Blog Archives

More on topic than I thought I’d be…

When I started tonight’s video, I thought I’d be talking more about blurbs and the short stories I’m adding introductions to.

Well, I did spend a good portion of the video doing just that. The trip down memory lane as I think back to when I worked on a specific story has been a lot of fun. Adding those introductions is fun and I’m getting into a good flow.

That wasn’t the main point of the video and I do hope you take the time to watch it. My main point is…don’t wait to get started on something. Don’t wait until what you’re working on is absolutely perfect before you show it to the world. Don’t spend your hours agonizing if someone will love everything you produce.

This doesn’t matter if you’re talking about short stories, novels, paintings, digital art, YouTube videos. Everyone must start somewhere. The more you do that thing, the better you’ll get. There will always…ALWAYS be bumps along the road to success, but if you never start down the road, you’ll never know what you’re capable of accomplishing.

The point is, stop worrying and start producing. If you create art of any kind, share what you have, know it’s a snapshot in time of your talent at that moment, and move on to the next piece. Someone will find and love what you’re doing. It may not be a million people for your first piece, and that’s perfectly fine and completely normal.

I started this blog over 12 years ago. I’ve been a bad blogger. My intent is to change all that. I’m now trying to blog daily even if it’s a picture from the bird in the tree outside my window. I want to blog every single day and I’m on a 75 day streak. Consistency.

I’m trying to post a YouTube video M-F when I’m at home and able to record. I’m up to episode 114. Consistency.

And when I start publishing on May 5th, I have a schedule of what I’ll be putting out and when. This is helping me identify which works I need to have ready first so I can get those prepared and upload, and then I can commit time to the next piece and the next piece. The schedule will keep me on track so I can do what? Maintain consistency.

For me, consistency is the key. I’ve said it SO many times in so many posts and videos but is needs repeating even if I’m the only one hearing it. It’s impossible to get worse at doing something if you do it regularly. It’s impossible to get better at something if you never even start.

This blog had 40 followers when I started my latest streak 75 days ago. It’s now up to 100. I saw that number and thought something was wrong. It had to be, but 100 people are following. Let me thank you for being here and following my story.

My YouTube channel started with 5 followers in October. I’m nearly at 40.

My Anchor audio only version of the YouTube videos has one follower. I’m so happy that person is there! Thank you.

I have the expectation that when I drop GRPC book 2, my first book in far too long, I’ll sell one copy on the day it’s released and probably 0 copies for a long time thereafter. That’s my expectation. If I sell 0, I won’t be surprised. It I sell 2, I’ll be shocked. Honestly shocked.

I’ve been away from publishing for long enough that people wondered “What happened to Murdock?”

I’ve been inconsistent enough for people to lose interest in a long series that will likely never be finished. I’ve lost reader’s trust in my ability as an author.

How do I regain that trust?

Consistency.

I’m off to go make sure I don’t fall down on my face.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Audio Only:

We are One Month Away!

I can’t believe that we’re almost there. One more month and I’ll start dropping content. I’ve got all the edits done. I’ve got the schedule redone. It’s about to happen. I’ve had this master plan inside my head for a few years now, but I’ve been apprehensive to pull the trigger and do it.

I was quite stressed about doing a book a month. Yes, I’m confident I could have kept up that schedule for a good-length of time, but I’m also confident that at some point, I would have a life roll and my production would grind to a halt causing me to stop altogether.

I don’t want that.

To keep my books rolling out, I’ve got a backlog and now I’ve got a schedule and a plan. I’m getting all the wheels greased and getting ready to push this thing down the hill. It’s hard to explain how excited I am to do this.

As I get ready to launch, I’m still watching courses, reading blogs, watching videos, on the next steps I need to make once I get books out there. Mostly, I want to get books and stories released before I worry about things like advertising. I do plan to do that, but it’s not something I’ll be doing in the next six months or so. We’ll see how the plan goes and how things change.

That said, I’m glad you here with me for the ride as I chronicle my journey. It’s going to be interesting even if I fail.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Audio Only: https://anchor.fm/jr-murdock/episodes/5-a-Day-With-Jay—0112-eualbf

Going wide and slowing down.

The past couple of days has allowed me to do a lot of thinking away from the computer. Some changes and all of it good. I think.

First off, I’m going to slow down the planned release schedule. The more I look at the schedule I’ve laid out for myself, a release a week for 12-18 months, looks incredible on paper. It really does. I’d be excited to hold to that schedule.

