Writing Journal/Random Notes 4.30.2018: Things happened, but who am I kidding?

Well, the last full week of April wound up being a bit of a flop:

+1,074 words written (blogging).

Days writing: 2 out of 7.

Days revising: 0 out of 7 for  total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 1 out of 7 days.

Yeah, it was like that.

I guess I could say that I had life things come up, etc. Which is true, in a sense. More behind the scenes stuff is happening, but you know how I tend not to get into too many personal blog details here. Once things begin to sort themselves out, I’ll probably talk about it briefly. None of it will affect the blog, though.

Right now, I’m kind of in a situation where I’m waiting on a lot of things – some of them writing-related, some work-related, some personal-related. There was one point last Tuesday where I was waiting on at least five different people to contact me about various things. I told my wife about that and she said “Welcome to the club.” (She runs her own consultancy firm.)

Also, I’ve gotten to a point where I’m in the lagging part of revising some projects. That is, I’m looking at them and sighing because I’m not quite sure where to go with them, or at least, what the next step should be.

Anyway, since I’ve spent longer on this than I intended, let’s get into Random Notes.

  • Quick update on where I am with writing projects:
    • The Holy Fool – now in “pre-publication.” That’s about as specific as I can get for now, but I will update everyone as soon as events merit it.
    • The American Nine – In second draft format, with at least two deeper revisions pending. Due to my need to keep the draft under 100,000 words, I think I have ideas for two other books that would make this a trilogy.
    • We Can Be You… – finished looking over the rough draft and making cuts to overly long scenes. The rough draft is now somewhere around 30,000 words – I’m now considering finishing it and shooting for a 90,000- word manuscript, with other material that was part of the book being part of two later sequels.
  • I want to thank everyone who has been visiting my blog recently, especially those that visiting this recent post. It’s nice to see people visit – feel free to comment as well.
  • In case you are wondering, the Volume I posts involving the Writer’s Biographies cover my life as a kid getting interested in writing, and Volume II includes my time as a younger writer, before the recent revival and production of my interest in writing. If there is a Volume III to those Biography pieces, those would cover what has happened with my writing in recent years. However, I think there might be at least a couple Volume I and Volume II posts left to write, too. [EDIT: I have created a new category, Biography, on the right-hand side of the blog. All of the Writer’s Biography posts can be found there.]
  • Depending on circumstances, I might be able to put together another midweek post as well as the regular journal entry.

That’s it for now. I’ll write some more later.

Writing Journal/Random Notes, 4.22.2018: Consistent but a little quiet

So, I was checking my writing totals, and… they’re not too much different from last week – a little lower, but pretty consistent. Those totals:

+899 words written (blogging).

Days writing: 2 out of 7.

Days revising: 4 out of 7 for 150 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 5 out of 7 days.

And there we go. Not much to say about them, but some context with the numbers:

  • All the written words are in blogs, which I started counting recently. It’s probably going to be a while until I get out of the revising mode and into brand new draft writing.
  • My revising has been on both my projects and a beta read for a member of my local writing group, Writers On The Avenue. I’m hoping to do more of this for people.
  • This summer, I’m hoping some members of my group will be willing to beta read The American Nine. However, when I send it to the group, I will have to emphasize the fact that this material could be considered TV-MA, NC-17-type material (to be fair, romance novels are getting pretty explicit nowadays). Writers who prefer to write about religious or Christian themes are likely not going to get into the material, which I totally understand. Maybe I need to put this on the manuscripts when I email them out?
    1024px-Parental_Advisory_label.svg.png

OK, then! Random Notes time:

  • For those interested in my actual writing, including fiction, poetry, and nonfiction work not written specifically for this site, I’ve added a new category to the blog, My Writing. Just click on the handy folder link on the right side of the blog (or this link right here) and it will take you right to those pieces, if you are curious about them.
  • Real life often seems up in the air right now. I tend not to discuss a lot of personal life stuff here, but right now it appears that there is much waiting around for things to happen. Two big events are the fact that the last of my two kids will be graduating from high school in two years, and the fact that my wife is currently running for office. (Most of you probably wouldn’t be affected because it’s just our local legislative district, but here’s her site if you’re curious.) As a result of these and a few other things, I’m in the situation of having no idea what my life will look like two years from now. It’s an intriguing situation.
  • I’ve got a couple of blog post ideas coming up – another one on my series of posts about revising, and getting into what that revived book project I was reconsidering looks like. You’ll probably see those within this week.

That’s it for now; more later.

Writing Journal/Random Notes 4.15.2018: Next steps

Hmmmm, the free WordPress media library helps out quite a bit when I’m stuck for picture ideas.

