In today’s Journal
* Free Hour-Long Lecture
* A “new” computer
* Logging a Day
* The Numbers
Free Hour-Long Lecture
I updated yesterday’s Journal a little late. So in case some of you missed it yesterday, to register for a free hour-long lecture titled “The First Twenty Pages — How to Win Over Agents, Editors, & Readers in Just Twenty Pages,” click https://authorspublish.com/free-author-lecture-the-first-twenty-pages/.
It’s free, so it’s worth checking out. I registered, and I’ve also since learned the lecture will take place on Wednesday, March 24, at 2pm ET and 11am PT.
But just as a reminder, you really do have to win over your reader in the first page and in the first few paragraphs of each chapter/scene opening throughout the novel.
As a reader, if the first page of a novel doesn’t entice me to keep reading—if the writing doesn’t pull me into the setting—I close it and drop it into the box of books to be donated. If the opening few paragraphs of a short story in a magazine doesn’t pull me into the setting, I flip through to the next story.
A “new” computer
Wow. I never moved over to the writing ‘puter yesterday morning. Usually I’m there shortly after 7 at the latest, having taken care of all the admin stuff for the day by then. But yesterday everything felt just a little off.
Also it was Saturday, and also I knew my wife and I needed to make a trip to Sierra Vista sometime in the next few days. So I shut everything down, took a day off, and headed up to the house.
We did go to Sierra Vista, took care of the reason for the visit, then noticed an estate sale sign and turned on that street on a whim. There I bought a hefty one-volume encyclopedia about the English language and—an old Compaq Presario 1200 laptop computer.
Talk about a blast from the past!
The thing is a monster at almost 2″ thick. It actually has a square (not rectangular) screen. It probably weighs 10 pounds or more. The last time it was opened was in 1999. (grin) It still uses a wired mouse leading to a PS/2 port and has zero USB ports (but it does have both a 3.5″ floppy drive and a DVD drive), so we had to order a PS/2-USB adapter. (I don’t use touch screens very well, and they annoy me.)
But the computer came loaded with DOS and with Windows ME (millennium edition) and Microsoft Word 2000. Great fun to play with. As an added bonus, the keyboard is so stiff it actually clacks like an old electric typewriter. (grin)
But I won’t be playing with it today. Today it’s back to the novel, a cycling session and writing new chapters. (Wrist to forehead, melodramatically.) Alas, I must pour my soul forth onto the page for the enlightenment of all humankind. (grin)
Logging a Day
Sometimes I’m not at all sure where the day went, especially when I spend several hours in the Hovel and turn out only two or three thousand new words in the novel. And time really is our most precious commodity.
Years back I logged a typical day in 15-minute increments just to see where my time was going. The revelation of glaring gaps and wastes of time were amazing. Maybe I’ll do that again soon.
If you, too, find yourself wondering where your time went and you’ve never logged a full day, I recommend doing so.
To start, break out a full day (of waking time) in 15-minute increments. Then, as you move through your day, take a few seconds to note what you’re doing and write it down. If you’d rather, set up your log to cover a whole 24-hour period.
If you normally go to bed and get up at a particular time, you can automatically block out that time. If you prepare meals at a certain time each day or have other “chores” you accomplish at a particular time each day, you can also block out those times.
What you’re really after here is to learn how you spend the time that is not blocked out.
Try it. You might be surprised.
Talk with you again soon.
See “The Maniac Murders at Lovers Lane” at http://dyingwords.net/the-maniac-murders-at-lovers-lane/.
See “Learning from The Maltese Falcon” at https://killzoneblog.com/2021/03/learning-from-the-maltese-falcon.html. Not so informative but entertaining.
See “Copyright Is A Question of Control” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/copyright-is-a-question-of-control/. Someone else will have to tell me whether the article is any good. I couldn’t get past the melodramatic, wrist to the forehead, bree cheese and wine second line: “You spend countless hours pouring your soul on the page….” I was laughing too hard to continue reading.
The Journal…………………………………… 780 words
Writing of The Journey Home: Part 9 (novel)
Day 1…… 2019 words. Total words to date…… 2019
Day 2…… 3650 words. Total words to date…… 5669
Day 3…… 3760 words. Total words to date…… 9429
Day 4…… 2834 words. Total words to date…… 12263
Total fiction words for March……… 49251
Total fiction words for the year………… 248259
Total nonfiction words for March… 16330
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 62360
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 310619
Calendar Year 2021 Novels to Date…………………… 5
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 59
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.
3 thoughts on “The Journal: A “New” Computer and Logging a Day”
There’s a great tracking software – Toggle. For mobiles or online.
Thanks, Rikki. I assume you mean for tracking your movements through a day. My antiquated system works fine for me, but others might want to try that app. Thanks again.
Yep. It just easy to use sift to log, how do you spend your day.
In Russia it’s famous as Lyubischev system (by name of the famous etymoligist of Soviet age who used it to organize his time)
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