Daily Update: Writing, Working, Editing, I’ve got a heaadache
I’ve got a headache today. It’s not supposed to rain this weekend. There’s no low pressure system overhead. I’ve taken my sinus medicine so I’m not congested.
I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. I will hit my 2000 words today. I didn’t yesterday. But I do want to keep at it. I’ve got a writing streak going since the beginning of the year. I’m happy about that. About half of what I’ve written has been blog posts and half has been new fiction. Being that I’m at nearly 80,000 words for the year, I can honestly say I’m quite proud of that for two months work.
Not only am I proud of how much I’ve written, but I can honestly say that it’s some of my best work. Sure we all grow as writers, but I’ve had a lot of starts and stops along the way. It feel good to get back on the horse and really start putting out words. I’ve got a lot of projects going on all at the same time with my writing and keeping them all going is a challenge.
I’ve taken a queue from my work.
With my work I create detailed plans on what it’ll take to get a project coded and deployed. I write up timelines, do costs analysis. There’s a lot more than just sitting and typing code. Keeping track of where you’re at is critical. I’ve applied this to my writing with my word count spread sheet and I find I output a lot more words by keeping close tabs on what I write.
To that end, it’s not always about creating new fiction. There’s editing to consider. I just submitted a story and after the first draft, I let it sit for a couple of days, I had some inspired thoughts, and did some rewriting. It was around 4500 words when done and I cut down nearly 400 and added back in almost 600. I did not count any of these words. I probably should have, but hey, it’s my system. Either way, I’m quite proud with how the story turned out.
On the work front, I’ve also been quite busy. I’ve got a large project, a couple of people I’m managing to help with the project, extra duties added to my workload beyond the project, deadlines, meetings, assistance.
Between work and writing, it’s a lot to take in. Combine the fact that my Favorite Daughter has he volleyball… well, you get the point. There’s a lot going on and only so many hours in the day.
I’ll do an Unorthodox Writing Tips, probably next week, about time management or something to that effect. As I had said at the beginning of the year, I’m going to treat my writing like a part time job and commit to getting words out there. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve had to be flexible, but I’m getting it done.
I think that’s what’s led to my current headache, so I’ll take a couple aspirin and call it good.
Ok, so I left you hanging yesterday. I’m good like that. I’m glad you’re following along.
While going to ITT I met a lot of people. One of my classmates introduced me to a friend of his. She was nice, but I was busy and not really interested. We did wind up going out a few times, then a few more times. I started telling her my book ideas. She was enthralled. I let her read Of Gnomes and Dwarves (the comic version) and she loved it.
She wasn’t going to ITT, but to another school and she needed to type up something that someone else had written. Being that she had my hand written binder (and the only copy of my work at the time) she typed it up for me over the course of two or three weeks. I was quite surprised. It made me quite happy to see my nearly illegible words typed up.
Once I completed ITT (graduating with honors) and I wasn’t working and going to school, I was able to dedicate some time to a relationship. ITT went from 6pm-10pm. I worked from midnight-8am. It made out schedules incompatible. Once I was done with ITT, we moved in together and I got a normal day job. I went to work for Qualcomm.
Let me just state this for the record. If I were an engineer, I probably would have been happy with electronics. Being that I was a troubleshooter on products that got returned, I was bored out of my mind. The most fun I had was with a 5 page pamphlet entitled HTML 1.0. Netscape was awesome, writing HTML code great fun. I really got into designing webpages for my Of Gnomes and Dwarves characters. My friend Sean even got a job working at Qualcomm under a different position and it was great fun working together.
I eventually bought a PC. I wanted to do web design for a living. Heh, didn’t we all during the mid 90s? Well, that didn’t go.
I wound up getting a job with ATT (PacBell at the time, then SBC, now ATT). I left Qualcomm with little thought. I’m not sure how the cell phone division did after I left, because I was moving onward and upward.
In that same year I got married, we had my favorite daughter. Life was awesome! I even decided to pick up those comic scripts I had started and translated them into a book. It had taken years, but I finally had a 60,000 word novel. It was a lot of data dumping, a lot of telling, a lot of bad grammar. It wasn’t very good, but I still to this day love the story and characters.
I had some friends read it. I got a lot of suggestions and made a lot of edits over the next couple of years. Then I moved into a new team. For that team I had to go away for training. I had been thinking about working on the second book which I had scripted and decided I would work on it a little bit while away on my training. I didn’t have anything else to do, I’d be away from home. Why not?
After that week I was wiped out. I had gotten up at 5am each day and started writing. I would take a shower at the last minute and rush to the training. I had a floppy disk with the file on it and would write in class during the hour lunch and during the breaks. I would go eat a quick diner and I’d be back in the hotel room writing some more. It was writing bliss like I’d never know and have never known again. After that week I had a SECOND 60,000 word novel.
It took me about a month to write the third in little snippets of time here and there and I now had three 60,000 word novels. All that time I’d spent agonizing over making the first novel perfect helped me write far better books the second and third time. I had gotten better and dialogue, showing not telling, no more data dumps of information. The characters really took on a life of their own.
I submitted the first book to many agents and publishers, but that’s a story for tomorrow.