Intentions and Acknowledgements for 1-23-17

Intentions:

Newsletter: I’m going to get a newsletter out this week, focusing on Yoon Ha Lee’s Nine Fox Gambit. I’m also going to talk about the $.99 promotion for the Expanding Universe. And also probably touch on the Phoenix Prime mentorship and everything it’s had me doing, so I can show some writing progress.

Blog: I’m going to get this blog out today whether it kills me. I’m also going to post something to the blog at least once a day this week, probably art-related.

Word count: I’m going to write 2000 words a day. I need to finish the dead man on like Lynn Sartor this week. I need to get

I need to finish the Dead Man on Laiklin Sartor this week. I need to get Incident at Trinsa into a publishable shape, and I need to finish Suldrun’s Fire.

I will also focus my time on the computer on actually doing work. I got sucked into Photoshop this weekend, which I discovered is an incredible time sink. For my mentorship, we were designing covers, which is fun but I discovered is more difficult to let go of than writing. Probably because I’m not at good as it as I would like to be, and Photoshop CC feels like a screwdriver with a hundred ways to get a screw into wood. Mainly I need to be able to draw spaceships. Why can’t I draw spaceships?

At least it feels more productive than playing a video game but it’s not as relaxing. Although I  did learn some digital painting techniques, which is something I want to do more. And boy do I appreciate all the tutorials on Youtube.

Acknowledgments:
The last two weeks have been difficult because my wife was in the hospital for a planned surgery. Everything went well, thankfully, but it really made for some challenges in my writing schedule. It was very difficult to focus because I was worried about her all the time. However, I think it’s important to acknowledge that life keeps on happening and you do your best.

I really appreciate that she supported me and was okay with me having a laptop in my lap while we were sitting at the hospital waiting to do things. We both watched a lot of TV together. The funny thing is that due to the drugs she doesn’t remember most of it.

I’m not a big fan of time in the hospital (who is?). However, it does help remind me what’s important and helps me stay focused on the act and process of writing versus other ideas of success, or what it means to meet goals. My spouse supports me in it. I enjoy it. I like the other people who write and read, and it beats buying and storing an ATV.

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!

Intentions and Acknowledgements for 12/19/16

The weather didn’t want to play nice last week and we had an ice storm that set the whole area back about 100 years. Some people were without power for nearly five days. Luckily that didn’t happen to us, but I was shut out of work for two days. While that might have turned into writing time, it was really a lot of chasing pipes around the house to make sure nothing froze and keeping my chickens from becoming ice-pops.

Despite that, I did manage to write quite a bit. While my goal was to write a 15k novella to have ready before the 22nd, when another deadline sets in, I wrote 12k on what is most likely going to be a 40k short novel. I’m excited about that.

Intentions for this week:

  • Publish a blog post.
  • Send out newsletter.
  • Finish short novel.
  • Write 1000-word comedy piece based on the prompts:
    • MMOC (Massively Multiplayer Online Christmas)
    • Sentient Snow
    • (I’m going to try and cram them both together.)
  • Attend Wordos Holiday reading
  • Finish another 15k on short caper novel
  • Get up on time and write in the morning.

Acknowledgements:

I’m really excited about the amount of work I got done this week. If I can keep up this kind of output, I can definitely look at publishing a short novel a month. It’s all about knowing what I want to write. (Writer’s block is a lack of plotting/planning.)

I took part in a book promo that added an additional 4000 subscribers to the newsletter. I’m going to keep tweaking the newsletter format to make is useful and fun to write.

Last week was a big launch week for me, with Ground Private Parvel, Dead Miner’s Mother, Hawk of Destiny’s Fist and The Expanding Universe all appearing on Amazon on the same day. While my sales haven’t been huge, I’m getting more reads in KU than I ever have, and had more sales in the last week than I had all year on Emerald Emergent and Voices in the Woods. So I think I’m on the write path. This year is all about producing work, not so much marketing in terms of expensive covers/etc. I want to write a lot, maintain the newsletter, and establish great habits. Boom.

See you next week. . .

Intentions and Acknowledgements for 12/12/16

First, the big news: I have six books up for pre-order on Amazon right now:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I’m very excited about this. I’ve set some tough deadlines with Incident at Trinsa and Suldrun’s Fire, but goals only help me. I’ve also written a good portion of Incident, so hitting a 90 day deadline is completely doable. The Expanding Universe Anthology also drops this week, and my hope is that it’s going to drive attention to the other books available.

Intentions:

Write 15k story (tentatively titled the Laiklin Caper but don’t like the title.) It’s going to be about Irrinat Jessin and how he ended up in Prowling Thunder. Takes place on the orbital Laiklin Sartor in Garalan system. I’m looking forward to writing about the Garalans.

Send out another newsletter. I’m trying another mailing service, so I should be able to get more info about what works and doesn’t.

Attend Storymongers and Wordos groups but won’t have any work to share.

Ride my bike to work. I’m starting my new years resolutions early. I think I’ll have more to write on that but it will be it’s own post.

Acknowledgements:

I actually accomplished everything I meant to do last week. I got the books finished and in before the deadline, sent out the newsletter, and took part in my writing groups as I normally would. So that feels really good. I didn’t do any new writing but it was an editing week.

***

I’m trying some small bits of advertising for the new books. Since Ground Private Parvel was in Kindle Scout, Amazon is going to send an email out to everyone who voted for it.  I’m also trying an Amazon ad and will have an ad on Quick Sips Reviews. It will be interesting to see what kind of attention that gets, good or bad. For QSR, I’m advertising The Hawk of Destiny’s Fist, which is currently on Instafreebie as a way to get newsletter signups.

I may also be taking part in a mentoring group for authors. I’ll post updates on how that works out.

 

Intentions and Acknowledgements for December 5, 2016

My weekly check-in on writing and publishing.

Intentions:

Acknowledgements:

  • I didn’t get up on time last week.
  • I only met my exercise goals three days of last week.
  • I stayed up too late playing Mad Max several nights, which messed up my sleeping habits. (It’s an amazing game, but I feel like I’m just grinding at this point and should be focused on accomplishing things in the real world.)
  • I read half of Everfair by Nisi Shawl.

The audio version, where I ramble and say um a lot: