A Week in the Writing Life, 4 March 2023

As a famed television advertisement of my youth once said, it’s time to make the doughnuts.

Home Front Stuff

Again, there is not too much to report here. I think there was some thought that there might be one last massive winter storm, but I think that anything like that is going to pass north of us.

My wife and I spent Friday night watching the new Dateline episode about the South Carolina attorney whose family was big in the legal profession in this one corner of the state, ended up ripping off a lot of his clients to apparently fuel his pill habits and then murdered his wife and younger son. It was wholesome couple time for us.

I just learned that St. Louis finally got its Major League Soccer franchise (St. Louis FC) and is playing this year. It was a total surprise to me, but I had some knowledge that the city had some previous soccer history through the decades. I might have to check them out.

On the weeks where there is not much to report on me personally, I think I just might write “All Quiet on the Home Front” and leave it at that. I loved All Quiet on the Western Front, but I think the new Netflix adaptation really loses sight of the main themes of the book by getting too cute with the generals planning and all that.

What I’ve Been Writing

I’ve essentially finished stage one of my read-through of .The Yank Striker. I’m going to have to get pretty hardcore to have this ready by the end of next week, which I thought should be enough time to get all of that taken care of. Well, you might have heard how one of my writing heroes growing up, Douglas Adams, felt about deadlines.

The next part of that will involve me having both a list of revisions and the revised version of the manuscript on two different electronic documents, as well as my well-labeled proof that you saw before.

And if that seems like it might be a bit awkward and time consuming, you would certainly be right. But, I do want this to be the best I can produce.

As I’ve said, as soon as I have a publication date, you will be the first to know and take part in the celebrations, which will likely involve a contest or two. Watch this space.

Regarding my other writing projects, those are slowing down as I try to work out these revisions. One of the things I’m using the fan fiction for is to actually write something creative without a lot of “professional” pressure. It’s also a bit easier to write those spontaneously rather than put together something like, say, this weekly update. However, I think that I have to put more effort into the “work” writing rather than the “fun” writing at this rate. (I’m finding myself staying up a bit late Friday night to get this post done because I’ll be on the road for a good part of today.)

My hope is still to get Book Two in this series completed by the end of the year. This would be the fastest turnaround I would have for a book, but I think that I can still manage it if, as the numbers are telling me, I’m being more productive than at any other time in my life from a writing standpoint. As they say, no guts, no glory.

The Iron Pen

I promised last time that I’d write a separate story on this experience, and I will in a day or so, even if it is a short post.

The Midwest Writing Center will announce the winners of the contest next week. I’m not sure I’ll win, but I might be tempted to attend the award ceremony. If’s been a while since I was in the Quad Cities.

What I’ve Been Doing Having to do With Writing

I want to start checking in with other Substack writers to see what they are charging for paid subscriptions. I think I could start doing that, but I’m not sure that I would be able to be as productive as some of the other people I’ve met on Substack. I’m going to get a better feel for that and report back, because getting a paid subscription option was a goal of mine this year (although I will always have a free option on the WordPress and Substack sites).

What I’ve Been Reading/Listening to/General Recommendations

I’ll give you three for this week.

Heather Cox Richardson is a history professor writing about contemporary American politics and does a good job of it at a Substack called Letters From an American. I also appreciate a writer who can just admit she might not be up for it on a certain day and post something like this instead. That can take guts.

I found another fellow English teacher and writer out there named Charles Schifano called Desk Notes by Charles Schifano. This is a piece he wrote regarding a problem he sees with contemporary English teaching. To me, it’s a well-thought out piece on where some educators might be losing their way.

Not a writer or a writing platform, but Canva allows you to design some cool stuff, including book covers. I didn’t use it to design my upcoming cover (that I credit to my publishers Biblio Publishing), but it did allow me to design some interesting items that will pop up in the book. I recommend them.

Writing Quote of the Week

I’m going to be really arrogant and have a quote of my own here. It’s inspired by the great Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly.

Some people think football [soccer] is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.

Bill Shankly

That made me think of something that I’ve been considering about my point of view on writing in my life. Here it is.

I don’t consider writing to be a career for me. I’ve come to realize that it’s much more important than that.

Jason Liegois

Final Thoughts

So, I bring this edition to a close. Hope all is going well. Writers keep writing and everyone out there keep safe.

– 30 –

While I do appreciate you following this blog, I really would like you to subscribe to my Substack page. By subscribing to that page, you’ll not only be receiving my Substack newsletter, The Writing Life With Jason Liegois (the companion blog to this one), but you’ll also be signing up for my email list. I will eventually be opening some special contests, offers, and first looks at original fiction, poems, and other items. Just click the button below.

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