Writing Journal 11.24.2021: Always wanting to do better

I’m always wanting to improve on my numbers, so it’s not a surprise that I’m not really happy with the possibility that I am not going to have as productive of a 2021 as I did previously. And, with the fact that we only have about six and a half weeks left to really kick it into 12th gear, that seems more likely.

However, this is a long-haul situation. I’m always looking for little victories as they come along. I try and fight entropy and procrastination all along the way. This week might have been another little victory.

Was it a perfect week, where I meet my writing quota every day and then some? No, it’s not that. But it is better than what I had the previous week, if you compare the numbers. So, there is that.

Anyway, last week’s numbers are below. Maybe with the Thanksgiving break, I can get a good amount of writing in before I’m done… and a little bit of research into my self-publishing items. (Fun fact – I hit up ex-New York Times columnist and current Oregon governor candidate Nicholas Kristof on Facebook about the Substack platform and what sort of success he’s been having with it. Fun times.)

Writing statistics for the week ending 11.20.2021:
+3,582 words written.
Days writing: 4 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 15 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 4 of 7 days.

Writing Journal, 10.11.2020: Slow start to October, to be honest

Not much to write about for the past two weeks, because… I haven’t been doing much writing. At least, not as much as I want.

Work has been busy, enough so that I’ve looked longingly at my father’s retirement-life schedule. 🙂 But, I am getting through things.

I’ve been a little disappointed that I have not had the mental energy to try and reach out to fellow writers in the Des Moines area or my town’s area to try and network. Part of that is COVID, and part of that has been the grind that any typical school year is.

I think another issue is that I’m beginning to get really over Facebook, which might still be the best way to get in contact with other writers or network. Frankly, if it was not for this blog and its “companion page” on Facebook, I would delete my account for sure. I have deleted the app from my phone for at least the fifth or sixth time and it has stayed off, to my delight.

That’s not to say I’m not online. I’m staying on Reddit and Twitter, although I only go on Twitter sporadically. I spend a lot of time on Archive Of Our Own (AO3), the fan fiction site where I have been posting my most recent writings. There are several stories there I am following, and it has been a great mental break to read stuff there.

I think I will wrap it up there. Not sure if I will continue to post journal entries every two weeks or try and get it back up to weekly. I will see.

The stats for the last two weeks are below. The first week I exceeded my quota: 500 words per day over the week or the planning/revising equivalent (30 minute per day), which would add up to 3,500 words per week or the equivalent. The second week I wasn’t so lucky.

Keep safe, everyone.

Week of 9.27.2020:
+4,151 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 90 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 6 of 7 days.

Week of 10.4.2020:
+2,228 words written.
Days writing: 4 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 60 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 4 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 1.26.2020: Catching up after two weeks

Well, I wound up taking a break from posting for a bit.

I’ve gotten busy with things having to do with work and with the move. Writing at time seems to be a low priority with me, even though it’s one of the few things that is helping me relax. Many things are going on with trying to find a new house in the new town and selling the old house in the old one. Plus, I have my son finishing up his technical school and looking for work in three months and my daughter graduating high school and headed off to university, where I have the feeling she’ll spend plenty of time at rather than home with us.

With all of this going on, getting writing stuff accomplished and reaching goals seems a low priority with me. Then again, I can make all of the goals I want but still decide not to reach them. I think that I’m trying to keep things realistic this year. Whether I have a better year writing than what I did in 2019 is an open question, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I’m not as prolific.

It’s bleeding over into some other areas now. If anyone has been following my Facebook  and Twitter pages for a while, I haven’t been posting as much writing articles or items other than the blog posts and a few odds and ends. It gets really exhausting trying to post new stuff or articles all the time, and to be honest I’m not really a fan of Facebook for all of the falsehoods and misleading advertising it has all the time. I rarely browse the thing anymore and I’ve deleted the main app for it from my phone (maybe the fourth time in the past several months). If it wasn’t for my page on Facebook there’s a good chance I’d delete my account altogether.

I think everything that has been happening with me has slowed the momentum I had going on as a writer. However, with the move, I’m essentially leaving my writing community behind and I’ll have to start over with that, there’s nothing else for it. It doesn’t make sense for me to try and be this ambitious about a passion project or projects if I have so many real life things to deal with, especially in the next four to six months.

