Right before NaNo. Burn out.

This is going to be a short blog post. Sorry.

Nearly 300 days into this journey and I have hit a wall. Like a freight train running at full speed.

Well. Not that bad.

A week ago, I burned out. Everything became too much and I didn’t want to do any of it. I have school things piling up, the words are slipping as I struggle with starting Felix #3. Yes, that means I have finished writing Des #3 plus trying to catch up with my editing and my NaNo goals right around the corner. It was inevitable and I’m surprised I lasted this long.

Writing nearly 300 days in a row and accumulating over 400k words written, that’s an accomplishment.

So I took some time to myself. I didn’t loose the streak. That’s still going. Barely. This month, my count is going to be very low, but I managed to keep the 150 word min. Even though I didn’t want to. I still struggle some days to get words down.

I’m taking it one day at a time. As long as I get 150 words, then the day is a success.

I will be doing another post on burn out later. Once things clear up.

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NaNoWriMo and Prep for Pantsers

So you are prepping for NaNo and you are a discovery writer (some call pantser), and you are wondering how you can prep a novel. Cause prepping is for outliners right? Stephen King doesn’t do much prep, why should you?

Those are some excellent questions.

For my writing, I do a type of discovery writing where I plan plot points or what I like to call beat points. These are cool scenes or important points I want to get across during the course of a novel. It might be a fight scene or an emotional point in the story.

I usually will write these down and sort them into some type of order. Sometimes I plan to write multiple interlocking stories all weaved together. These I may do per point of view character in a large chunk, then shuffle them together later once they are all done.

As a discovery writer, the main way to be successful in NaNo for most people is the prep. Create your cast of characters, even if you’re unsure of you are going to use them or not. Create a setting. People need places to sit and eat. Write about those places.

If you have an antagonist you are unsure about, write a short clip of him. You can also do the back story of your main character as well. Especially if you need to understand her. With my stories, sometimes its important to write a one thousand word short about there childhood. It doesn’t go into the novel, however, but knowing what the character went through is important.

Being only October 20th, with time still, there is time to plan and to prep. There might not be time later. Use the time wisely.

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Suppose for a second, I have convinced you to write a novel for NaNoWriMo. For those tuning in, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge where you write 50 thousand words in thirty days.

The rules of NaNoWriMo, states that it counts the story only. Outlines, character sheets, diagrams. They don’t count for your total word count. This is also able to be done before November, in October.

No matter if you Outline or Discovery Write, the way to be successful in writing for NaNo is in the prep. Preparing to write the story is how many people keep the quantity up for the length of time.

The Prep

I start my story with my idea. Having a set idea pushes you forward. The idea should be thought thoroughly through with different ideas on different conflicts, tensions, and emotions. The more the idea is flushed out, allows for a better shot of being successful for NaNo.

For me, what I do is I have my novel planned. I’m not a “Discovery Writer” and not an “Outliner.” I do what I have dubbed “Sign-Post-Outlining.” I discovery write to set points in the story. This allows me to have a plan, yet being able to have the freedom to see where the story takes me.

The way to NaNo success is the prep. Plan your story. Plan until you think you can’t plan any longer. The more you do, the more of a chance of success.

So for all of those who want to write a novel for NaNoWriMo. Prep your story. Plan it through.

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.


What is NaNoWriMo?

It stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is where you set a goal of writing 50k words for a story in November. The purpose of this is to encourage everyone to write a novel and the fact that everyone can write a book. It just takes time and commitment.

In order to make the words, you will have to write 1667 words per day.

Every day.

In 30 days, you will have a novel.

I have participated in this for the last 3 years in a row, and so far, I have been successful.

Of course, anyone reading this who knows how much I write is probably asking, “How is this a challenge for you?”

Simple. I plan to do a Double NaNo. This is where I write 100k words instead of only 50k. Where you will only have to write 1667 words a day, I will have to write 3334 words per day. My current average is 1400 words a day. I will have to write an additional 2000 words a day to make my goal.

