It has been a while

I guess I’d gotten out of the habit of writing here. I’m not sure exactly why. Perhaps it was because new habits have been taking over, or perhaps it is because I’ve nothing to say that I think anyone else would care about. That being said I’d like to write an update of what has been up lately.

The biggest thing is that this last several months I’ve been working toward getting something to happen. Some of that is writing contests of the legit variety and some of it has been in things like spending a lot of time editing the stuff from last year. I still get up early to work, but I have been doing almost no new writing.

Part of that makes me sad, because I have so many story ideas I want to write, at the same time I fight the time battle all the time. I think I could work forty hours a week writing for the rest of my life and not run out of things to do with the writing side of it.

One of the things that makes the edit/submit/rejection/repeat cycle so daunting is the time it takes to get any sort of reply. Weeks to months just seems to move so slow. I want to figure out a way to be a full time writer, but there are the bills and the kids and the job and all the other things that make up real life, that the writing is the part that gets put to the back burner. I’m still trying to find the balance. And as I do I keep working. I have to keep working, though. That’s the thing. I can’t abandon it. I know that it is what I’m meant to do and I have to keep working at it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Something new

I’ve started something new. Jukepop is a serial story platform that allows stories to be posted a chapter at a time and allows feedback by readers. I wrote a murder mystery and have just put the first chapter of it up on their site. Now the real thing of it begins. I wait. I wait for comments, and to see if anyone actually looks at it. That is the part that will be interesting. Comments in real time by people reading it will be nice, and may even help improve the writing.

I think this will be a good learning experience. And, perhaps will help with the rest of my stuff that is already out there. That is it the trick. It all is a big web that works together. That is the theme of this year, promotion. So anything I can do to get name out and readers to actually read the stories is a good thing.

So if you have a chance go over to Jukepop and look me up.

JRH

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

It is FINISHED

I finished it this morning. I have, over the last year written 365000 words in 365 days.

This has been quite the adventure. And now that it is done, I feel relief. I had pondered a new goal of perhaps something more significant like half a million words or even a million, but that is not what I realize is needed for the next year.

All the words have to mean something. If they don’t mean something then what was the point. Part of making the mean something lies in editing and preparing those words to go out into the world.

Agents, publishers, submissions, rejections, perhaps self publication and marketing all are before me in the coming year. But this goal is done.

JRH

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The end is near

The time is almost gone to finish the words that have pulled me on all year. I’ve gotten down to the next to last day and am just a thousand words short of the total. I was hoping to be done by now, but the discipline of getting up early every morning, even when I don’t want to is good. It keeps me honest about what I really want. I really want to be a writer full time and leave the crazy world of pharmacy behind. But, to do that I have to write and edit and sell.

So this year was about the writing. I’m at just under 364 thousand words. I’ll be just over by the end of this post. That leaves me just a thousand words for tomorrow morning. The last of the year. The interesting thing is that this year I’ve been over ten thousand words ahead and also that far behind, but now it comes down to the last morning needing just that last thousand words.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about all of this at the end of the year when I started last January. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. At this point I’m mostly just glad that it is going to be over. I know that the next step awaits and I have plenty to do. I have editing aplenty and have a huge amount of submissions of querys to get ready. The work is not going to let up over the next year, but the work will be different.

I won’t be completely done writing. I have the book I’m working on now to finish. I want to finish the story, but I am only just coming up to the setup for the climax. So I’m guessing something in the 20k word range to finish it up. And I want to keep writing some every day, but nothing like the goal I’ve set for myself for this year. I think the thing that will be best is that there will be more balance over the next year.

The first thing in the new year is going to be figuring out how to track all of it. I need to find an efficient way to track the query process and the response. That is going to take some organization. I think the idea of tracking sheets is good, I just need to become more efficient on how I handle them and have a way to keep up with them. Perhaps just plain ledger sheets. perhaps something else, but keeping the organized by book I think is the best way. So much to do.

The editing is the thing that is going to take up most of the time over the next year. There are currently 3 screenplays and five novels that need attention. That is a lot of edits. And submissions will be right behind.

Look out world. 2016 will be the year I break out. I plan to be on the bestseller list by the end of the year.

JRH

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Uh-Oh

Well, crap.

I find myself just 4 days from the end of the year and have painted myself into a bit of a corner with the 365K words in 365 days. As of this morning I was over 3000 words behind. This is odd since going into Christmas eve I was still over 800 words ahead of the count. Then the holidays happened and I have been doing other things. And somehow the words don’t happen when those other things are happening. Time marches on and the words weren’t getting typed.

At the start of this post I am 1435 words behind. That isn’t too bad when taken as the total for a whole year, but when the deadline is looming it becomes a bit daunting. There are 4 days left, that means I have to write 1000 words each of those days plus another 350ish to get caught up. I sense it is going to be a fight to the finish to see if I can make it happen.

This year has taught me a great deal about perseverance and the value of hard work done a little at a time. The amount of writing has been staggering when taken as a whole, but each day, the task became easier. Now a thousand words is easy. It is the getting sat down, butt in seat to write that is the hard part. The other hard part is getting anything else with regards to books done in the same amount of time. I have so much editing to do. I have only gotten one book out and that was as independently through Amazon. There are several books and screenplays that need to be worked on and submitted. I need to work on finding an agent who will handle all of them. I need to work on that next year.

