The Known Worlds:

Science Fiction & Fantasy Author James S. Aaron

Intentions & Acknowledgements for 1/5/17

So I had already written a version of this and I hit “transfer” in Dragon NaturallySpeaking and it disappeared. Yay.

One of my intentions is to use dictation to write more, and this is a good example of what kind of learning curve I’m dealing with.

So that’s something I just learned about Dragon NaturallySpeaking. If you’re using the text recognition box and you enter a bunch of text in there like maybe 1000 words that you just wrote, don’t hit transfer. Especially if you’ve managed to click away from the document where you were going to enter text.

If you hit “transfer,” everything you just dictated is going to disappear into the guts of the computer and I haven’t been able to figure out where it goes. So I decided to stop wasting time trying to find it and just re-dictate what I said before.

That probably sounds like me whining but it’s all part of learning to use this new system.

So, acknowledgements since last week:

I meant to get a lot more done than I did but the holidays got in the way. Funny how that works. Every year I think that I’m going to have time while I’m off work and I find that I’m actually more productive when I know I need to go to work later in the day. If I have a whole day to myself, I don’t get anything done.

So the two things I did get done is I’ve completed 28,000 words on my heist story project which I have tentatively titled Dead Man on Laiklin Sartor. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Although I did think I would be close to done at this point. My word goal has been 40,000 words and I’m now very close to being done with that. Makes me realize the book is probably going to end up somewhere between 45,000 and 50,000 words, which is pretty respectable for a short novel.

The other thing I did was send two newsletter emails and I’ve been happy that they are more like a personal email and less like spam.

So one acknowledgement is that I did not get as much work done as I’d hoped to. And I also didn’t get up early as many days as I would’ve liked to. Wait, that’s two acknowledgements.

My biggest update is that I’ve been accepted into a mentorship program that is going to look at all of my output for the last two years with a critical eye and examine how I can increase my productivity and audience engagement.

I already had to put together a spreadsheet listing everything I’ve written for the past 2 1/2 years, which came to just over 50 short stories and about 450,000 words. I know some people are writing a lot more than that but it really surprised me to see how much I had actually written.

I then had to go through all of those short stories and determine different things about them, such as their emotional landscape, their imagery, word count, and how I felt about the project: did I think it was done, what I think it was going, did I think it was a candidate for a collaboration project if it wasn’t something that I thought was finished. It was a really good exercise to help me see where I’ve come in the past two and half years and where I would like to go.

The one day I did get up early was at 3:30 AM so I could be at a 4 AM class. In the class, we talked about what type of thinkers/writers we are and how we can use our energy types to leverage our output. We also talked about how different energy types can complement one another, which is important when you think about working with an editor or possibly a collaboration.

We have another class this Saturday going over a new outlining technique that I’m excited to learn.

Intentions for next week:

It’s already Thursday, so I don’t have a lot of time to get intentions done for next week but I plan to continue working on the current novel and I think I get pretty close to being done. I need to have a finished draft by the 16th of January and that seems like a reasonable goal. With the current number of words I am only 12000 words away.

I will also need to write another newsletter and my goal this time is to drafted a couple days before so that I’m not writing it the day of. I was happy with the email I sent last time but it had a bunch of errors in it that could’ve been easily avoided.

I also intend to continue getting up at 5 AM to write. I’ve been doing a better job at this although using my time effectively is the new challenge. It doesn’t do any good to get up at 5 AM and then spend an hour and a half surfing the Internet. I think a lot of this comes down to knowing what I want to write, so the outlining class is going to be a big help.

I also intend to dictate at least one session per day. The only way I’m going to get better at dictation is to do it, so I need to set a goal of making that happen.

Oh yeah: Happy 2017!

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