The Journal, Wednesday, 9/30: On Being Organized, and a Major Change

Rolled out a little before 3. I had forgotten how much “little work” would be necessary to create a new publisher website. This morning I created folders for covers. I filled one with covers that are 150 x 225 pixels, another for 180 x 270 pixels, and another for 300 x 450 pixels.

That and sorting them took three hours, but it’s necessary when you have to upload covers for 9 novels, 20 short story collections, 15 nonfiction books, 5 poetry collections, and 110 short stories. Of course, it’s a good problem to have and I’m not complaining. (grin)

Anyway, now when it comes time, I can upload all the covers of each size to the new website at once. And that will save me a huge chunk of time.

If I hadn’t done this, I’d have to open the individual folder for the novel, collection or story, upload the cover in each of three sizes, then go to the next individual folder. To repeat that 159 times would take considerably more than three hours. (grin)

After I get the new publisher website up and running, I’ll put together a few more collections. With twenty plus uncollected stories, that should be six collections (four each with 5 stories and two with 10 stories). Then I’ll start thinking about box sets. It’s all about opening several revenue streams for each story.

The writing today will be a big push to advance this novel and to close out the month. With my dismal showing the last couple days, I won’t make 70,000 words of fiction for the month but I should easily clear 65,000. I’ll take it. (grin)

Good post over at Dean’s blog today on a new scam traditional publishers are pulling on their authors.

No walk today. I’ll continue working on the website until around 8 or 8:30, and then start writing for the day.

After I wrote much of this blog post, I had some time left before my writing time begins. For awhile now I’ve been wanting to design a spreadsheet that will enable me to see daily and monthly details as well as annual trends in my writing. So I started messing around with that.

I tried three different structures before I hit on one that does what I want in a compact space. (BTW Dawn, I did this without looking at yours. I want to compare them after the fact to see how similar they are. (grin)

Anyway, it worked. And you know what that means, right?

Because it worked, this blog is going away. Only four of you were not subscribed to my Pro Writers blog, so I transferred you over. You won’t have to do anything. And then probably I’ll start posting to that blog once a week or so instead of every ten days. I might also report, briefly, on my own progress on projects at the end of those posts just in case anyone is interested.

So there y’go. After posting here almost every day since October 19, 2014, and after 210,525 words of what we’re all agreeing is nonfiction (grin), I’m shuttin’ ‘er down.

Thanks for hangin’ in with me all this time. See you on the flip side.

Today’s Writing
Good enough day of writing today. It is what it is, and tomorrow is a new month.

Fiction Words: 3538

Writing of “The Coming of Simon Stark” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3800 words. Total words to date….. 3800 words
Day 2…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 5316 words
Day 3…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 8258 words
Day 4…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 12519 words
Day 5…… 3039 words. Total words to date….. 15558 words
Day 6…… 2600 words. Total words to date….. 18158 words
Day 7…… 4634 words. Total words to date….. 22792 words
Day 8…… 3149 words. Total words to date….. 25941 words
Day 9…… 3641 words. Total words to date….. 29582 words
Day 10… 1900 words. Total words to date….. 31482 words
Day 11… 1476 words. Total words to date….. 32958 words
Day 12… 3538 words. Total words to date….. 36496 words

Total fiction words for the month………… 65135
Total fiction words for the year…………… 530176

The Journal, Tuesday, 9/29: Collections, Box Sets and Other Non-Writing Stuff

Okay, coming to you a little earlier again. This one is set to go out at 6 now. My short story of the week will go out at 5 every Monday from here on out.

Well, I didn’t get up this morning. Wide awake, I looked at the clock and thought it said 1:45 a.m. That’s close enough to 2 to start a normal day (for me) so I got up. But in actuality, it was 11:45 p.m. last night. Two hours earlier.

Still, I was awake, so I figured I might as well make the best of it. I worked on my new publisher website for a couple hours. That was my waking up time, only it lulled me. (grin) So around 1:30 I went back to bed for about an hour and a half.

Got up again at 3, did a little more on the website, read/researched a couple other publisher websites, and signed up to sell my ebooks via OmniLit (http://www.omnilit.com), a new (to me) online ebook vendor. Again, if you have your books available only in Amazon, you are SO missing out.

Finally, a couple hours after getting up the second time, I closed the websites to get them off the screen, and turned to my writing ‘puter and the Stark novel.

