Category Archives: Writing

What Do You Want To Do? Why Aren’t You Doing It?

I read this last week:

Mostly because a friend wrote it, but I’m also sort of fascinated by the topic.

I’m too close to it/the person to be a good judge of whether the book is good or worthwhile, but he said something in the book, and then said it again at lunch on Saturday that really sort of tweaked my brain a little bit.

Paraphrasing, “You’ve got to want it.”

I had another friend at the writer lunch who was there for the first time, so he was asking Blaze all sorts of questions (and Blaze likes to hold court). He asked Blaze how he managed to write so much, and Blaze said, “because I want to”.

And it just kind of clicked with me.

Why don’t we all write more? Because we choose to do other things.

In most cases.

I mean, I can say I want to write 4000 words a day, but when it comes down to it, do I really? If I really do, then why am I not doing it?

Some people have obligations that cut down on their available time – sick parents, kids, jobs, and the like, and, so, yeah, probably can’t write 4 hours a day to get to that 4k words/day mark.

But the rest of us could probably find the time, if that’s what we truly wanted.

And people can talk all they want about leaving time to rest/relax, etc… but without any judgement laid upon it, that’s a choice they make. It’s not good or bad, they’d just rather spend the weekend or the evening doing something other than writing.

I say I know what I want. I say I want to write, and I say I want to write a lot, but the choices I make don’t always align with what I say I want.

So what does that mean? Does that mean I’m easily distracted, or does that mean I don’t really want to spend that time writing?

I think it’s quite a bit more complex than that, but it’s difficult not to ask that question when I start thinking about what I want vs the choices I’m making.

A lot of the time, I think I’m not consciously making choices. I’m running on autopilot, and autopilot takes me where the flying is the easiest path to take in the moment, without looking further ahead to see what might end up in my way.

My goal right now is to make conscious choices about what I’m doing. I need to get off auto-pilot and start flying manual. Sure, the ride may be a little bit bumpier, but it will probably get me where I want to go, and it’ll likely be more exciting, too.

Making Up Lost Time

Last fall, I wrote this little superhero story called Making Up Lost Time for a bundle, but due to some mix-ups and misunderstandings, I didn’t get it in on time. It was a bit of an experiment, for me, as I haven’t written pure superhero stuff before. And while the intention was to write pure superhero, I think the mix of stuff in this doesn’t quite fit it into the comic book superhero realm.

The editor of the bundle, when he read an early draft, implied to me that it messed with his head. So you’ve been warned.

Since it was a bit of an experiment to begin with, I’m experimenting with the distribution on this one. Right now, the ebook is exclusive to Amazon. I don’t generally like being exclusive, anywhere, but I wanted to try out some of the features they let you use if you go exclusive with them, including having the title be part of Kindle Unlimited. It won’t be exclusive forever, and I know it might upset some of you that use other platforms, but it’s something I have to try.

You can get both the ebook and the paperback from Amazon.

Where I’m At!

Today, I finished up porting over all the importers for TrackerBox Mac. I start on the interface on Monday. There were a lot more of them than I remembered (Amazon KDP has 9 importers all by itself), and a few of them required some very specific support code.

In my afternoons (after busting away at TrackerBox in the mornings), I’ve slowly been working on getting a new novella ready for publication. Making Up Lost Time is the first of what I hope to be multiple stories published this year. I know I’ve teased this shit in the past, over and over, but I really have some hope that I’m coming out of this long slow period. I won’t be spoiling what I’m planning to work on, or how much I hope to get done, but I can assure you, it’ll be more than I got done last year (at least when it comes to writing).

TrackerBox Mac Kickstarter: 15 Days To Go, Writing Challenge, & Patreon

TrackerBox Mac - Track Your Book Sales on OSX -- Kicktraq Mini

The title says it all, really. This is pretty amazing. Just having a real opportunity to make TrackerBox Mac a reality is something I’ve been working toward for a long time. As a Windows user, myself, I don’t have a good reason to make TrackerBox for Mac, other than the regular inquiries I get, and a desire to be able to tell them, “Yes!” TrackerBox basically makes enough money to cover its costs, and I don’t see that changing, much. It isn’t a big money play for me. It’s about being able to help people, and I know it helps people.

