A Week in the Writing Life, 1 April 2023

I will say that I am always glad when this day falls on a weekend. You do not want to be in a school on this day, much less teaching there. Any interest that I once in pranks or pranking people left me a long time ago. My personal opinion is that it gives some people permission to be absolute jerks, not that people need much of an excuse nowadays.

Aaaaaand that was enough misanthropy for a while. Let’s get to the writing talk, shall we?

Home Front Stuff

I usually don’t celebrate my birthday publicly, but I decided to do that to see who might actually be willing to support my writing (more on that later). As I hinted last week, I have started to write these more than a few days earlier than it actually runs, because otherwise I’m going to be rushed to get this up at a reasonable time on Saturdays and the quality might be a little bit low.

Anyway, the reason I’m mentioning this is because the plan is that today (1 April) I will be having a joint birthday feast and celebration with my daughter, and my wife and son will be there too, maybe even my parents. I do plan on visiting my parents before that as well. It is rare for us to get together since we now live halfway across the state from each other, and I treasure that time with them. I try to call them on a regular basis because I now know what it’s like to be wondering how my kids are dealing with young adulting and hoping they’re okay. Goodness knows how my mom and dad handled it with me being their only kid, and I last lived full-time with them at least twenty-five years ago.

What I’ve Been Writing

I’m deep into a second revision of The Yank Striker this week. Now that I’ve checked to see that all the first revisions got taken care of (good news, the vast majority of them are done), I’m needing to review for any other major revisions (or minor ones) before we go forward. How many more times through the process we’ll go through, I can’t say, but this is coming closer to reality.

Work on The Yank Striker 2 has paused a bit. I want to make sure that I’m going to be productive with the blog since I’m actually expecting people to pay for reading some portions of it lol. The other issue is that I want to make sure that what I have written looks good enough to match with the first part, so much of that work is going to be revisionist in nature rather than new writing, at least at first. As of right now, I already have 15,000-plus words in the rough draft, so that’s a little progress. (I’m not expecting the second book to be much longer than 80,000 words.)

I’m also planning to write my new piece on worldbuilding locations, with some of the experiences that I’ve had with both The Yank Striker series and my first book, The Holy Fool. The plan is to make that the first ever subscriber-exclusive piece for Liegois Media and The Writing Life With Jason Liegois. Now, whether I manage to actually write this piece is a totally different situation. Let’s all watch here to see if I make this deadline. (I think I might?)[1]

As for other stuff, I’m still doing dribs and drabs of the fan fiction, usually just to make sure that I’m at least writing something. I’m not as dedicated to it as I was, say, a couple of years ago, but it is something that is a good creative outlet for me. One advantage to it that other outlets don’t have is that I don’t have as much pressure to like promote it or monetize it like other things that I create.

What I’ve Been Doing Having to do With Writing

At this point, the paid subscriptions on Liegois Media (WordPress) and The Writing Life With Jason Liegois (Substack) should be up and running. Whether it is running smoothly or not is another issue. I mentioned before that there might be some technical complications to setting up some of the paid sections. I do not consider myself a webmaster or programmer by any means, but thankfully being online no longer requires you to have a basic knowledge of HTML programming or anything like that to set up a web site. I’m it when it comes to who’s behind everything, everyone.

I am not too concerned about whether everything is totally perfect for this launch or not. I’ve come to believe that it’s better to jump into this rather than try and tinker with everything and try and put together the perfect plan to run a site, which doesn’t exist. Might as well have fun with this and see where it leads.

Free Piece of Writing Advice for the Week

It is going to be very interesting to see if I can make this a a good section of the newsletter and not be repetitive. It might if I keep it quick.

Remember how I said last time that it’s good not to rely on “crutch words,” words that wind up being repetitive filler in your writing? I would also say that you should make sure to not use “crutch punctuation,” as well. For example, I realized after I had one of my more recent works proofread that I was relying waaaay too much on em-dashes (basically, this: – ). I should not have been using them all the time to try and make these big long pauses, or as a replacement for ending a comment. If I really wanted to merge two sentences together, I can use a semicolon every one in a while, or maybe a colon if the second sentence directly explains something in the first sentence.

What I’ve Been Reading/General Recommendations

I always feel like I want to try to read something I’m going to learn from, even if I’m not sure that it will be a reading experience that I want to return to. It’s a way of challenging myself, which is why I insisted on buying Infinite Jest and The Pale King by David Foster Wallace and insist on trying to read them, even though I couldn’t even get through the first fourth of each book[2]. I get that same feeling reading Brad DeLong, an economics professor at University of California at Berkeley, a deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury during the Clinton Administration and the author of a few books. He wrote this breakdown analysis of the new GPT-4 chatbot soon after it came out, and I’m always interested in hearing about how AI will change things or not. Give him a read.

Paul Krugman is not a writer who needs my hype, but I’m giving it to him anyway. A professor of economics at such places as MIT, Stanford, Yale, and Princeton, among others, he’s the winner of the Nobel Prize of Economics for his theories on international trade theory. He’s also pretty much the only columnist at the New York Times that matters. He knows how economies work. If you have the cash to get a NYT subscription, he’s worth a read.

Writing Quote of the Week

As my next big fiction project (other than The Yank Striker series) will involve fantasy, I figured a quote from one of the first fantasy writers I fell in love with might be appropriate.

Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.

Lloyd Alexander

Final Thoughts

Well, that’s it for now. Hopefully you, the reader, is getting something out of this, and you should be assured that I’m willing to write something even when I’m not trying to promote something. You’ll hear from me sooner rather than later.

– 30 –


  1. I’ll probably post something quick right after it goes live.
  2. I did pick up a love of footnotes from DFW, so there’s that.

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