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Posts by Kevin
Most of today was spent dealing with personal stuff. playing/working with the kids, or housecleaning.
Did get in a little writing in the afternoon, which is great. Then made dinner, and ended up in some long conversations with Susan after the kids were in bed, during a time frame I’d planned to get more writing done. So, less done than I’d really intended. But still good progress overall.
Totals for Day 19
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 2900 words Month to date fiction: 9100 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 91 words Month to date blog posts: 2378 words
No, really. I mean, one of those weeks you sort of wish could just be eradicated from memory, if not from the space-time continuum.
Despite the fact that I’m still not really feeling up to doing any writing, I made myself sit down and get some work done today. I had the day off – if you call escorting someone to the hospital for some tests, then shopping with the kids, then picking someone back up again “off” – so I was really out of excuses.
Also off this weekend, so I am hoping to get more done.
But it’s HARD, right now. Hard to sit down and put the mental energy into writing. So I’m pretty satisfied with the amount of work done. In the long run, succeeding at my writing is probably my best chance to solve at least some of the issues I’ve been faced with. So being stuck in a pattern of not getting anything done is simply not going to do.
Wrote 3k words today. Re-read the old opening I had written to “Dead in Winter”, the third Blackwell novel. It was about 5k words, written right after “By Darkness Revealed”. And there were a couple of noteworthy things:
- I hadn’t planned on writing “Ashes Ascendant” when I wrote it, so there is a lot of filler there that Ashes already dealt with.
- The writing was terrible. No – I mean REALLY BAD. Wow. Nice to know I’ve gotten better, anyway!
I read it over, absorbed where I was going with the material… And then I scrapped all of it, and started fresh. The newer text is much, much better.
More to come soon!
Totals for Day 18
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 3000 words Month to date fiction: 6200 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 304 words Month to date blog posts: 2287 words
Long day at work, lot going on, extra long work shift and no real break for lunch (sat down for ten minutes to wolf down a sandwich, but no writing time).
Got home, got a quick rundown on the day from Susan, and took a longish nap. I was pretty wiped out. She went out with a friend later, and I took care of the kids through the evening, but really didn’t have the energy for any writing.
Managed to get fired up enough to get 500 words in later on, after the kids were in bed, which is about all I have time for tonight – have to be up in less than six hours again, at this point. And I have a dental appointment tomorrow, so I’ll be home even later than usual. On the plus side, Friday is a day off – so I get to sleep in, catch up on rest, and maybe do a little catch-up on word count, too.
See you then.
Totals for Day 9
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 500 words Month to date fiction: 3200 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 197 words Month to date blog posts: 1983 words
Not a super eventful day today. Regular work day, didn’t have the energy to write during lunch. Happens… Sometimes the mental breathing space is more important than getting down a couple hundred words. Today was one of those days.
Got home really tired… Think I stayed up too late last night – and of course here it is after midnight again. I need to start getting on the writing earlier, so that I can get to bed earlier. Today, I came home, had a chat with Susan about her day, then took a nap until dinner (which wasn’t until fairly late). Finished eating and chatted with my wife some more, then went upstairs and spent a while just surfing the web a bit and running through my overabundance of email. After the kids were in bed, played a card game with Susan, then got to some writing after.
I put in a thousand words. Still going a little slow; want to see if I can pick up the pace some. A thousand words a day isn’t going to get me to 60k by the end of the month! Have to pick things up a little bit.
But that’s three days in a row with some writing done, so I’m getting back on track; that’s the important thing.
Totals for Day 7
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 1000 words Month to date fiction: 2700 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 239 words Month to date blog posts: 1786 words
I’m working with a new workflow, and it seems to be going well so far. At work – or anywhere else I am “on the go” – I am using an iPad app called Textilus. Textilus plays nicely with Dropbox, and also saves/reads RTF files – crucial, since that format retains cool stuff like bolds, italics, and other formatting. Using Textilus on the iPad means I can save my work there, upload to Dropbox, and then open it on my desktop PC at home, and just edit the RTF in Libre Office. This is a really good combination for me, since I vastly prefer using Libre Office to Google Docs… When I was doing the Chromebook traveling thing, I had to synch via Google Drive (not hard) and pretty much needed to use Google Docs on the desktop PC as well – annoying since resizing the text on my PC to be visible on my nice, big monitor created a graphical glitch in the cursor that was annoying.
I dealt with it, but the new system is pretty nice. Not saying I won’t ever use the Chromebook again, but typing on the iPad’s glass keyboard or my Logitech keyboard makes for a good writing experience, and being able to seamlessly integrate my work on that device with my desktop is awesome.
So, after getting home, I…basically played with the kids, and helped with homeschooling some. Susan went out for dinner with a friend, and I didn’t have time or energy for much writing early on. But after we got the kids to bed, I hit the story again. It’s been a slow writing night. I kept bouncing off task to go do something else. Anything else. Surf forums, look at boats online, all sorts of stuff.
And after a couple of hours, I had managed another thousand words. Not huge. But not bad, and better than last night. I expect tomorrow will be better again.
Totals for Day 7
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 1200 words Month to date fiction: 1700 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 372 words Month to date blog posts: 1547 words
So it’s been a rough week. Was planning a few days off, ended up taking nine instead. Between a job that is eating up WAY more of my energy than I’d like to some assorted Bad Stuff happening outside of work, I’ve been tumbling for a bit now. The good news is, I tend to find my feet pretty rapidly. And I think I am back on the right track again now.
