Category Archives: Writing

So Maybe Thursdays?

I’m still trying to work out when to post these things. Thursday is as good a day as any, I suspect. In any case…

I’ve now written 22 days in a row, which equals my longest streak since 2013. I last wrote 22 days in a row in 2014, which was basically the last time I felt really productive. I’m still not writing at a pace I would consider really productive, but every word added to the story is a word I don’t have to write any more. In other words, the story is getting longer, and for me, that’s all that matters at the moment.

I don’t know if you’ll ever see this particular story. It’s all seat of the pants writing. I have no idea what’s going to happen. I’m making up the world as I go. It’s an exercise in building a writing habit.

Once this story is done, I’ll be picking up work on something called Sorcerer’s Bane, which is a series I started to write several years ago (the genesis of the story actually came to me as part of an assignment during a writing workshop over a decade ago). The first book is already “complete”, in that it told it’s arc of the story, but I’m a different person than the person I was when I wrote it, and the story as written no longer fits with how I want the story told. So I’ll be rewriting it from scratch. I expect it will take a few months.

I’m on the fence about how I’ll release it – whether I’ll wait for them all to be finished, or if I’ll just release them as I finish them. I have a habit of not finishing series, and that’s a habit I want to break.

What I’m Reading

This week, I’ve been reading the Cradle series from Will Wight. I’m currently on Book 8: Wintersteel, and I’ll probably have the remaining available ones finished by next week. I’m not a book critic or a reviewer. But if I were, I would say that, for the right type of reader, they are fantastic. If you enjoy watching the protagonist struggle to improve himself again and again and again, these might be for you.

Two Weeks

I’m trying to decide when I’m going to post new posts. Friday is kind of an end of the week kind of thing, but Wednesday currently aligns well with some things, like my current writing streak. Also, most people aren’t checked out of their week on Wednesday, where I feel a lot of people are already off to start enjoying their weekend by Friday evening (which is when I would get around to posting this).

So, for this week, Wednesday.

And the big news this week? I’ve written fourteen days in a row, now, on a new story, and I can’t tell yet just what it’s going to be. I thought at first it was going to be this light-hearted girl meets boy thing, but it’s taken a darker turn than I anticipated, and now, I’m less sure what it is than I was three days ago.

There’s a lot of work that’ll need to be done, as having been gone so long from any sort of consistent writing practice has atrophied my skills a bit, I suspect. Or maybe I just have higher expectations than I did before. A lot of details will need to be filled in and adjusted, because I really am making this thing up as I go along, and sometimes, new thoughts that necessitate changes present themselves later than I would like.

I’m not busting down doors with word count right now. I’m mostly just relying on slow and steady every day progress. Enjoying the process, as it were. I’ve written more days this year, so far, than I did in all of 2021 and 2022 combined, and I’ve equaled the number of days that I wrote in 2020. Another two weeks, and I will beat 2019 and 2018.

I don’t have a word count goal. I just have a goal, each day, to sit down and write something. Anything. And to have fun with it. So far, so good.

Writing Again

It has been a long time, it turns out, since I wrote at any sort of consistent pace. I didn’t realize how long, until last night, after I finished writing for the 9th day in a row, and decided to have a look back at what my productivity has been like.

I have a spreadsheet that tracks my word counts all the way back to 2010, when I started work on Shattered. I can look at any day of any of those years and see how many words I wrote that day, plus totals and averages and all sorts of jazz.

I whipped out that spreadsheet, and started looking for sequences where I’ve written at least 9 days in a row. I looked at 2022, which was a wash. I didn’t write a single word in 2022. I only read, I think, 14 books in 2022, as well. 2021, I wrote roughly 9000 words of fiction across the whole year, but it was quite concentrated on 3 days in April of that year. I wrote almost the same amount in 2020, too, but this time, spread out in individual little pieces all throughout the year. And 2019? We don’t talk about 2019. Actually, 2019, started off really good, with 19k words in January, and then a bunch more in February, and then the hammer fell, and I wrote almost nothing for the rest of the year. Still, not 9 days in a row.

In fact, I had to go back to 2016 to find a stretch where I wrote more than 9 days in a row. I had no idea that it was that long ago. Nearly 7 years. That stretch was 20 days in a row, where I was finishing off an unreleased novel (which may yet someday see the light of day).

What’s the point? The point is, I guess, that I’ve been a mess, as far as writing goes, for a LOT longer than I thought. 9 days in a row isn’t breaking any records for me, nor is it even close to what I’ve done in the past (2012-2013, I wrote more than 365 days in a row), but compared to the recent past, it feels like a HUGE win.