Do I think that I can do this?

Hell no. I suspect that one of four things will happen.

  1. I will burn out and write 20k words. I am doing school at the same time.
  2. I will make my current monthly average of 42k, and that will be that.
  3. I will manage to write 50k and not a word more.
  4. I will manage 75k.

I’m leaning towards number four.

If you take up this challenge, what do you do?

The first thing to do is to https://www.nanowrimo.org/ and sign up.

Second, you can pre-plan your novel. Prep characters, outline, draw maps. The 50k (or 100k for me) doesn’t include preplanning. It only matters about the story and nothing more, nothing less.

To close out this post.

I don’t think that anyone reading this will take me up on the challenge.

Whose here is going to prove me wrong?

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 September 2019 Report

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


  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.


  1. I wrote 41,469 words.
  2. I have written for 273 days in a row.
  3. I spent most of this month working on my Des O’Neal #3.
  4. I nearing the 400k mark in total yearly words at 387k.
  5. Rise of the Ghids and From Planet Everdark, have been published and are out now.
  6. Working with a local cover artist for a bunch of covers for books.
  7. Working on the edit for Mechwarrior #1.
  8. Wrote 4 blog posts during June.
  9. Starting weight 286lbs, weight today, 274lbs. No change.


  1. I wrote just over 41k words in September. Total word-wise, it is one of the worst that I have done. If it wasn’t for a few good days, this would have been a failure of a month. Starting school back up has severely limited the time that I need to write. I’m still making the goal, however, it is difficult to do.
  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. Rise of the Ghids and From Planet Everdark has been published. You can find my announcements on Rise of the Ghids here and From Planet Everdark here. They can both be found on Amazon. Ghids. Everdark.
  4. 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. 
  5. I am working on editing Mech Warrior #1. It is taking longer to get it done than I’d like. Due to plot holes, I had been forced to draw a diagram of the starship. Lesson learned. I set myself a deadline and watched it sail by due to school. I’m not happy about it, however, I am close.
  6. 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.
  7. My blog posts are still happening.
  8. 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.


This month was very difficult. Schoolwork with five classes is hard. I’m keeping up with assignments, my own words, however, not my editing. I need to get going on this and not let it stop me. I also know I need to figure out a better idea for covers. They are my roadblock. If I had covers sitting for my books, then I’d have a very good reason to keep going and to push myself.

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.

Fighting Procrastination and Finding “Motivation”

“You’ve got to be the hardest worker in the room.”- Dwayne Johnson

I find it hard to do all of the things I need to do. I have the awards in the prestigious field of procrastination. I’m an expert on getting things done at the last minute. Usually to my detriment.

This is a problem. A big problem.

By putting things off for later, tasks are compounded into more giant monsters of tasks that will pummel those in its path. Procrastination is the food; the very essence of the task-monster’s life.

To those he works for themselves, procrastination is the enemy. As someone who primarily works for himself, I set my own goals and deadline. I decide what I want to get done each day, and when a project is to get done. There is no one out there dictating when I get something done.

This means I must first understand myself in how do I get things done. This is essential for everyone and forgotten when people give advise. I work every day; I don’t take a day each week, I don’t take days off on my birthday, and Christmas is a workday for me. For me, this is essential because I’m a procrastinator.

I put things off until tomorrow what should be done today. During the month, I sometimes work less than I should cause “I’m tired,” or that “I’ve been working hard.” I am very good at talking myself into an excuse to be lazy and to put things off. Which is why at the end of the month, I get into a panic cause “I’m not going to make my month.”

This month is an example of this. I’m behind on my words, and I will need to write 1900 words today, the 29th, and tomorrow, the 30th. Why am I in this situation? Cause this month I have twelve days where I have written under 1500 words and many of them in the 500-word range. My one great day of 4300 did not make up for the other lacking days. In short, cause I procrastinated.