There’s so many changes coming. Hopefully the rest of the first half of the year flies by and I feel more settled by the end of it.

Here’s the stats, anyway. First week went well, but I have a feeling that the most recent week will be more typical of my production for the foreseeable future. Anyway, hope your writing goes well and have a great week.

Week of 1.12.2020:

+8,425 words written.

Days writing: 4 of 7.

Days revising/planning: 4 of 7 for 210 total minutes.

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

Week of 1.19.2020:

+2,160 words written.

Days writing: 4 of 7.

Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for  90 total minutes.

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

Expanding My Online Footprint

There’s a lot going on at the moment, but I wanted to touch on a couple of new things I’m also excited about. Recently, I’ve had the chance to sign up for a few web sites expand my online footprint.

With the publication of the new book and it being carried on Amazon, I decided that it would be a good idea for me to get an Amazon author page. You can get to mine here. You’ll see the new book there, as well as an anthology I contributed to a few years back. (Feel free to buy a copy of that, too.)

I’ve also got a Goodreads page as well. My profile is here. I’ll use it to list some books I’ve read, follow authors, and connect with fellow writers and readers.

The idea is to reach out in different ways to potential readers and fellow writers in a way I haven’t yet had the chance to do. I’m still learning about some of the potential of both sites, and I’m looking forward to the process. Also, both of those author pages will have my blog feed, so you can check out my posts at those places, too. You can now find a permanent link to both my Amazon and Goodreads pages on the sidebar of my blog.

In addition, I’m also still on Facebook as Liegois Media. Originally set up as a page for my journalism career, with my reentry into teaching, I decided to rebrand it as my first writing interest page. I post interesting articles, photos, quotes and memes on writing daily basis, as well as the posts from this blog. In addition, I also crosspost everything that goes on the Facebook page on Twitter via my handle @LiegoisMedia.Links and feeds to both of those pages, as they have been before, can be found in the blog’s sidebar.

If you just want to email me, you can do that at liegois.writing@gmail.com.

Hope I hear from you no matter how you want to reach out to me.

Regarding Social Media

You may or not be aware that I have two Liegois Media sites set up on social networks – A Facebook page and a Twitter page. I talked about it before, but basically both of those pages predated this blog. I got them started up back in the days when I was still in journalism and wanted to have separate pages for contacting people over social media apart from my personal accounts.

That worked out well for a while, but when I left journalism, I still had these pages sitting around, gathering virtual dust for a bit. However, I decided to repurpose them as the locations where I would write about/share articles about writing and writing-related topics. I also wind up sharing more than a few writing memes.

Those pages eventually helped inspire me to set up this blog. I also wind up cross-posting all of my blog posts onto those pages, which is pretty convenient for me. In time, as I approach having a book that people can actually buy, I have the feeling that those might be some of the primary promotional tools that I have at my disposal to do that promotion.

However, my own interest in social media has been wary in the past couple of years. I’ve long been concerned about what I saw as the lack of concern from those companies about online harassment and trolling. Now, the role Facebook played in the recent election and their reaction to it makes me very wary of it, as well.

Despite all that, for the near future, I think that I need to keep those pages to reach out to people. However, I wanted to make an effort to reduce my personal time on those platforms, both to indicate my disappointment with the companies, as well as trying to get rid of the time suck social media can be. If you examine this blog regularly, you can see how good I am at procrastination.

With all of this in mind, I made the decision last week to delete my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram apps from my phone. (I still have my Facebook Messenger and Page apps, as well as my WordPress app). It is amazing how much it has been helpful for me to reduce that screen time from what it was. I thought of that decision as a temporary experiment, but the more I look at it, the more I think I might make that decision permanent.

Anyway, don’t forget to visit my Facebook and Twitter pages. 🤣🤣🤣

[EDIT: April 13, 2019: I eventually put Facebook back on my phone, but I use it far less than I used to. Now I’m more on Reddit. 🤣🤣🤣]

Coordinating Social Media and the Online Presence.

On my Twitter page, I remember that I was boasting recently that I’ve managed to integrate all of my social media platforms. The idea behind that is to make sure that I have an active stream of material on those sites, updated regularly, in a way that is relatively easy for me to maintain.

