A few months ago, I committed myself to losing weight. Like many, I’d put on the COVID 20 (probably a few more). I’d been working from home. Rarely leaving. Eating full meals every day as if I was leading an active lifestyle.
Well, I wasn’t. Not even close. I needed to do something.
So I started losing some weight, then we took a bunch of vacations and I was right back where I started.
Nothing fit correctly. I wasn’t happy with how I felt or looked. Sure, I’d bought a bikes, one recumbent stationary, and one regular bike. But I hadn’t used them with any frequency.
If there’s one thing you take away from all my blogging I’ve been doing since the start of this year, take away this.
Once all the vacations were over, I had the time to get on that recumbent bike. No excuses. 1 hour, every day. I tried for the morning, but getting up super early with the Mrs doesn’t work for me. I’m a morning person, but not a 4am person. So I do my workouts as soon as I’m done with work.
It’s working for me. I’m enjoying that hour and watch some videos, TV shows, or movies (I’m about halfway through The Matrix right now). It’s a good hour. I work up a sweat. Take a shower, spend some time with the Mrs watching a little TV, and start the cycle over again.
I’ve also been more diligent about what I’m eating. I want to lose weight. So I put less food in my mouth. What I’m trying to do and getting better at it, is have fruit for breakfast, a good lunch, a snack, and a smoothie and popcorn for dinner. I’m not weighed down by all the food I eat any longer. I feel so much better. Yes, I’m still doing my best to stay full vegan, but every once in a while, Taco Bell calls my name and I need me some bean burritos and a black bean crunch wrap supreme.
For the most part, I’m sticking to my diet. It’s not always easy. I want to go buy donuts. I’d like to grab a snickers at the checkout stand. Oh! I need some Ben and Jerrys!
Just not yet. I’m using all my willpower to not do that. Knowing that I’m doing the best with my weight loss than I’ve done in a very long time. Honestly, I’d almost given up even trying and sticking to what I was doing. I didn’t break.
When I started this journey, my goal was to get back down to 200 pounds. That’s a doable target. Except when I weighed 248 pounds, it looked like it was forever away. I would never get there. Losing 1 or 2 pounds a week? I didn’t want to spend a year working hard and taking forever to get to that far, distant goal. I didn’t This is why it was far too easy to put the weight back on once I’d started losing it.
I’d dropped 10 pounds before all the vacations and fell pretty good, but it all came back so fast. I was over 250 when all was said and done. I felt defeated. I’d lost. I didn’t want to start all over again. I really didn’t. I just wanted to eat and throw up my hands and say, “This is me. I’m fat.”
I did get back on the bike.
I did get back on my diet.
I’ve worked very hard to stay on this diet. Yes, I’ll have a meal out now and again. I’ll have a vegan shake from Plant Power (OMFG! They’ve got Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie shakes!). I’m not going to stop enjoying sweets. Once in a while. I won’t go back to having two or three pints of ice cream a week. I won’t eat cookies just because they’re there. I won’t pick up a treat at the grocery story just because I went to the store and it’s my treat and they sit there at the counter calling to me.
Right now, I’m down to 224. This is the first time in a VERY long time I’ve been under 225. I’m half way to my goal. Yes, it’s taking longer than expected. Yes, it’s hard at times. Nothing worth having is easy to obtain. Now that I’ve crossed the halfway point, I don’t see myself stopping until I’ve achieved my goal. It’s nearing time for me to stop with 100% cardio and mix in some weight training as well. That’s the next step in my journey.
Until Next Time!
Wow. Where did June and July disappear to?
This summer was crazy busy! That’s putting it lightly. We took, in total, 3 major vacations. We traveled to Costa Rica for 10 days, plus a 1-day layover and a total of two days travel time. That ate up most of June. July we took a week vacation to Vegas. And finally a long weekend camping trip south of Ensenada, Mexico.
I’m tired. That was a lot of time off, yes, but we packed in so much into every trip. I loved every minute of every day. It was great to shut down and recharge the batteries.
That said, on the work front, things are in a bit of turmoil. The company I work for is looking to merge with a major media empire. Because of that, monies for projects are tied up waiting for the merge to happen and new directions for teams to be freed up. We’ll see what the coming months bring.