I find it easy to talk myself into working less or none at all. I find it easy to do less cause I can. This is not beneficial to me in the long run. It only hurts me.

At the start of this post, I quoted Dwayne Johnson. I found this post from a motivational speech he gave to a group of athletes, encouraging them to do better. It is only thirteen minutes long, and I encourage you to go watch it.

“You’ve got to be the hardest worker in the room.”- Dwayne Johnson

For me, this is what I have been doing all year. I’ve been working hard, getting things done cause in my circles of friends, I’m one of the most prolific writers in the group. In the groups at school, I don’t know anyone else that pushes themselves to do as much as I do. I tell them my yearly word count (382k as of today) and either they don’t believe me or think that I’m lying. Which is fine, I honestly don’t care they think of me.

But for the question of procrastination. I’ve managed to get to that goal acknowledging my problem, then combating it with hard work and no excuses. But in many ways, there is more room for improvement. There are many days where I said, “Fuck it.” There are many days where I let procrastination gain the upper hand and win.

I know that I can do better. I know that I will do better.

Knowing the problem is step one. Planing a set of goals is step two. Getting off the couch is step three.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, 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.



Stress, the creative flow, and being an “Artist.”

Being a Creative, (my wife would say artist) I have to deal with many different forces that want to dominate my time. These can range from getting groceries, going out to shop for things we “need,” giving out discipline to my kids as needed, being a father by playing with them, being a good husband for my wife, and trying to get my work done.

All of that causes stress.

For Creatives, this stress can be interpreted in one of two ways. It can either stiffly or encourage. Too much of it causes a creative drought that hampers creatives in their artistic aims.

I’ll start with the later of the two.

Some people thrive with deadlines, daily counts, and such. They use that stress to give them a fire to get things done. They may use the line, “You’ve got to be the hardest worker in the room.”

They will have a breaking point, however. At some point, they will run into where they can’t handle things. They will break and burn out. This is different depending on the person.

For the first, some people are stifled by the least amount of stress. They can’t handle any and will quibble at things like deadlines and daily tasks.

They get things done at a slower rate than those that love deadlines. They like doing things on their own timetables. They hate being told what to do. It just causes stress.

This, of course, is a sliding scale. Some can handle more stress than others.

The important part is to recognize where you are at and how to either use it to your advantage. Or how to avoid stress to increase your productivity.

Until next time, 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.

Thinking Positive vs Negative Thinking

A university is a gathering place of all people, and you find a cross-section of people there. Going back to university has brought me to talk to many different people of all types. 

One thing I noticed is that there is a large number of people who have negative mindsets. They can’t do anything without seeing the dark gray cloud standing above them. The get an ‘A’ on a paper, and they make comments like, “It only an ‘A-‘ and is one step from being a ‘D.'”

I’ve listened to them tell me that there is nothing they can do is right. Or how everything they do will fall apart. 

In all fairness, some of the people I talk to, have had a string of what could be called “unfortunate incidents.” Their car breaks down, followed by their backpack opening up running to class spilling their laptop onto the ground. 

That part, I can understand. Things happen, and not all of it favourable to you. 

However, how much of it is things happening and how much of it has to do with your negative mindset. 

A human mind is a powerful tool. It works 24 hours a day, seven days a week and only shuts off right before you talk to someone you are interested in. 

As a person goes through life, their mind processes the information they receive through their senses. The mind interprets the world, creating a unique point of view. When something happens like the car breaking down, as per the example above, their mind interprets the event as a bad thing. 

In some ways, it is terrible. Their car will be an expensive fix, and they will need a tow. All of it will need to be addressed. However, sitting on the side of the highway, is there time to deal with that problem? 

A negative mindset clouds one’s judgement; it sends them into a spiral that forces them into self-destructive, which only ends up one way — their own destruction. A positive mindset, however, leaves the mind clear. A person that can see what is happening with that clear mind will be able to find the solution quicker than someone without.

