Getting older sucks. Plain and simple. Recently I was diagnosed with arthritis in both my knees. I’ve got pain in my hip and pain in my lower back. I need to get all those addressed. It limits my range of motion and what I’m able to do.
I’m not dead. I will still try and push myself as much as I can. What I’m doing is learning what my limits are. For example, I cannot keep up with my wife on a long walk on a hard surface. Just isn’t going to happen.
However, on a trail with lots of turns, steps, bridges, streams, I can almost keep up with her. And to get past many of the obstacles, we need to work together in order to get past them. I’m thankful to have her in my life even if I joke that she’s trying to kill me with hikes.
For myself, I know that I need to take Advil or Tylenol before we take one of these adventures. I need to take myself, plan my steps, and find alternate routes when the path looks challenging. I took a few bad steps and my knees let me know instantly that wasn’t where I needed to put my foot. I took things slow. I know now that I need a hiking stick for these adventures to help support myself when taking those big steps that might hurt when I come down unsupported.
Much of this applies to writing as well. I’m not getting as many words down as I’d like to. I need to access what’s preventing me from doing that. At the moment, it’s all the other activities I’m throwing into my schedule. I’m getting up early and working and trying to cram everything into the evening. EVERYTHING!
Well, I’m shifting my schedule around. I’ll get getting up earlier so I can get my workout done before I start work. That will free up an extra hour in the evening. It’ll take some pressure off and I’ll be able to spend more time in the evening writing.
I’ve said this before, but I’m planning on writing 5 days per week. I’m getting less than 1000 words per day right now and I’d like to step that up to at least 2000 per day. I feel that’s an achievable goal. It’s learning my current limitations and taking steps to move past them. We’ll see how it goes.
Until Next Time!
When I woke up this morning, I thought something had happened. I had quite a number of alerts on my phone. That only happens if something has gone horribly wrong at work.
Nothing went wrong at work.
The notifications were people liking my blog posts that I’d written quite some time ago. A series of posts about how I write so quickly. I picked up several new followers of this blog (Hello! I’m so glad you decided to join the madness that rattles around my brain.).
Of course, there had to be a reason. I mean, my posts see 1-5 hits over the course of a week. Why did I suddenly have 25 on some old posts?
Oh! Oh yeah. I’d mentioned another author where you could find some good writing resources. He reciprocated. Because Harvey is swell like that.
Now, first off, that was never my intention. Yes, I’m working on building my author platform and part of that is linking to sites I read and authors I follow. It is NOT requesting them to link back to me. Don’t get me wrong. I greatly appreciate the link back. As of now, I’ve had over 50 new hits to the site today. I’m over the moon with new eyes coming over.
I know this will be a flash in the pan. I’ve been on this roller coaster long enough to know that the bump is nice, but most will glace in and that’s all the further they’ll make it. For those that do stick around to see what I’m doing, Hello, I’m J.R. Murdock. I’m so happy you’re here.
This is one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle I’ve never been able to figure out. How to grow my audience. Yes, I’ve read books and I was already doing all the steps in the books. Yes, I would review things and link to authors who would link back to me. Yes, I would put out books, and books, and more books. At best, I’d get a few sales, sell a short story, and a couple of times, be included in a book bundle.
The onus is on me, of course. I haven’t been the most consistent author when it comes to releasing books. I get going with doing this blog and fall off the map. I’ll get working on a project and stop in the middle. 100% my fault.
My goal since I got back to this was to keep going. Even in the face of hopeless failure at every turn, I wanted to keep pressing forward and document how I’m doing, what I’m feeling, and hopefully, pick up a new reader or two along the way. I stopped worrying about how many people are here reading my site and started doing this for myself and my own piece of mind. It’s like the books I write. I’m writing the stories for me. I want to know how they end. I want to see my heroes succeed. It’s for me. Should someone else read what I’m writing and enjoy it. Wonderful! But that is no longer my measure of success.
Enough on that topic for today.
Another author resource you’ll want to follow is Sandra Wickham. She is awesome and quite helpful. She has some free resources and also paid, guided resources for authors at all levels. Check her out at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writerswhowantenergytowrite and https://sandrawickham.com/.
Until Next Time!
I’m doing my recording and posting done early today and I’ll spend time writing next.
Had the day off today and got a bunch of yard work/house work done that I’ve been putting off. Needed to take a long break after that (and some Tylenol).
Then I started digging through my emails and found a LOT of WMG Publishing campaigns I’d back and never went to get my stretch goals. D’OH! I have rectified that as best I could. Sent off an email for some rather old ones and I have no expectations that my email will be honored because it’s entirely my fault for waiting far too long to redeem those rewards. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I get them and will take full advantage.
Those rewards are lectures and courses WMG offers. I’ll link below to the teachable site so if you’re interested, you can also check out what they have to offer. So worth the money to invest in your writing career.