I’m not pushing to hit some streak number (though the temptation is there). I’m not stressing about how much I’m writing, as I’ve decided to approach this with a “Did I write something? Yes? Good.” attitude. I’m enjoying it, and the beasts and demons that were keeping me away from writing appear to be in retreat.

I’ve worked really hard to get to the point where I can create art despite the negativity around me, where I can have fun when even the people closest to me want to tear me down or keep me from doing something I love. Am I always successful? No. But I’ve been successful 9 days in a row (despite having a cold for three of those days), and a story is slowly taking shape.

And that is a great thing.

writing and streaming

We seem to be on a Thursday update kick. Maybe I’ll keep it.

This week, nothing much exciting happened. I wrote a few thousand words on the new novel, and it seems to be coming along nicely. I’m not a full time author, so I only have a couple hours each day to work on it, and right now, while I’m starting out, I’m rethinking a lot of things I did on the original draft (which I’m mostly ignoring except for my memory of it). At some point, I expect the plot to diverge quite a bit, but I’m still writing “the setup”, and while there are a lot more scenes now in this new draft to get to the same point in the plot as the old one was after about two chapters, and probably three times the word count, the initial part of the book will follow essentially the same story, just in more detail and more depth.

In other news, well, there isn’t really any other news. And there probably won’t be a lot of other news, beyond a weekly updated on the progress of the book. I suppose you might be interested in checking out my music stream, but I suspect only a handful of you will enjoy it and come back after your first experience. You can catch me at https://twitch.tv/fourafterever this Saturday, probably around 4pm Pacific. It’s grunge/sludge/metal kind of stuff. Stop by and say Hi!

A New Direction for a new start

I know I said last week that I probably wouldn’t say more about what the next project is until I’ve got something to show, and I wasn’t going to say more, as I really wasn’t sure what it would be. I had a lot of options staring at me, clamoring for time, and whatever choice I made, it had to be something I was excited about writing.

It also had to satisfy some new ideas about the direction I want to go with my writing career. I’ll talk about them in the future, but it’s important, I think, for you to know that they exist just as context for the rest of this post. I’m not going to step out of speculative fiction or anything like that. It’s more like doubling down on the things that turn my crank.

Darned near six years ago, I started a new fantasy series, a sword & sorcery series that was going to be five books, all about the length of Mendleson Moony or Minders. Sixty thousand words and change, each. I planned to write them all as a set, and then release them once a month until they were all out.

I finished the first book, sent it to my alpha readers, and started on the second book. In the middle of this, all my life things that were going on at that time really put a crimp in the writing. I have two thirds of that second book complete. And it’s been that way since early 2019.

And then the writing came to a complete halt.

I’ve had it in my mind to finish that book out, then finish the series out, and release it as planned, so I started reading it all over again, trying to catch up. And as I was reading it, I kept running into things that I wish I had done differently. It wasn’t the kind of book, as written, that fit where I wanted to go. And if I had to match that for three and a third more books, I don’t know if I would have been able to complete the series.

And then, as if struck by lightning, it occurred to me last night that I could just rewrite the whole thing from the beginning so that it would fit my new criteria.

This morning, I wrote almost 2000 words of a new start of the first book of that series. I know you have no idea what it is, or what the goal for it is, but I’m excited about it, and I hope you will be, too. The first iteration really focused on one character in typical Sword & Sorcery style, but this new direction will expand the book quite a bit with more from the other characters, and is likely to have more of an Epic Fantasy feel. I expect it will at least double the first one in length, but that’s really only an estimate. There’s a very real possibility it will be even longer.

I’m excited about it. I hope you will be, too!

What a year

The last time I came here to write anything in this space, I had a hope that things were going to be changing for the better. I had no idea that the bullshit I’d been dealing with would continue to drag on and on and on. It did, though.

Except!

Except I wrote and recorded a new record, Down, Not Out which got released in October. In my own opinion, it’s fantastic, but some other people really liked it as well. Check it out if you get a chance. The link there will take you to my band page, which has links to most of the places where you can find my music.

Also, I’m still alive, which is a fine place to be. I’m enjoying being alive, and looking forward to getting vaccinated here, real soon.

The title of the previous/last post is still accurate. There will be more books. I just don’t know what, or when, and I’m not going to really say more about them until I’ve got something to show. I don’t expect it to be quickly, though. There are a lot of things I have to resurrect.

If anyone still hangs around here, comes to see if I’ve got anything to say, I love you. Period, end of story. I hope to give you some good things in the weeks, months and years to come. I’m excited about the future, for the first time in a long while, and I want to share it with you.

P.S. If you are still here, drop me a note in the comments (assuming they still work). I’d like to hear from you, what your up to, and what’s kept you going the past year.