A Summary of my summer so far

It’s been a while since I just sat down and wrote something.  I always get a little discombobulated during the summer, figuring out new routines while the kids are out of school, doing job searches and overhauling our finances.

As far as writing news, How Ninja Brush Their Teeth is now free everywhere.  Downloads of the free book have been meager but steady, resulting in a few downloads of the second story in that series: Rock Pirate Ninja.

I’ve been debating whether to write a third installment or move on to another project.  I have a napkin scratch idea of a plot for a third book – most likely a full length novel and would love to explore more of these characters I’ve grown to love – namely Chuck and T.B’s back stories and sub-plots.  I have a lot of background for them that never made it into the first two books.  I thought it would be interesting to explore the martial art Kajukenbo, the style that Chuck and the gang are students of.    Originally, the Rogue Ninja Series was meant to explore the dynamic personalities of three martial arts and how they played off each other.  Ninjitsu (Tetsuo), Systema (Vasha) and Kajukenbo (Chuck).  

So, what’s holding me back?  Money. The money I make from selling the books isn’t enough to cover a cup of coffee once a month let alone the editing and cover costs for a full length novel.  Not to mention the time, blood, sweat and tears that go into making a book readable.

What changes my mind?  Readers.  Even readers of the free stuff.  The thrill of knowing someone read something I wrote and liked it is a thrill hard to match. I know the likelihood of making any kind of profit from this series is virtually nil – I just wish I could make enough to cover production costs.

It’s frustrating!  I wish I was better at marketing!  I swear, if a young person ever comes up to me and asks what classes I should take to become a better writer I would tell them to take a class in sales and marketing and go to the library for the rest. Ha!

Anyway, that’s what’s happening these days.  If I sound discouraged with writing, it’s because I am.  It happens.  And it usually goes away in a couple of days, or if I’m in a hurry – after a couple of drinks.  :P

Cheers!

~R.

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Just…Keep…Writing!

Okay, a week has gone by so I thought I’d put out a little update on how things are going.

Day 8Didn’t start writing until around 1pm but managed to put down 980 in an hour of writing time.  Quit around 2pm to run errands, added a few paragraphs before dinner but didn’t get back on until the kids went to bed.  Wrote another 1,100.

Totals for the day are: 2,080.

Day 9Not much writing done today.  Sat down for a few minutes after lunch and got in 250 words.  Kids are in bed now but I don’t feel like writing at all.  I’ll deploy the egg timer technique and see how far it gets me.

Total for the day: 804

Not a good day.  I’ll have to make up for it tomorrow.

Day 10 - Some days, my words are uninspired duds.  Like today.  I wrote a few hundred this morning and hopped back on around 1pm and read through what I wrote in the morning.  It was all terrible and I had to scrap it and start over.  I was able to clean it up a bit, but now I’m actually a little negative.  haha!  

Now that the newness of my novel is wearing off, some days it’s just going to feel like work and it’s just something I have to push through.  And if you are able to push through, you gain just a little more tenacity, and a bit more stamina that will serve you well on the days to come.  On the hard days like today, I learn more about being a writer then on the easy days.

Well, going to go at it again for 30 minutes and we’ll see what happens. 

Wrote after the kids went to bed.  Got in another 900 bringing today’s totals to: 1,550

Not reaching my daily word count goals, but considering how uninspired I felt earlier, It feels like an accomplishment, never the less.

Day 11Nothing.  Busy day. Also the weekend where I planned to not write as much.

Day 12Mother’s Day.  Hung out with family then visited my mom – so no new words.

Day 13I have no idea where this day went. 0 new words. No excuses – just being a total slacker…(bad writer!)

Day 14Totally lost momentum and came to a halt as far as plot.  Employed the ‘Notebook technique and wrote out scenes by hand for the next couple of chapters.  Sometimes the only way to get through writers block is by writing my way out by hand.  Anyway, obstruction has been loosed.  Wrote 600+.  Ugh. Still way behind!

Day 15Suck it up, Buttercup!

Haven’t done writing all day.  It’s now 4:30 and I’ve got some (unexpected errands to run for my son’s project for school)  Writing will have to wait until kids go to bed.  Good news is I’ve gotten past my plot problems and know where I’m headed for the next couple of writing sessions.

10:pm and I’m calling it a night.  Only added 640+ words.

Grand total: 16,100  (I’m about 10,00 words behind at this point, but still moving forward one word at a time.)  

So, obviously, this last week was pretty bad as far as word count goals go, but these things happen.  Either I get sick, kids get sick, or there’s unexpected life ‘things’ that happen or other responsibilities take over.  I can either beat myself up for not keeping pace or I can just pick myself up and keep going – even if it’s only a crawl.  The important thing is to keep moving.  That’s the only way I know how to finish a book –  just keep writing!