So where am I at with the writing? Pretty much where I was at the end of May. I haven’t done any writing in two months. I plan to change that starting tomorrow, August 1st, 2017. My goal will be to attempt to write 100,000 words a month each month until the end of the year. Yes, I’ll still be spending time with friends and family. I’ll still be doing holidays and all that. But I also plan to write as much as possible. If you recall, my goal is to complete 10 books in the next 12 months. Well, that goal has changed slightly. Let me explain.
When last we spoke, I think I was back from Costa Rica with a few new story ideas. I plan on branching off a couple of pen names to write some of those books. Try to follow along with me.
J.R. Murdock will be my main writing name. That won’t change.
Jay Bob will be the pen name I use for more adult titles. Things I won’t do in J.R. Murdock titles. Things like swearing, graphic violence, sex, etc.
Jay Robert Murdock will be my romance/ rom com pen name. I promised my wife I’d write her a romantic comedy and a romantic Christmas book.
Under Jay Bob and Jay Robert Murdock, those titles will likely be ~50,000 words long and no more. They will be short punchy stories.
J.R. Murdock, I will still aim for 80,000-100,000 word lengths.
The reason for the multiple names is so you’ll know what you’ll be getting.
So, what will I be writing? Here’s a sample of the next couple of months
Finish Almost-Super Heroes 2
Finish Jack Kane 2
Write The Bassist 1: Dixxx Rocks (This will be a mock rock autobiography)
Write Rod Lance: Space Dick 1 (An erotic space detective)
Write a Christmas Romance
Write a Telenovela style romance (think over-the-top with every possible trope thrown in for good measure)
Then I’m back to V&A Shipping 3, Almost-Super Heroes 3, and GRPC 3.
Now, you might be asking yourself, where’s Golden West 3?
Yes, yes, I know. I was going to try and have that out in early July. Well, on vacation with me was my favorite daughter and, unfortunately, she didn’t have time to get them done. Hopefully, this won’t delay the release of GRPC2. Time will tell.
So, if all goes well, I hope to write 100,000 words a month each month until next year. Yes, a crazy amount of words. 500,000 words over the next 5 months. In that time, I will finish two books in progress, and complete 7 books. That’s my hope. We’ll see what happens. You have a front row seat to watch me fail brilliantly.
Starting tomorrow, I want to try and write, on average, 3000 words or more per day. Every day. Vacations are over. Summer is done. It’s time to get to work. These books ain’t gonna write themselves!
What are your plans for the coming months? I’d love to know.
Until Next Time!
Last week I publically said, I’ll try to write 3K per day ’til May. You may be asking yourself, how’d it go?
That’s right. I missed! Badly! Not even close. Well, okay. That last one is a lie. Here’s the breakdown by day:
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…
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?
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…
Hey! Look! It’s the Third and this is my third daily post. I know, I know. Hold you applause.
But seriously, I know many people blog multiple times per day. What I’m doing is just trying to get into that habit of writing a quick blog post each and every day. I’m only a couple of days in, but I’m on track. That’s what matters, right?
So yesterday, after lots of eating over the holidays, I decided to work on one of my unpublished goals. This one is simple; to have less of me around. Ever since we moved last year I’ve been sitting on my duff and getting little done. Adding on somewhere between fifteen to twenty pounds has done wonders with lowering my energy and lowering my motivation.
I was writing yesterday and decided, HEY! I can go for a walk. So I did. Perhaps it wasn’t the brightest decision to go walking for nearly an hour in flip flops during the hottest part of the day (it got up to 75 yesterday) but I did it anyway. Why? Because I need to. I know to have more energy I need to get some exercise. I need a good pair of walking shoes as my old nemesis from my running days, shinsplints, came back to haunt me. I puffed and wheezed more than once. All in all it was a terrible experience.
