I’m glad it’s summer or I think I’d never get to all of the things I’ve been trying to get to get to. At least some of that involves writing, so let’s talk about it.
Home Front Stuff
Heat becomes a bit of an issue in the summer. If you didn’t hear this from me before, I am not a hot-weather person. If I end up doing any type of chores outside, I do believe I’m going to save them for the morning if I’m going to do it if I don’t want to sweat to death. There’s days living in Iowa where I start thinking that Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iceland, or the Shetland Islands sounds like a good place to stay.
I also finally broke down and bought a new office chair. While my current desk and home office setup is pretty nice, my current chair is on the last legs of its usefulness. Over time, office chairs tend to wear out, especially the adjustable height ones. I didn’t realize that you could select office chairs on the basis of durability.
I’m a bit embarrassed I didn’t know about such things. I come from Muscatine, which happens to be the home and headquarters of the HON company, a very famous manufacturer of office furniture. I’ve used HON furniture during all phases of my professional life (journalism and teaching), and I’ve always rated their products.
While what I’ve bought is not HON, I’m looking forward to its arrival and putting it together. As a writer who needs a good writing space, you also need a good chair that works well for your posture and supports your back and spine. Unfortunately, I’m having to pay good mind to that issue more than I did as a younger man. Anyway, I’m looking forward to it.
What I’m Writing
Actually, a lot of the writing I’ve been putting out has been on my blogs. I’m happy with that.
In years past, whenever my word count for a particular week or month had a high percentage of writing on my blogs, it usually meant I had a slow week or month of writing. Back a couple of years ago, I might have some weeks where I’d manage to put out one blog post a week, where I would detail how many words I’d written and how much time I had spent on revising my work. I’d also talk a little bit about what I’d been busy with, what I was doing, and some other odds and ends.
I still post those weekly journals on my WordPress blog, Liegois Media. This is not because I think word counts and weekly reports are particularly traffic-worthy (which is why I don’t post them on Substack as well). Their purpose is to make myself publicly accountable for when I either am very productive or when I slack off.
It’s a lot more difficult to just ignore sitting on my butt and not writing anything when the numbers are there, staring at you, on the computer screen. It’s doubly more difficult to do so when you put those numbers out on the Internet for anyone to see and judge. There were times earlier in my life where I went weeks, months, and even years without writing anything connected to my day jobs as a journalist or educator, or as a student myself. By counting my words and seeing how productive I am over periods of time, I’ve been able to measure my work and my progress. If I go more than a day without writing or revising anything now, it’s an aberration. And last year, I had my most productive writing year on record.
So, I’m trying to keep up with the blog and everything else. As far as The Yank Striker Part 2 goes, I’ve begun toying with it and trying to figure out where to go with it. I have a brief outline for that next book and I’m ready to dig into it more. What I have in mind is I need to have the new book ready to go, all revised and proofread, by this same time in June 2024.
Whether I actually make it to that deadline is another matter. I’m going to be honest with everyone: this would be the shortest turnaround for a book I’ve ever had. The two books I’ve had published (and those I have not) have been the product of multiple years of thought, writing, revisions, and editing.
I can do this, however. I have the capability to write things pretty fast. I once wrote 50,000 words in a single month when I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve already put together 16,000 words in a rough draft. I just need to be ambitious and daring.
What I’ve Been Doing Having to do With Writing
Not much to mention here. I’m going to be running around to different places to promote The Yank Striker. I will have a post on Sunday detailing any updated appearances and book talks.
I’ll also be promoting those appearances on Substack Notes, Facebook, and Instagram. Hope you check me out at those locations, as well.
If you are not sure where my links are for not only my Facebook and Instagram pages, but my links for The Yank Striker, either go to my author’s page on Substack or the Link in Bio Page on my WordPress. You’ll find it all there.
What I’ve Been Reading/General Recommendations
There’s plenty of people I’d recommend you to read, but I’m hard up on time to get this done, so I’ll restrict myself to one recommendation.
Quadcities.com is a great website for information on the Quad Cities area (Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, Ill.). Sean Leary is their director of digital media and a great columnist and writer in his own right. They were kind enough to publish the first media story on The Yank Striker to date.
The story is here, but I’d urge you to check out their other coverage of the Quad Cities, especially in the arts and entertainment arena. It’s good stuff.
Writing Quote(s) of the Week
The more I hear from Neil Gaiman, the more I get the impression writing’s not that easy for him.
Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.
This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.Neil Gaiman
That’s it for this week. All you writers and creators, keep doing what you are doing, and everyone keep safe.
– 30 –
- The secret to accomplishing that? What you write doesn’t have to be good.
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