A bit of background is in order. I first joined Facebook about nine years ago and have been tooling around with my personal page ever since. I did not mess around with Twitter up until I got back into journalism and joined the staff of my local newspaper back in late 2013. I did that essentially to make sure I was able to communicate easier with sources, help break stories, etc.

Taking the advice of others that it might be more prudent to have separate work and private social media presences, I created a Facebook page, Liegois Media, and a Twitter handle by the same name in addition to my personal FB and Twitter accounts. I use the private Facebook account all the time; my personal Twitter, not so much. The media FB page and the media Twitter account got the amount of use I was expecting.

Once I left journalism again, I was left with two social media sites that no longer served their purposes. Instead of letting them die, I decided to repurpose them as pages that would concentrate on my interest in writing and writing-related articles and media. The use of these pages was sporadic, at best. Even as I began to pick up some steam with my writing, I didn’t really have a handle on how to make use of them that well.

To paraphrase the US Men’s National Team soccer coach Bruce Arena, sometimes you have to try stuff out. For me, this came in several steps:

  1. I discovered Hootsuite as a way to post on multiple platforms simultaneously. It was also the first time I had ever discovered the concept of scheduling posts ahead of time. Although it had potential, its limit on the number of platforms you could use simultaneously and keep it free, as well as other factors, limited its usefulness to me.
  2. After despairing of daily posts on my FB writing page of my talking about writing, I decided, why not do reposts of articles, images, and memes about writing that I had read and found interesting? I decided to do more of that, and my activity on that page rose.
  3. I eventually learned that I could schedule posts whenever I wanted, so I could look up a whole bunch of posts and schedule them days or weeks in advance. Right now, in fact, I have posts lined up for the Facebook page for at least the next two weeks. (I’d later start doing fun theme days as well.)
  4. I notices how many writers have their blogs to do longer-form writing, as opposed to just posting articles, quotes, random thoughts, and memes. That was the genesis for Liegois Media here on WordPress.
  5. Now I’ve started to figure out how to link media so that posts on one site can be linked on others. I’ve paid attention, for example, to how Wil Wheaton does his social media. From what I can tell, his Twitter page serves as a communications hub. He has his blog for the longer posts and think pieces, which then is fed to his Twitter page, and his Twitter page feeds into his Facebook page.
    Essentially, Blog -> Twitter -> Facebook.
    Since I’m a little more comfortable with the Facebook platform than Twitter, how I’ve linked it up is slightly different. My flow chart would look like this:
    Wordpress Blog -> Facebook ->Twitter.I’m not going to get into exactly how to get all of these linkups going. What I wound up doing was getting curious and looking up the help pages for Twitter and Facebook to make it happen. (It was pretty easy to get my WordPress blog to post other places.

    So, that’s how I made things a little easier for myself on the social media front. Oh, and today I just link my personal FB posts to go on my Twitter feed, so that place won’t be as dead as it usually is. Fun times.

    [EDIT: Apparently I can’t link my personal page to a Twitter page and a Facebook page under that same account with another Twitter page. If anyone can show me how this would work I would appreciate it.]


Liegois Media on Facebook (now with #WAW)

You might remember that I’m putting out or sharing themed content on my Facebook page Liegois Media. I should have mentioned last week that I’ve added a new category to #WritingQuoteMonday, #TBT, and #SciFiSaturday. Wednesday’s on FB for me are #WritingAdviceWednesday or #WAW. There’s one up there today; take a look if you are interested.

While you’re here, don’t forget…

To check out my Facebook page dedicated to writing, also called Liegois Media for lack of a better name. Like I’ve said previously, it’s where I’m sharing quotes, stories, pictures, advice and other stuff about writing I come across online.

As part of a way to make things more fun, I’ve started to have a couple of theme days throughout the week. I’ll list the ones I’ve established so far:

  • Monday – #WritingQuoteMonday (starting next week)
  • Thursday – #TBT (stuff about classic writers)
  • Saturday – #SciFiSaturday (occasionally #SciFiFantasySaturday; self-explanatory)

If any of you have any ideas for other days, I’m totally open to them. I’ll try and think of a couple more on my own. 

Feel free to visit and browse around.