Category Archives: Blog Post

A Potential Path to Publishing Success

Note: this path assumes that you know how to write a complete 50,000 word story, create a cover, and edit your own work. It also assumes that you know how to record audio. Furthermore it assumes that you know where to put your writing and audio once it’s complete. This is also not my personal path and I will post a follow-up to this post explaining my own path.

A recent conversation with a friend of mine led me to realize how many different paths there are to get a story into a reader’s hands. This one will focus on serialization and possibilities therein.

Warning: There may be math involved.

If you’re looking to write, but you worry it’ll take you too long to write that monster epic you’re looking to produce, here’s a little trick you can try using.

One of the best ways to get visibility is through consistency. If you put out content on a regular basis, week in and week out, you have a chance of getting noticed because people will follow those that continuously put out content. If you’re not putting out content on a regular schedule, this is when readers will forget about you and disappear. Trust me, I’ve discovered this the hard way.

If you only have one hour a day to commit to doing this, your path will be easier than you think. The biggest obstacle in your path will be staying on track and focusing every single day. It will require only seven hours of your time a week and will get you putting out content faster than you thought possible.

Step 1: Write 1000 words a day Monday-Friday.

This will give you an easy 5000 words a week. This sounds like a challenge. It is. I’m challenging you to week in and week out write 1000 words a day every weekday. Without fail. Don’t give me excuses about how tough life is. I never said this would be simple. You need to trust me. It’s not as difficult as you might think. Honest. You can do this!

Step 2: Edit and put a cover on your story.

Yes, you should learn how to do covers. If this is a serial, you’ll want to have a similar cover for all the weeks you’re writing the serial. In this step you’ll also want to assemble your front matter and get your ebook ready to publish in all the locations you want to publish. If you want to go wide, don’t go into Kindle Select. If you want to focus on Amazon only, go Kindle Select. This choice is really yours.

Yes, you’re into week one and you’ve already written a 5000 word start to your serial. Drop that out on Amazon for 99 cents. Ignore it! Don’t go checking your stats. Don’t even tell anyone. Trust me!

Step 3: Sunday – Record the audio of what you’ve written.

Yes, you wrote 5000 words. It’ll be short audio. It shouldn’t take you long to record and edit 5000 words. Put that audio up on your website. Make sure your hosting plan can support your audio and you don’t have to worry about. Again, don’t tell anyone what you’re doing. Allow this to happen organically. Make sure your blog post points to where they can buy the ebook version.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 for 10 weeks.

Yes, that’s right. Remember how I said you’ll need to do this week in and week out? Yes, you need to do this weekly. Every week. We’re going for consistency here. So if you can’t commit to doing this on a regular schedule, don’t start. I’m not saying give up on writing. I’m saying that this method requires commitment. A lot of it.

At the ten week point, you should have written 50,000 words, give or take. Assemble all your files into one book and drop that book. Make sure in the description of your book, you note that this is a collection of the first serial. You don’t want to upset readers that have found you along the way. The cover should either be the same or similar. For 10 weeks you’ve put out a 99 cent story of 5000 words all leading up to the end of your serial. Now you’ve got a completed book. Put that out for at least $4.99. This is a great discount for those that chose to wait, but if they want to follow along weekly, they’ll pay a slight premium.

Take all your audio, split it into chapters, and drop that onto Audible as a complete audio book. Price what you feel appropriate.

Now it’s 10 weeks later and you’ve got a total of 12 (10 serialized stories, 1 full ebook, and 1 audio book) items up for sale. How’d that feel? Weird? It should. You’ve come further than many will ever get and it only took you 7 hours a week to do it.

Some options you can mix in here.

Only publish every other week. Still write, edit, record, but release the ebook at 10,000 words. This gives the reader a little more. Then you’d be putting out 5 10,000 word serials every other week, and at the end of 10 weeks, one 50,000 word novel. That’s still respectable. Very respectable.

Want to do it even more aggressively because you have more time to commit and/or you write faster? Fine. Do 2000 words a day each weekday. Then you’re putting out a 10,000 word serial every week, an audio production, and every 5 weeks, a new book.

