Video Games and Distractions and Time off.

As a creative and an author who has written for 349 days in a row, the hardest thing to do each day is to put the distractions aside and get started.

As long as I have some type of plan of what I need to write that day, starting those first few words is the hardest thing to do each day.

My biggest distraction is the pile of video games I have in my Steam account. Some creatives can play video games and have the unique ability to be able to turn them off.

I am not that type of creative. Once I turn on a game, there is always one more level, one more turn or one more thing to do. The next thing I know, it is hours later, and I have yet to get a word.

Other distractions for me are Youtube and school work. The latter being something unavoidable, while the former being something I use for noise. Usually music.

Why am I talking about this?

Cause it is vital to recognize what is causing the distractions and losing one’s focus. Know the problem is the first step from solving it.

But solving the distractions is not a topic for this post.

What is the topic is that sometimes distractions are essential for mental health. Having written for almost a full year in a row and suffering through one burn out, it is crucial to recognize the signs when a break is required.

As stated in my previous blogs, my breaks are writing the minimum daily requirement. This keeps my daily writing goal going, allows me to make my word count goals.

It also allows me to keep sane. If you can call this sanity.

The task of recognizing the days to take the break and the days to put on one’s boots. Finding the balance is hard and takes self-reflection. Knowing yourself is essential in getting things done.

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How to keep going when you don’t want to?

All this week, I have been down with what had started as a cold and now is bronchitis. It sucks.

But. I don’t get sick days. I have to produce every single day, or I won’t get things finished. There’s no one else to do this work for me. There is only me.

How to do it? How to keep going?

Motivation doesn’t do it. If I was only motivated, this post wouldn’t be getting written. I would go back to bed and not worry about it.

Motivation only lasts so long and will fold when confronted with real obstruction. Motivation is like eating pasta; it only lasts so long.

Discipline

Discipline will carry you forward through the hard times when the only option motivation tells you is that it’s okay to take a day off.

Discipline is like eating a hearty, filling meal with meat, vegetables and carbs. It is where someone feels full hours later and doesn’t want seconds or thirds.

Being Sick. Or what to do when you don’t feel like it.

When sick, many smart people tell me that it is okay to take a sick day. It is suitable for mental health, physical health and all of that. You will remember that a month ago, I had burnt out.

For me, I have a minimum daily word goal. For 2019, that number is 150 words. (That number will be increased for 2020 and will be discussed in another post.) No matter how I am feeling on any particular day, I will get at least that much. This won’t allow me to make my monthly or yearly goal, but it gives me the chance to recharge.

Which is also why I count my goal monthly. This gives me a day (or week) to freak out and write to make the yearly goal.

I do this for two reasons.

One.

I have yet to take a day off since the last week of December 2018. I don’t want to lose the streak. Some days, it is the sole reason I turn on the computer and hammer on the keyboard.

Two.

I have this fear: despite almost a full year of writing every day, that if I let a day go, then I will come up with an excuse for tomorrow. Then the next day, and the next.

I did this before. I have been successful for NaNoWriMo before, and I have never capitalized on the momentum. I have always taken a break, which turned into a leave of absence.

What does this mean for me?

Despite being sick and wanting to go to bed, and as soon as I hit the publish button, I will be looking at the story and will be writing. There will be some honey tea, some pain killers, and some butt in my chair.

What does this mean for you?

Call this “a push.” If there is something, you want to get done. Whether it is writing, getting in shape, drawing, working on small business, or whatever it is. Stop making excuses. They are all bullocks. Set a minimum daily goal, and preferred goal. If life gets in your way, and you can’t make the preferred, then get your minimum goal. Make up for it another day.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

 

End of November 2019 Report

As is now tradition, this is the post of the end of November. I’m still putting my money where my mouth is.

