… 1207 words. Total words to date…… 17601
Day 7…… 0816 words. Total words to date…… 18417
Day 8…… 0869 words. Total words to date…… 19286
Day 9…… 0503 words. Total words to date…… 19789
Day 10… 0761 words. Total words to date…… 20550
Day 11… 0653 words. Total words to date…… 21203
Day 12… 3725 words. Total words to date…… 24928

Total fiction words for the month……… 25021
Total fiction words for the year………… 362978
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11280
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 119110
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 482008

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 612 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 179