Monday Update: 3K a Day Until May!

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Hey, Howdy, Hey, Gang! I hope everything is well in your world. Mine? Crazy, Hectic, Fun! So much going on and I’m having a great time!

Let me start with a breakdown of how I finished out my Lent goal. If you recall, my plan was to try to average 2750 words per day (Pulp Speed 1) until the end of Lent. Well. I failed. There’s no easy way to put it, I dropped the ball. Had I stayed on pace, I should have written 63,250 words during those 23 days. Instead, I only managed 56,112. Horrible.I know. I hang my head in shame. I only managed 2440 words per day on average.

Oh, who am I kidding? As I keep saying over and over. Set your goals higher than you can reach so it forces you to stretch and fight and claw your way toward that goal. I do NOT look at what I did as a failure. Not even close. I failed better than many succeed. That’s why I pushed myself. I know I could have hit the word goal had I not done one thing in the middle of all that.

What happened, Jay?

So glad you asked.

I jumped from one series into another. If I’d jumped into GRPC3, V&A3, or ever Almost-Super Heroes 2, I probably would have maintained that speed or done even better. Instead, I jumped into a world I haven’t been in for 3 years. That meant I needed to re-read two full novels, make notes, and still try to tap out a few words a day while I did that. Not an excuse, just a reality of what happened. It also took me a few more days to get them back into my head so I could start pounding out words.

Where am I at with that story?

Golden West 3: Showdown, will be the final book in the Golden West trilogy. That’s why I wanted to complete it. I’ve gotten nearly 12,500 words done in the story thus far. I’m excited. I’m ready to rip through this book and git it done. I’ve had these scenes planned out in my head since I typed the first words of the first book. I know how the entire trilogy would end. How the final few scenes would play out. Just like all the other books I want to do this year, I’m crazy excited to write this one.

That said, now that I’m ready to go on a tear, why not give myself a bigger challenge? I mean, come on, why not? I set a HUGE goal for Lent, and I crushed it! That means I’m capable of more, right?

Oh, yeah, Lent goal. I should probably give you the final numbers on that, eh?

This year, Lent was 46 days long. I wanted to write, on average, 2000 words per day or a grand total of 92,000 words. What I wound up doing was averaging 2250 words per day for a total of 103,495 words. So I set, met, and surpassed my original goal. Was it set too low? I don’t think so. I was coming into this year with a nearly two-year hiatus of not writing much at all. By “not much” I mean maybe 10,000 words per year for two years.  That’s awful.

I set the goal at something I thought I  might be able to obtain. I never thought I’d fly past it. I honestly didn’t.

So, back to where I was before. I need a new goal. A new challenge to get me through to the end of April. Something that might be beyond my grasp, but unless I try, I’ll never know. From today, April 17, 2017, until May 1st, 2017 I plan to write (on average) 3000 words per day. 3K a Day Until May! I’m back into a groove with this book. I’m excited to hit some of the upcoming scenes, why not? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Right?

What does that mean for word totals? If I hit my target of 3000 words a day, I’ll write 42,000 words over the next 14 days. That’s nuts! That’s crazy! I must be off my rocker! No, being off my rocker would be trying to hit triple my daily word count which I’ve set at 1,200 words per day this year. 3,600 words a day? That sounds very difficult. So let’s stick with 3K per Day Until May. That also has a better ring to it.

Again, this is all words of new fiction. It won’t be blog posts or emails or anything like that. It’s ONLY new words in a fiction world. Be that Golden West 3, or Jack Kane 2 (If I can nudge Mr. Plested along, wink wink). Who knows what’ll happen. I surely don’t! But it sounds like fun to try. Ready to watch me fail in spectacular fashion? Here we go!

Until Next Time,

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: Book 2 of the Year Complete

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Good Morning and Happy Monday! Did you read the title of this blog? If not, let me repeat it here. Book 2 of the year is complete!

That’s right. I plan on writing 5 books this year, and the second is DONE!

Well, if you recall I’m only counting this as a half book. When Mike Plested and I complete Jack Kane 2, I’ll also count that one as a half book.

But, hey! Another book done! I really love the way Almost-Super Heroes came to an end. Yes, yes, I left it open for a sequel and I already know how the book will start, how it’ll go, and how it’ll end.

I’m so excited. I finished the book on Saturday. I wrote nearly 5000 words that day to finish the book. I also did a bunch of things around the house including fixing the fridge. I can’t wait to share this book with you. I really can’t. It ties in with GRPC and V&A Shipping. I’m working on something really exciting story-wise with these titles and it’s something I’ve dreamt up for the past few years. It’s so awesome to see it all coming together.