Back to the problem of being stuck on the highway with the broken down car.  

They have to get to class and are stuck. A negative person fixates on that issue while losing the big picture. They dwell on the negative parts crying, “Woe is me. My life sucks. I’m a failure.”

A positive person will look at the positive aspects of the situation, or at least will have a clear enough mind to think the problem through. It might be just a lecture class; maybe they can get the notes from someone. Perhaps they have left early, and they have time to get to class by another way; a taxi or a friend. 

The brain is a muscle. A muscle in the sense that it is only when someone uses it does it stretch and grow. If a person lets it sit unused, then the brain will slow down and atrophy. When a person thinks positively, they open up neural pathways following the positive side of the brain. It becomes easier to think positively by making it a habit.

When a person thinks negatively, they do the same for that side of the brain, which is why when I talk to a negative minded person, they say that they can’t help it. 

Having a negative mind and forcing yourself to think positive is like trying not to overeat. It is easier said than done, but the only way to make a dent in the habit is to try. This is from someone who had spent years of his life looking at the negative parts of things. 

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, 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. 

Motivation vs Discipline

Being a creative, I hear all the time that people aren’t motivated to do artistic endeavors that day. It’s a sad thing as they don’t know the difference between motivation and discipline.

Meaning of Motivation from Dictionary.com:

The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Meaning of Discipline from Dictionary.com:

The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

So what is the difference?

Motivation is only a desire or willingness to do something. While discipline is a practice of doing something. Discipline is the reason why someone will get up at 5 am to go for a run. Discipline is why a worker goes to work for “the man,” as getting fired is the most likely punishment.

If a person is only motivated, then it is easy to put off the unwanted task. Motivation can be ignored as there is nothing behind the motivation. The second part of the definition of “discipline” is that it uses punishment to correct disobedience.

So what happens if a person doesn’t go for a run that morning? Simple, they don’t improve, and then get behind in their training. If a person is only motivated, then it’s easy to shrug it off. A disciplined person will hate the idea of not improving. A disciplined person sees a lack of training as a failure.

For me, it isn’t motivation that keeps me going each day. It’s discipline. There’s no one standing over me with a whip making me do this. I’m working so hard with my writing because I want to. It’s my choice to improve my writing, and it’s my choice to use discipline to help me make my goals.

My discipline is to keep the writing going. I have managed to write 356k words and 251 days in a row since the beginning of the year. With my blog posts, it’s the fact that I have managed to write one every week. Those three facts have kept me going, especially on days like today, where I don’t have the motivation to do anything.

On days like today, where I have no intention to do anything. Where I’m tired, grumpy, and completely and utterly unmotivated, however, I am also disciplined. I have been doing this for 251 days in a row, and I’m not going to stop now.

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.

Storming Area 51: A Bayonet Books Anthology Vol 2

A few short months ago when the Facebook group (with the same name as the title of the anthology) was created, this took the internet by storm and won it. In fact, it is still winning the internet. JR Handley collected tales of the joke that became a meme that became a thing that might be a real thing. 

The story that I wrote is called “The Rise of the Ghids.” It is the story of the Storming of Area 51 from the aliens perspective.

Imprisoned his whole life, Challco knew nothing about the outside world. His world
consisted of his underground home; except it wasn’t really his home. Born underground, his people were from a distant land; several thousand light-years distant. Challco wasn’t human, he was a Ghid — an alien.

With the event of Storm Area 51 exploding on the surface above him, perhaps this was
the distraction that he needed — his one and only chance to get freedom for himself and his people? Perhaps it was the time for Challco to show his human captors the Ghids did exist? But do the humans come in peace?

With 35 different stories from Michael J Allen and Marisa Wolf this is not a book to miss. Some of the best science-fiction the science-fiction has to offer. Click the link below.