End of February 2019 Report

As like the post for the end of January, this is the post of the end of February. I am still putting my money where my mouth is.

Recap of 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.
  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.
  7. Earn $1000.00 a month from novels.
  8. Relaunch publishing company with a new, stronger name.
  9. Get 1 client for editing services.

February Accomplishments

  1. I wrote 41,013 words.
  2. I finished the first draft of Mech Warrior #1.
  3. Re-finished editing Des O’Neal #1
  4. Waiting on a cover for Des O’Neal #1
  5. Worked on editing Jovian Marines #1
  6. Wrote 4 blog posts during February

Examination of Accomplishments

  1. I wrote just over 41k words in February. It is not large enough for the 42,000 words that I set for myself, but that is okay. The base goal for February is 38,360 words. My month was far from perfect. I had many days where I didn’t make the 1500 words. I missed the goal ten times this month. However, I did manage to write over 2k words for nine days with my highest word day at 2558. This is a better month than January in terms of words.
  2. The novel with the working title of Mech Warrior #1 was started back in 2018. It is the second book of those that I had only partially completed. I had left the book 41k words, but now it has finished at 87k words. That makes three novels to be edited. I may have to figure out better editing habits as the pile is growing.
  3. At the start of the January, I had finished the edits to the first Des O’Neal book called The O’Neal Saboteur. However, after reexamining the book and learning some better editing “hacks,” I discovered that I missed some big errors. They are fixed now. I expect to publish it in the next few days. Stay tuned for that announcement in the coming days.
  4. I have been working with my wife, the artist, on a cover for the Des O’Neal book. It is coming along, and it will be a post once I can show something about it.
  5. The edits of Jovian Marines #1 are ongoing. The title of which will be The Missed Drop Zone. It will be in the Odinite Campaign Saga.
  6. As you can see from my previous posts, I have written four blog posts with them going live on Sundays. This month I wrote about story ideas and how to find them and nurture them.

Plan for the Future

Despite not hitting the publish button in the month of January or February, I consider the month of February to be successful. I start my day by editing for an hour before doing anything else. I will need to perhaps add more time to that. Maybe working on more time to write it. I need to get not only Missed Drop Zone published, but I need to get a large part of the way done editing Felix #2.  I still write my next day’s tasks at the end of each night.

I am currently working on a Military Sci-Fi for an anthology. It is still in the same story verse as Des O’Neal and the Odinite Campaign but is about someone on the side of Terra.

So far, it is working, but I have had to make some changes. I will go into details this Sunday when I drop my weekly post. Maybe I will also talk about some of the current projects that I am working on.

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.

Story Ideas: When to Abandon?

At some point in the process of melding a story into gold, you may have to abandon the story. The gold, turns into a mirage, fools good, banga dung. There are two main reason’s why authors abandon a story.

Wait… I Saw This Movie Before

During the process of asking questions and figuring out how the story, you may run into the situation that you have realized that you have “seen this movie before.” When it happened to me the first time, I had to sit back and stare in disbelief. I wondered if I was really suited for the writing life. This is the mirage, the fools gold.


However, it is not a bad thing if you took the movie as an inspiration. When you were coming up with the base few ideas to develop the story idea from, and one of them was a character, place, scene or thing-a-whatsit, then having that show through the developed idea is not a bad thing as it was intentional.

If that is the case, it is not the time to panic. The solution, -simply stated, but not simply to implement- is to think of some twists and differences that were nowhere near the movie that you took the inspiration from. The idea is that finding something that is the opposite of what you wanted to do. It is adding another base idea. If it is done well, it’ll give the story the uniqueness that you are looking for.


If the story resembles a movie where you didn’t intend to have any type of resemblance, then you may have a more significant problem. Your subconscious has been writing the story. This may or may not be a big deal. The first course of action is not to do anything drastic. Put the lights ad hammers down. No need to burn the notebooks. It will be fine. The next thing to do is to put your story idea away and ignore it for a few months. Work on something else.