What am I working on next? Glad you asked.

I’m working on Golden West Book 3: Showdown.

Wait, Jay, I thought you said you were excited about GRPC and V&A Shipping, and all that.

Yes, yes. I am. I’m super crazy excited about that series and what I’ll be writing in all those books. But I need some closure. The way I’d ended Golden West Book 2 was desperate for an ending. I need to finish that one off. The third book will be the last in that series. I don’t know if I’ll ever visit that universe again. So, I need to finish that series off and let it be done. Between yesterday and today, I read through books 1 and 2 and wow are they emotionally draining books to read. I really put these characters through the ringer.

Book 3? Yes, I know exactly how the book will go. I’m weird like that. Books pop into my head fully formed and it’s only a matter of sitting and writing it out. Unlike books 1 and 2, this one will be longer. I have a lot of threads to tie up and a build up to a satisfying ending. I’d always intended this to be a trilogy. That’s why I’m not certain I’ll ever visit these characters or this universe again.

Why?

I have soooooo many books I want to write. I have a list of running ideas. I need to get back to the Astel series (it will no longer be a trilogy). I need to work on my Epic Fantasy series, Of Gnomes and Dwarves. I want to write more Billy stories (none will fall into the V&A Shipping Universe). I want to crank out more Supernatural Learning books. I even have an entirely new series that I haven’t even started that I think will be a BLAST to write. Plus I have three other titles/series that I want to dig into and write in.

On top of that, I want to record everything as audio and get all my current titles published. Those are just waiting for me to record them and get them out the door.

Will this be an active year for my writing?  Oh yeah! Will next year? Oh yeah!

Where am I at today?

Let’s start with, done with my Lent Goal and still one more week to go! That’s right. For the first time since I started tracking my words, I hit my Lent writing goal!.  Over 46 days I was going to write 92,000 words and as of my writing this I’m sitting at 92,881. So I actually passed my goal on Saturday.

How’s my secondary goal of 2750 words per day average going? Close. Very close. For the past 17 days I’ve averaged 2676. So I need a couple good days to get back to that target. What happened? Well, yesterday happened, that’s what.

As I said, between yesterday and today I re-read Golden West 1 and 2 to get back into that world so I could work on book 3. I had the first little bit thought out and it’ll be a bit explainy as I get readers up to speed on what came before. So yesterday I only had ~500 words. Now that I’m caught back up on… oh, wait, if you haven’t read books 1 and 2 I can’t tell you what I’m getting caught up on. Shame on you. You almost had me tell you.

Suffice to say, it feels good to be in this world. Can’t wait to lay down words, but I have to. I need to get a chapter back to Mike in Jack Kane 2 as we’re nearly done with that book as well. Then I’ll bang out some words with Abigail, Jax, and the rest of the gang.

So there will be many, many words in the future. I’m sorry to make you wait on them, but I have a super-secret plan in my back pocket and I hope you’ll still be here for the ride. I need to get to writing so…

Until Next Time,

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: Two Weeks Left of Lent

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There are two weeks left of Lent. When we last spoke, my intention was to see how many days in a row I could write more than 2750 words per day.

Yesterday I faltered.

It was an awesome day! Don’t get me wrong. I have no shame in saying that I didn’t hit my goal. There just weren’t enough hours in the day to get my full word count. I only got 2050 words done. So I was 700 words short.

But how did I do, overall, last week? Let’s break down the numbers.

Monday: 2820
Tuesday: 4040
Wednesday: 2774
Thursday: 2756
Friday: 2783
Saturday: 3088
Sunday: 2007

So even though I didn’t hit 2750 words per day every day, I did average 2900 words per day. I’ll take that any day and twice on Sunday! Well, you know what I mean.

At any rate, I did hit my 2000 word daily goal for Lent, I hit my secondary 2750 average, and I made great progress in the book I’m working on. The ending, which I thought I had sealed up tight, changed direction on me. In a good way. I’m so excited to be ending this book, but sitting down at 9:30 to try and hit my word count, my eyes were closing and it wasn’t happening.

What have I said before on this topic? I set my goals high to force myself to work harder to hit them, so even if I miss, I still succeed. I consider last week, with over 20,000 words, a complete success.

I do still plan to try and hit 2750 words per day for the rest of Lent. We’ll see how that goes.

Where does all this typing put me with regards to my overall Lent Goal, you ask? I’m so glad you brought that up. I’m currently 5 days ahead of schedule. I’m up nearly 10,000 words where I expected to be at this point. I’m over 82% of my Lent total target. Keeping up this pace, I will finish Almost-Super Heroes well before Easter Sunday. Will I make it? Pfft, I honestly don’t know. I’m hopeful, but then I’ve been hopeful before.