Nope. Didn’t happen. I felt like it’s been forever since I had a good walk, so I grabbed my camera and headed out. Had a short walk (just over 2 miles) but got some great pics. Came back and put a few on Facebook.

Then I made and ate breakfast, then got a shower, then came back here and did some preliminary work re collections. I didn’t realize how many uncollected short stories I have floating around.

Then to write this and what you see below (everything except Today’s Writing and the numbers) and now, finally, just after noon, I’m turning to my writing ‘puter. Barely time to get my 3000 words for the day before I take off an hour for NYPD Blue. Pretty sure this is the last week of the show.

Oh, this notice is actually a day late, but I hope you’ll drop by and read the topic (Writing A Bunch of Words) on Dean’s post from yesterday. I recommend this for those of you who want to increase your productivity but can’t quite get that from me. In this post, Dean shows you how he wrote 6300 words in 7.5 hours. Chances are, it isn’t what you think. He also gets a tad snarky, his word, not mine. (grin)

Okay, although I very much enjoy working on my own websites, I also dread it. When I get my teeth into a project, I want to keep going until it’s finished.

Working on a website is a very different kind of creativity than writing. For one thing, I have a final result in mind when I start. I also am even more anxious to see the finished website than the finished novel. And I work quickly so I can finish a website in MUCH less time than it takes to write a novel. For those reasons and more, it would be SO easy to take off a couple days and just get the Publisher website up and running.

But today is also the next to the last day of the month. I’d love to go out with 70,000 words this month, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Still, I’d like to make a run at it. And if I take today off, there is no possible way I’m gonna finish the month in style.

So one more part of my retraining rears its ugly head. I need to write when I can (writing must remain my number one priority) and do everything else when I’m not writing. That includes working on that website. And that means part of my retraining is to make myself able to turn my back on it when it’s time to write some more.

Another number two priority is putting together some collections. I just realized this morning I have twenty uncollected short stories. There also is still one 5-story Stringer collection that has not been combined into a 10-story collection yet, plus a single Stringer story that has not been collected. Nick Porter has two uncollected individual stories, and then I have twenty.

So I have to think of a way of putting all those together in various batches. The individual stories I probably will bunch with my own with a nod to the original pseudonym. But I still have to put the collections together, format them, create covers and publish them.

And I enjoy doing all of that, but it isn’t writing, and I enjoy writing more than all of that put together. Hence the priorities. (grin) But it’ll get done. Before too long. I just have to write when I can write and work the rest of the time.

Oh, and then BookBub popped up with a link to 8 Tips on Creating Single Author Box Sets. So now I’m thinking in that direction too. Oh well. A guy’s gotta have a hobby.

Today’s Writing
Poor writing day today, though I did get a lot of other things done and started, as I alluded to above. I expect a much stronger writing day tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Fiction Words: 1476

Writing of “The Coming of Simon Stark” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3800 words. Total words to date….. 3800 words
Day 2…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 5316 words
Day 3…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 8258 words
Day 4…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 12519 words
Day 5…… 3039 words. Total words to date….. 15558 words
Day 6…… 2600 words. Total words to date….. 18158 words
Day 7…… 4634 words. Total words to date….. 22792 words
Day 8…… 3149 words. Total words to date….. 25941 words
Day 9…… 3641 words. Total words to date….. 29582 words
Day 10… 1900 words. Total words to date….. 31482 words
Day 11… 1476 words. Total words to date….. 32958 words

Total fiction words for the month………… 61597
Total fiction words for the year…………… 526638

The Journal, Monday, 9/28: How I Write

The Journal, Monday, 9/28: How I Write

Rolled out a little after 3, having stepped outside to watch some of the lunar eclipse last night.

More than likely I won’t get a lot of writing done today, at least on the novel. I do have to write the short story of the week. It posts tonight at 6 p.m. But I also have to take my pickup to Sierra Vista again to finish the repair I started last week. Life happens.

I don’t really want to pry my head out of my novel right now, so I think I’ll publish an excerpt from the novel as the short story. It’ll work well. You’ll see. (grin) Well, if you read it.

I also want to increase the visibility of my books to brick and mortar stores, so I’ll be opening a publisher website over the next several days to do that. This is something I picked up on while reading over some of the comments on a recent DWS post. Invaluable stuff.

Okay, a bit on how I write. This was prompted by a subscriber who mentioned that he enjoys the posts but that it simply isn’t the way he writes.

I want to say up front, that is absolutely fine. As DWS says, every writer is different. Every writer’s process is different. But I can’t write about other writers’ processes in this blog. So do your own thing, no biggie.