But I’m going to keep at it. I know the only way to get back into shape is to do something as often as possible. So I’ll be walking and tracking my progress. Yes, I walked for nearly an hour yesterday, but I have no idea how far I walked. I asked on twitter for a walking app for my Atrix and got the recommendation for RunKeeper. It tracks your time and distance using GPS. I love technology and this will be an awesome way to tack my time, distance, and progress. From what I can tell it remembers for you. At some point I’ll get a scale and start weighing myself, but not anytime soon. I want to worry more about my fitness level instead of my weight. With this little app I’ll be able to post weekly distance and times. Just another thing to keep me honest. Maybe I’ll do one of those maps to show how far I walk in a month or year. That’ll be fun.
As for writing, yes, I wrote a nearly 3000 words yesterday. I’ll be writing more today. I plan on writing tomorrow. I don’t want to lose my momentum. I’ll post my weekly word count (and walking distance) every Sunday. I also put a word count meter on the main site to keep track of where I’m at with hitting my yearly goal. It’s painful to see that I’m still at 0%, but it won’t move much on a daily basis unless I really crank out some words.
Speaking of writing, today is my first day back to work after a couple of weeks off. That will bite into my writing time I was enjoying over the holidays, but I still have the evenings. Words will happen. Speaking of words, I need to get back to work. During lunch…
The year started out with wanting to complete my work with co-author, Mike Plested. In early February, Mike suggested that we attend WFC2011. Throughout the year Mike and I worked on and off with our Jack Kane novel. Sadly it progressed far slower than either of us would have liked. We made headway, albeit slowly. By the WFC2011 came upon us we wanted to be completed with it. Due to personal reasons on both our parts it did not get completed.
It wasn’t until early December that we actually completed the work. We discovered a process that worked for both of us. What I discovered for myself was that I needed to 1) write down what I actually wanted to accomplish and 2) communicate those goals to those closest to me. I accomplished little actual writing in 2011. Total I was able to write about 45000-50000 words.
That’s not a lot. I’m capable of so much more.
So what is my plan going forward? Writing and communicating my goals. Are you ready? I’m feeling very ambitious. I mean, really ambitious. Here’s what I’m planning for 2012.
1) Write at least 450,000 words
2) Write, edit, publish 1 short story of at least 10,000 words in a series each month for pay.
3) Publish one free short story a month
4) Get any finished novels in front of a publisher.
5) Write, edit, record 2000-3000 short for cliffhanger podcast and produce ebook novella at the end of 2012
6) co-host a podcast and/or submit a podcast segment to another podcast
Now, that’s pretty ambitious. I know. I mean, that’s a lot of words, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. This word count will include blog posts. I plan on writing one a day during 2012. I plan on keeping up with Unorthodox Writing Tips. I’ll be doing guest posts wherever they’ll have me. I’ll also be doing more shorts.
But mostly I’ll be working on novels during 2012. I want to finish three that I have in progress and rewrite two that I’ve already done. All of these will fall in the 80-90 word range. So even though I’ve set lofty goals, I still think I can accomplish them.
Why? Well, I can write quickly. I type fast and I’ve started doing some methods that have helped me sit and work faster. I’ll be sharing those as we go. I’ll post a weekly update of my daily word counts broken down by blog post, short story, and/or novel. I’ll be able to do that because I’m also tracking my word count. Something I’ve never done. I’ve had 15,000 word days before. Will I be able to do that again? Well, I can only hope. I know I can, it’s just a matter of conviction.
One of the first things I did was write down my goals. I set out a plan of how to accomplish each goal. One of those was communication. Not only with you, but with my wife and daughter. I’ll need to set aside time each and every night to write. Not only will I need to set time aside, I’ll need to actually write! Not play angry birds, not surf twitter or facebook, but write. Sure I’ll have to spend some time promoting my work and communicating with other authors, but I need to dedicate time to writing each day in order to hit my goal.
If I don’t hit my goal, I know it won’t be the end of the world, but using this as a road map I’ll be able to get myself far closer to where I want to be. I’ve said this before, but I no longer want to treat my writing like a hobby. I must treat it as a part time job if I am ever to be successful. Another thing that will help me reach my goals is to make my progress public. Yes, putting myself out there for others to see what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.
2012 is the year I finally get myself into gear, get my buns moving, get my fingers flying, and do what I’ve always wanted to do; be a published author. Are you ready? Are you excited? Are you curious? I know I am. So as I look forward to the New Year I must sit back and yell! WOO WOO!