Where am I at on the year? I’m 35,200 words ahead of schedule. 29 days ahead of where I should be. That’s after starting out 21 days behind. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d keep pushing ahead so well. Looking back at all my old spreadsheets (some people keep journals) I can see where I faltered every year on my Lent goal. It’s a long time to keep that kind of writing speed up, work a day job, spend time with family, do stuff around the house. It’s not always easy to work in the time, but I’ve done it.

So grand total, I’m at 145591 on the year. I’m still delightfully surprised at where I’m at right now. I have a lot of plans in the works for later in the year, but right now, I’m trying to “bank” five books. Once I’ve done that, I’ll reveal my secret plan and I hope you’ll be as happy with it as I am.

Going to keep it short today. I hope all it well in your end of the world. It’s time for me to go make words happen.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: Progress is Progressing

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Hey Howdy Hey and welcome to another Monday. I hope everything is going wonderful for you.

So I decided Monday seemed like the best day to post an update. Why? Well, because it’s the start of the week for most and it’s a good stepping off point. Let’s see where I’m at and where I want to be.

When last we spoke, I’d finished GRPC2 the day before. That meant jumping into a new book. I didn’t jump into a ‘new’ book so much as jumped into a book I’d already started. That, for me, is even more difficult. What happened before? Where was I going with all this? What little secrets did I want to reveal? What foreshadowing did I do?

Let me say this here and now. Writing faster means I don’t lose track of those things. When it took me months to write a book, I would lose track of a little item and would forget why I’d dropped it in. Writing faster means I can drop a hint, and a dozen chapters later, I can get the payoff. Since it’s only a few days away (and not two or three months). I’m liking that.

So, I jumped back into Almost-Super Heroes after being away from the story for nearly three years! This book, in a way, will tie into the V&A Shipping universe. Giant Robot Planetary Competition is also in the V&A Shipping universe. I plan on tying all these books together. Without meaning to, Billy Barbarian is also in that universe, but won’t be directly involved with the current storyline I’m weaving through all the other titles. I will say no more on this, ever! You’ll have to read and follow along with the books to know what I’m up to. No spoilers to you!

Back to Almost-Super Heroes. The week started out…bumpy. I chose to go back and re-read/edit the first 40,000 words I’d already written. As I said, it’d been over three years. I knew where I was going overall and how it tied into the major story arc across all the titles. So over four days with cuts and additions, I only had a net gain of 3300 words, BUT I knew everything that was going on. I was able to get back into the character’s heads. It all started to click once more. All those ‘candy bar’ scenes were still in my mind and waiting to jump onto the page.

Over the last three days of the week, I knocked out 8300 words. I keep saying, I want to average 2000 words a day during Lent. I’m not going to get upset because one of those days I cut an entire 2500 word chapter and only netted a total of 400 words. Yeah, I wrote 2900 words and I could have counted that, but I’m in an existing story. I’m going by net gain. As I said, those first days were bumpy, but the story is better for it.

Did I manage 2000 words a day last week? Nope. Total miss. I only had 1661 words per day. That’s not important. What is? That I’m still averaging over 2000 words per day for Lent overall. I was able to pound on the keyboard and still hit my words I needed to. This week I will get ahead. Why?

First, Mike Plested, you remember him? My writing partner on Jack Kane? Well, he tagged me so tonight I wrote the next chapter in Jack Kane 2. So I’ve got 2100 words down, and I’m ready to try and do the same with Almost-Super Heroes.

I’ve got a new goal and this is what I should have done for Lent because I think it would have been a true challenge.

Remember a couple weeks back when I was talking about Dean Wesley Smith and Pulp Speed writing? Well, for the rest of Lent I intend to write at Pulp Speed 1. It’s not that many more words per day (average). It’s 2750 words a day. Guess what? I already did that for 3 days without thinking about it. I’ll do it again today. I’m fairly confident I can do this for the remainder of Lent.

If I do, what’ll happen?

First, it means I’ll crush my Lent goal. If I stay on target of 2000 words per day, I’ll hit 92000 words easily. If I write at Pulp Speed 1 for the rest of Lent, I’ll hit 110000 words over those 46 days. I’ll be at 20% over my goal. Being that I’ve never (ever!) hit my Lent goal of 2000 words per day, this would be a big deal to not only hit my goal but surpass it.