What I’ve learned about writing since early 2014 is nothing short of incredible. I can’t talk with other writers about writing and NOT mention this stuff. It has proven invaluable (and I’m not exaggerating) to me. Dean suggests keeping it secret because so few will “get it,” but I just can’t do that. So here goes.

For my part (as I’ve said before), I write this Journal for three reasons: as a personal diary for myself, to share what I know, and to let others know what is possible. By “what is possible” I mean following Heinlein’s Rules and writing off into the dark can make writing a great deal of fun while vastly increasing your productivity and the quality of your stories.

Do I wish that for you? Yes. Absolutely. Do I fret over whether you’re even willing to try it? No. Not because I don’t care, but because I have my own stuff to worry about, just as you do.

If you’ll forgive a religious allusion here, I’m kind of Saul turned Paul in this deal. Remember, I used to buy into all the myths. Hell, I used to teach them. Vehemently.

I used to believe (now get this) that I could produce an original work in my own unique voice by editing and rewriting and polishing until what I had written looked like everything else in the publisher’s slush pile. I still wonder, how in the world did I NOT see the paradox in that?

I read somewhere that insanity is defined as doing something exactly the same way over and over and over again while hoping for a different result. You know, for what it’s worth.

So I don’t do that. I allow my own unique voice to shine through, which means I resign my control-freak role as General Manager of the Universe and trust my subconscious to tell the story. And then I call myself a writer so I actually am trying to develop a work ethic as a writer.

If I were a mechanic, I would spend time every day working on cars. If I were a doctor, I would spend time every day practicing medicine. If I were a plumber, I would spend time every day fixing plumbing problems. I’m a writer. Why shouldn’t I spend some hours every day practicing my craft? You know, writing?

The truth is this: Writing “fast” doesn’t mean lower quality. It just means spending more time in the chair putting new publishable words on the page. It means writing at a blazing speed of about 17 words per minute, and it means getting it right the first time.

For some, it’s too scary to even try, though they won’t say that. Instead they’ll say something like “Well, I have a life,” meaning they don’t have time to do their job. How long would you get away with that if you were a cop or a plumber or a carpenter? “Sorry, Boss, I can’t put in the time today. I have a life.” And there are any number of other excuses. And that’s fine.

As an aside, I mentioned Heinlein’s Rules to a woman in Prescott a while ago. You know how long it takes to read them. She wouldn’t even look. “No need,” she said. “I don’t write science fiction.”

I just said “Okay.” I mean, what can I say in the face of that kind of intentional ignorance?

This is the way I write. This is my process, but I didn’t come up with it. It’s how Bradbury wrote. It’s how pretty much all of the pulp writers wrote. It’s how DWS and Kristine Kathryn Rusch and JA Konrath and a bunch of others write. I want to be a long-term professional fiction writer who writes across all genres, so I follow the lead of long-term professional fiction writers who write across all genres. Shrug.

As I wrote earlier, I DO wish for others the same freedom, joy, productivity and increased quality that I’ve found in my own writing. But how you write is up to you. I don’t dwell on it. As Ben Johnson said in a movie awhile back, “Not my department.” (grin)

Today’s Writing
Wrote a little over 1200 words before heading for SV. That was on the short story of the week, “There’s No Fool.” But the short story is excerpted exactly from the novel, so I’m not counting the short story words separately. (grin)

Then when I got back I created a cover and published the story to my website and D2D. Then I wrote a bit more in one quick session, then posted this and called it a day. I’ll add the story to my Short Fiction page after I post this.

Fiction Words: 1900 (weird)

Writing of “The Coming of Simon Stark” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3800 words. Total words to date….. 3800 words
Day 2…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 5316 words
Day 3…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 8258 words
Day 4…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 12519 words
Day 5…… 3039 words. Total words to date….. 15558 words
Day 6…… 2600 words. Total words to date….. 18158 words
Day 7…… 4634 words. Total words to date….. 22792 words
Day 8…… 3149 words. Total words to date….. 25941 words
Day 9…… 3641 words. Total words to date….. 29582 words
Day 10… 1900 words. Total words to date….. 31482 words

Total fiction words for the month………… 60121
Total fiction words for the year…………… 525162

The Journal, Sunday, 9/27: Keep Coming Back

Rolled out right at 2, anxious to get back to the novel.