Anyway, to the weekly totals:

+1,413 words written (blog).

Days writing: 2 out of 7.

Days revising: 4 out of 7 for 150 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 5 out of 7 days.

That’s… somewhat more impressive than what I was expecting, considering that I was taking some break time after finishing the rough draft and first revision for The American Nine.

Just a few Random Notes, then:

  • This isn’t going to be too long, to start off with. I’m getting on with some work projects that have to finished up by this weekend. There’s some other odds and ends, but that’s about all I’ll say on the subject for the moment.
  • Anyway, I previously suggested that I was considering new projects, or some revived projects. That is coming into clearer focus, giving me more projects down the pipe than what I thought I had. The one project I had in mind seems to be more of a revival than a new project. However, I think I am going to wait and give that project its own entry and attention.
  • It seems like I’m waiting a bit for new news to come out about me and movement on certain fronts. However, long wait times are par for the course when it comes to books.
  • This is blog post #99 for me on Liegois Media, so I will do my darnedest to get out a special #100 post sometime this week. It will probably be a retrospective, but I’ll likely save the choicest recollections for the one-year anniversary blog post this summer. 🙂

That’s it and done – more later.

Writing Journal/Random Notes 4.8.2018: A lull before the new action

It was a slog this week. Here it is:

+0 words written.

Days writing: 0  out of 7.

Days revising: 3out of 7 for 300  total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 3 out of 7 days.

Well, I did say I was going to take it easy this week.

Is it good news that I’m just getting antsy if I just take time off? Maybe that’s for the best. I think that I really don’t know what to do with myself when I am not working on a project, which is such a better feeling that just sitting on my butt for years at a time.

So, what am I doing? I read through one person’s work in my writing circles; now I’m going to do another one of those, although that process will take longer. I want to keep poking around on The American Nine, even if I don’t do too much with it at the moment. There’s at least two or three projects I could revive that I still have passion for at various levels.

I want to keep writing, even if it’s rubbish. And that’s a good feeling.

[UPDATED: I also went to my Facebook writing groups to get their input on the question I asked before of whether to count my blogging writing toward my writing totals. General consensus is that it should be counted. So, as of the next writing journal, those totals will go into the count.]

Random Notes!

  • Going to get at least another mid-week post out. It’s one of those that’s been hanging around for a while, so I’ll be happy to get it out the chute.
  • I think I have social media posts covered until… the end of the month? So, that’s a good feeling.
  • I’m dealing with what I think is a pinched nerve in my neck. I might have to consider changing sleeping positions, writing positions, etc. It will be nice when this sorts itself out or my new chiro does.
  • I will talk eventually regarding what The Holy Fool’s publication status is. Right now… it appears there’s some movement on that front. As soon as there’s product, you’ll be the first to know, faithful readers.

That’s it for an admittedly boring week! I’ll have more to read about later, promise.

 

Writing Journal/Random Notes, 4.1.2018: Special Easter Edition, yada yada…

OK, Spring Break for me has been a lot of time at home, but a relaxing time. Also, it’s been a great time to get revising done. To the weekly totals:

0+ words written.

Days writing: 0 out of 7.

Days revising: 5 out of 7 for 600 total minutes.

Daily writing goals met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 5 out of 7 days.

A slight improvement on the number of minutes revising, but one extra day I decided to screw around on. So, what does that mean for what I have been working on?

As it turns out, I am almost finished with the first revision of my rough draft. This is simply me reviewing the work for any continuity errors, such as what might occur when I change the names of people or organizations halfway through the book.

I’m also looking for the ability to cut any unnecessary wording or sentences. I think I’ll have to run that revision piece soon, because the only thing that comes close to writing something cool is cutting out an entire paragraph of material and realizing that I didn’t need it.

OK, let’s move on to Random Notes:

  • We are hosting Easter this year, so it might be a little bit of chaos today; that’s why I wanted to get this post out early. There will be some other posts this week, I am hoping.
  • I was glad with my progress during Spring Break, as I hadn’t expected to not only finish up my first draft, but get well into my first revision as well.
  • As for this week, it may be a situation where after I finish the first revision of the work in progress, I may let it sit for a week or so before taking another look at it. I am now tempted to pick up work on another WIP that I started thinking about last year to pass the time.
  • I’m not at the point where I feel I can announce anything, but… I did plan to have The Holy Fool published at some point this year. This is going to happen. When things get more solid, I will let everyone know and I’ll give people the opportunity to pick up a copy. I think it is past time for me to publish something if I am going to insist on calling myself a writer and continue to write a writing blog.
  • Somewhere last week I hit the 50-subscriber mark to this blog. Thanks to everyone that follows me and who is keeping up with what I’m doing; I appreciate all my readers.
  • There is a good chance that this April will see the 100th post on this blog. I’m surprised it’s gone this far, but proud that I’ve stuck with it like I have.