RECAP OF THE UPDATED 2019 GOALS

  1. Write 500,000 words in personal, non-school related projects.
  2. Complete and publish Felix #2, Felix #3, Des O’Neal #1, Des O’Neal #2, Des O’Neal #3, Jovian Marines #1, Jovian Marines #2, Jovian Marines #3, Mech Warrior #1, Mech Warrior #2, Mech Warrior #3.
    1. Complete and Publish VRMMORPG
  3. Correct cover for Felix #1.
  4. Write four blog posts per month
  5. Give Felix #1 and Tokyo Tempest #1 a proofread.
  6. Complete and submit to market Terran Marine Raider short #1, Terran Marine Raider short #2, and RPG Death short.
    1. Added goal: complete and submit to market, JSS Leda (New title: From Planet Everdark), secret short #2 (New Title: Rise of the Ghids) and secret short #3 (New Title: Sailing Vessel Wanderlust: the Delivery).
  7. Earn $1000.00 a month from novels.
  8. Relaunch publishing company with a new, stronger name.
  9. Get 1 client for editing services.
  10. NEW GOAL: Write for 365 Days in a row of at least 100 words per day.

NOVEMBER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote 63,026 words.
  2. I have written for 335 days in a row.
  3. I have finished and published a short story called Respawned Glory.
  4. I have also started working on an unplanned werewolf story. More details on it below.
  5. I have passed the 475k mark in total yearly words at 483k.
  6. Working with a local cover artist for a bunch of covers for books.
  7. I finished editing my VRMMORPG story, and I am now working on editing my Felix Series.
  8. Wrote 4 blog posts during June.

EXAMINATION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote just over 63k words in November. This was the best month I have ever had this year. I don’t know if any others could have been better, as I never kept track of them. This makes up for October and some of my other miserable months. It also means that I can drop my daily word goal down to 1k words and concentrate more on getting my editing done.
  2. This is still the longest days in a row I have written by far as well as the longest yearly word count. I count that as a win. My goal is to write 365 days in a row. Honestly, this is one of the big reasons why I write every day. 335 days in a row. I have no intention of stopping that streek any time soon.
  3. I have news about the short Sailing Vessel Wanderlust: the Delivery, but I still have nothing that I talk about yet. I expect that I should be able to release information on it soon. 
  4. I completed the edits for my VRMMORPG story. This was quicker to edit than the Mechwarrior story. Now I need to figure out a cover.
  5. I discovered that during writing Phantom Sorcerer and Felix #2, I didn’t write down many notes. I also found that I have grown as a writer, and Phantom Sorcerer no longer meets my standards. I have pulled it down from my store, and I will be doing a new edition of it with a new cover. For those that have already bought it, once the new edition is published, then you can update it manually in your kindle app.
  6. I’m working on using some of the short stories I have written for school as filler projects. A part of the problem is trying to pick up an old project. So I’m going to work on something small as a pallet cleanser. Perhaps use them as Patreon awards, or publish them on Amazon. Not sure yet.
  7. A local cover artist, not my wife, is working on what I am calling “art assets.” These are so my wife can turn them into beautiful covers. They will be works of art on there own but will have no titling, which is why I need my wife.
  8. My blog posts are still happening.

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

This month was the best one ever. The plan for next month is to work on my werewolf story and get my Felix stories edited. I need to get to the third in the trilogy, and I want to be working on it early next year. This means that I must have my edits done by the end of December. This might not happen as things take time. With the semester winding down, I should have more time to get some more things done.

Publishing wise, the significant roadblock is editing, which I’m working on, and covers. Once I get those figured out, things will drop fast. It’s what got me to work faster and harder at this.

There are still problems in my methods, and I have come to realize that I can’t do all of this by myself. With my editing, I need others to help with a final pass. That despite give my books time to rest, I am still too close to them. With covers, I don’t have the time to learn the skills to take what’s in my head and put it on paper. I need help from people to do just that. Publishing is not a single person enterprise, and it will take a team of people to do this.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

The End of NaNoWriMo.