Why 50,000? If you’re doing a serial, you’ll need to be compact and pushing the action. This will be something that at the end of each serial you’ll need a cliffhanger to pull the reader back in to pick up again next week. Most pulp novels from the 30s, 40s, and 50s were 30,000-50,000 words long. That’s what you’re doing with this process. You’re becoming a serialized pulp writer. It doesn’t matter what genre you choose. Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Mystery. Any will work with this method.

You MUST remain consistent to be successful. Look at the podcasters that made it to get their publishing contracts. They were publishing audio weekly, week in, week out. Without fail. If you’re not pushing out content on a regular basis, you will see things drop off.

This isn’t a trick. I’m not trying to pull a fast one on you. This is the new world of publishing and anything is possible. Even if you don’t have a rig to record with, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from opening up your word processor and writing 1000 words a day 5 days a week. An hour on Saturday to edit and cover, and wow, look at you go! This is possible. Very possible. I don’t know anyone personally doing this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there are many.

If you made it the full 10 weeks dropping every week (or every other week, or 5 weeks if you went for 2000 words a day), this is your time to shout to the world what you’ve done. You should be excited. Now is the time to check your numbers. Remember, I said don’t check them. Why? Numbers disappoint people. If you’re out there every day looking at numbers, you’ll get depressed and stop. You don’t want to lose momentum.

The biggest trick, writing the next 50,000 words. Yes, you need to keep this going. Celebrate, but continue to put out the content. Don’t let it slip and fall behind schedule. That’s how you’ll lose readers. If you can keep it up, you’ll put out 5 books in a year (take two weeks off at some point) and you’ll have written 250,000 words (or 500,000 and 10 books if you go for 2000 words). That doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you’re sticking to this schedule, it’ll add up so quickly. Don’t be too aggressive until you know what you’re capable of.

If you can stick to this schedule for a full year producing serials, ebooks, and audio, I would recommend starting up a pateron. This is another revenue stream and I won’t go into it here. Do your own research. Just know that consistency is key to all of this working. Stay on track and you can do it.

Do I guarantee this will work? Simply, no. I don’t know you. Your situation. Your writing ability. If you try this and it doesn’t work out for you, look at what you’ve accomplished no matter how long you try. Seriously. Are you further along in your writing than you were when you started? How many books did you complete? Did you follow all the steps as closely as possible?

If you do try this, let me know how it goes. I’d love to follow along. I want to cheer your successes. If you have questions, ask. I’d love to do all I can to help. Honestly. I’d love to see this work for someone. Give it a try. You’ve got almost nothing to lose. If you have fun doing it, then all the better.

I’m off to go make words happen

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: Stay on target. Stay on target!

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63,190 words.

So far for this month, I’ve written 63,190 words.

I…no, seriously. I’m astonished. I was a touch behind, but now…I’m a tiny bit ahead. I’ll be doing my words in a little bit. I don’t want to lose that tiny bit. I’d like to stay on target.

Never did I think I’d maintain this pace for half the month. Now with ten writing days left, it looks like I might actually make it. Another 30,000 words and I’ll do it. I’m not sure what to say. I guess we’ll see where I land.

As I said from the start of this challenge, I’d be happy to hit half my goal. That would have been 44,000 words. I’m already past that so I’m excited! Like… very excited! Currently, I’m 100,000 words ahead of my annual goal. I think I’m going to leave that goal of 438,000 for 2017 in the dust. In fact, I’m already looking at 2018. I’ll be bumping up that goal to 2000 words a day and see where that takes me. It’s very likely I’ll come close to that goal this year, but we’ll wait and find out. I’ve a couple more challenge months I’ve set aside, so we’ll see where that takes all this.

I’m also thrilled that I’m knee-deep into Almost-Super Heroes 2. I’m so excited that I decided to do a little timelining on when these books will drop. As I said in the last post, I’m looking at a 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year plan. As it stands, here’s what I’ll be dropping for the rest of the year.

July 1st, 2017 – Golden West 3: Showdown

September 1st, 2017 – Giant Robot Planetary Competition 2: Villain

November 1st, 2017 – Almost-Super Heroes 1: Escape

Yes, I’ve already plotted out 2018 releases as well. All of this will lead up to the Military Sci-Fi trilogy I have planned with the 4th book in V&A Shipping, GRPC, and Almost-Super Heroes all tying in.

In total this entire story arc will take place across 15 books. Yes, a massive undertaking. That’s a lot of books. A lot of teams. A lot of moving parts. To be honest, at this stage in my writing, I’m finally ready to take it all on. I can’t wait to start dropping books over the next two years to see what happens.