As well, here are some links to other writing resources I recommend. If there is interest in this, I can post more in the future. Let me put in this one caveat: Don’t get so obsessed with writing advice that you fail to write.
WMG Publishing on Teachable:
Dean Wesley Smith’s Blog:
Kris Rusch’s Blog:
I should be Writing (Mur Lafferty):
Dead Robots’ Society:
Until Next Time!
Tonight I had me a good scare. I’d opened up V&A Shipping 3 to double check an event that I was going to reference in GRPC3 and…huh. What do you know. The book was ~60,000 words long. I seem to remember it being far closer to 90,000 words.
Panic set in.
I opened one back up and it was the same. Another back up, the same. An ebook conversion from Scrivener…the same.
I wasn’t 100% certain where I’d finished writing this book, but I knew I had. I doubled checked my word count spreadsheet and sure enough, that word count was far higher and showed the date I’d finished writing it. So it had to be somewhere!
Now, I’d built a new PC at the end of 2019. Really nice PC. I love this thing. It’s what I’m using to edit all my YouTube videos on. It’s a monster machine. I had the old SSD connected (and backed up on the new machines 8TB drive). I ran a scan there and VIOLA! I found the finished version.
I must have completed the work on the old PC and neglected to put it onto the thumb drive I normally do my work from.
Just because I do my work from an attached Thumb Drive doesn’t mean I don’t back it up regularly. I backup weekly and usually keep a few additional backups just in case I run into a situation like I did this evening.
All I can say is, if you work on a computer in any capacity, backup your work. Do it regularly. Do it consistently. Do it for your own sanity.
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!
Didja miss me?
So I spent the month of May writing a LOT of words. Writing 90,000 words in a month, working my day job, spending time with friends and family, seeing movies, packing for a 2 week vacation out of the country. May was CRAZY busy.
And exciting at the same time.
So where have I been for the past two weeks? Recharging. It’s been a hectic first half of the year. Not just from the writing perspective, but from a work side as well. I’ve been burning both ends of the candle. The downtime was needed. It was also well planned, my my wife and her sisters.
We spent two weeks in Costa Rica. A day in San Jose, two days at the foot of the most recently active volcano, two days in tree houses, a day at the top of a mountain, and four days at the beach. We saw hummingbirds, butterflies, so many birds, sloths, iguanas, lots of ants, alligators, raccoons, and lots of monkeys. Anywhere we went, animals were everywhere (as were the bugs). It rained daily (Costa Rica is a rain forest after all). We hiked many many miles (kilometers even) and every minute was time well spent.
It was one of those, I can’t believe this is my life moments. Eleven of us went, my family, 3 of my wife’s sisters and their families. We traveled to a lot of different spots, ate great food, met wonderful people, and I couldn’t be happier with our trip.
I could honestly go on and on for days about all our adventures, I may in another post. Watching monkeys on the beach trying to steal people’s items was pretty funny. But I’d like to talk about the power of a writing streak.
When I got back, I thought I’d hit the ground running. Oh my was I so wrong. I wrote a little on Saturday, just shy of 1000 words. Sunday was Father’s Day. I’m writing this blog post, but I will write tonight. Most likely not 3000 words as I was doing in May, but I’ll get some words down. It’ll take me a bit to get back up to speed and once I get my feet under me again, I’ll start making big strides once again. It’s weird right now to think I was cranking out so many words and now I have an issue getting my brain to focus. As I said, it’ll take time to bring it back to that focus I had before, but it’ll happen.
One of the things that happened to my brain while on vacation, I got ideas for three new series. I keep trying to think of just how much I can write in a month so I can write all these books, lol. One title I’ll need to write under a pen name as the titles I write under J.R. Murdock are intended, for the most part, for all ages. These three new titles all would be shorter books (30,000-50,000 per book) and all of them would be a stand alone book in a series (think Doc Savage, The Hardy Boys, Conan, The Executioner, The Destroyer). I’m thinking of titles that I can crank out quickly and drop on a regular schedule.
Why, Jay, why?
Money. It’s really that simple. I love writing V&A Shipping, GRPC, and all those titles. I will still stick to my 5 year plan with dropping a book every other month, but with these new titles I could start writing these books and drop them without impacting my schedule. Especially if I can keep up my writing pace. That’s the biggest challenge I have. Keeping up the speed, the quality, and the schedule.
I have zero fan base. Please, don’t take that as a slight if you’ve been with me since day one. I know my numbers and I’ve sold a few books, but when I post on my blog, I see 5-10 hits on the post. When I drop a book, I see 5-10 sales and I’m lucky at this point to sell a book or two a month. That’s across all titles. I’m not a big name and I take full responsibility for that. I know I need to work on building my audience. To be honest, I’m starting from zero again and I need to do what many other authors have done. I need to get a loyal fan base of 1000 fans. That’s the challenge. I’ll post my journey, of course, and I’m so happy you’re here with me.
For now, vacation is over. It’s time to get some words down.
Until Next Time