Another benefit, I would be 44 days ahead of my annual goal! That means I could have 44 days of 0 word count, and still be on target. That’s huge to bank that many words. There will be time off. There will be vacations. There will be days where there aren’t enough hours to find time to sit and type. I’m taking advantage of having those days now!

What else will it mean?

First, I’ll have a second book done before Lent ends. My goal is to finish five books this year. I don’t count finishing this book as cheating because based on my goal, I would have written 4.75 books, roughly. That means getting this book done and out the door is part of that process. Rather than target partial books, I’m shooting for 5 total books completed.

If I can nudge my good friend Mike along, Jack Kane will be done very soon as well. JK2 is already 80% complete. We’re in the homestretch! I’m excited to bring this book to market. These characters are so much fun to write. Hopefully, we’ll jump right into book 3.

That means very soon, I’ll have three books done this year. Two of those would be half books, so I’m not counting 3 books I wrote, but only 2. I will need to write three more books to hit my 5 book goal.

Will I succeed? Will I fail? You know what, I could stop writing right this moment, and I would still consider this year a win. Why? I have a writing streak of 65 days. I’ve already written 128,000 words. That’s more than some professional writers I follow knock out in a year when they produce one book. Yes. I did that in 65 days.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t consider myself a pro by any stretch of the imagination. What I am doing is having a GREAT time writing fun stories I’ve wanted to write for years. Hell, for decades. I have so many books in my head that if I kept up this pace for 10 years (5 books a year for 10 years) I still wouldn’t run out of ideas and fun stories to tell.

So I’m glad you’re along for the ride. Let’s see if I can keep up Pulp Speed 1 until next Monday as a start, shall we? This should be a hoot. Check back here next week to see if I hit my numbers. I won’t cheat. I won’t fudge. I won’t do anything other than count my net gain of words and report to you next week. I fudged my numbers in the past for no good reason as I was the only one I was fooling with those numbers. No one else ever saw my spreadsheet.

If any of you are interested in the spreadsheet I use, I could look at posting a read-only version somewhere and giving it public access. Then you can all follow along 🙂

I’m off to make more words happen. Only 750 words to go for today’s goal, but I’ll try for more.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: First book of the year DONE!

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Hey, Gang!

It’s Monday! WOO WOO! Most people hate Mondays. I’ve never been sure why. Me, I’m a Monday kind of guy. Well, I’m also a morning type of guy. don’t hate me because of that. Hate me because I’m beautiful.

That said, I figure I need to start posting far more regularly. I know, I know. I keep saying that and then I don’t do anything about it. So, let’s see how often I can post my progress on Mondays. Maybe other days I’ll post something different.

Let’s start with the numbers and we’ll go from there.

Streak of days writing: 57 consecutive.

Total words written: 113,695

Average words per day: 1,995

Lowest day: 55

Highest day: 5,444

Number of books completed: 1

Let’s dig in, shall we? I decided to write, daily. No matter how many or how few. If I’m not on vacation or doing something where I cannot get to a computer, I plan to write every day. It shouldn’t matter. Writers write. That’s rule #1. I plan to write daily. So far, I’m good on that goal.

Over 100,000 words already this year. I’m stunned too. I honestly didn’t think I’d get there so fast. I started out 25,000 words behind, but I didn’t allow that to be a negative. I started from day 1 and sat and wrote. Some days I wrote more than others. That’s why I posted the min/max numbers. I had a few low days, a few very high days. Some days I didn’t want to write and started late (after 10pm some days). It’s all been an exercise to sit and write daily. That was my first goal above all else. The second was to write an average of 1200 words per day. You can see I’m blowing that out of the water. I went from being 21 days behind schedule when I typed my very first word this year, to being 16 days ahead of schedule. I love my spreadsheet 🙂

The biggest thing was not to view the spreadsheet as punishment. I’d done that before and got depressed and sad. I hated writing, but it wasn’t because of the spreadsheet, it was other things happening in my life at the time. I haven’t had this much fun writing for a few years. The past two years I barely wrote. Let’s not dwell on that and look forward, shall we?

Looking back at my past spreadsheets for reference (we’ll get to the future in a moment, I promise), in 2012 I wrote 267,000 words. 2013 – 172,000. 2014-130000. I didn’t record my words in 2015 or 2016 because I had almost given up writing by then. So far this year I’m at 113,695. I’m on target to blow away all those previous years. I just need to not focus on how I missed my word count goal every single year I tried. That’s a recipe for failure. Instead, I need to look at where I am presently, and where I’ll be if I sit and write again today. Each day gets me closer to that goal. If I do miss a day, not a big deal. Try again tomorrow. Every little bit adds to the whole.