All of this wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t challenged myself to see what was actually possible. I’ve had a few of you following along and thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot to me. I’ve cleared away many roadblocks and mental challenges that I’ve had. Those prevented me from really allowing myself to move forward with this.

I’ve got a lot of words to write and I’m going out tonight (Yes, I still have a life beyond writing) so I’m off to make words happen.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: My 5 Year Plan.

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My kid has a thing. My family had a thing. I need to  be somewhere else. I’m tired. It was a long day and I just want to relax. I’ve got so much else to do. My favorite show it on! I’ll just watch the news for a little bit.

The list can go on forever. I get it. I honestly do. There are a billion excuses that can be made for not writing. The biggest being “I need to do my job.” Ok, that’s not en excuse. You need to do your day job to pay the bills. It can’t be your excuse for doing nothing.

I have a day job. I watch TV with my wife. I do things for my favorite daughter. I spend time with family, friends, go see movies, etc. I’m doing all that.

I’m also writing 3000 words a day. On average! If you recall last week, I put up a bit of a buffer. This week I had some other things going on and didn’t write 3000 words a day every day. Here are the numbers.

Monday: 3127
Tuesday: 4314
Wednesday: 3042
Thursday: 3292
Friday: 1427
Saturday: 2040
Sunday: 720

Yes, that’s only 2566 words per day. I needed to be out of town on Friday and Sunday was Mother’s day. Saturday I was plain wiped out and took a 4 hour long nap.

I had excuses. I still wrote each day. I wanted to hit my numbers, but life prevented me. I still found time though. So, I lost my buffer. I was a day and a half ahead of schedule. Now, I’m dead on. This week isn’t about getting caught up or trying to get ahead. No. It’s about staying on track. It’s about making sure excuses don’t get in my way. It’s about setting my priorities and moving forward.

For the month I’m sitting on 42,127 words. Honestly? I’m still shocked I’m hitting the numbers I’m hitting. I set this goal and like all my other goals, I’d be happy hitting half my target. To think that I’m on track to hit my goal, I’m stunned.

I’m also having a great time. I’m getting stories done I’ve been waiting to get done. I cleared away all my excuses. I communicated my goals with my family. They’re helping me and pushing me. Motivating me. I have friends both IRL and online giving me encouragement. It’s empowering. it’s a driving factor and helping me put up the numbers you’re seeing.

I’ve not only broken through a writing block that’s plagued me for years, I’ve also overcome the misconceptions of I need to write slow to write well. I blew past the myth that I could only write X number of books a month. From what I can tell, at this point, is there is no true upper limit other than the ones I put on myself.

I took 53 days to write GRPC2. I took 32 days to write Golden West 3. Sure, one was 97,000 words and the other 80,000 words, but guess what, they’re both done. Yes, last week I finished Golden West 3. That trilogy is done. Finished. I most likely won’t go back into that world of revisit those characters. I have a different direction for my writing now and I need a lot of books done to start on that target.

Yes, I still have a master plan. Do you want to know what it is? Here is goes.

Golden West 3 will come out later this year. Probably July. I need to record book 2 and book 3 for audio. Book 1 is already recorded. Then I’ll look at releasing GRPC2. I need to record books 1 and 2 so it’ll most likely be September before I drop that book. Then I want to release Almost-Super Heroes 1 in November. I need to record that one as well. I’m currently writing ASH2 and should have it done before the end of June (vacations need to happen). After that I’ll be writing GRPC3 and ASH3 as well as V&A Shipping 3. If I can keep up my writing pace, I’ll have those done before the end of the year and start dropping them in January, March, May. That will complete what will be leading into a Military Sci Fi trilogy. There will also be ASH4, GRPC4, and V&A4. That will be a total of 12 sci books before the end of 2018.

That’s when I’ll reassess where I’m at. If I release that many scifi books in 2 years and I get little or no traction, I’ll be flipping to Fantasy for two years. That’s when I’ll jump into Of Gnomes and Dwarves and write the 10 books I intend for that series. I’ll also write a few books in the Astel series. That will be nearly 2 years of fantasy.

After that, I have a fun idea for another series, plus I can work on books in the Supernatural Learning series. I could easily spend a year writing 10 books in each of those series (I’m planning on those being 30,000-40,000 words long each, so much shorter books.