That’s it for now; more later.

 

Writing Journal/Random Notes, 3.25.2018: First draft done, now deep into first revision

Since I like to have candles burning when I’m writing at home, I decided to have a candle pic for this entry. I’m a bit of a fan of the Better Homes & Gardens scented candles, myself.

To the stats for this week:

0+ words written.

Days writing: 0 out of 7.

Days revising: 7 out of 7 for 455 total minutes.

Daily writing goals met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 6 out of 7 days.

So, it’s obvious that this was a heavy revision week. Actually, it might be the most time that I have ever revised during a week since I began tracking my word counts last year.

I actually wound up doing a quick proofreading revision of The Holy Fool and, as I promised last week, got started on the first revision of The American Nine. In the latter case, I know people often recommend that you let a book sit after you finish a first draft. However, I consider this to be a “rough revision,” not intended for me to consider any major changes or anything of that nature. The only item this will cover trying to eliminate needless words, reducing word count as much as possible, and tying up continuity.

So, a few Random Notes:

  • It is the middle of spring break for me, so I am hoping to do some more posting than normal. I had planned on posting a short story I’d done years back, but apparently scheduled it for this week rather than the last. I’m hoping for at least two midweek blog posts this week and another midweek post next week.
  • Today I’ll get posts set up for the Facebook and Twitter feeds and some more revising done.
  • As for publishing news, nothing on that front. Yet.

That’s it for now; I’ll write more later.

Writing Journal/Random Notes, 3.11.2018: A minor resurgence as I come closer to the finish

Random pic of Spider Jerusalem to celebrate journos everywhere:

spider

(I don’t know, maybe daylight savings time is making me loopy.)

And with that, let’s go to the totals to see:

+1,785 words written.

Days writing: 4 out of 7.

Days revising: N/A

Daily writing goals met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 1 out of 7 days.

All of these improvements over the past couple of weeks; or, at least, they are holding the line. A couple of items not on the above totals.

  1. I continued a dry spell of not writing for various reasons from last week (ran for about five days) but nipped that in the bud mid-week and have been writing steadily since then.
  2. This might have been one of the best writing weekends I’ve had to date.

The end of this project is well in sight. Some of the overall stats I am now looking at:

Current date: (3.11.2018)
Current word count (as of 12 p.m. 3.11.2018): 94,679 words.
Projected due date for first draft: 3.30.2018.
Projected final size for first draft: 95,000-99,999 words.
Projected word output to reach 99,999 words by 3.30.2018: 280 words per day.

A few Random Notes, somewhat related to the above.

  • As of right now, I have only two major scenes to finish – a press conference scene, which I am halfway through, and the final scene of the book. If I get ambitious, I might even be able to wrap up the first of those scenes today. I’ve pictured what the scene will be like for a while, but I always want to leave that last scene for the end, an ice-cream treat for the end of the drafting process.
  • Then comes the revising process, which if you know me, will be pretty detailed. I already started this a couple of days ago, when I replaced the word for the real, existing club with the one for my fictional club. Find/replace is a pretty cool feature of Microsoft Word, I’ve found.
  • I think, looking at this book, it will likely be a three-cycle revising process, which would leave me with about four separate drafts by the time I get done. Although I believe that I’ll go into it in more detail as a continuation of what I want to be a series on revising.

Looking forward to the finish line.

 

 

Writing Journal/Random Notes 2.4.2018: Not as good as I want to be, not as good as I should be, but better than I have been

And it’s a late post tonight.

That’s not so much having to do with the Super Bowl. (I saw the beginning of the game and the second part of the fourth quarter, but that’s about it. My interest in American football has been draining away considerably this season, and it’s been the least amount I’ve probably watched in years.) It’s got more to do with family stuff and wanting to get distracted by various videos.

Oh, this is where I list the totals, right? OK. I’ve made a modification to the list to reflect that I’m now including revising time in the calculations. I will list how often I’ve revised and for how long. I will also include in the daily writing goals whether I have made either writing or revising goals – either one will count toward the total.

Thus:

+1,519 words written.

Days writing: 3 out of 7.

Days revising: 1 out of 7 for 30 total minutes.

Daily writing goals met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revising):  2 out of 7 days.