It is now December first, and NaNoWriMo is now done for the year. This means that the stress of the writing challenge is over, and people’s lives go back to normal.

This is true for them as well as for me. Except for my version of “normal” is perverted in comparison.

However, it shouldn’t be that way.

NaNo is supposed to be a starting point or a continuation point of the writing journey. It is supposed to allow a writer to get a large number of words done or something completed.

A large number of people that use NaNo don’t write in any other part of the year. For clarity, this is what my year has looked like so far.

Annotation 2019-12-01 1255442

Yes, I have a spreadsheet.

Don’t have to be crazy… Like me.

I’m unique, even in the writing world. Most people don’t set crazy goals like I did, and most people don’t manage to get as far as I have with it.

And that’s fine. This crazy goal has worked for me.

But to be a writer, one must write. It doesn’t have to be a half a million words in a year, but it should be something. What I tell people is that they should write for 8 minutes. If it doesn’t flow cause of stress, etc., then at least they have something. Even if it is 100 words. BUT, if it is flowing, then they shouldn’t stop.

NaNo Writers

These guys only write during November, and some of them get 75k or 100k words done, but it isn’t a sprinting race. It’s an endurance race. So while I only managed to write 63k this November, it is only a fraction of what I managed to get done all year.

Future NaNo’s

Before I talk about my future NaNo plans, here is my writing plan for next year.

Annotation 2019-12-01 12554423

That is a preview of my 2020 goal. The number at the bottom should be interesting.

But, in terms of what NaNo means for me, take a look at the numbers listed beside each month. I will be writing a NaNo every month.

This means that was the last NaNo I’ll be participating in. There is no point anymore for me. It was fun while it lasted, but I also see no point in trying to kill myself by writing a double NaNo. Not with my writing output being what it is at.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Its NaNoWriMo and I wrote how much?

On November 21, 2019, I was successful at NaNoWriMo. That means that I had managed to write 50k words in a month. But it wasn’t a month. It was for 21 days.

I didn’t manage to write enough words to do the double NaNo. I am on track to be able to get a 1.5 NaNo. (Yes, I have made NaNoWriMo into a unit of measurements.)

But what does that mean? That means that I have worked hard to get this done, but so far, it is not much of an achievement. For me. I write between 35k and 46k words per month, which I plan on increasing in the future.

That means that this might be the last time I do a NaNo. I may hang up my hat and call it good. Perhaps it is time for me to retire from doing NaNo’s.

The purpose of NaNo is to encourage those who struggle to write anything. It is not for those crazy fools who have written 475k words this year so far.

But NaNo is flawed in some ways. It encourages those to write words, but not to finish the story. It has also created a herd of novelists who only write for NaNo. They don’t write at any other time. When you ask why they have some excuse.

Don’t get me wrong, many people have decided to become writers after completing a NaNo. After, they started writing a novel afterward.

So this message is for all of the NaNo writers out there. If you enjoy writing novels, then write every day, every week and every month. Don’t just write in November, write all the time and write lots. Write hard, and write like no one is watching, but just write.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Respawned Glory: A story of Call of War Online

The game: Call of War Online. Tournament: World Championships. The match: the finals. The Prize: 100k cash.

In a war-torn city map of collapsed buildings, crumbling into piles of concrete, rebar, and pipes. Teams of snipers were out to kill. But only if Quint couldn’t kill them first. With the last team left standing to win it all.

Quint and his partner Corie are in the top ten. With two respawns, they must find a way to defeat the other teams. He wants the prize and will let nothing stand in his way to win it

If you like a short, gamelit, science fiction stories with realistic combat and game systems, then you will enjoy the action-packed, race against time novel written by Nathan Pedde

Grab a copy of “Respawned Glory” today and get in on the action.

After Two Weeks- NaNoWriMo

As you can probably tell, the two-week mark has come and gone for NaNoWriMo. So far, things are going well. I’m on track to write 75k this month. So far, I have managed to break all other monthly records for 2019.