Now, that’s a five year plan, subject to change and depending on the level of success for any of those. If my Sci Fi takes off, Fantasy will take a back seat. My goal is to make money at this endeavor, so if I’m making money and having fun writing the stories, why would I stop? If I’m not hitting the numbers I want to hit, I have SO many other stories I can write.

After 5 years, I’ll assess where I’m at. I’ll keep writing, but if after 5 years, I’m not getting any traction, I’ll most likely write for another 5 years and then reassess again. If I write at this level for 10 years and I’m still not making money at it, I most likely won’t be having any fun with it either at that point.

So let’s review the 5 year plan. Shall we?

I’ll be writing 10 Sci Fi books to have a total of 12 across 4 different series. I’ll be writing 10-15 fantasy books. I’ll be writing 20 paranormal fantasy. I’ll write somewhere between 40-50 books in 5 years of varying length across different genres. So you think that’ll make an impact? I honestly have no idea what will happen. I’ll hope for the best, but honestly have no expectation that this will be anything more than me writing a lot of books.

So you’re reading all that right. it sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Not if you look at the pace I’m writing. it’s actually less than I’m capable of. And it’s all subject to change at any given time. It’s subject to life happening. It’s subject to a large number of factors all which may be out of my control at any give time.

My hope for the coming months it to average 60,000 words a month. I know I can do more and get ahead of schedule, but mostly I want to set an achievable goal and have shorter term targets like I’m doing to try and push myself from time to time. I don’t want anxiety to creep in and I give up.

There it is. It’s out there. My 5 year plan. go back up and reread that Derek Jeter quote. I saw it on a friend’s feed and had to share. There are a lot of writers out there that are better than I am. Faster. More popular. More successful. I’m not measuring my success on theirs. Don’t measure your success on mine. Work as hard as you can toward your own goals. Set your targets. push yourself. if you know you’re not putting in the time you know you could be, push harder. If you’re not working as hard as you can on your own goals, there’s only one person that can change that.

I’m off to get my 3000 words in. It’s late, it was a rough day. I watched too much news. Now it’s time to put those excuses away and write.

Until Next Time.

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: Wait…what?

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Call me nuts. Call me crazy. I spent the last two weeks of April trying to write 3K per day. And failed. I did write a lot of words over those two weeks and had a LOT of fun. Even though I failed, I still succeeded by writing more words than I thought I would. Percentagewise, I made it to 77% of my objective. 42000 words in two weeks. Sheer madness!

So, I thought, why not try to do that for an entire month! Even if I fail, I’ll still have written a lot of words. Right? Why not try and see how close I can get. 21,000 words a week for 4 full weeks? I must be off my rocker.

How did the first week of May go?

I’m glad you asked.

Total doomed failure yet again.

um… Jay…no, it wasn’t.

Wait…What do you mean it wasn’t a failure?

Just that, you succeeded.

What? I hit my target of 21,000 words for the first week of May?

Well, not really.

I told you! FAILURE!

You overshot it by 3200 words.

*double take* Wait…what?

Yes, you read that right. I didn’t hit 21,000 words. I passed 21,000 words in the first week. 24,165 words to be exact. I know, I know! I’m shocked as well. After missing badly the first two weeks, I ran past it on the third week. Who’d’a thunk?

Here’s the breakdown of week 1

Monday: 3002
Tuesday: 3007
Wednesday: 3028
Thursday: 3067
Friday: 3090
Saturday: 3887
Sunday: 5084

I crossed 67,000 words in Golden West 3. I’m around 20,000 words from the end. That means, if I stay on pace, I’ll blow past the end this week! I started the book just 29 days ago. I’ll be done with the first draft in less than 40 days. I’m flabbergasted.

Now, I knew I could write quickly. I know I type faster than average. But with life, work, family time, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, friends, etc. I honestly didn’t think I’d hit my target, but I thought it would be fun to try.

If all goes well, I’ll be done with GW3 in 7 days. So far this month I’ve written 24,165 words. So far this year I’ve written 230,982 words. I’m more than half-way past my annual goal I set at the beginning of the year. Remember that? 438,000 words on the year. 1200 words per day. I thought it would be challenging. Averaging that many words a day for an entire year? I didn’t think I’d make it. Now I’m contemplating how far beyond that initial goal I’ll make it.