Books completed? One? Really? Yes! Last night I wrote the last chapter in Giant Robot Planetary Competition Book 2: Villain. I’m super excited about this book. I can’t wait to edit, cover it, and publish it. This will be my first book in…a while. Hopefully the first book of many that’ll happen this year. Honestly, I didn’t know if I would be able to keep this output going. I really thought I would peter out, give up, suffer from imposter syndrome. In the end, I figured out what I wanted to do was to create art for me. If others like it, bonus. If not, I’m still happy with the book I wrote.

What’s next on my plate? Remember, I’m in the middle of my Lent goal. I’m 3 days ahead, but I don’t want to stop. I thought about starting something new, but I decided to dive back into a book I was half-way done with. Almost-Super Heroes is another fun book and I’m jumping back in tonight. It’s sitting at 45,000 words. I was targeting 80,000. Let’s see what happens. If I keep on target, I’ll complete this book before the end of Lent.

Oh, speaking of word count, I almost forgot. I had targeted 90,000 words for GRPC2. I did the same for GRPC1. Book 1 came in at 96,420. Book 2 came in at 97,793. I have a hard time hitting targets when I’m having so much fun with the characters. I honestly think I’ve found my voice again and my style as well. It makes it so the words just fall off my fingers tips and onto the keyboard.

I’m writing again. I’m having fun again. Now I just need to be consistent with my output. Next week, I’ll make a similar post.If you made it this far and want to BETA read GRPCs (warts and all) drop me a line at jay@ofgnomesanddwares.com with the type you’d liked and I’ll fire it off to you. It will help if you’ve read GRPC1 first, so if you need that one as well, let me know and I’ll send both on over.

If you made it this far and want to BETA read GRPCs (warts and all) drop me a line at jay@ofgnomesanddwares.com with the type you’d liked and I’ll fire it off to you. It will help if you’ve read GRPC1 first, so if you need that one as well, let me know and I’ll send both on over. It’s rough, and unedited, but I look forward to hearing what you think.

I need to get to doing some writing. Those words won’t write themselves.

Until Next Time

Stay Awesome!

JR

Goals for Lent

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Lent. It’s that time of the year again (well, it really started yesterday). It happens every year. Each year I set a lofty goal for myself and I miss every year. Heck, I do the same thing for the entire year and I usually miss. I think this year will be different.

Most people give something up. Some say “I’ll stop eating sweets.” or “I’ll exercise more.” or “I won’t swear…nearly as much.”  Something like that.

Me, I’ve always determined to write more. A lot. More than I normally plan on writing.

As I’ve mentioned before, I plan to write an average of 1200 words per day. Heavy emphasis on AVERAGE! Well, for Lent I’m bumping that goal up to average 2000 words per day. Will I hit it? Pfft, I don’t know. Sounds like a good goal. Why not give it a try?

So what’ll happen if I do hit my goal? Well, simple math shows that Lent is 46 days this year (wait, I thought Jesus spent 40 days in the desert) and 2000 words a day works out to 92,000 words. Holy Sheep Dip, Batman! That’s a LOT of words! How ever will I do it?

Ok, let’s slow down for a minute. Remember what I’d said before was my annual goal. Average 1200 words per day. That’s still my main focus. 2000 words is only 800 more words per day. Remember, I type really, really fast. On a good day, I can hit 2000 words in an hour. On a bad day, might take me two hours. Can I find two hours in a given day to type?

Sure.

My main focus will be on media limitations. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop absorbing media altogether. It means I’ll cut back on what I need to cut back on so I can spend a little more time writing. That’s all. So, instead of watching 2-3 hours of news and a couple of TV shows, and reading for an hour or two, I’ll cut back to give myself the time I need. I’ll watch TV while I exercise, read the news when I have free time, read before bed (that won’t change) and my DVR can save my shows.

Hopefully, it’ll be that simple. We all know what happens to the best-laid plans.

Where am I at so far, now that we’re two days in? Well, I had 2014 words yesterday, and I’m at 2145 today. I’m taking a short break to write this blog post cuz I want to blog more frequently. Then I’ll try to write another 1000 words. We’ll see what happens. So I’m off to a good start.

I’m going to keep this short. I hope you have a Lent goal you’re looking to work on. Do you have one? Did you plan something? Are you going to diet, exercise, write, create art, paint, learn something? What have you got planned? Let me know. I’d love to hear.

Until Next Time…

Stay Awesome!

