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.


[I wrote the following a little more than a year ago, but never posted it. It’s difficult to believe I wrote it that long ago. Obviously, I’ve been dealing with some shit, and I’m still working on all that. I have nothing new to announce for the immediate future, but I felt this still needed to go out.]

Last night, I ran across a post on a writer forum about TrackerBox, mentioning that I’ve been basically uncommunicative, and haven’t updated TrackerBox in months.

The post is correct.

A few posts ago (6 months ago) I mentioned something about a book I was working on, and how it came to a stop. I never explained why. Six months ago, I thought I was getting back on track. It fell apart. About four months ago, I took TrackerBox off the market, and it is no longer for sale.

I’ve tried to sell TrackerBox to someone who could take care of it, and take care of all of you, but after I had a handshake deal with a guy, he ghosted me. This was in 2019, prior to the fun that was had in 2020 and beyond.

Why? Why did that book come to a screeching halt in 2019? Why did I try to sell of TrackerBox back then, and why am I still open to someone taking it off my hands, even now?

I’ve never said, never explained, and was hoping I’d never have to. I was hoping I could just pass it on, move on, and never have to answer questions about it ever again.

Obviously, things didn’t turn out that way.

So here’s as much of the story as I’m able to explain.

As of January, 2019, I had been out of work for nearly a year and a half. I had gone through phone interviews, never got called back. I’d been on in person interviews, and been told that my experience just doesn’t seem to fit. My income has primarily come from software development over the last 25 years, but I had worked on a lot of strange and weird systems that were no longer in vogue. I couldn’t get a job.

I decided to really try to push on the writing and just see if I could really push to generate an income from the books. And for a month, I was doing really well, making progress on the second book of the series, and looking forward to starting the third.

And then in February, my wife told me that she would leave me if I continued writing.

I’m not trying to throw her under the bus. She was stressed out, too, by my lack of work and wondering where our money was going to come from when it ran out. Looking back, I understand exactly where she was at in her mind and where she was coming from. It was not an easy time.

It’s now approaching three years from that event, and I’m still trying to put my brain back together from it. Needless to say, anything attached to writing, including visiting writing forums, visiting with my writer friends, working on writing software, and even just reading fiction became emotionally stressful and difficult, if not impossible to engage in.

It’s hard to explain how it feels, but for a long time, just the thought of anything related to writing invoked tightness across my shoulders, an unsettled feeling in my stomach, and a desire to just do anything else, even though writing was the thing I most wanted to do.

I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to keep up on TrackerBox, or on my “I’m writing again” announcements.

I have no announcements of future plans for anything, other than I hope something will happen with writing again in the near future. I’ve tried announcing stuff, in an effort to push me back in, but it hasn’t worked.

If someone knows someone who would like to take over TrackerBox, I’m more than happy to listen. I don’t really want much for it at all, other than a good home.

Oh, and six months after the event, I did find work, though not through any of my own efforts. An old client happened to call and ask if I could help him out. So much for job hunting.