Writing Journal 10.29.2018: Wrapping up the month with so-so but steady production

Hey, everyone, thanks for being patient if you were actually waiting for me to post on Sunday. Here’s the totals – unspectacular, but consistent and comparable to last week.

+677 words written.

Days writing: 2 out of 7.

Days revising: 5 out of 7 for 270 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 5 of 7 days.

So, there’s that.

Current writing status:

  • Sent back my corrections for the second proof of the soon-to-be-published book. It’s getting closer to becoming a reality.
  • I’ve been reviewing the comments from one of my beta readers for my current WIP, now on version 3.5. Version 4.0 will take those comments and putting them into practice. The general thrust of those comments are 1. Less telling and more showing, and 2. I don’t need to get into all the life details for my secondary characters, no matter how interesting I find them to be. I might manage to slim down the book by a thousand words or two.
  • Had an interesting night of writing in a bar while chauffeuring my wife around to a night out with her friends. It might be worth a mid-week (Friday?) post.

Not too much more to add to that right now. The writing grind continues.


Quick Update

Basically, had an upset stomach and I’m attempting to marshal my energy to start off the school week. So, I’m holding off on a Journal post for tonight.

I’ve been relatively busy this week, although I’ll have to crunch the numbers to see how busy.

I think I’ll wind up posting either Monday or Tuesday evening depending on my schedule.

See you soon.

Writing Journal 10.21.2018: Second round of proofing kept me busy

Well, if you followed my recent journals, you know what project I’ve been in the closing stages of, so I’m not going to belabor that point.

I will, however, run the numbers:

+495 words written.

Days writing: 2 out of 7.

Days revising: 5 out of 7 for 390 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 6 out of 7 days.

And there they are.

I’ve put together a dedication/author’s note/acknowledgements page with my book, so it’s feeling more like a professional piece. I’m hoping for perhaps one last round of review to make sure everything is well. If all goes well, I might have a stocking stuffer for the holiday season. 🙂

Man, not too much to talk about this week. I might not get back to a mid-week post for at least a couple of weeks due to work and real life stuff. Today I’ll be busy getting work stuff done in preparation for the week and lining up some social media posts for at least the remainder of the month.

Thanks to everyone that visits, by the way.

Writing Journal 10.14.2018: Second round of final revisions ramping up

Hate to write and run, but… I’ve been busy with some stuff. Right now that involves the second round of proofing on my book. I want to get that wrapped up by tonight if at all possible.

Here’s the numbers, by the way – not quite as impressive as two weeks ago, but approaching that level:

+782 words written.

Days writing: 2 out of 7.

Days revising: 6 out of 7 for 365 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 6 out of 7 days.

So, I’m going to leave it at that for now. Hope all of you writers out there have a great writing and revising week yourselves. (I need to say that more – but not all the time. 🙂 )


A Writer’s Biography, Volume III, Part 3: About that writing journal

There were more than a few things that I had to think about for a while when I wanted to try and become a more consistent writer. One of those things was accountability.

When I went for years, at times, without writing, nobody really asked me why I wasn’t writing. I had told a few people writing interested me, like my parents, my wife, and some others, but there really wasn’t anybody hectoring me to get to writing if I had stopped for a while. Yeah, there were people reminding me to mow the lawn (wife) or play with them for a while (kids), but I realized that if I was going to get back on the writing track, I was going to have to be the self motivator.

A couple years after I started to get back into the swing of things, I began thinking that it would be a good idea to try and record how much I tried to write on a daily basis. I had heard of writers who had posted stuff on places like Reddit’s r/wordcount. I made a couple of half-hearted tries at it for a couple of years, but nothing happened. It was too much of an ask for me at the time, trying to be that dedicated every day.

I started keeping a record of the amount of writing I did every day beginning in 2013. There were many days when all I had to write was “zip” because that was exactly how much I wrote. But, I was no longer regularly going weeks, months, even years between writing. When I had a dry spell, it usually never went longer than about three days. (The most I have ever taken off from writing or revising since starting the journal has been 3-4 weeks. Those times are unusual.)

It immediately began to pay off. When I first started my journal was when I started doing the first draft of the novel that is just beginning pre-publishing now. My writing process has grown exponentially since then. From beginning the rough draft of my current WIP to now heavily into beta reading and revising has just lasted two years.

Whether I will be able to learn anything from past years might be problematic. I have often said to my students that I have yet to come up with the perfect planning system after 20-something years of trying. It’s taken me about five years to refine my writing journal.

For anyone who saw my first journal on this site, you’ll realize that I was just counting the amount of words I was writing for my books. I was not counting blogging toward those totals, even though some of those blogs were just as creative as anything in my novels. Also, I has no idea how to properly gauge the amount of work I was doing on revising. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I finally settled on daily writing/revising goals and have stuck to them.

But, the minute that I thought of creating this blog, I decided I had to publicly hold myself accountable with how much work I did do and how much work I didn’t do. And it’s worked for me. I have no idea if it would work for you, but I know that something can work to motivate you to write if you really want to be a writer.

I’ll be interested to see the new numbers in a few years. It would be great to see the production take off.

Writing Journal 10.8.2018: Ordinary week before another round of revisions and edits

Yeah, there was a bit of a lull there (I had a now-rare three day weekend to enjoy), but it looks like things will pick up soon. The past week’s totals:

+1,205 words written.

Days writing: 2 out of 7.

Days revising: 3 out of 7 for 90 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 4 out of 7 days.

Pretty ordinary stats, to be honest, but not horrific.

I’ve gotten the second proof of my book. I’ll be reviewing if they took care of the changes I listed, review it again to see if any changes need made that I didn’t see the first go-around, and make a couple of additional notes for publication. This will likely take up most of my revising/writing time this week.

I’m trying to think of something else to write, but I don’t have anything in mind. I will say that I’m getting more psyched about the project and am looking forward to having products on the figurative shelves. Everyone, even if this barely makes money, this is going to be a major accomplishment when it happens.

Later for now.

A Writer’s Biography, Volume III, Part 2: On nonfiction writing and abandoned projects

I was going to tell you a story, right? But, I got distracted by explaining some back story. Honestly, though, I probably needed to explain that back story to understand some of it myself. Apparently I’ve been writing a memoir for just over a year and I didn’t realize it.

(OK, that’s it for the hyperlinks. 🙂 EDIT: Sorry, lies. (see below))

I’ve had experience writing nonfiction as a journalist. I think that I’m doing well as a writer of fiction, and I’m a fan of writing book-length works.

However, when faced with the opportunity to write book-length nonfiction, I considered it for a while. At the time, it seemed like a great idea for a book.

In the end, though, I wound up walking away from the project for more than just one reason. Even though that project was not a story I eventually wanted to tell, the story behind that story might be worth a post.

Continue reading “A Writer’s Biography, Volume III, Part 2: On nonfiction writing and abandoned projects”