Irrational Fears

J.R. Murdock

Admit it, there’s something you know to be so absurd to be afraid of, but you’re still scared. I’m not talking about a fear of the dark or what might be lurking under your bed. I’m talking something truly silly bordering on impossible. Think about it for a minute. When your rational mind turns off, there’s something that scares you for no real reason and you can’t explain why.

I have some, and they’re not normal. One I know to be ridiculous and the other I know is impossible. Even so, they’re fears I need to overcome in order to accomplish a task. You might think you have an idea what I’m talking about, but I assure you, you’re not even close.

The first it pretty silly and borders on the impossible. It ha to do with blenders. No, really. I have a fear of our blender. When I’m standing there in front of it and thinking about those blades whipping around at Mach speed, I fear what would happen should one of those blades snap off. I’m right there and even though it could go anywhere away from me and would most likely get stuck in the blender jar, I worry that it’ll come straight at me. Even then, if it did hit me, it would probably miss all my important parts.

Why does this scare me? Where did this fear come from? How do I resolve it? It’s not some times when I use the blender, it’s every time I use the blender. That means I need to face that absurd fear each time I use it. I don’t know what part of my brain makes this irrational fear rational. I wish I know. It’s frustrating.

But there’s another, even more bizarre fear I have. This one, I’m pretty sure, comes from getting scared one too many times as a child. What’s around that corner? Is someone going to jump out at me? Did I see too many scary movies as a kid? Those don’t make me jump. I laugh more than fear them. I analyze how they performed the special effects. I’ve ready Fangoaria and seen specials on effects and makeup. So you’d think I’d be able to rationalize that when I open the garage door, no one is going to be there. Certainly not holding a spear, or bow, or large knife. Why would they be hiding in my garage?

Regardless of my brain knowing that there isn’t anyone in the garage (I could have been in there five minutes ago) I still have this twinge of fear that as soon as I open that door some psychotic will lunge at me. Why? Why does my brain hate me? It’s not that I want to be afraid of the garage door and I will still open in knowing that no one is there, but I can’t stop my brain from saying “DON’T DO IT! YOU’LL DIE!” I have to turn it off for the moments it takes me to open the door.

With both of these, I know they make no sense. When I sit here typing this up, I know they’re both impossible to happen. That’s the thing with fear. It’s irrational. Your brain can build something up that’ll scare you when deep down you know there’s nothing to be scared of. It’s all a matter of how you manage that fear.

I understand that some people cannot manage fear. Something in their wiring doesn’t allow them to overcome that fear. I’m lucky in that I can push past that fear.

There’s another fear that’s very real, yet I still must overcome every time I sit down at the keyboard. That what I’m writing sucks. No one will like it and/or no one will read it. Why put all this time and effort into something no one will like.

Again, this is a fear that I must overcome or I’ll be sitting here staring at a blank page and getting nothing written. So, I push past that fear and start typing. Once I do, I realize that I’m writing stories for one person. Me. Sure, I want to sell my stories. I’m happy when I see a sale. Even if those are few and far between, it doesn’t matter. Someone read my story. Someone bought my story. Even if they didn’t like it, there’s nothing I can do about that. No author can please 100% of his/her audience, so how could I expect to? All I can do is write a story I’m happy with and proud of, and get it out there.

And that is exactly what I started doing again. Writing for me. Writing the stories I want to read. Telling the best story I can. If someone reads it, great. If someone likes it, even better. Then I write another one. If I type a little every day, I can only get better at doing the writing thing. I won’t get any better by not writing. So, it’s type, or don’t. I chose the latter. I hope you enjoy the result.

So what fears do you need to push past every day? Are the rational? Irrational? Can your brain work past it?

I’m off to overcome my fear of the blank page once more. You should do the same.

Until Next Time…

Stay Awesome!

 

Head down and typing like a madman.

Polar Bear speed painting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_Sc_lLjRA4

So I posted a couple times, then disappeared again. What gives?

Well, I’ve been writing. Really fast. Well, not as fast as I could, but fast enough. So how fast is fast? I’ll let you decide, but according to Dean Wesley Smith, I’m not a pulp speed writer. To write at pulp speed, according to Dean, I’d need to write ~1,000,000 words per year. Check out Dean’s post if you’re curious how fast some writers back in the day wrote.

Yeah, I’m not going at that pace. That’d be roughly 2750 words per day. That’s nuts! Who could to that?

So anyway, today I wrote 4081 words. Yesterday I wrote 2661 words. Yeah, I could write that fast every day, but Jay has a job and a family so I don’t write that much every single day.

I’m on a writing streak, though. A 35-day writing streak. Over that time I was hoping to maintain 2,000 words per day. Why? I wanted to get caught up for my annual goal or 1200 words per day. I was behind and I’ve been playing catch up.