Writing Challenge

I’ve taken on a challenge with a writer friend of mine, Michael Warren Lucas, to write three novels in three months. Writing a novel in a month isn’t exactly something new to me. The vast majority of Shattered was written in a month, and the same is true for a couple other books. The trick will be doing it three times in a row.

I’ll be attempting to write three new Grim Repo books, with the goal of getting them released in the first half of next year. It’ll be fun, it’ll be nerve-wracking, and I can’t wait to see what happens to Grimm and his crew.

You can follow along on twitter by searching the hash-tag #idiotwriterchallenge. If you’re crazy like us, you can join in!

Patreon

In line with the challenge, I’ve started a Patreon page. If you don’t know what Patreon is, it’s a place where you can support me directly for a couple bucks a month, and get some nifty rewards while doing it. Among the rewards, I’m giving patrons early access to drafts, copies of books, access to a monthly Google Hangout Q&A, and other potentially nifty things.

This month, you’ll get my new novella Making Up Lost Time. No, there’s no link, because it’s not available yet! But here’s the cover!

If you like my books, if you like what I’m doing, Patreon is a way you can directly help me do more of it!

Become a Patron!

The TrackerBox Kickstarter Rolls Past 40% and an Interview

TrackerBox Mac - Track Your Book Sales on OSX -- Kicktraq Mini

After five days, the TrackerBox Kickstarter is sitting at 43% funded, which is awesome! That first day, the first hour, when I sat and watched it sit at 0% really got my head spinning, thinking that it would never get funded, but it’s on a good trajectory, and I’m pretty confident it will get funded.

Still, I need all the help I can get in getting the word out to authors and small publishers, especially those like me who like to hide under rocks.

With that in mind, here’s an interview I did with Blackbird Publishing about TrackerBox that might help people understand what it is.

There’s also a question about more Grim Repo at the end. I won’t spoil it, though.

October Update

September turned out all right, I guess. It was actually kind of a difficult month, as I managed to run into a curb with one of our cars, and it’s been out of commission because we can’t currently afford to get it fixed. It meant that all of the events my son needs to go to require a lot of planning to make happen (as well as help from some of his friends on occasion).

I did get that TrackerBox update out, but I couldn’t make the Mac TrackerBox Kickstarter happen. I’m hoping to submit it for approval tomorrow, though (they say it takes three days). If it all works out, it should be up and going early next week. I’ll do a bunch of tweets and facebook posts surrounding it, as well as a post here, so don’t worry that you’ll miss it.

I’ve added features for the next big StoryBox update. The wordcount calendar is now in a real calendar, and the word usage data is now in a sortable grid. I’ve added a Bookshelf feature that can show all of your stories from all of your projects in a single view with cover thumbnails and status info. I’m in the middle of adding custom document properties for each document. For Characters, Items, and Locations, these will allow you to replace the text document Q&A with a set of fields that you can fill in. Some of these fields will let you draw links between documents or characters (think friends, family, etc….). I don’t have a target date for the next StoryBox release, but I can say that it is probably a few months away, still.

On the writing front, I finished up a superhero novella for an anthology/bundle I’ve been invited to. If I didn’t miss the mark, that should be available in November. I immediately started working on the follow-up to it, which, if all goes well, will be available in December. When I finish that, I’m planning a third that should be ready in January. After that, more Grim Repo.

I’m really going to push to complete series over the next year and a half. I think one of the primary things holding me back is how wide I let my focus get. I wrote Shattered, then followed it up with Questioner’s Shadow (the first book in another series) instead of with Fragments. Then I wrote Moony, and maybe a couple other things before finally getting back to Fragments. And then I wrote more things.

Frankly, as a reader, I’d hate that.

So the plan is to tighten up the loop. I’ll finish this novella series, then finish up Grim Repo, then a Sword & Sorcery series I’ve started (and not yet published), and then I’ll tackle the remaining Wizard’s Work books. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. Big plans, big plans. However long they take me, they’ll get done, and in that order.