Every now and then I check up on my lists and purge them. On this weak little list, I had only 31 subscribers. Of those, six had never opened the email when they received it. This blog has been running from my main site since July 1, pretty much every day. I think that’s a long enough time to indicate interest.

So I unsubscribed those six folks. Ten to one I won’t hear from them (because they won’t realize it), and that’s fine. (grin)

When your writing stalls, it’s hard to come back. That’s your conscious mind trying to keep you from writing. Believing you have to succumb to that is pure, unadulterated bullcookies. You don’t. You just don’t.

Once again today it felt early like I might not get any writing done. At all.

But I kept going back. I kept putting my fingers on the keyboard. I read about the previous two paragraphs, and then I wrote whatever came.

That’s the key to the whole thing. No matter the situation, if you’re writing fiction, Keep Coming Back and Write the Next Sentence. And don’t question it. If you doubt the sentence you write, that’s your conscious mind butting in. Just write the next sentence, whatever it is. Then write the next sentence, write the next sentence, write the next sentence.

Wonderful fun. I wish the same for my friend Alison and for all of you.

Today’s Writing
I wrote. (grin)

Fiction Words: 3641

Writing of “The Coming of Simon Stark” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3800 words. Total words to date….. 3800 words
Day 2…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 5316 words
Day 3…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 8258 words
Day 4…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 12519 words
Day 5…… 3039 words. Total words to date….. 15558 words
Day 6…… 2600 words. Total words to date….. 18158 words
Day 7…… 4634 words. Total words to date….. 22792 words
Day 8…… 3149 words. Total words to date….. 25941 words
Day 9…… 3641 words. Total words to date….. 29582 words

Total fiction words for the month………… 58221
Total fiction words for the year…………… 523262

The Journal, Saturday, 9/26: No topic, sort of

I slept in this morning until almost 3. Sure felt good. (grin)

Then I got up.

Not a great day around the Stanbrough camp. I won’t bore you with the annoying, frustrating, aggravating details. Just not a good day.

I almost made the topic of this post “writing for therapy,” but that would’ve been a hoax. Or politically correct. I get confused.

I do know nowadays when you tell an outright, bold-face lie it’s most often referred to as either a “hoax” or “politically correct.” Well, unless you happen to be a politician. Then it’s called a “strategy shift.”

Anyway, I couldn’t title it “writing for therapy” because I don’t personally believe in writing as a useful tool for therapy. Not real writing. And not real therapy.

Yeah, I can see writing an ex-hubby or ex-wife’s name on a weird little straw doll and then setting fire to it before hurling it over a thousand foot cliff. I mean, I don’t really think it would have the effect you’re hoping for in the real world, but it couldn’t hurt, right?

But that isn’t writing. That’s verbal vindictiveness. It’s murder without a possibility of a conviction. ‘Cause you just murdered the straw doll, see, and not the real person. Well, you know, IF you can call a nasty ex-husband or ex-wife a “real person.” Up to you, I guess.

(For the official record, I did NOT hear from my ex today. I mean my ex had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what I viewed as a generally crappy day. So there’s one bright side.)

Okay, but back to writing for therapy. Then there’s that whole weird thing where you’re advised to write a note or a letter to the victim of your passion. Only then, instead of mailing it, you flush it down the toilet. Or burn it. Or stomp on it and then flush it or burn it.

Okay, seriously, that’s just silly. If I’m gonna go to all that effort, I’m gonna mail it. See what I mean?

Besides, if I did that and then tried to flush it, guess whose toilet would get plugged up? And you know who AIN’T gonna stop by to help me clean up the mess? The ex-whatever.

But seriously, if you decide to try that one, write an actual letter on actual paper. This doesn’t work in any way, shape or form with emails. Plus it could get expensive.

But maybe there is one way for a writer to write for therapy.

Say you sneak away from your life for awhile. Say you put your fingers on your keyboard. Say you begin moving your fingers so that all of a sudden you’re out of your crappy day. You’re running and laughing and screaming and yelling and otherwise generally havin’ a freakin’ ball with your characters.

Now THAT’S writing for therapy. But that isn’t really writing, is it? Nope. It’s playing with your friends.

And playing with your friends is ALWAYS good therapy.

Today’s Writing
As opposed to pretty much everything else, the writing went well. Two good sessions before about 7:30 a.m. I wrote the rest considerably later. I’ll take it.