Don’t worry. I’m not stressing. Two days ago I was re-reading and editing some of what I’d written and only wrote 55 words. Those days happen. Three days ago I only managed just over 600 words. So I’m not a pulp speed writer. Some day, maybe, but not today.

So over that 35 days how much did I write? I wrote 62,920 words. On average, 1798 words per day.

I haven’t hit my goal of averaging 2,000 words per day. Do I feel like a failure? Heck no! Writing words is a success all by itself. I set the goal to push myself, not pressure myself. I wanted to sit and write words every day and get books written. I’m doing that. I’m proud of doing that. I’ve also done my day job, watched too much news and TV, seen a couple movies, spent time with the family, gone out to dinner, done some training for work. It’s not like all I’ve done is write. Imagine if I was a pro writer and that’s all I did was sit and type all day every day.

Well, with my day job I do type all day with chats and emails and documentation, but that’s different.

So let’s have a little fun and extrapolate. What if I keep up this trend over the course of a year, where will I be at by the end of the year? Remember, my goal is 1200 words per day. So with that number, I’d be writing 440,000 words (44% of pulp speed 1). If I stay on pace with 1798 words, I’ll hit 620,000 (62% of pulp speed 1). If I stop having 55 word days, I can exceed that number.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Writing just a couple thousand words per day adds up so quickly. How many books does that work out to? Well, most of my books are between 80,000-90,000. That’s what I shoot for. If we take an average of 85,000 words per book, that means I could write 7.5 books this year.

Wait… did I say that correctly? Yup. I could write more than 7 books in one year.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it? In this world, a fast writer puts out 3-4 books in a given year. I could double that. And according to Dean, I’m not even up to pulp speed. Imagine if I were writing just under 3,000 words per day and putting out a million words a year. That’s only pulp level 1. He’s got up to pulp level 6 putting out two million words per year. That’s only 5,500 words a day. Pulp books are also shorter, on average 40,000-50,000 words. That means I’d be putting out nearly 40 books a year! What?

Guess what. Looking through my daily word count, I’ve hit that speed twice. In my 35 day streak, I have 5 days over 300o words, and nearly half the days are over 2000 words. Each day when I check my word count and update my spreadsheet, I’m amazed. I’m excited. I’m ready for the next day to do it again.

You could do this too no matter what type of art you do. Paint a little every day. Write a little bit on a song every day. Type words for a book or short story every day. Sketch something. Draw a cartoon. Art something! All those little days add up to a big payoff.

At the top of this post, I embedded a video that inspired me this week. Just like a book doesn’t get done in a day and perhaps not even in a month, all those little bits add up until you have something completed. The video shows a man painting a polar bear. The video is under two minutes, but it took him two months to paint. A little bit each day. That’s all it takes. You can do it too.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Hitting a stride.

When I was at the top of my writing streak, I was writing 3000-4000 words a day. I did that on and off for a few months and wrote four books in that time. It felt great to sit and type. I was also blogging daily. That helped to keep my mind fresh and my fingers nimble.

With my day job, I spend a LOT of time typing, so speed has never been an issue. I haven’t really slowed down with my typing pace. I’ve never formally measured my typing speed (some day I should do that) but I’m confident it’s over 70 WPM and probably higher than I think it is.

Words flow quickly from my fingers. I remember having a 30 minute writing race with J. Daniel Sawyer and pounding out just over 1500 words in that time. Again, this was when I was at the top of my game writing semi-regular and blogging daily. I was deep in a story and it was easy.

I’d love to get back there again. I can still type fast and I know where my story is going, but my creative muscle hasn’t been taxed like this in a long time. I just sat for 1.5 hours and wrote 2500 words. I’d love to do more, but seriously, I’m exhausted. I feel like I ran a mental marathon. I know that I could write more, but right now I don’t want to push myself. It’s like jogging. You don’t get out and run 15 miles on your first time out in a long time.

I’ve only been back to writing for 11 days after a great deal of time not writing. Yes, I mentally thought about the stories I wanted to write which is why GRPC 2 is an easy write for me, but getting into those characters’ heads and changing viewpoints and remembering events from the past story. It’s a lot at the moment. That, and I still have a family :). There’s still news and TV shows I’d like to watch. Books I’d like to read. Comics. etc.

And that’s something I needed to take a step back at. How much media was I consuming.  Especially the news. Wow. So much time I could have been writing. So that’s what I’ve done. I try to limit my time watching TV. That’s all I did. a couple hours not watching the news and using that time to write instead. And presto, I have an 11 day streak going. WOO!