That said, I don’t think it’s tenable. I think I’d get started and fall flat on my face because I’m trying to run too far too fast. There’s no hurry. There’s no rush. I have a limited audience (and if you can’t wait, let me know and I’ll send you books now!). With that limited audience, there’s no one banging down my door for the next release.

On top of that, I still have a family and a day job to content with. If I burn the candles at both ends, I’ll burn out quickly and this won’t be fun any more. I don’t want writing to be painful and beat me down. I want it to be fun. If that means I need to slow down and not pump out content at breakneck speed, so be it.

For writing, I would still like to get a book every 2 months done and on top of that, get 2 short stories per month written. This will keep me filled with backlog and should something happen that breaks my writing stride, I’ll still have a backlog to content with and keep content flowing without interruption.

Secondly, I’m not going exclusive with Amazon. I’ve given this a LOT of thought. I want to maintain control over what I’m doing with my stories and where they’re released. If I go exclusive with Amazon, I wouldn’t be able to participate in a book bundle, should I get an invite. I wouldn’t be able to sell direct from my website. There are so many other reasons, but mostly, with the amount of content I’m going to put out, I want to reach the most readers possible. I don’t think Kindle Unlimited is the way to do that. Again, if you’re desperate for my books and on a limited budget, drop me a note and we’ll work something out. Heck, join my beta readers team and you’re all set.

Thirdly, My Favorite Daughter got her first full-time position with what she’s calling “her dream company”. The company is based out of Hawaii and they have an office here in San Diego. She’ll be a Jr Graphics Designer with, for a starting salary, do quite nicely with her first job.

I wouldn’t be more excited for her. She applied and interviewed for this last year. After a series of interviews, the company put all hiring on hold. She reached out to them recently and jumped back into the interview process. She signed her paperwork today and starts toward the end of the month. It’s an exciting time for sure!

Finally, an update on my reading goal for 2021. I plan to read 40 books this year. Currently I’m sitting at 7 read. With all I did this month, and very little reading, I’m not concerned that I’ll miss this target. I finished Patrick McLean’s Manligator yesterday and started Dee Dee Ramone’s autobiography today. Can’t keep a good reader down.

I’m off to relax and read a little before bed.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Audio Only: https://anchor.fm/jr-murdock/episodes/5-a-Day-With-Jay—0111-eu4mq9

A little slower than intended…

Hey Howdy Hey gang!

I didn’t do as much this evening as I intended to do. These things happen.

You want to know how the sausage is made? This is going to be that kind of post. If you’re not interested, feel free to skip this post. It’ll be dry. Probably short, but not very interesting.

Still here?

I’ve cleaned up and prepared V&A1, 2, and 3. Also Golden West 1,2 and I’m almost done with 3. I had wanted to do another 3 books tonight, but with the weather pounding on my brain, I didn’t get to it.

I still have Almost-Super Heroes 1 and 2 to clean up as well as GRPC 1 and 2. Then I need to get to Astel, Paradise Palms, and Super Natural Learning, 1, 2, and 3.

When I get the clean up/edits done and back into the manuscript, that’s when I can prepare the ebooks. And then I can work on getting the print versions ready to do. Finally, I can upload everything and start scheduling.

There’s a lot to do and I’m putting pressure on myself to do things quickly. Today I needed to take a step back, take a deep breath, and realize all I really need to get accomplished is to have the books and short stories ready for May. Yes, it’d be nice to have EVERYTHING done, but this isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. I will have time to get it all done.

I’m off to get some sleep and get my head back. Tomorrow it’s not supposed to rain again, is it?

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Audio Only: https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episode/etheig

Learning about hiking and limitations.

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!

Stay Awesome!

Well that was quite a surprise.

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!

Stay Awesome!

A day off…from work.

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:
https://wmg-publishing-workshops-and-lectures.teachable.com/

Dean Wesley Smith’s Blog:
https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/

Kris Rusch’s Blog:
https://kriswrites.com/

I should be Writing (Mur Lafferty):
http://murverse.com/subscribe-to-podcasts/isbw/

Harvey Stanbrough:
https://hestanbrough.com/

Dead Robots’ Society:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/drspodcast/

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Backup your work! Please!

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!

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: Hey, Jay, where’ve you been?

Image result for searching

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!

Stay Awesome!

Monday Update: I’m Back.

Image result for happy sloth

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

Stay Awesome!