A Week in the Writing Life, 22 April 2023

[Photo Note: An old picture of my hometown of Muscatine sometime around the turn of the 20th Century. It just looked cool; there was no other reason to include it.]

It’s been another week for me. Let’s talk about it.

Home Front Stuff

The weather in southern Iowa has continued to keep weird. It was in the 30’s and actually snowing on Sunday, up into the low 70’s by Wednesday, and then 50’s and rainy by the end of the week. But sure, there’s no such thing as climate change that brings with it unpredictable swings of weather[1].

I managed to meet my son in person when I was up in Des Moines for last Saturday and we had a good time[2]. He had fun telling me some stories about his work at the Iowa Events Center, where he works part time in maintenance when he is not doing his regular heating and air conditioning work. I realize how few times I will continue to see my kids in person now that they are in their twenties and trying to make their own way in the world.

Speaking of kids, my daughter got to go to the University of Missouri in Columbia last weekend with some of her fellow University of Iowa chemical engineering students. It’s great to see her growing and learning new stuff.

What I’ve Been Writing

I have to admit that work on The Yank Striker 2 has not gone as far as I wanted. I feel like I was just waiting for the last little round of revisions for the first book in the series to happen soon, but I’m still waiting on the next step. And now that I’ve gotten the new proof, that can begin. My hope is that I don’t find anything and I tell my publishers that all is good. I can dream, anyway.

So, I feel like I need to review what I’ve already written for the second book before I can start writing more new material, and there’s a bit of a mental paralysis. There’s always fan fiction for some fast productivity, but I don’t want it to be a crutch for running in place when I want to do something productive. I ended up doing some anyway because I wanted to be writing something, at the very least[3].

I think this is just the rehashing of an old argument I’ve had with myself for the past year. I know that whenever I’m more productive, when the numbers are up, I feel psychologically better about myself. I’ve said this before, but I never understood writers who had to be in depressive or chaotic moods to be their most creative. I always do better when I’m in a good place psychologically.

That’s one of the reasons that I’m really attentive of a slump after I go on break next month from school. I have often found myself so exhausted mentally from the end of the experience that my mind basically wants to do nothing for at least four to five weeks.

Getting back to The Yank Striker itself, I get the feeling that I will eventually announce a release date sometime this summer. This would be convenient for me, as I would have more free time to get involved with things like release events, appearances, and the like. We’ll have to see, as I am still waiting on more details as to when this is coming.

With all of that on the horizon, I think, a revisit of my first book, The Holy Fool, and what I think it had to say about the state of journalism in America might be a good topic for a paid-subscriber exclusive item. However I do want to have a book contest giveaway involving The Holy Fool and some of my subscribers. Watch this space – I might do a special May Day giveaway.

I’ve posted a few Substack Notes during the previous week and this week as well. It’s been a great way for me to run into even more writers that have impressed me, so I ended up subscribing to a few of them. If I make that a habit, do I add those notes to my writing totals that I keep track of? The mind reels. As long as I use it in small doses, I think it will go all right.

What I’ve Been Doing Having to do With Writing

I’m continuing to try and clean up the Substack with all of the older or outdated posts that got imported from Liegois Media. That’s still going to take a long time, longer than I had hoped. I wished there was a menu option where you were able to easily access a large number of your past posts to change their status or delete them. Unfortunately, no such feature exists in Substack, so that will take much longer than even I anticipated.

Updating some of the posts in Liegois Media, I expect, might take longer, and will not start until I finish on Substack. Again, it’s going to take a long time, but I have to frankly doubt there is a big demand for people to read all of my old posts without paying for some, or that I would be forgoing a ton of dollars if I didn’t get everything set up right away.

What I’ve Been Reading/General Recommendations

There have been so many people I have been running into on Substack, WordPress, and Facebook. There have been a lot of good stuff out there.

Reb Brown is an actor who was big in the ’70’s and 80’s. I saw him in films like Uncommon Valor, Space Mutiny, but I knew him best as my first encounter with Captain America. He seems like an honestly sweet dude. This is a pic of him as Cap.

The New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly has a page on Substack. It’s nice to see that not all publications are getting rid of their cartoonists like the Des Moines Register did to Brian Duffy. I like her work, especially this one.

Robert Leonard is a radio man from my neck of south central Iowa who also writes on Substack. He just published something in TIME recently; it’s worth a read.

Writing Quote(s) of the Week

I have to say I absolutely believe in this quote. It’s the same instinct that got me reading fiction as a kid and the same instinct that has me writing.

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.

Philip Pullman

And I have an extra quote from Louie to get myself motivated because I truly need that this week after the lull in writing that I’ve been facing.

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.

Louis L’Amour

Final Thoughts

I was doing some research on my new project and looking into English folk songs for a potential football club anthem (regarding The Yank Striker series) and wound up looking at a page of great American folk songs when I heard this one by the late great Blaze Foley. If there are more perfectly crafted songs, there are not many of them. Take care.

– 30 –


  1. It’s nuts that I’m starting to talk about the weather all the time? I think it’s because my personal life gets pretty routine, especially with the ins and outs of a typical school year.
  2. And yes, I know that technically makes it the week prior to this week, but we can color outside the lines sometimes, right?
  3. Occasionally, I’ll write some things in these newsletters that are a bit contradictory. I should explain that I typically put this together over the course of several days and my mood (and the circumstances behind them) can change a bit. I have to get started on the process almost as soon as the last newsletter finishes or I wouldn’t ever have it done on time.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.