So the race is on to finish strong for the year. The total will be a great accomplishment, but it is just a start and not the destination. It is like painting the walls in a room. The furniture and pictures still have to be put into the room to make the painting mean anything other than just a color change. I need to get the words I’ve written, edited, and fixed to the point of publication and get them out there. I have a lot of work to do, but I believe I can make it happen.

Belief is a subject for another post. Perhaps that will be part of the new year as well.

JRH

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

So very close

So the 365000 words in 365 days is mostly complete. With this entry I’ll trip over 350000 words for the year and I have about 15 or 16 realistic days for writing left this year. So the possibility of hitting that goal are very much in sight. So what does that really mean and what does the new year bring?

I’ve been pondering this for a while and have decided to take a much different direction next year. At the end of this year I will have three screenplays, and about 6 unpublished novels that all need to find a home. The next year is going to be the year of editing, agent searching, and marketing. The goal for the next year is to get as much of what I’ve written ready for the market and get it sold. Sitting on the things I’ve written as first drafts is not pushing me toward the final goal of writing full time.

The fact I have just so much time to spend requires the making of choices in order to reach any goal. This past year has been spent writing and pushing toward the word goal. That goal is nearly done. Next year brings the excitement of releasing the things I’ve done to the world and opening myself up for criticism. It is frightening and exciting all at once. In an ideal world I’d do nothing but write and then hand the first draft over to someone to finish and market. But, reality doesn’t work that way. I’ve enjoyed this year of writing with abandon, but now the hard work begins. It is this that will make the difference in whether my writing is a hobby or a career.

JRH

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Homestretch

So November was somewhat of a bust. I put together 50K words for NanoWriMo, but it was nothing good. It seemed more of a task than a goal. There was not the same excitement as I’ve felt in the past. I’m not sure exactly why. I think part of it is that I have been goal oriented for the entire year. Now looking into December I’m just ready to be done with the 365K in 365 days challenge I’d set for the first of the year.

The goal itself has been useful and I have written a lot. I have gotten up early on a lot of mornings when I didn’t want to, because I knew that my word count was lagging. I think my writing has improved through the daily discipline of just writing every day with a goal in mind. I’m glad I took up this challenge, but at the same time I’m ready for it to be done.

The biggest reason is time. It is not so much the sense that the writing takes so much time, but more that there are so many other things that I need to do surrounding the writing that taking the 45 minutes out of every morning keeps me from doing other things that need doing. There are currently only 3 of my books that are available for purchase. At last count there are at least 6 more books and 3 screenplays that need attention and need to get to market. I have so much to do on the sales and marketing and editing sides of things that have been put on the back burner that there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. And I’m to the point that I want to get more on the market to get better exposure and increase the chance of one of the stories catching fire.

It seems to be a numbers game that I’ve been playing. I play the game and have won this round of writing 1000 words a day every day. I’m at just over 335K words before this post. I’ve got 31 days for the month of December to finish out. That is not a problem. I just need to keep pushing and keep writing.

So what does that mean for next year? I’ve been thinking about this a lot these last couple weeks and I’ve decided that I have to devote the time to the stories I’ve already written. I think the goal for the next year will be to get a couple of the stories ready for market and work the query system and try to get an agent who will help with the sales and exposure part of this game.

I’ve got enough stories now to keep me busy for the next year. I’ve also got the physics things that have been rattling around in my head that I need to spend some time examining. I also have a non-fiction book idea for which I want to put together a proposal. I think for the next year the goal will be to take the things I’ve been sitting on and get them out to the world. Writing is nothing if it is not read.

Of course, there is still the rest of this year to get through. I’m almost there. The stage is set for the completion of the year long process. I think I’ll be a little sad when it is over. I think I’ve done some of my best writing this year and have discovered through the medium of screenplay writing the ability to play with a story idea in a much tighter and faster pace, which I think will make for more efficient story telling for me in the future. I just need to figure out what to do with those scripts and whether I should try and market them as they are or if I need to expand these stories into novel form. The question is something I think I’ll explore in the coming year as well. I’m looking forward to working on the craft from a different angle, and maybe will get a book to catch fire.

I keep telling myself that will happen. I believe that one of my stories will go viral, or at least get the attention of a subset of people that will make it so writing can become my final career. That is the dream, but I think that it is possible. I know there are many writers out there who have the same dream. What do I think makes me different? I’ve asked myself that question time and time again, and the best answer I can come up with is that I don’t know if I’m any different, but I do know that I won’t stop writing, even if I never do have a story become a best seller. I don’t write for that at the base level. I write because I enjoy writing. I enjoy having the stories that I see in my head get put down on paper and become something concrete. I think other people will like the stories and I want to share them. That’s the real reason I write. I absolutely would love being able to write full time. But, if that doesn’t happen I won’t stop writing. I’ve set no hard deadlines on it. I’ll continue writing, because I love the writing. I don’t have to write to make ends meet. But, I’d love the chance to make a living at it.

That seems quite the circular argument. It is a bit rambling. Sorry about that. Writing has become a part of me, or maybe I’ve become part of my writing. That is a philosophical problem I’m not ready to tackle. I do know that I am better at it now that I was at the beginning of the year. I have learned a discipline of getting up early and working at it every day, even when I don’t want to. There have been days I have not wanted to even face the computer. But, those days have become fewer and the 1000 words comes much easier now than it did last January. If for nothing else that is a blessing.  I’ve gotten to the pace where this 1100 words has taken less than 35 minutes. My pace has improved and for that alone this year has been a success. I hope next year is as much of one.

JRH.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized