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!
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.
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.
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!
First off, Golden West 2 is now available. This is the sequel to Golden West which first appeared as a podcast with the Action Pack Podcast. Yes, it’s been a while, but I love where the story went after book one and I already know how the trilogy will conclude. To celebrate the release of book 2, book one is currently free for the entire week! So you can get started with the series at no risk.
I’m so excited for this series. How excited am I? So excited that I already have the cover for book 3 and I hope to release it before the end of the year if the stars align and nothing prevents me from doing so.
So if you grab a copy, thank you for helping me out. If you don’t own a kindle, you can still get the ebook. If you buy a copy (or pick up the free ebook) let me know and I will email you an epub version that’ll be usable on any other ereading device. Every sale helps push the book up the Amazon ratings. If you loved the podcast, please consider leaving a review. Those also help more than I can explain.
Thank you so much for your support.
Until Next Time!
I got myself busy this weekend. I made a whole bunch of covers for upcoming releases (and a couple for next year). Check them out. Let me know what you think. I’m open to suggestions. Once I have edits applied I will be getting these books out there. My next step is to get a cover for V&A Shipping II. Then I only need a couple more covers and I’ll have everything I need for the rest of this year. I’m having so much fun using my new found photoshop skills 🙂
First of all, I ‘won’ NaNoWriMo. That was one of my many goals for 2012 was to finally win NaNoWriMo. I’d only done this once in 2007 when I was working on the first V&A Shipping novel. This year I was working on the sequel to V&A Shipping and I had a blast writing it. Writing goals I’ll discuss later this month when I do my 2012 postmortem. There’s a lot to discuss on 2012 and NaNoWriMo is just one small piece.
Coming into NaNoWriMo I was trying to finish up Of Gnomes and Dwarves Book 1. I’d written and re-written and edited this book to death over about a ten year span. One of my goals for 2012 was to use the first book as an outline and write it from scratch and not try and edit the book to be better. I started that effort in mid-September and thought I would be able to finish prior to NaNoWriMo starting.
So as it got closer to November and I needed to get an episode of Golden West written and produced as well as assembling the Action Pack Podcast I had my work cut out for me. I still had a ways to go with Of Gnomes and Dwarves and I also needed to get a plot written up before I began.
I finished Of Gnomes and Dwarves on October 30th by writing 4000 words per day the last few days. It was a blast to write the end of that book and coming off that high I needed to be ready for another marathon of writing all of November. I honestly wasn’t sure I would be able to pull it off. I was spent after the end of re-writing the first book I’d ever written, but I was excited to write V&A II.
October 31st 2012; Halloween. Lots to do as it was a work day, Halloween, and much to do that night. I had a rough plot in my head and I had a vague idea of where the story was going to start and where it was going to end. I knew I was going to be introducing an unexpected romance, a new character from Earth, and a Dyson Sphere in trouble. I even had the first line in my head.
“It’s kind of hard to lose a planet, kid.”
This, of course, would be Vic talking to Joey. What did Joey do wrong? How’d they lose the planet? Where was the planet going? How was B.T. Justice going to be involved? How were they going to get out of this pickle? So many questions.
I wrote 25 sentences to get me just over halfway through the story and a few questions that I knew needed answering in the long run. Some answered in Book 2, some will carry over in the series. I didn’t have any names for anything. That was a major frustration, but I’m good like that and I’ve gotten better in not letting something like that slow me down.
So the day before NaNoWriMo I wrote around 400 words of plot. That was it. I felt weak in the knees. I felt like I rushed Of Gnomes and Dwarves. I didn’t think I could pull off 50,000 words in November with Thanksgiving, volleyball games, practices and everything else going on. It’s a short month and so much going on.
Here’s a screenshot of my excel spreadsheet to show the NaNoWriMo word goal. You can see I had a great first day, then nada the second day. Yeah. I was worried, but I knew I could pick up the slack. I did great for most of the month. You can then see things fell apart toward the end of the month and a couple days where it was touchy and others where it was plain nose to the grindstone and go for it writing. This is just how I work even though I try to write daily.
It wasn’t an easy month. A lot happened. I lot went on in my head thinking about things I needed to take care of. Plans beyond December into 2013 and so many things I need to take care of. But this was one goal I promised myself. I was going to knock NaNoWriMo out of the park. I didn’t knock it out of the park, but I had a solid showing and I’m proud of that. A hit is still a hit even if it wasn’t a home run.
One of the biggest things I learned in NaNoWriMo that I’ve tried to stick with throughout the year is to keep on writing. Don’t worry about what’s broke, just keep going until you hit then end and THEN worry about what’s broke. I can always re-write scenes, chapters, sections, and in the case of Of Gnomes and Dwarves, entire books. Everything is fixable. Pushing ahead in spite of your internal editor and your own self doubts is what matters.
I’ll admit one thing. Before NaNoWriMo I deleted all the games off my tablet and phone. Angry Birds, Temple Run, couple tower defense games, everything. Gone. Zap. Done! It wasn’t easy, but I did it. This was the best thing I could have done for my productivity during November. No longer did I have the excuse of “Oh, I’ll just get three stars on this one level and then I’ll get to writing. Okay, one more level.” That kind of mentality ate away many hours prior to NaNoWriMo and I wasn’t about to let it eat away my time during November.
I also got back in the habit of “I’m not feeling it” and forcing myself to get up and come back in five or ten minutes and start over. Basically doing a reset in my brain so I would not focus on a blank page, but start typing. I even started with my Daily Updates again which are a great primer to get all the funk out of my head. It helps me work through what I’m doing, keeps my goal in front of me, and forces me to address the day at hand.
If I looked at 50,000 words, that was overwhelming. I won’t lie. It’s daunting. But when I look at 1667 that’s not a daunting number. I can type that many words in one sitting no problem. I’ve done 2500 words an hour before if I’m excited enough or motivated enough. I just need to focus on the task at hand and go for it.
Looking at something so big in smaller chunks helps even when looking at my annual goal, but we’ll cover that when I do my 2012 breakdown.
All in all I wrote 67,830 words during the month of November. 50105 of those words were new fiction. I’m excited about that number. I’m looking at November and I know I won’t write 50,000 words for a couple of reasons, but we’ll get to that in another post.
I took the entire weekend off from writing. I read a lot of short stories. I read a good chunk of a new book (How I slept Myself to the Middle by Kevin Pollak) and I relaxed as much as possible. The new few weekends will be PACKED and even though I have the last two weeks of the year off, I will not be getting as much writing done as I’d like.
That being said, it’s time to do the day job.
Initially I was Sneezy and Grumpy. I took my Doc’s advice and was Dopey and Sleepy. What I really want it to be Happy. Heck, I’d even been glad to be Bashful.
Today is a good day. My sinuses are feeling a little relief. It’s dark, it’s a little chilly (I’m still wearing shorts and a t-shirt) and it looks like rain is on the horizon once again.
My nose, on the other hand (or would it be other face, hmm) is red, raw, and sore. My ears hurt from all the nose blowing. The residual headache is a bother, but hey, I’ll get over that. At least I don’t have a leaky nose. Well, not as much as it was.
Yesterday I wanted to go see my best friend’s daughter run track. She’s really good at the hurdles even though she’s only just begun. She’s got those crazy long legs. Being that I used to run track, I miss watching all the events. I will make it to at least one of her meets this season.
I also missed my favorite daughter’s volleyball practice. Hearing her talk about it, I missed a good practice. I will be practicing with her later today and a little tomorrow. She’s got a tournament on Sunday and I want her to be prepared. From what she told me, she will be.
I’ve wanted to record. I think I’ll do that tonight or perhaps tomorrow. I need to record the latest episode of Golden West for the Action Pack Podcast. I need to record my story for Tee and Pip. I need to record the promo for the Action Pack. Unfortunately with my head as congested as it is (was) it just wasn’t going to happen. Even though I had an awesomely low voice because of all the snoring I’ve done the past couple of days, I couldn’t make it though more than a few words without coughing. That would have been an editing nightmare.
On the plus side, I knocked out 2500 words yesterday. Most of that in My Teacher is a Werewolf. This will be the next story in the Teacher series. I need to come up with a good title for the series. Something like Unnatural Teachings or something like that. I’ll give it more thought. I plan on doing more of these stories. Why? Because they’re fun to write and I can get into the story quickly. This one might be a little longer than the first, but hey, I’m good with longer. I already like where the story is going and I’m confident I’ll plow through the first draft quickly.
If I’m lucky, I’m past that little sticking point. I didn’t like struggling to write words. I still wrote every day and I know why some people might not write while sick or when they don’t feel well. But I’m happy I did it. I worked through a difficult time and I have more words. Even if some days it was only a slight amount, it was still words I didn’t have before.
Speaking of words, I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo. That should be no surprise. But I found something called JuNoWriMo. It’s basically NaNoWriMo in June. I’ll do both this year. My goal right now is to work on Of Gnomes and Dwarves book 1 in June, edit it in July, and work on Book 2 in November, and edit it in December. Then I’ll release those in 2013. Possibly sooner depending on how I feel about where the stories are at. Each book currently is at around 60,000 words. Both I wrote very quickly on the first draft so I’ll use those plot outlines as a guide, but I’m going to completely re-write them both.
These were the first two books I’d ever written and they’re rough. Very rough. But when I’d written them I had a vision of where I wanted to go and I did just that. I will revisit the universe and this time I’ll keep a character list as I go as those books have a lot of characters and I’m sure I’ll get lost if I don’t keep track. Even typing up this paragraph I’m remembering how much fun it was to write those stories. Maybe I won’t wait for June. J
There’s a lot of writing still to come this year. I’d better get on it. So…