What does that mean for me?

I have a story worth telling, and it is flowing. That’s what it means. The moment I reach the end of the story, things will slow down as I figure out the next.

That what being able to produce as many words as possible means. It’s knowing what the story is to make sure you have something to tell.

Pants vs. Plotting

It brings up that age-old argument. What is better? Discovery writing it or outlining it. For me, it’s both.

The issue I have with outlining is that it takes all of the fun away from discovering the story. Its too rigid and doesn’t adapt to new ideas.

The issue with discovery writing is that it can lead to going down the wrong path. It can lead to a meandering story that has no idea where it wants to go or what is essential. It also leads to low productivity as a discovery writer ends up going back and fixing the poorly plotted book.

The advantages of plotting are that the author knows precisely what to write before you do it.

The advantage of pantsing is that you get that sense of discovery of learning what the story is before you do it.

In the Beginning.

When I first started writing, I was a pantser. I loved having my characters tell me a story. It was thrilling to have them speak. As I started this crazy half a million-word challenge, it became apparent that pantsing wasn’t going to get me going. Many of my low word count days were caused by me not knowing the story.

Sign Posts.

I adopted a method of deciding plot points of the stories and discovery writing to the signposts.

Plotting endings.

Then I started to end the signposts and plot the ending, but not until I got to that point.

Now?

I do what I call extended signpost. I will plot out sections, 5 or 6 chapters at a time, then write them. My signposts are loose, and I’m not set to them. Which is why I only do a few chapters at a time. At the end of the signposts, I will plot out the next 5 pages.

This gives me the freedom to discover the story while still keeping that added benefit of not running out of the story to write or taking a wrong turn.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Day Late and Dollar Short

Story of my life.

But all joking aside, what I’m not short on is that I’m managing to keep up with my NaNo goals. Not the double NaNo I talked about, but I’m on progress to be able to keep up with the one and a half NaNo.

I have three main complaints at the moment. One, the NaNoWriMo site has been changed. It looks good, but its features have been nerfed. I enjoyed being able to change my daily writing when I miss the midnight deadline for the day. So for me, it looks like I write in sprints with gaps between large dumps of words. That’s not the case. I have been writing approx 2500 words a day.

Two. I still have other things to do, and I can’t write 10k words a day. My current project has me excited, and I want to keep finding out what is going on with the characters. I feel sorry for the two leads, and I hate myself for throwing them through this mess. I love it.

Three. This is not any story in my schedule. I have discovered that I didn’t write down any notes on my Felix story. Both book one and book two. As such, I have no idea what is going on. I know a bit about what is going on, but the problem is that I’m trying to wrap up the trilogy, and I have a tonne of plot threads to tie up or to hang a hat on. (I do want to write another trilogy with Felix and his Ghosts.)

What I’m doing right now is I have been taking the tiny flash fiction style short stories my classes have been forcing me to write and expanding them. So far, so good. Except the problem is that none of them are on the plan.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

First Week of NaNo.

As you may be aware, I’m attempting this year’s NaNo. But in my household, I’m not alone.

There is a youth program for NaNo. Where kids can pick there own goals to write their own novels. It teaches them the ability to work on a longer project. Its something many adults have an issue with as writing a book isn’t a sprint, it’s an endurance race.

My daughter, age seven, is going to write a 1000-word story about her favourite pokemon. My son, age nine, is witing a 5000-word science fiction short story about Zero-G dodgeball.

This is impressive for age. I’m proud they have started this project, and it didn’t take any coaching from myself. My son wanted to write a 50k word novel. I told him to begin with 5k this year and then increase it for the next. He is nine, after all.

For me, I’m not attempting the 100k. That goal evaporated. I’m trying to do 75k. This would be a 1.5 NaNo and double what I usually do each month. So far, I have managed to make my 2500 daily word goal.

