Year 2, Month 4, Day 25 of this Writing in Public challenge.
Day eleven of writing the novel Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel.
I managed only one session of 1,050 words on the novel, but I managed another 2,000 words of fiction on other stuff. One of those days.
Standard day all the way around. Worked at WMG after getting snail mail and some lunch and talked up there for a time. Then home for the standard nap at 6 p.m. and dinner, news, and dishes after watching The Voice.
Then into this office around 9 p.m. to work on the workshop homework. Got that all done around 11 p.m., took a short break, then went to work on putting together Smith’s Monthly #15.
That one has the novel Cold Call in it, so I had to run through the entire book on what I call a “third draft.”
(First is writing the book, second draft is spell-checking it, third draft is putting in the corrections I agree with that Kris found as a first reader.)
Interestingly enough this time, I agreed with most of the fixes Kris wanted me to do. Most of the time I only agree with about half. But sadly, she noted a few places I had left stuff out in this mystery. (She has stories in this month’s Ellery Queen Magazine and this month’s Alfred Hitchcock’s Magazine. Same month. She knows mystery. (grin))
So I ended up adding in about 1,200 words to Cold Call, none of which I had cut out earlier. Different stuff.
So the “third” draft of the novel took me about two hours until around 1 a.m.
Took another break, then went to work on a short story called “Gus” that I had left unfinished at some point in the past. That took 800 words to finish the 6,000 word short story. It’s a funny golf story and I wanted it in Smith’s Monthly #15.
That took until around 2 a.m.
Then I put the entire issue together, including the introduction I had written earlier of about 800 words, and got it all in one file with all the stories and the Poker Boy serial short novel, and got it off to Allyson at WMG Publishing. That took another hour until about 3 a.m.
Then I wrote for one session on the Lake Roosevelt novel, to get it in my head again. I think I am unstuck, but we shall see tomorrow night when I can make a run at it. That was 1,050 words of original stuff.
So 1,050 words of original on the present novel, 1,200 words of original words on the previous novel and 800 words on a short story. (So 2,250 under the running novel total, 3,050 under the total month total, which is why the two numbers vary.)
Topic of the Night: Perspective
One of the things that Kris and I work on with writers in the Productivity Online Workshop and the Making a Living Online Workshop is perspective.
Yet again today I heard about another writer getting discouraged that sales are not good and are thinking about quitting. This writer has exactly eight novels out, no short stories or collections, and everything is in Kindle Select.
So, in other words, this author has books in only one store, and only eight books at that, and thinks he or she should be rich and making a living. I think I would be insulted if this wasn’t so sad.
Why someone could come in and think they could make a living after that little amount of work is beyond me.
John D. McDonald once famously said that every writer has a million words of crap in them before they reach their first publishable word. Pretty much worked that way for him and for me and for many others I know.
At 8 x 80,000 words per books, this author who is talking aloud and wanting sympathy thinks he or she should be making a living (in only one bookstore) at 640,000 words of writing.
Wow, do they think they are a special snowflake or what?
In the old system, writers like this one would just vanish into the dust of a day job and a few rejections from editors tucked into scrapbooks. But now, because of this new world of indie, every writer gets the chance to put out their work to readers. And readers are very, very good judges of work. Especially someone still in the beginning stages of writing.
I did an online lecture on the Stages of Writers and it has, over time, made numbers of writers mad at me, and numbers of writers happy because it gives them a clear positioning on the learning curve.
The writers who have gotten angry tend to want to believe they can be rich at writing with no work. LIke the author mentioned above.
The writers who like the Stages of Writing Lecture seem to be the ones wanting to know where they are at and where they need to go into the future.
I was no exception to the fact that early on writers can’t seem to find any perspective. I didn’t have much either. I was in a hurry. I thought my early work was “art” because I had rewritten it to death and editors were stupid that they didn’t buy it. Yup, I thought all that.
I got better.
But let me be clear here. Storytelling is an art that takes time to learn. Not just one month or one course or one year. But years and years of lots of practice and learning combined.
You know, like every other art in the world.
So you want perspective? Pick up a musical instrument you have never played.
Then decide you want to make a living playing that instrument.
So you do eight practice sessions. You going to be disappointed you haven’t made a living yet?
Chances are your friends around you haven’t even taken out their earplugs yet.
Perspective. A tough thing to get, but a necessity for sanity and survival in the long run of writing.
MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY
Day 1…. 3,950 words. Total words to date…. 3,950 words
Day 2…. 3,500 words. Total words to date…. 7,450 words
Day 3…. 3,050 words. Total words to date…. 10,500 words
Day 4…. 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 13,750 words
Day 5…. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 15,950 words
Day 6…. 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 18,300 words
Day 7…. 6,400 words. Total words to date…. 24,700 words
Day 8…. 5,400 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 9…. 0,000 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 10.. 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 31,250 words
Day 11.. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 34,650 words
Day 12.. 5,600 words. Total words to date…. 40,250 words
Day 13.. 5,200 words. Total words to date…. 45,450 words
Cold Call Done.. 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 50,050 words
Started Lake Roosevelt novel.
Day 15.. 2,400 words. Total words to date…. 52,450 words
Day 16.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 54,550 words
Day 17.. 4,650 words. Total words to date…. 59,200 words
Day 18.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 61,300 words
Day 19.. 6,850 words. Total words to date…. 68,150 words
Day 20.. 5,700 words. Total words to date…. 73,850 words
Day 21.. 3,350 words. Total words to date…. 77,200 words
Day 22.. 3,450 words. Total words to date…. 80,650 words
Day 23.. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 81,750 words
Day 24.. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 83,950 words
Day 25.. 2,250 words. Total words to date…. 86,200 words
(At this point I need to be around 100,000 words to be on my 4,000 words per day target on novels for the month. Fell behind again tonight. This might be tough to make up, but we shall see.)
Totals For Year 2, Month 4, Day 25
– Daily Fiction: 3,050 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 87,900 words
– Nonfiction: 800 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,700 words
– Blog Posts: 1,200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 19,500 words
– E-mail: 34 e-mails. Approx. 700 original words. E-mails month-to date: 640 e-mails. Approx. 17,150 words
– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 7 Covers
For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.
For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.