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How I write: Day seven

This will be the last of my daily updates on this journal.  I’ll now be moving to updates every few days or maybe even weekly.  This is because it’s going to get really repetitive, really fast.  I know I would get bored reading about someone making a pot a coffee and tinkering around on a keyboard seven days a week!  If something exciting happens, I’ll let you know.  But for now, I think you get the gist.

Alright, that said, here’s how day seven went.

9:35 am - Dropped son off at school (daughter is sick today), made a pot of coffee, read a little from my daily devotional and now sitting down to write.

10:05 amWrote 400 words.  Taking a break to make some breakfast and pick up the kitchen.

12:20 pmGot some chores done,  made lunch for my daughter goofed off too long on the internet. Now time to write.

1:50 pm -wrote 369 more.  Story is coming along fine.  Just my back hates my office chair and I need to move around. Time to fold laundry.

2:30 pmGot some laundry folded, hung out with hubby a little bit and then got really distracted by the internet.  (the internet has got to be the biggest challenge for me to overcome as a writer.  Haha.)  Writing now…

3:30 pmOnly 350 new words.  I had to go back into the manuscript and change a few things to fit a new idea.  Then did a little on the fly google research and had to help my daughter with a few things, a call from school about my son – thank god it wasn’t anything bad! A call from the school get my blood pressure up every time! (haha)

9:00 – 10:50 pmAfter picking up son from school, I went shopping.  Got home, made dinner, hung out with family, and finally started writing again after kids went to bed.  Wrote  623 more words.  

So, today’s totals are: 1,838 which meets my daily goals.  But, I’m feeling like I have some more words in me and might give it another 15 minutes, but I’ll be done journaling for the day.

Overall total: 10,040  

I’ve got some catching up to do, but there’s still three weeks to go.

I hope some of this has been inspiring to some of you.  It has been a fun experiment and probably more of a benefit for me than for anyone else.  As I mentioned above, I’ll keep updating but just not as often.  Thanks for reading!

Cheers!

~R

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How I write: Day number six

A few notes about today:

Today wasn’t the greatest as far as how I felt.  I dealt with a lot of fatigue issues which was frustrating for me and my family, but life happens and learning how to write in the midst of it is one of the reasons why I started this journal and why I’m being open about a lot of things I usually don’t like to share on a public blog. (haha!)

Also, writing is a funny thing.  For most of us who do it, we spend a lot of time on it with no guarantee of ever making a dime.  I know I haven’t turned a profit yet and I’ve been doing this (indie publishing) for over a year. So you can imagine how a spouse must feel when we are cloistered away writing and there is nothing to show for it.  As much as I want to be able to complete a book this month, it’s not as important as time spent with my family.  If I find myself getting crabby with my spouse or kids because I’m not meeting some word count, it’s simply time for me to stop, take a deep breath and remember what’s really important in life.  Now, if I was getting paid and this was my job, that would be a totally different story and there would be different boundaries set up for my writing time/ job.  But until that happens, remaining super flexible is key to me and my family’s well-being.

Okay, that said, here’s what happened today:

11: 05 amVery late start today.  After dropping the kids off school I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I had a full nights sleep but woke up feeling beat up, sore and stiff.  (Husband thinks I might have sleep apnea, which would be a nice addition to thyroid issues.  Except, it’s not.). So, laid down on the couch and didn’t wake up until 11.  Trying not to get super frustrated or down on myself about it, but I am anyway.  Wrote 220 words.  blech.  Leaving to pick up daughter.

12:05Back home.  Feeling much better about life now.  As much as I hate having wasted the whole morning falling asleep on the couch – I feel great now.  Also, I remembered that I used to feel as crappy as I did this morning every day until I went to the doctor and modified my diet.  Now, it’s just down to a couple of days a month.  So, I’m going to be happy about that and move on.  Going to write until 12:30 then run some errands.

12:30Only got in 100 words.   Daughter needed more hugs than usual. (maybe I did too. haha)  Time to run errands.  When I get back, I’ll be hitting the keyboard hard.  I need to try to reach my word count by 4 pm because husband and I have planned yard work this evening.

2:30Back from errands.  Time to get serious.

3:30Wrote 638.  Was hoping for at least 1,000, but oh, well.  Going to take a small break and head out to pick up son from bus stop.

4:40Came home and wrote 300 more.  It’s getting pretty hot inside the house and now me and hubby are going to pull some weeds for a little bit.  

6:30 pmDinner.  Hubby and I work out a little conflict, both of us are frustrated with my fatigue issues, writing and balancing time with family. ( Message received, hon!)

9:10: pm  After dinner, struggled with keeping my eyes open –  again!  Hubby took the daughter to the store while son stayed home with me.  I laid down for about twenty minutes while he played a video game.  I didn’t sleep, but just laying there seemed to give me a second wind.  I ended up writing some more and put down 700 words.

Also, hubby and daughter surprised me with flowers, planted them in our big planters for an early Mother’s Day gift!  Awwwww!  Son helped plant them, too!  Can’t forget his contribution.

So, totals so far for the day are 1,658.

See you tomorrow!

Cheers!