So I’ll be brief tonight. I’ll try to do more thoughtful posts in the future with things like advice from Neil Gaiman, Isaac Asimov (Thank you Mike!) and links to some of the writing blogs I read and why I read them. I may even do some reviews of some of the media I’ve consumed over the past couple of years while I wasn’t writing 🙂 No, I won’t discuss the election or any of the news I watched about it. That’s what polluted my brain last year and I don’t wish to relive it.

So my steak increased, I’m happy about my words, I hope you will be as well when I finish and release this book. For now, I need to relax my brain for a while and I’ll do it again tomorrow.

Until Next Time

WOO WOO!

Starting From Zero

my_hero_zero

Well hello there! How’ve you been? I’ve missed you. I’m glad you are still here with me.

Yes, I’ve been very very quiet over the past couple of years. There’s been a random post here and a random post there. I never intended to abandon the blog and I really should have been more open about life, the universe, and everything. (42)

Let’s just say that life happens. I let it get away from me. Writing wasn’t happening. I didn’t feel like writing. My brain just wasn’t in the game. Yes, for two years I was more focused on other things. Those things are very important, like family, friends, my job, and my health.

So I came into this year and I wanted, NAY! Needed to start writing again. It had to happen. I was going to hit the ground running! I had a fire behind me.

<cue laughter>

Yes, as you can guess, writing didn’t happen on day 1. not even on day 2. Sadly not even on day 21. But on day 22! Yes! on Day 22 words started. I had procrastinated getting my part of Jack Kane 2 off to my writing partner. Yes, I’m a slacker. But feeling bad about not writing wasn’t going to get words written.

So, on day 22 I wrote words. It always feels good when I sit at the keyboard and make stuff up. Last year, the election in this country drained me. I don’t talk about that here. That’s not what I write for. You want to discuss the election, please call your representative and talk with them about how they are or they aren’t representing you. That’s their job, not mine.

Back to writing (you can see how much the election has been on my mind. It’s very distracting). ANYWAY! Putting the election behind me, I decided the next day that I needed to pick up on a project that I meant to do last year and never got to. I had every excuse for not working on it and, again, I felt terrible. Still, bad feelings weren’t getting words written. So I sat, I wrote.

That project is a Star Wars Fan Fiction. It’s exciting for me to be dipping my toe into the Star Wars universe. My partner on that one was also very excited to get this going. We had many discussions, laid out a basic plot last year. We got all the characters in place. It was all set to go, then I fell down on the job.

So once again, putting it all behind me, I started working on writing up the Audio Script for the first episode. Yes, Audio Script. This is a totally different writing muscle. Way different than sitting and writing prose. I won’t say it’s more difficult, it’s just a different way of writing a story. It’s still writing a story though.

Over five days, I knocked out the script. It felt awesome. We’ll be reviewing it later this week and I can’t wait to get it cast and get to work on the second episode (there will be 6 in the first season).

So I was having fun with that script, but at the same time, I wanted to get working on my books once more. So at the same time I was working on the script, I would finish a scene, and I would start on a new book.

What am I writing?

A fan reached out to me who left me a great review of Orphan: GRPC1. I had wanted to start the book two and work on book three so I could write V&A 3. That little bit of encouragement was all I needed.

BAM! I started work on a new book.

All this also started at the same time I spoke with Kimi from Tale Chasing. She was excited about getting to work on her next Guardians novel. I can’t wait to read it! i loved the first, I’m sure the second will be awesome. She also helped fuel my fire. Thank You Kimi! *wave*

So what did all this add up to? Now that we’re at the end of the month and I only wrote for ten days. How did I do? How will I do going forward?

If my first few days of writing will be a streak I can carry on for the rest of the year, that has yet to be seen. I’m hoping for the best. But that I was able to write just shy of 20,000 words. Yes, ten days, 20,000 words. I am so excited that I’ve knocked out so many words. I’m ready to run into February and continue this streak.

If you’re waiting for GRPC2, I hope you won’t be waiting long. I’m already 10,000 words into the book. that’s about 1/8th of where I’m targeting. GRPC1 was roughly 80,000 words. I’m hoping GRPC2 will also be roughly 80,000 words. If things keep going the way they are, I hope to have it completed before the end of February (I write much faster when I get to the end of a book).

So things are looking up. I’m excited about writing again. Words are flowing and pending another life event, they’ll continue to flow. I also plan to blog more often. i want to keep you updated regularly. Fun times are ahead and I’m glad you’re there with me. Thank you.

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!