Friday, January 29, 2010

Losing Ground

Well, it looks like forcing consistency is a little tougher than anticipated. My goal to write 1,000 words a day is not terribly lofty, but without some serious effort, I will have fallen short this month. I am not terribly behind, about a full week’s worth of words, but that should make for an interesting few days this weekend.

As a whole, not every project has fallen behind. My goal to journal at least two pages per day is on track, and several projects that I had needed to work on have come together. This blog is evidence of that, as well as the bio I am sending to publishers. I have also worked out a better system for tracking submissions, and am building on an all encompassing spreadsheet to track my writing goals. If anyone wants to help me with that, feel free. I am not the excel wizard I used to be.

Most of these shortcomings I would attribute to just being busy. School started, I have spent a fair amount of time traveling, and even just editing short stories has slowed down my word count.

As far as Human Echoes is concerned, I am facing an odd problem. I can’t seem to finish it. This isn’t caused by not knowing the details of its ending, but more in being terribly attached to the book. I look back over the characters, the heartache, and all the details I have slowly pounded out over the months, and it becomes harder to put those final chapters on paper. It reminds me of trying to finish The Dark Tower series. I powered through thousands of pages, and yet book seven started to slow down, almost to a complete halt. I finished it, but only because that journey had to come to an end someday. On a day not far from now, that will happen with my own story.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We Live in a Coddled Society

People are too sensitive

It seems every few days, I read about another editorial where someone is complaining about the most mundane of circumstances. A race in their neighborhood disrupted their morning, their kid didn’t get to play in a tee ball game, and we shouldn’t keep score in sports, video games destroying our culture. A mini crisis when a truck parks the wrong direction in a cul de sac. It goes on and on.

If there is a problem here, it is in the fact that we now live in a coddled society. The inability to cope with minor infractions of daily life is an indication of a weak person. Try breaking the average routine sometime; avoid getting so comfortable that anything out of the ordinary is a cause for stress. Focus on what actually matters in your life, not the minor and dismissible inconveniences.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where to Begin

As an aspiring writer, I am faced with a strange problem; I have no idea where to start. Back in high school I read On Writing by Stephen King, and it gave a few ideas, but this is a very strange career path. In almost every other avenue of work, other than the creative fields, you have a clear pathway to success. Writing on the other hand, just seems like a trial and error business, where you just try to get enough stories in print that someone might recognize your name.

My reasons for wanting to be a writer are numerous, and the biggest is of course because I like to write. I could see myself doing it for the rest of my life, crafting a syndicate of lies into believable and entertaining stories.

Maybe it sounds a little odd, but I also want to be a part of that ultra selective club. The type that can say they contributed art to the world in the form of prose. I want to be able to say that I added to the shelves of book stores around the world and that I contributed something fresh and exciting to the literary collective.

Perhaps my goals are lofty, and I shouldn’t lose sight of where I am at now, but I have to start somewhere. This blog, the short story publications, my eventual book, it all is just a beginning for what I hope will be an illustrious and long career; one where my imagination is allowed to be free and not slowly choked out by the office lifestyle.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back to School, Back to Work

The haze from my wisdom teeth experience is now lifting, and it is time to get back to business. For the first time in a year, I will be attending classes, which is great. I will be balancing that while working less hours and finding a way to make my budget work. Thankfully, I have a fairly hefty tax return coming in for a little bit of back up.

I have only submitted a few stories so far, and am realizing that writing requires a near impossible amount of patience. When I write, I need to be careful not to rush my stories, and be patient in their development. Editing and rewriting take their toll as well, but for me, waiting is the hardest part. Publishers seem to be content to let a story sit for weeks without so much as a confirmation that they will look at it. Maybe I am just being needy.

Not all publishers are like this. I have recently submitted a story to The Harrow Press, and they have communicated every step of the way. They sent a confirmation email about an hour after my submittal, and when I had a small question, they got back to me in fifteen minutes. I am very impressed, and pleased to work with them. Now, I just hope they accept it.

For the month of January, I have written nearly 12,500 words, which means I am 5,500 behind. While that is doable, I would like to keep my writing a little closer to my goals. I will work to catch up within the next three or four days.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Under the Knife

In less than 24 hours, I will be having my wisdom teeth removed. I am not entirely sure what to expect, since I have only ever had one cavity filled. The prospect of having useless teeth ripped from my jaw is a little unnerving, but I have been assured that many drugs will be in the waiting room, happy to lead me home. At least I have a valid excuse to stay in and watch football, you know, other than being male.

I will still try to keep with my writing goals, but I am almost afraid to work on my book. I can imagine when I start editing it eventually coming across a long and jumbled mess of pain killer induced rabble. While it might be entertaining in a holy-crap-I-wrote-this-garbage way, it will inevitably lead to a significant rewrite. Maybe it will work out for the better, but Hunter S. Thompson I am not.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Year So Far

As with most people, I have made New Year's resolutions. I Simply look at these as commitments to having a better year, leading to a better life. With the success of November still on my mind, I decided that I wanted to take it a step further and write year round. My basic goal is 1,000 words per day for the entire year.

The thought of having a minimum of 365,000 words at my disposal is intoxicating. In length terms, it is the equivalent of seven short novels. It will be a mix of short stories, and hopefully at least one or two new novels.

Thus far, two weeks in, I have written a little over 10,000 words. I am moderately behind, but I am hoping posts like this will drive me to keep moving forward.

Along with this, there are a few rules that I am keeping with. I can write more than 1,000 words a day, but it does not count off of my yearly total. Any extra words are just bonus. If I can get caught up over the next few days, this would trend out to nearly 400,000 words for the year.

I realize not all of it will be publishable, but it seems that any action where I am writing creativly will help hone my craft.


Greetings everyone, and welcome to my blog. I intend to use this as a supplement to my writing, and a place of reflection. Along with this, I am also going to use it to announce publications, progress on stories, and most likely, some general queries about life.

Just a little bit about me real quick. I am a student, an apprentice writer, computer tech, wordslinger, plumber, carry on Wikipedia, and much more. While I used to write a lot in high school, I only recently got back into it after successfully competing in NaNoWriMo. That book is nearing completion, and so are many other small projects. Usually you will find me in the Colorado foothills, using my basset hound as a foot warmer, and plugging away various types and genres of fiction.

If you want to know more, simply ask.

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