After the while has passed, go back to it and read your notes and the idea. Does it still resemble the movie that you have seen?  How bad of a resemblance? As per the first part of the blog series, all stories are built out of other stories. The similarity may be to a level that it may be okay to leave. In which case, keep going.

If it is at a moderate level, then you may be able to add an opposite idea to diversify the story idea. However, if it is at a major scale, the level where it is evident that anyone may see the resemblance, then this is a major problem. At this case, it may be time to pull out the lighter and to kill it with fire.

Well not that far, but it is time to put the notes away into a dead story file and to move on. Use some individual components of the story idea and use them, but on the whole, the story isn’t worth pursuing.


The other reason why a story gets abandoned is not the fault of the story, but the creator. This is what I call a squirrelled story. This is when the author finds a new story to work on before he is done with the first story. This happens to many authors in the course of there writing careers.

They are working diligently on a story when they get a brainwave on another story. They then up there current work on hold to chase after the squirrel. This is not good productivity wise as there will always be another squirrel.

I know, as I have seven unfinished novels that I have been working on throughout a few years that I need to finish. That is a major part of my goals for this year. I need to finish those stories.

The best way to deal with these squirrels is to not ignore the ideas, however, don’t chase them either. Write down the idea into a notepad and file it away. Go back to them once the current novel is complete. Finding story ideas is a learned skill that needs the practice necessary to keep at a functioning level. If you ignore the ideas, you risk losing that skill. If you chase ever story idea that you come across, then nothing will ever get finished.

That’s it for this series, next month will be a whole new series. Stay tuned for more next Sunday.

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.


Story Ideas: How to Achieve Gold

You have the basis of a story idea, and now you’re wondering what to do next. Having a thousand good ideas are great and all, but unless you can figure out how to flesh them out into a story, then they are the equivalent to mental masturbation. Luckily you, dear reader, you have come to the right place. Not for the masturbation part, but the ‘flesh out my ideas part.’

In this week’s blog post, I will go over some strategies on what you can do to turn your basic story idea into something that can form a novel or three. To start off the post, I will discuss some different types of ideas that you may have and questions to ask. Please note that these are generalizations and it is okay to deviate as you see fit.

The Basic Idea

Each basic idea, or melding of ideas as I discussed in last weeks post, starts off a different set of questions. The ideas come in all shapes and sizes, from small cute things to massive gargantuan, all-encompassing-ideas. This is an essential point to understand as no two ideas are the same and can’t be looked at the same way.


No matter the story idea, the first I do after the basic idea is selected is assign it a genre. Genres are unimportant, yet one of the most critical aspects to any story. I will go over this later in more detail, but for now, genres allow for the easy conveying of information in a story without having to write a college thesis on it.

Basic Idea Type: Character

I have written a few books based on a cool character that I could not get out of my mind. With characters, I start my questions with them. They will be things like age, hair colour, weight and then moving onto more important aspects. Upbringing, past experiences, political leanings, etc. In short, I will create the character– when creating story ideas based on a single person, it is easier if you have a full character in mind. But honestly, those items have little importance to a story idea.

Once that is done, I will start to piece together small parts of the world. Please note: this is not world building. Not yet. Story idea creation will often meld into world-building, but at this stage, it is not essential to go into those details. Right now, it is important to flesh out what the story will be. If it is a military sci-fi and the character is a Captain of the Royal Guards, then who is he the guard of? What nation? What war? Has the war started? Who are they fighting?

That last question is important, once you get to the subject of the antagonist, unless it is man vs nature, there should be a bad guy. Who is the nemesis causing the Captain all the sleepless nights? He or she should be well thought out following one of my rules that the antagonist should be as well thought out as the protagonist and he should be the hero in his own story. That will be a subject of a future blog post, but it is an important post. Unless you want a bond villain, from the enemies POV, he should have some type of justification for his actions.

Once the villain is selected, then the conflict can come out. Conflict equals story. If you need to fill three books of ninety thousand words, then it should be complicated and well thought out, yet easy to summarize down to a single sentence to answer the annoying question of what the story is about.