Wish me luck? The month has only started.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

End of October 2019 Report

As is now tradition, this is the post of the end of October. I’m still putting my money where my mouth is.

RECAP OF THE UPDATED 2019 GOALS

  1. Write 500,000 words in personal, non-school related projects.
  2. Complete and publish Felix #2, Felix #3, Des O’Neal #1, Des O’Neal #2, Des O’Neal #3, Jovian Marines #1, Jovian Marines #2, Jovian Marines #3, Mech Warrior #1, Mech Warrior #2, Mech Warrior #3.
    1. Complete and Publish VRMMORPG
  3. Correct cover for Felix #1.
  4. Write four blog posts per month
  5. Give Felix #1 and Tokyo Tempest #1 a proofread.
  6. Complete and submit to market Terran Marine Raider short #1, Terran Marine Raider short #2, and RPG Death short.
    1. Added goal: complete and submit to market, JSS Leda (New title: From Planet Everdark), secret short #2 (New Title: Rise of the Ghids) and secret short #3 (New Title: Sailing Vessel Wanderlust: the Delivery).
  7. Earn $1000.00 a month from novels.
  8. Relaunch publishing company with a new, stronger name.
  9. Get 1 client for editing services.
  10. NEW GOAL: Lose 90 lbs and get healthier.
  11. NEW GOAL: Write for 365 Days in a row of at least 100 words per day.

OCTOBER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote 33,672 words.
  2. I have written for 303 days in a row.
  3. I finished writing Des O’Neal #3, now onto the next one.
  4. I passed the 400k mark in total yearly words at 422k.
  5. Working with a local cover artist for a bunch of covers for books.
  6. Finished editing Mechwarrior #1, editing my VRMMORPG story.
  7. Wrote 4 blog posts during June.
  8. Starting weight 286lbs, weight today, 274lbs. No change.

EXAMINATION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote just over 33k words in October. This was the worst month I’ve had. It was only through willpower that I didn’t drop the ball on my word streak. And that I set the min. daily goal for 150 words. I hit the burnout wall in the middle of this month and stumbled. I can still get my 500k goal. But it’ll be hard. I still have other things to do so I’ll have to take it slow and work up to my word count. Perhaps I need to give myself permission to fail.
  2. This is still the longest days in a row I have written by far as well as the longest yearly word count. I count that as a win. My goal is to write 365 days in a row.
  3. I have news about the short Sailing Vessel Wanderlust: the Delivery, but I still have nothing that I talk about yet. I expect that I should be able to release information on it soon. 
  4. I completed the edits for Mechwarrior #1. Took me way too long, however, now I need to figure out a cover.
  5. I’m onto my VR story. I’ve made progress and it doesn’t have much in the way for plot holes, which is going to make editing easier.
  6. I’m working on using some of the short stories I have written for school as filler projects. A part of the problem is trying to pick up an old project. So I’m going to work on something small as a pallet cleanser. Perhaps use them as Patreon awards, or publish them on Amazon. Not sure yet.
  7. A local cover artist, not my wife, is working on what I am calling “art assets.” These are so my wife can turn them into beautiful covers. They will be works of art on there own but will have no titling, which is why I need my wife.
  8. My blog posts are still happening.
  9. Mt diet had ended. Counting calories had become too difficult to do. I haven’t gone up back to my old weigh, and my habit of overeating has not come back. I’m that habit down to keep my weight in check. I’m looking for a better plan to help with my weight loss.

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

This month was the worst. But I got through it. This month is NaNo, and the steamroll towards the end of the semester. Things are looking up and I’m excited to get back at my workload. Schoolwork with five classes is hard.

Publishing wise, the big roadblock is editing, which I’m working on, and covers. Once I get those figured out, things will drop fast. It’s what got me to work faster and harder at this.

Sort plan this report. Write more. Edit more. Get covers. Do assignments.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.