Fiction Words: 3149

Writing of “The Coming of Simon Stark” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3800 words. Total words to date….. 3800 words
Day 2…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 5316 words
Day 3…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 8258 words
Day 4…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 12519 words
Day 5…… 3039 words. Total words to date….. 15558 words
Day 6…… 2600 words. Total words to date….. 18158 words
Day 7…… 4634 words. Total words to date….. 22792 words
Day 8…… 3149 words. Total words to date….. 25941 words

Total fiction words for the month………… 54580
Total fiction words for the year…………… 519621

The Journal, Friday, 9/25: Help Bookstores Know Your Print Books Exist

Rolled out early again, about half past 1. My little cat needed me to get up for some reason I still don’t understand. She woke me about 12:30 and I laid there for an hour before she finally nagged me out of bed. (grin)

Did much of nothing the first couple hours again. I’d like very much to change that. For now I guess it’ll be what it’ll be. At the end of the day if I’m making headway on the novel (or whatever writing) then I guess it’s all good.

Nothing to do today but write as far as I know. I have noticed I’m getting more relaxed about writing awhile and then doing other things. I don’t think of them as breaks, really, but I guess that’s how they function.

Took an intentional break to read Dean’s post. It’s a good one. In the topic he talks about getting your indie published paper books into bookstores, how to make sure bookstores know your book exists so they’ll buy it. Yeah, the topic of my post is to send you to Dean’s post to read his topic. It’s important. Go. Read.

Hmm. Just realized tomorrow is Saturday. I like college football, specifically involving LSU (and other teams in the SEC), Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Tomorrow, LSU plays at 9 a.m., OSU vs. Texas OR Tennessee vs. Florida at 12:30 p.m. and Arizona vs. UCLA at 5 p.m. Bet I get a lot of writing done before 9 a.m. tomorrow. (grin)

Today’s Writing
I had a pretty good writing day today. At about 1:30 I went over my daily goal. Since tomorrow might be a short day, depending on what I get done before 9 a.m., I thought I’d press onward.

Lesson 1: Why did I press onward? Goals and challenges aside, being a professional fiction writer is a game of averages. For example, I’ve had three days out of seven when I did very little on the book, but my average (arithmetic mean) over the whole 7 days is well over my daily goal.

Lesson 2: Never be afraid to cut what your Creative Voice (not your conscious, critical mind) is telling you needs to be cut. This book began really taking off after I hacked off the dead weight that was the first 5,000 words or so because it was a different story. But notice that I didn’t “figure that out” with my conscious mind. I listened to that quiet little voice deep inside that told me something wasn’t right.

I still have to write a short story, create a cover, and publish it before Monday at 6 p.m. (grin)

Fiction Words: 4634

Writing of “Simon Stark” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3800 words. Total words to date….. 3800 words
Day 2…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 5316 words
Day 3…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 8258 words
Day 4…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 12519 words
Day 5…… 3039 words. Total words to date….. 15558 words
Day 6…… 2600 words. Total words to date….. 18158 words
Day 7…… 4634 words. Total words to date….. 22792 words

Total fiction words for the month………… 51431
Total fiction words for the year…………… 516472

The Journal, Thursday, 9/24: Conjoined Stories

Rolled out early, a few minutes after 1. One of my sons dropped by on his way from California to New Mexico (return trip). We visited for an hour or so before I went to bed. He was up and back on the road at around 3. Enjoyed seeing him but any visit messes up the routine a bit.

I was going to walk later this morning, but I’m not feeling well. Nothing serious. Just blah. Sometimes I have a day that just feels like a do-nothing day. This might be one of those. Then again, I never know how it will turn out if I just put my fingers on the keyboard.

It’s now a few hours later. Very odd day with the writing. I write a little, go do something else. Write a little more, go do something else. Whatever I accomplish today will be done in increments of 15 minutes to a half hour.

The story’s going fairly well, flowing and all that, but weird. Something’s wrong. That quiet little creative voice in the back of my mind is telling me so. Hmm. I think maybe that’s why everything’s coming in bits and starts this morning.

Well, until that little voice lets me in on the secret, guess I’ll just keep at it. (grin)

Ah! I figured it out. I had heard of this, but I’d never had it happen to me, at least that I can remember. I was writing two stories at one time.

The story about “Norval Babineaux” is going to be a short story or maybe a novella at most. But at about 5,000 words in, the characters in that story handed me another story that’s going to be a novel, only they aren’t in it. How weird is that?

When I’d written around a thousand words today, the separation between the short story and the novel suddenly became apparent. So I cut the short story out of the novel and adjusted the total for the novel.

That’s reflected in the numbers below.