Not only that, how many books I’ll get written at this pace. I’ve already finished two books this year. I’m coming up on the end of a third. Mike and I will have Jack Kane 2 done soon. Before the end of the month, I’ll have these books done and unpublished.

Jack Kane 2: Jack Kane and the Kaiser

Almost-Super Heroes

Golden West 3

Of Gnomes and Dwarves 1: Chance Encounters

Giant Robot Planetary Competition 2: Villain

That’s 5 titles under my belt, ready to go. One will require publisher edits and timeline. The others are mine, all mine, to do with as I please. And I shall. In my own time. I was planning on starting my release cycle in July. I may postpone that slightly. I don’t mean to tease or not give you stories to read. I’m still working through how to best do this for maximum impact. As you can see, all of these titles are different series. They’re scattered all over. My brain wants to just drop them and move on. But I need to think about the business aspect of all this.

OGAD is a fantasy series. GW is steampunk. Jack Kane is steampunk/humor. ASH and GRPC are both set in the V&A Shipping universe.

What I’ve done is spread my efforts among many titles. I had the theory of “write one of each, see what sticks” and I didn’t give any of them a chance to make an impact by continuing my efforts in one direction. So I’m having to rethink my entire gameplan.

Yes, Golden West 3 will come out first. That’ll end that trilogy. It was always intended as a trilogy, it’ll be finished as a trilogy and I’ll be done with that story line. Jack Kane will come out when the publisher is ready to put it out. When I finish GW3, I’ll start work on Almost-Super Heroes 2 (already have the entire plot in my head). Then I’ll go ASH3, then GRPC3, and V&A3. Why? Well, let me fill you in.

All three of those titles, V&A, GRPC, and ASH, all are set in the same Universe and if you follow along with those stories, I’m leading into a major event. That major event will be a new trilogy that I’ve been planning for over a decade, but my brain was never to the point I thought I could pull off the storyline. Now I think I can. With those titles, I’ll be leading into a Military SciFi trilogy. I plan on making it epic and there will also be tie-in novels with the three other titles giving different perspectives of the event that will occur.

That means I want to get deeper into those books before I start dropping so I can release faster (one every two months). So you will see a couple of titles drop this year. Of Gnomes and Dwarves will have to wait until I get through my SciFi phase.

Why?

When I start dropping fantasy, I want to be knee deep into fantasy and drop that series all in a row. Not one book, then two years later, the next. I want to drop series titles in rapid succession. I’ll do the same with my Supernatural Learning series. I’ll do the same with <top secret series title>. I’ve picked up a head of steam. I have a direction. I have the motivation and the power of momentum behind me.

What I’ve always lacked over the years has been focus and direction. I’m somewhat confident I have both of those now and going into 2018, I plan to make a big splash…finally. It’ll be an exciting time and I’m glad you’re here at the beginning of it all. I’ve had many false starts over the years, but this time, I’m ready.

I’ve got a LOT of words to write over the next few years. If I don’t write ’em, no one else will. Stick around. Watch this space. In a couple months, things will start to get interesting.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: Gloom, despair, and agony on me ooooOOohhh.

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Two weeks ago I set out to write 3000 words per day until May. How’d I do? Well, if you’re following along at home, you know I didn’t succeed the first week. How’d I fare the second week? Worse. Dang nab it.

The first week I knocked out 17,118 words. The second week I only managed 15,205. So my hope was to hit 42,000 words over 14 days and I only managed 32,323. I hang my head in shame and disgrace.

Pfft, who am I kidding? 32,000 words in two weeks? I’ll take that. Sure, I missed my goal, but I also spent a lot of time with the family doing family stuff and sometimes, that happens. Yes, I still wrote every day, but when you don’t get a chance to start writing until very late at night, makes it tough to get those 3,000 words out.

As far as I’m concerned, 3K Per Day ‘Til May was a rousing success. For the entire month of April, I managed 66,321 words for an average of 2211 words per day. I finished Almost-Super Heroes (title subject to change cuz I had a brilliant idea) and I got knee deep into Golden West 3: Showdown (sitting at nearly 43,000 words). It was an exciting month and I’m looking forward to May.

