A Quick Book Launch Note…

…as you heard, I have a book coming out.

I’ll be doing the first “launch” post for the book The Holy Fool: A Journalist’s Revolt at around noon Central Standard Time Saturday, January 19. Be there or be square, as they said in my parents’ youth.

There will probably be at least one, maybe two, slightly related posts from the mother blog going out a little later that day, too. In addition, there will be a new page on the blog dedicated to the book (and space for new future projects.

Hope I see you there.




Writing Journal 1.13.2019: The usual numbers and an announcement…

So, wow. Things are starting to happen/already happening.

First thing’s first – for the first time in a long time, I have made my daily quota every day this week. The numbers, as always:

+494 words written.

Days writing: 1 of 7.

Days revising: 7 of 7 for 240 total minutes.

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

The numbers are not the biggest I’ve ever had, but I do like the consistency.

That’s cool and all, but I’ve got something else to let you know about. Something that I have been hoping for, openly wishing and fantasizing for, pretty much ever since I started this blog 18 months ago. And now, the moment is just about here.


I signed that book contract I was hinting about for a while.


On Saturday, January 14, I will be making an official launch post for my book, The Holy Fool: A Journalist’s Revolt. It will have:

  • A full synopsis for the book.
  • Info on the publisher I’m working with.
  • Most importantly, links to where you will be able to get the book, which is coming out in paperback. It will be available in paperback immediately and in e-book version sometime afterward.

Of course, as time goes on, I will be promoting the heck out of the book as time goes on. I will be setting up a permanent page on the blog to house links and info for that book and books to come. That will get rolled out on Saturday, as well. Word will also be out on my Facebook and Twitter writing bases, and I will also announce a couple of new additions to my online world as well.

SO, there is that news. Stay tuned for Saturday.

Wow, anything for an encore? Here’s a couple of items.

  • When not promoting the new project, I’ll still be revising some stuff. The current work in progress is still on the revising block. I have something of an ego wish to see if I can shave a few more excess words on that book and get it under 85,000 words.
  • For varied reasons, I wanted to take a look at the second manuscript I ever wrote – you remember I talked about that a while back, right? Probably not. Anyway, a quick review of it made a couple of things apparent to me.
    • A lot of the book is garbage.
    • But not all of it.
    • It’s pretty short – maybe half the size of my current WIP. If I can do some major league revising surgery on it, I think I would have a nice quick book that I might be able to put out with not as much difficulty as a full start-up project.
  • As for other projects, maybe I need to do a roundup of that sometime later. There are a few different “lanes” that I am pursuing with various levels of interest and time invested.

OK, that’s all I have for now. See you here Saturday.

Writing Journal 1.6.2018: Good start to 2019

Made some great use of my last bit of winter break, but I think that I’m back in the writing groove. The numbers:

+1,101 words written.

Days writing: 2 of 7.

Days revising: 6 of 7 for 615 total minutes.

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

Six out of seven days of quota-level activity is always good, considering how I lazed around this December.

As for what’s going on:

  • I am within a few days of signing a formal contract with the publishers I have been working with. I will give an announcement on that when it happens, but the rollout for the new book will likely come in stages. In addition to the publishers themselves, it will also be available on Amazon.
    My loving wife says that she would be willing to help me with a promotional campaign, and she actually has a bit of experience with that. It will be interesting having her help in this part of my author’s journey.
    I’ll likely have to add a wing onto the old blog and my Facebook page for the new items. Don’t worry; I’ll announce that when it happens.
  • I think this year will be more than a little bit of a promotional push. There’s a good writing community in Iowa and the Quad Cities, and I want to try to make the rounds and see what I can do to get my book out there.
  • Of course, what comes next will also be on my mind. I was very happy with the results of my latest revision to my current work in progress. I’ve managed to cut the manuscript down from 92,000-plus words to just under 87,000. Currently, I think my writing priorities will be:
    • Another revision to WIP #1. Main goal: to cut the size down to under 85,000 at least.
    • Decide which other WIP (call them A, B, and C) I want to concentrate on when not revising WIP #1. A is essentially a sequel (one of at least two in mind) for WIP #1, B is a period drama about a 1980’s-1990’s indie rock band, and C is an ultra secret project I’m not sure if I want to release, at least not right away. Right now, I am leaning toward B.
  • I have a feeling that my personal life will be much different by the time the next 18 months is up. My son will be graduating from high school this spring and my daughter will be graduating the spring after that. That will be it for the kids, and then it will be me and my wife, just like it was 20 years ago in some small apartment in eastern Iowa. I’ll be excited for both our adventures and the new adventures of our kids.