Spent most of yesterday trying to write, and not being able to get the energy together to do so. But I wanted to – that’s a good sign. A little bit like when you’re ill, and not hungry. Those first hunger pangs are a sign that your body is about well again. That was a bit like my Saturday. And I went to see “Gravity” in the theater – which was *awesome* and I strongly recommend it. Go see it in 3D, well worth the extra couple of dollars for the 3D on this one. Very intense film; be prepared.
So today, more of the same. Read a book. Surfed some forums. Would really like to buy a sailboat and head south for the winter, but not going to happen – which didn’t stop me spending far too many hours window shopping for them anyway. Spent some time with the kids, which is always good.
Finally, around 10pm, I realized if I was going to write ANYTHING today, it needed to be now. So I sat down and wrote the summary for last month.
Then I got cracking, and put 500 words into a story.
That’s not a lot. But it’s something – it’s opening the door back up. I’ll get more done tomorrow, and more the day after that, and more the next day. And they’ll add up again, and this will be a good writing month.
Off to bed now, but first, a quick note:
The Tao of Dory
Dory is that cute blue fish from the movie “Finding Nemo”. I’ll avoid spoilers, on the off-chance someone reading this hasn’t seen it yet. But you should have.
At one point in the film, Dory talks about what you ought to do when bad things happen. She says:
“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”
It’s a good metaphor for life, folks.
Because bad things ARE going to happen. Unpleasant things. Painful things. We all get hurt. We fall down. We fail. We crash. We get depressed, or injured, or sick. Even broken.
And NONE of those things can stop us if we follow the Tao of Dory: and just keep swimming.
Sure, they might slow us down a little. I lost nine days, just now. I’m not going to get that writing time back, not ever. But I am writing again now. I got back up. Got my fingers back on the keys. And I’m pushing forward again.
Just keep swimming.
It is the simplest thing in the world, and one of the hardest to do. Getting back up after we fail or fall is never simple, never easy, but always essential if we want to reach our goals. My feeling is that most of the folks who succeed at anything are not the ones who never failed – they’re the ones who kept trying through failure after failure.
I stumbled, last week.
We all do, sometimes.
And then we get back up. We shake off some of the dust. We rise, even if we’re still hurting. We take a step forward again.
And just keep swimming.
Totals for Day 6
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 500 words Month to date fiction: 500 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 1175 words Month to date blog posts: 1175 words
A little belated, but life happens. And it did this past week, to a significant level. I hadn’t written any new fiction since the 26th, which makes it…nine days? A long time. But I’m starting to get back in motion again, now. To make a long story short, I tend to do better dealing with depressing events when I am able to take action – to move ahead in some way. Turning my writing into a successful income will fix an awful lot of the problems I’ve been facing, so that means any time I can commit to writing IS in fact taking direct forward action.
So I’m working to move ahead on the writing. And I’ll be doing another month of the “Writing in Public, Too” series, if one which is off to a belated start.
So what happened in September?
- I wrote just under 35,000 words of new fiction.
- I wrote about 15,000 words of blog posts.
In all, it was about a NaNoWriMo worth of writing. Not quite the 60k I’d been hoping for, but then I missed the last four days of the month. I’d really been planning to work hard to make those last three days productive ones. Still, nothing to sneeze at, writing 34,650 words of new fiction. I have Starship about ready to, er, ship. I’ve started on Episode 6. I finished writing “Ashes Ascendant”, and it’s off to edits now, so folks who’ve been waiting for the next Ryan Blackwell stories will have something new to read before the end of the year.
I found the accountability useful. It was nice to hear from people, from time to time – here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. That really helped, by reminding me that YES, some folks were reading this. I even had a few people tell me that my blogging about the process helped inspire them to get back to writing. That’s an awesome thing.
My focus on writing has borne other fruit, too. Daughter D (age 7) – who a month ago said she hated writing – has begun writing her first book. And she LIKES writing, now. At some point this month, I need to write the next bit of my Skylark homage for her, and have her read it. I have the next bit plotted out… Will be fun to make that story into something in the mid-grade/YA range.
One thing which will be changing this month or next… I have some pen name stuff I will be writing, coming up. So there will be some wordcount this time that’s not associated with a Kevin McLaughlin story. You’ll have to take my word for the wordcount. I promise I won’t fib on it! This particular piece is going to be obligate pen-name work, however, so I can talk about how the story is going and developing, but not specifics about it.
Sorry! I promise to get either some Starship or some Blackwell in there, too.
The month is already six days gone… Twenty five remain. I’m going to try to hold to the 60k again, and see if I can actually get there this time. I’m starting off behind, but I also have a month of writing habit behind me (if a little broken by the pause).
OK. This stuff isn’t going to write itself. Time to get to work.
Thanks for coming along on the trip!
Month One Totals:
Month One Fiction: 34650 words
Month One Blog Posts: 14834 words
Total Month One Words: 49,484
Tomorrow is a day off work though, hoping to get some good numbers in. Will see.
Just leaving a quick note today, with a link to a good article. Sometimes, life does explodey things. Kris and Dean call these “life rolls”. Best advice is usually to stop, breathe, acknowledge them, and then prepare to step forward again.
It was not a writing day today. Will try for one tomorrow, but no guarantees.
Here’s the article. A good one.
So today was a fun day. Out and about in Boston; dinner out; sailing cruise in Boston harbor. Got some nice pre-planning done for one upcoming fiction. And mostly just relaxed.
More tomorrow. Night all – a good day.