It was fairly easy to separate the two because once the larger story took off (on the third day) all but 339 words were on the novel. (grin) Man I hate math. Well, math that doesn’t have a dollar sign in front of it. I hope this never happens again.

Okay, so if you’re following this stuff at all, in the chart below, Day 6 for the novel is today. Day 4 for the shorter work will be whenever I work on it again.

Today’s Writing
All my writing today was on the novel. After I separated the smaller story out of the larger one, the writing went a lot faster. I’m pleased. (grin)

Fiction Words: 2600 (on the nose… weirder and weirder)

Writing of “Simon Stark” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3800 words. Total words to date….. 3800 words
Day 2…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 5316 words
Day 3…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 8258 words
Day 4…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 12519 words
Day 5…… 3039 words. Total words to date….. 15558 words
Day 6…… 2600 words. Total words to date….. 18158 words

Writing of “Norval Babineaux” (short story)
Day 1…… 3405 words. Total words to date….. 3405 words
Day 2…… 1487 words. Total words to date….. 4892 words
Day 3…… 0339 words. Total words to date….. 5231 words
Day 4…… XXXX words. Total words to date….. XXXX words

Total fiction words for the month………… 46797
Total fiction words for the year…………… 511838

The Journal, Wednesday, 9/23: A BIG Author Earnings Report

Rolled out just before 3 again, a little late this morning. I was hoping to get up around 1 so I could get a lot done before I have to go to SV but that wasn’t in the cards. I’ll just have to spread the writing out.

Answered some emails, then Facebook stuff.

From a comment by Dean on his blog from yesterday: “There is a huge difference between writing for one reader (those who submit to traditional publishing) and writing for thousands (those who go indie). A real change in mindset.”

And from his post today, “Every beginning writer and many middle-stage writers work to fit into a box, to be like everyone else, to polish their stories and novels until they look like everyone else’s stores.” Good stuff.

So a little over two hours have passed this morning and I haven’t written a word of fiction.

Finally got started writing at 5:30. I hoped to get at least one good session done before I left for SV around 8.

It worked out better than that. First I cycled back a bit to update a couple of points and to get myself back into the flow of the story. Then I wrote about 1100 words before 6:30. I took a break for a shower and to get dressed, then wrote another 1000 words before I had to leave. That’s perfect. It makes the trip to SV basically a long break. (grin)

Well, it’s noon. The trip took longer than expected because some things came up on the other end. My mechanic also operates a towing service, so I went with him on a couple calls. Got back to his place, he installed my new part, then realized a second part also was broken. So I’ll go back Monday. In the meantime, the truck works. It just limps a little. (grin)

By the way, Author Earnings just released a new report that ALL writers should see. Especially if you’re locked into traditional publishing or if you’re on the fence.

The previous report I mentioned here talks about market share in ebooks from traditional publishing vs. indie publishing. So it was kind of abstract.

But this report shows the actual distribution of income to individual authors who choose to publish traditionally vs. independently. This probably will surprise you. And if you’re an indie publisher, it will surprise you in a very good way.

http://authorearnings.com/report/individual-author-earnings-tracked-across-7-quarters-feb-2014-sept-2015/. I encourage you to follow this link and sign up to get your own reports as they come out.

Adding to My Challenge
Sort of, I guess, but not really. There are 99 days left in 2015. If I hit my daily goal of 3000 publishable words of fiction per day for all 99 days, that will be an additional 297,000 words. That would give me well over 800,000 words of published fiction on the year. So be it. My new short-term goal is to hit at least 800,000 words for this year. (To hit that exact number I need 290762 more words, or 2936 words per day. Here we go! (grin)

Today’s Writing
Kind of lethargic after I got back from SV. Over 2,000 words before 8 a.m. The rest came after noon and before 4 p.m. when NYPD Blue comes on. Oh well. Still it was at least a so-so day. I hit the goal and looking forward to tomorrow. And sometime in the next few days I have to write and publish a short story. (grin)

Fiction Words: 3039

Writing of “Norval Babineaux” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3405 words. Total words to date….. 3405 words
Day 2…… 1487 words. Total words to date….. 4892 words
Day 3…… 4139 words. Total words to date….. 9031 words
Day 4…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 10547 words
Day 5…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 13489 words
Day 6…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 17750 words
Day 7…… XXXX words. Total words to date….. 20789 words

Total fiction words for the month………… 44197
Total fiction words for the year…………… 509238

The Journal, Tuesday, 9/22: Writing Fast

Rolled out just before 3. Answered some emails, then just messed around awhile (again) with Facebook. I’m gonna have to stay off Facebook, by which I mean take it in very limited doses.