~R

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How I write: Day four and five

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t really plan heavy writing on the weekend.  I’ll usually just see how the day plays out and if I have extra time here and there, I’ll add a few words.  So, the numbers aren’t spectacular, but it’s a planned slacking off.  :)

Sat. – Went to the dog park, did a little shopping, took daughter out to ride her bike. Battled major fatigue all day despite the beautiful weather we’re having in Seattle.  I have a hypothyroid and neglected to refill my prescription for two weeks because I was feeling good without it.  (that was a silly thing to do!) Probably why I’m feeling so crappy despite eating healthy, (for the most part)  and getting plenty of sleep.  Definitely will be going to the pharmacy first thing Monday morning.

 Also, plans fell through for a dinner date with friends, but the way I was feeling it was probably a good thing.  We rescheduled for next weekend and we’re looking forward to it!  I did manage to write briefly and got in 300 words. Not much but it’s still going forward and that’s what matters the most when I’m in the middle of a project.  Once I stop, it’s hard mentally to get back into it.

So, Sat. totals – 300 words.

Sunday

  • 3:50 pmAfter church, lunch, hanging out with family and a really short nap, the kids went to a birthday party and now the house is nice and quiet.  Sat down to write for 20 min and got 300 words in.  Now for a light pick-up around the house, some errands and then heading over to the birthday party to hang out and pick up kids.
  • 6:30 pmGot back from the birthday party and immediately plopped down in front of the computer and almost unconsciously went on the internet and haven’t written anything.  (haha)
  • 6:45 pm – I don’t feel like writing anything right now so I’m going to deploy the egg timer technique.  Here’s how it works.  Get a timer, set it for 15 minutes, write.  When the timer goes off you can either stop or hopefully you given yourself some momentum and you keep going for as long as you can.
  • 7:15 pmOnly managed 220 words, but a little bit of researched popped up and the kids needed me a few times.  One word at a time, folks. :)
  • 8:15 pmPlayed with the dog and sat outside a bit and came back to writing at 8:00pm.  I wrote for ten minutes and got in another 200.  I have a bit of research to do before I write more.  I’ll be putting the kids to bed, and after that I’ll finish the night with research.  

So, totals for the weekend are are 1,200.  

Pretty low, but great for me during the weekend.  Back to the 1,800 daily word count tomorrow.  See you then!

Cheers!

~R

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A great post by super prolific Indie author, Elle Casey

I was checking out one of my favorite indie author forums, Writer’s Cafe on the KB boards when I came upon a post put up by Indie author Elle Casey.  Elle Casey, for those who don’t know, has started writing 15 months ago and has written 18 books since. EIGHTEEN BOOKS! IN FIFTEEN MONTHS! Her average is a book or more a month!

She explains how she does it here.  She is a powerhouse, some say a freak, and yet for most professional writers (those who make their living writing novels) this is what they do.  You may not know that some of your favorite authors have multiple pen names in different genres – but a lot of them do.

For first time authors, just starting out – this is extremely rare.  Most of us start out thinking it takes years to write a good book.  But Elle and other prolific authors are shattering those myths.

I’ll never produce the numbers she does, but just knowing it can be done, and done well and consistently gives me something to aspire to.  She’s my inspiration!

Also, check out her books.  She writes YA and she’s good, too!

Cheers!

~R

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How I write: Day number 3

8:00 – 9:50 - Woke up late! Scrambled around getting kids ready, came home made coffee, visited with husband, goofed off and haven’t wrote a thing.  Having a really slow start this morning.  House is a disaster! Friends coming over tomorrow! Wondering how far I can push the ‘hey, I’m just going to be genuine and real and this is my house in it’s normal state’ card with my friend.  haha!  Now to decide whether to write or do dishes….hmm. Coffee is kicking in finally. Write it is!

10:50Wrote 706 words, a good start for me.  Now for a refill of coffee, and a little internet break before I pick up daughter from school. 

2:30 - After picking up daughter and lunch I went straight to cleaning.  Still got more things to do.  No new writing.  Back to chores!

5:20Still no new writing.  Making dinner now.  I suspect I wont be able to write until kids bedtime.  :)

6:20Got really tired after dinner and thought about taking a 20 min nap.  Took a hot shower instead and feel refreshed – also back and hip pain calmed down.  Kids are out shooting bb-gun with hubby.  Time to write for a few minutes.

6:50Wrote 200.  Got stuck doing google research (women’s field hockey of all things, haha) Will try more later.

7:50 – 8:10 –  Added another 300.  Total for the day is at 1,135.  Will try again after kids go to bed.

9:45Calling it a night.  No new words, I’m just too tired.

So total for the day is 1,135.  Good for me but didn’t meet my daily goal.  But that’s okay!  Today was really busy and I still managed a little over 1,000.  I’ll be taking a break from writing tomorrow and for most of Sunday.  But depending on how I feel Sunday night, I’ll try and add a few words.

Total word count overall is: 5,171

Cheers!

~R

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