Thoughts:

  1. The subtitle to this post pretty much summarized my thoughts on the word count. It is a better performance than last week, but since last week was my worst writing performance since starting this thing, I’m not jumping up and cheering.
  2. I’m almost through this scene of death 😉 I talked about before, but not quite. Maybe one good day of meeting my writing quota and I should be done with it. After that, either writing or revising should go better (until I get into another tricky scene, ha ha).
  3. I am officially past the 90,000-word mark on the rough draft. As I mentioned before, I am shooting for a 95,000-99,999-word rough draft and keeping all further revisions under the 100,000-word mark for both artistic and commercial reasons.
  4. Right now, my expectations are that I finish this rough draft and begin my first full revision of it by March 30, my birthday. I think that is a very doable goal..

OK. A few random notes:

  1. Usually I’m not a share-happy or cross-posting person on this page. Almost everything on the WordPress page is directly my ramblings. However, this was an exception because I’m all in favor of helping out my local community of writers – in this case, Writers On The Avenue, based in my hometown of Muscatine. Check them out sometime.
  2. I really need to start using Freedom more and not be a wuss about it.
  3. I need to put out another blog soon, about revising.
  4. I’ll also continue to publish some old poems or writings occasionally as well. I’m thinking of looking over what I saved from an old blog and see if any of it might fit here.
  5. This summer is when I’ll be doing a lot to get my book (Working title: The Holy Fool) published, whether by a regular publisher or by myself.
  6. Random thought: would A Fool’s Errand be a better title? Tell me what you think.
  7. I need to get some sleep.
  8. More later.

Writing Journal/Random Notes 1.21.2018: It’s getting a little better

And just when you thought I didn’t have any writing goals… here are some from tonight:

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See, I told you. (Check with me next week to see if I actually fulfilled any of them.)

Also, off to the totals. The verdict: An improvement over last week, but not where I want to be.

+1,916 words written.

Days writing: 5 out of 7.

Daily writing goals met (500+ words): 2 out of 7 days.

Ahahah, this is going to go out a lot later than I expected. The notes for this week:

  1. From all of the advice I received from the writing groups (which I just spent 15 minutes checking them out before getting my focus back), I have decided that keeping track of how I revise should be done on a time-based system rather than by word count.
    With that, I decided on a daily count of 60 minutes per day on the days that I am revising. I think that I will alternate between writing and revising pretty soon, with some weeks being heavier than others, depending on where I am on projects.
  2. How I monitor that time will be interesting. I will have to have a set up where I track the time that I totally focus on revising. It may come in fits and starts, but that will be OK.
  3. I used to like the computer app Freedom, but now they’ve moved it to a subscription service. If I had an alternative I’d definitely consider it.
  4. OK, I will run another post tomorrow and maybe, finally, get a midweek post again. You know what I want to talk about next.

More later.

Writing Journal 1.14.2018/Random Notes: Nowhere to go but up

Well, everyone, it was pretty bad last week regarding writing progress. The totals for confirmation:

+1,003 words written.

Days writing: 2 out of 7.

Daily writing goals met (500+ words): 2 out of 7 days.

I speculated earlier why I might be going through this much of a losing streak, but I think most of that road is paved with procrastination and regret. I finished the threatening scene; now, I’m trying to write one more football scene, essentially my main character’s last game. I need to keep reminding myself that this first draft doesn’t have to be perfect.

Another thing to do is breaking patterns. I’ve noticed that when you get into procrastination ruts, you find yourself repeating the same behavioral patterns over an over. There’s no point in repeating the – not insanity, but – useless patterns if the desired result doesn’t occur. If you have to do things, do them in a different pattern. That’s the only way that you can try and break the mental locks on your mind. I’m still nowhere near an expert at mental reprogramming. But, I’m getting better.

I also think another factor is that I’m really starting to get antsy about getting this first draft completed. I’m thinking that I want to get into the revising process so that I can start forming what I have into a coherent whole. I’ve said before that I consider revising to be the heart and soul of writing, because that’s after you get the metal out and finally start pounding away on it in the forge to make it into something usable.

That’s about all to my ramblings, because I want to try and get to bed at a decent hour and get fiction writing in. So, Random Notes:

  1. I am planning on that revising/editing goal. I should have that next week, then I’ll see how to work that in with my existing writing goals. How I keep track of all of it is up in the air now.
  2. Currently, I’m trying to read manuscripts for three people wanting feedback. I need to make more movement on that by this week so they can get some feedback by this year, at least. 🙂
  3. Ideas for new posts (one of which actually needs to happen) include one on writing output that’s been bopping around for a while, one on the concept of revising, and one of my old writings.
  4. Anyone interested in seeing some excerpts or “deleted scenes” from the thing I’m working on now?

More later.