One of the things I learned in the 3K challenge is that I really needed to stretch to hit that word count on a daily basis. Out of the 14 days, I hit that target 8 days. Yes, I missed the target 6 of those days, and most of the time it was all my fault. I’m the king of procrastination. I know this and it’s something I need to work on. The news won’t change from hour to hour, therefore I don’t need to watch 3-4 hours of news while I’m doing things about the house. In fact, I shouldn’t because it eats into your brain. It caused me to lose focus. Other days work did the eating and I didn’t want to look at a computer screen for one more minute. So I didn’t. Until late. Then I chose to sit up trying to hit my target.

With all that said, yes, I feel my 3K per day challenge was a huge success. I got a lot of words done. I stretched my limits. Spread my wings. And, though I didn’t fall out of the nest, I didn’t soar as high as I’d hoped.

So what’s next? I’m glad you asked.

Next is my next challenge and you might have guessed, it’s very similar to the challenge that just passed. 3K per day ’til May was a warm-up to the main event. That’s right. 3K Per Day in May! I will attempt to write 3000 words a day for an entire month.

What? Has Jay lost his mind? Is he nuts? A job, A family, and writing 3000 words a day? Where does he find the time?

For me, it’s about small sacrifices. Taking advantage of those little slices of time to write and to write as quickly as possible during that time. I’ve got a lot of  books in my head demanding to be let out, so it’s time to turn the crank and get them out.

Speaking of which, I’m off to go make words happen. If you need some motivation, follow along with me! I’d love to see how you’re doing. Set your own challenge and post here. Let me cheer you on. It doesn’t have to be writing related, could be art related (a sketch a day in May), could be poetry, painting, basket weaving, anything. Let me know, post it here, and go for it! Let’s push each other to do more.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: 1,000,000 words of crap, and failure.

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Last week I publically said, I’ll try to write 3K per day ’til May. You may be asking yourself, how’d it go?

FAILURE!

That’s right. I missed! Badly! Not even close. Well, okay. That last one is a lie. Here’s the breakdown by day:

Monday: 1422
Tuesday: 3019
Wednesday: 1467
Thursday: 3090
Friday: 3044
Saturday: 3430
Sunday: 1646

For a grand total os 17,118 words over 7 days. Just under 4,000 words from the goal. So, a miss. I started out from behind right out of the gate, did well one day, missed again,  hit a three-day streak, then I had to work most of the day on Sunday and didn’t feel like sitting in front of a computer, but did anyway.

Is it really failure? If you’re looking purely at word count per day, yes. If you’re looking at it as the average for the week, yes, I missed. Regardless, my whole point is to TRY and write 3K per day average over the next two weeks. There’s still a chance I may catch up, but I’m not going to fight and struggle. I’ll take a 17,000-word week every week if I could.

I’ve still got a week to go, and I learned a lot about myself over the past seven days. I learned that I can write very quickly as most days I didn’t start writing until after 8pm. I also found out that I love to procrastinate.

I still spent time with my family. My wife and I had a great date day on Saturday since I knew I’d be working all day on Sunday. I learned that sitting in front of a computer for 12 hours is tiring (well, I knew that already), but I learned that even if I’m mentally exhausted, I can still bang out words. I’m excited to see what I’ll learn this week about my writing process.

So what’s with the 1,000,000 words of crap?

I posted a few years ago that I’d hit that number. I haven’t written another million. What that number represents if the number of words I’ve written in novels. My previous count included every short story I’d ever written, a rough estimate of words that came that would never see the light of day, and stories that will never be published, self or otherwise.

So this million is only the count in books I’ve written. I’m proud of that number. It tells me where I came from and where I’ve gotten to. I still have all those other words stored somewhere. For example, there are 4 Of Gnomes and Dwarves books, multiple drafts, some hand written, that I’m not counting in that million. Those words are only books that will see the light of day, or are currently in the process of being written or edited.

When I crossed that number this week, I had a little smile. I’m proud of that accomplishment. If I can keep pace with my writing over the next year, I may hit 2,000,000 faster than I hit the 1,000,000 mark. Like, next year faster. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m off to get my start on week two of my 3K per day ’til May challenge. If you’re enjoying my blog posts, or if you just want a free ebook of mine, consider signing up for my newsletter. I share different information there and may modify the format soon. I’d love to have you be part of what happens over there. You can click here.

That’s all for this week.

Until Next Time…

Stay Awesome!

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!