Basic Idea Type: Thing-a-whatsit

Sometimes, you may have an idea of a cool thing. A beater sword. A mech warrior. A magic system. Whatever. Like any story idea it will start first with setting the genre, but this type has a different importance to selecting a genre. If you have an idea about a really cool laser rifle and you want to write based around that, then knowing the genre changes things. If it is a sci-fi, there is little that you need to explain for the essential functions. There are enough tropes in the sci-fi genre that will make it easy to tell.

However, what if the laser rifle was in a fantasy setting? How would it work? Magic? Some type of crystals? Imagine the possibilities.

Taking the idea of the laser rifle in a fantasy setting, the next step is to flesh things out and expand. I recommend selecting a cool main character to use the rifle. However, you can go to the world and start to piece it together. Who is fighting who? Are they fighting? Who is the enemy? What type of conflict is it? It can be a man vs man, but it doesn’t have to be. You could use the fantasy laser rifle idea and write a man vs animals and monsters just as easy.

Basic Idea Type: Scenes

I have written a story where the first idea that I had was a single cool scene. To start, after I selected a genre, I fleshed things out. I did some world building and created the conflict. Then I picked the character and kept building.

In Short

Did you notice the similarities between creating stories using a basic story idea method? They all are based around creating a character to write about in a specific genre with a conflict to propel the story.

Once you have the basic building block, build it up piece by piece making sure to keep the idea that the protagonist and antagonist need to be fleshed out and worth reading about.

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.

Story Ideas: How to Create something Unique

As I talked about in the previous post, I made the assertion that all ideas have been done before and the same plots exist in many different movies and books. I used the example of the Avatar Movie and how the basic plots of it are the same as the story of Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves.

But that is not the important part of those movies. What makes those stories work so well is not how they are all the same, but how they are all different. Each of the authors took the same basic concept and went in a different direction.

Some of the areas that were different were the settings, from the American West to the New World to the planet of Pandora. They also took similar, but different methods of who the protagonist is and who the bad guys are.

Those are how each of the stories is interesting and not a carbon copy of the others.

How do the authors think up ideas?

First, I don’t know how the individual authors came up with their ideas. However, I am sure they didn’t intentionally take the Pocahontas idea and set it in the future. From talking to many different authors, most of them don’t deliberately seek to write a story written by others. They all want to write something initially theirs.

Second, each author has a different way of coming up with his basic story ideas. If you ask a thousand authors, you will come up with a thousand different ways of coming up with story ideas. Hell, each story idea that I come up with comes a different way.

Different ways to generate ideas.

Many authors read newspapers looking for stories. Sometimes finding a news article about an event will trigger an idea for a story. Others go to bars or coffee shops. Eavesdropping on a conversation will come up with a story. I have come up with a story idea through reading books, historical events, news, local events, and many others. I have come up with stories from many different activities and places.

The idea is to not set your mind in stone about how to get the basic story idea. Also not to discard a primary story idea cause it is unoriginal. I proved in the previous post that no basic idea is original. Take the basic idea as they come. Write it down, it may be made out of pure gold.

There is a caveat, the best story ideas are where the author takes two or more unoriginal story ideas and melds them together uniquely and originally. Like Pokemon and the Lost Roman Legion.

Just the Beginning

What many beginning authors forget are the ideas that they ‘stole’ are only the first step. Like Jim Butcher taking Pokemon and the Lost Roman Legion to use in a story. To come up with an original story, it is the next step that is important. When a basic story idea is selected, there is still the rest of the story to be developed.

Once you have your basic ideas, it is time to start asking questions. Some authors do a mind map at this point, or they write out a questionnaire. Each author has a different method to flesh out their idea. For me, I do a questionnaire.

I write the idea down and start asking questions. I have a book that I am currently writing about a MechWarrior. By asking questions like how were the mechs built? Where are they? What type of society has mechs?

By asking those questions to be answered, you get more questions. After those questions get answered- you get the point.

This is where the uniqueness of the story comes out. This is where the author melds and mixes ideas together to create gold. This is the stage that the reader sees and claims that the author is a genius.

In the next week’s post, I will go over specific strategies on different ways for you to take your writing to the next level.

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 greatly appreciated.