OK, enough for now. For all you writers out there, keep writing and keep supporting each other. We definitely need it.

A Year In Review: Crunching the writing journal numbers for 2018

Well, as I promised, I wanted to give you a recap of what my writing output was for 2018. I’ve been delighted with how I have been keeping track of my work. Even though I’ve been using a writing journal for some time, I think this year I have finally refined what I wanted to do with the list and how I quantified that work.

I am going to list all of my writing output below, then give some of my thoughts on it. I should explain things to you before I move forward.

  • I’m going to give you monthly totals, totals for the first and second halves of the year, and a grand total for 2018.
  • The numbers for revisions represent the total number of minutes I spent revising my work.
  • Daily Writing Goals Met (DWGM) – this represents whether I have met the goals I have set for myself writing on a daily basis. These goals are either at least 500 words per day or at least 30 minutes of revising existing work. On my weekly updates, I usually tell you how many times I meet that goal per week; on this chart, however, I will list it as the percentage of times per month I reach that goal.
  • In the first and second half totals and the yearly totals, I will also give monthly averages for words written and minutes spent revising.

OK. With all that out of the way, let’s present the numbers.

  • Jan:
    • Words: 6,658
    • Revisions: 60
    • DWGM: 26%
  • Feb:
    • Words: 3,509
    • Revisions: 600
    • DWGM: 25%
  • Mar:
    • Words: 4,328
    • Revisions: 1,115
    • DWGM: 54%
  • Apr:
    • Words: 3,386
    • Revisions: 1,200
    • DWGM: 50%
  • May:
    • Words: 6,164
    • Revisions: 660
    • DWGM: 51%
  • Jun:
    • Words: 7,638
    • Revisions: 330
    • DWGM: 54%
  • 1st half of the year:
    • Words (total): 31,683
    • Words (avg.): 5,281
    • Revisions (total): 3,965
    • Revisions (avg.): 661
    • DWGM (avg.): 43%
  • Jul:
    • Words: 4,094
    • Revisions: 960
    • DWGM: 68%
  • Aug:
    • Words: 1,742
    • Revisions: 960
    • DWGM: 51%
  • Sep:
    • Words: 7,937
    • Revisions: 695
    • DWGM: 61%
  • Oct:
    • Words: 4,035
    • Revisions: 1,265
    • DWGM: 74%
  • Nov:
    • Words: 3,081
    • Revisions: 600
    • DWGM: 57%
  • Dec:
    • Words: 1,306
    • Revisions: 510
    • DWGM: 54%
  • 2nd half of the year:
    • Words (total): 22,195
    • Words (avg.): 3,699
    • Revisions (total): 4,990
    • Revisions (avg.): 832
    • DWGM (avg.): 61%
  • Total for 2018:
    • Words (total): 53,878
    • Words (avg.): 4,490
    • Revisions (total): 8,955
    • Revisions (avg.): 746
    • DWGM (avg.): 52%

The reason I’m happy with this year’s list and was willing to share it in this much detail is because I think I can actually draw some conclusions from the numbers. For right now, this is what I’m noticing.

  • I saw a considerable amount more words written in the first half of the year than in the second half, by around 10,000 words. This was not a surprise to me, since I was finishing the first draft of my current work in progress at that time. In a related figure, the amount of time I spent revising jumped up by around 1,000 minutes, which makes sense because I have been heavily involved with revising that project as well as the project that will soon be published.
  • I got considerably better meeting my daily writing goals as the year moved on. During the first couple of months, I was only reaching it about 25 percent of the time. However, that jumped up to over 50 percent for the remainder of the year. I wound up meeting my goals 52 percent of the time for the year and 61 percent of the time for the second half of the year.
  • Probably my best streak of writing during the year was between June and October, and I would rank July, September, and October as my best writing months.
  • November and December, as I previously worried about, I’d consider to be something of slump months. Even though I met my daily goals at a better percentage rate than the yearly average, they didn’t crack the average for the second half of the year, and the word and revision numbers were both below yearly and second half numbers.

Now that I have all of this in front of me, I’m satisfied that I finally have a baseline idea of my writing productivity to date. Now, I can look forward to 2019 and see if I can make productivity improvements in all areas. It doesn’t make sense to work toward something if you don’t know what the mark is, but I now see what it is. I just have to dedicate myself to getting better in the year to come.