Yesterday as a writer who was currently, you know, writing, I wondered aloud in a Facebook post how many other writers were writing on their own WIPs at the same time. If they were, I asked them to click Like or comment if they wanted to.

A few did. That was great. It was what I was looking for.

Then a woman who is a Realtor posted that she was writing contracts. Does that count? Hahaha. That wasn’t too bad. Later she took some 7-question test on Facebook and it told her she was an “author.” So she came back to post that. See? I’m an author. Hahaha. Wonderful! Great fun, right?

Ummm no. Not for me. Now, is that all right? Or does it make me some sort of antisocial old grouch? Either way, I’m good with it.

I mean, say a Realtor had posted to Facebook that she was currently writing a contract and wondered how many other Realtors in the area were doing the same thing at that moment. And say I happened across that post. I can promise you, it wouldn’t even have occurred to me to write “Hey, I showed a friend a house as we were driving by it last week. Does that count? Hahaha.”

But I understand some folks are just bent in that particular direction. It’s fine. Whatever. I was nice enough, I guess. I just clicked Like on her comment and left it at that.

Okay (deep breath), time for the weather report. We’re supposed to have more rain from some tropical storm down in Baja today but I’m not seeing anything on radar. Except the stuff that pops up pretty much every day around Hermosillo.

So around 6 I got out of here for a walk. I logged 5 miles and was sleet-rained-on only the last tenth of a mile. I’ll take it. (grin)

Wait. I used my feet and legs to perambulate down the road. I guess that would make me a part-time marathoner. (grin)

No, really, c’mon, I’m over it. Seriously. Besides, I’m gonna go gas up my car later today, which is good, ’cause I always wanted to be a mechanic. (grin)

Okay, I think I’m finished now.

No wonder I enjoy writing so much. My manuscript is chock full of people who are intelligent, not afraid to take chances, and even enjoy my company. And they’re as serious as I am.

Yesterday all three of my blogs were sent out. My “main” blog posted because it was the 21st. My free short story of the week posted because it was a Monday, and then of course this one goes out every day.

Yesterday also I talked about streaks. If any of you are doing goals/challenges/streaks I’d really like to hear about it. Use the comments section below to brag a little. Tell the rest of us what’s possible.

Still trying to think of a good way to combine this blog with the main blog. But I have a little voice way in the back of my head too that says not to do that. I mean, specifically, not to advertise my numbers or my writing process to the world. Of course, most of those who read my blogs are writers or would-be writers.

Unfortunately, most writers are among those who have bought into the myth that writing “fast” means writing poorly. In actuality, as some of you know, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Judging from comments of others (readers) I have never written better than after I gave it all over to my subconscious and started writing off into the dark. That just means writing without planning, outlining, plotting, etc.

How fast someone writes has nothing to do with quality. Nothing.

In fact, “writing fast” is actually a misnomer. Most writers who Just Write do so at a rate of about 850 to 1000 publishable words of fiction per hour. (1000 words per hour is only 17 words per minute.)

Even if a writer spends only ONE HOUR per day writing, and even if he writes only five days per week, and if he takes two weeks off completely per year (vacation), he still will have written 250,000 words in a year and be considered a “fast” writer. (One thousand words per day multiplied times five days per week equals 5,000 words multiplied times fifty weeks equals 250,000 words. That’s five 50,000 word novels.)

And that’s if you spend only one hour per day doing your job. (grin)

Imagine what you could turn out if you spent four hours per day doing your job. Can you imagine any other job in the world in which you can spend considerably less than eight hours per day and yet be considered prolific?

At a writers’ meeting a couple days ago, the president of the group said to me (being convivial) “Three thousand words before you came in this morning. That’s really impressive.”

I appreciated it, but really? I mean, if I call myself a “writer,” shouldn’t I spend time doing my job?

Okay, I’m just gonna go ahead and go there for a moment. What if I spent eight hours per day doing my job five days per week like most people do? That would be 8000 words per day and 40,000 words per week.

Even if I took a two-week vacation every year, I would turn out TWO MILLION WORDS PER YEAR. Using the same 50,000 words as the basis for a novel, that would be FORTY novels. Now THAT would be prolific.
But even then I wouldn’t be a “fast” writer. I’d just be a writer with a work ethic.

I recommend you read the Topic of the Night in DWS’ blog at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-voice-starts/. Very interesting for anyone who thinks of writing (correctly) as a business.

My Current Goals and Challenge
My goals are to write 3,000 words of publishable fiction per day and at least one short story per week. Stay tuned.

Today’s Writing
No real writing today. I mean, I wrote some but I’m not even gonna count it. Completely blew off my daily goal. I think after a few days of not walking, my walk kind of threw me off my rhythm this morning.

I had a good title for a short story in mind, so I wrote an opening. It didn’t work out. I went back to the novel, but didn’t quite get into the right frame of mind for it, so I knew enough to just stay hands-off.

This turned into a non-writing day. I’d much rather have a ‘day on,’ but some days just do what they want. So after a couple of really good days, the numbers will remain where they are until tomorrow.

And tomorrow will be challenging. I have to take my truck to SV for repair in the morning. So I need to hit the ‘puter running in the morning on the novel at least. Maybe I can get a few thousand done before I have to go over there. We’ll see.

Fiction Words: XXXX

Writing of “Norval Babineaux” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3405 words. Total words to date….. 3405 words
Day 2…… 1487 words. Total words to date….. 4892 words
Day 3…… 4139 words. Total words to date….. 9031 words
Day 4…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 10547 words
Day 5…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 13489 words
Day 6…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 17750 words
Day 7…… XXXX words. Total words to date….. XXXXX words

Total fiction words for the month………… 41158
Total fiction words for the year…………… 506199

The Journal, Monday, 9/21: Streaks

Rolled out around 2:30. Answered some emails, then just messed around awhile with Facebook and watching the weather come north.

My short story of the week, “The Day They Came,” will post today. I hope you’ll enjoy it if you’re in an SF frame of mind. For me, that’s the signal that I need to write a short story to post next Monday.

Okay, I’m gonna talk about streaks again. Why? Because they’re important. They’re important because they’re powerful, unless you’re stupid enough to strip them of their power for some silly reason.

I had a great streak going. I wrote and posted at least one short story per week for 69 weeks. In all, I wrote 73 stories during that time. Quite a streak. Even DWS said it was one of the longer ones he’d heard of.

Then I stopped. The streak ended with “Death of a Persona.” No excuse. It isn’t like I wasn’t able to keep it going. For some stupid reason I just decided to end it.

I kept posting one story a week in the interim (some of my magic realism stuff), and on Monday, August 10 I started a new challenge and a new streak with “Pete and Repeat.”

No wait, that isn’t right. I just checked. The week after I wrote and published “Pete and Repeat,” I posted another older one, another MR story.

So my new streak began the following week, September 7, with “Paper Hearts.” So next Monday will be the fourth week in a row that I’ve written and published a new short story in this new streak. Four isn’t nearly as good or as impressive as 69, but I did it to myself, so it’ll have to do.

Hey, it’s all good. Y’gotta start somewhere. Anyone wanna join me?

My short-term goal with this one is to write and publish at least one new short story for 70 weeks in a row, surpassing my previous streak.

But my long-term goal is to take Bradbury up on a dare: write and publish at least one new short story every week for the rest of my life. And yes, I hope I hit the short-term goal a LOT sooner than I hit the long-term one. (grin)

Plus sometime in the future I want to duplicate DWS’ July 2015 feat by writing one short story every day for a month. (grin)

Okay, when you get about two minutes, maybe three, check out this very well done cartoon strip on Dreaming vs. Doing. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Slowing down again for some reason today. With all the drizzle, I thought this would be a great day for writing. Yet at this point (10:30) I’ve written just over 1000 new words.

My Current Goals and Challenge
My goals are to write 3,000 words of publishable fiction per day and at least one new short story per week. Stay tuned.

Today’s Writing
Well, after a slow start, the novel surged forward. I also found two new POV characters. What else can I say?

This is the most fun I think I’ve ever had. (grin)

Fiction Words: 4261

Writing of “Norval Babineaux” (SF novel)
Day 1…… 3405 words. Total words to date….. 3405 words
Day 2…… 1487 words. Total words to date….. 4892 words
Day 3…… 4139 words. Total words to date….. 9031 words
Day 4…… 1516 words. Total words to date….. 10547 words
Day 5…… 2942 words. Total words to date….. 13489 words
Day 6…… 4261 words. Total words to date….. 17750 words

Total fiction words for the month………… 41158
Total fiction words for the year…………… 506199