Story Ideas: Original or Rip-Offs

Like the blog posts that I wrote in January, the posts that I write in February will be about a single theme.

This month’s theme will be centered on writing and the ideas necessary to writing a good book.

My Basic Thoughts

A lot of wannabe writers want to write a novel but are paralyzed from starting a book as they haven’t “found the correct idea yet.” I have heard wannabe novelists claiming that they have to “ponder and muse over an idea for a year” before they are satisfied that it is “original enough to write.”

I call bullocks to all of that.

The Hard Truth

Every plot has been told before. If you look back at different stories told, you will see similarities. Not just easy, simple similarities, but large story encompassing stories. The “Avatar” movie is a prime example of this.

From the website businessinsider.com, (https://www.businessinsider.com/movies-with-the-same-plot-2013-4#10-gran-torino-and-up-10) it lists a series of different movies that have the same plot as each other. Yet each movie is different than the next. This is what is written in the section about Avatar.

Plot: A man joins up with natives to learn their culture and exploit them. He ends up falling in love with their way of life—and one of their women—and leads them to victory over those trying to take advantage of their resources.

This is the plot of not only “Avatar” but of “Pocahontas,” “Dances With Wolves,” and “Fern Gully”

From IMDB about Avatar.

A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Replace paraplegic marine with English sailor and the moon Pandora to Virginia and you have the plot of Pocahontas. Even the biblical story of Moses has the same plot.

Does that mean that one author stole the story from the one before? That it “ripped it off?”

How One of the Great Authors got one Great Idea.

One of the big mainstream authors currently writing is Jim Butcher. He is famous for his Dresden Files series. He wrote a series called Codex Alera.

From the Wikipedia page for Codex Alera.

The inspiration for the series came from a bet Butcher was challenged to by a member of the Del Rey Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Butcher could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and he countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion”, and “Pokémon.”

Here is the link to the interview.

My Thoughts in Detail

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Like the trading card blister packs that kids buy at the comic book store. Some of the ideas are good, some are bad. However, it is subjective and all depends on what the kid has in her deck already. To some without anything to use yet, any card is good, while others that have been collecting for longer, they are looking for specific cards.

However, that metaphor doesn’t go far enough. It is like collecting cards for “Magic the Gathering.” Despite buying a blister pack and getting ‘lame’ cards, a good player can use those lame cards to his advantage. They can beat players with better cards just as easy as those without.

It is the same with story ideas. A good author will use whatever story idea the have to it’s greatest effect. Like the story of the Lost Roman Legion and Pokemon, using simple ideas that aren’t connected or poorly connected to form a story will produce fresh stories. These stories at their cores will be rehashes from previous stories, but they will be told in a fresh way that will delight readers and audiences.

In the next few weeks, I will go over some strategies that I use to develop my stories.

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 greatly appreciated.



End of January 2019 Report

In an effort to put my money where my mouth is, I have decided that at the start of the next month I shall go over what I have accomplished.

Recap of 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.
  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 Jovian Marine Raider short #1, Jovian Marine Raider short #2, and RPG Death short.
  7. Earn $1000.00 a month from novels.
  8. Relaunch publishing company with a new, stronger name.
  9. Get 1 client for editing services.

January Accomplishments

  1. I wrote 43,834 words.
  2. I finished the first draft of Felix #2.
  3. Finished editing Des O’Neal #1
  4. Waiting on a cover for Des O’Neal #1
  5. Worked on editing Jovian Marines #1
  6. Wrote 4 blog posts during January

Examination of Accomplishments

  1. With writing nearly 44k words in January, I have just passed the base January goal of 42,470 words. It is not large enough for the 46,500 words that I set for myself, but that is okay. I set the 46k goal to account for times when the writing doesn’t flow. In the 31 days of January, I had failed to write the daily goal of 1500 words nine times. The lowest daily count was at 140 words. To me, this is a good month and is something to be excited about.
  2. I had started the manuscript for the sequel to my Phantom Sorcerer back in January 2018. I reached 45k words before I got distracted by other projects and life got in the way. Now, it is done at 73k words. It is in the pile of stories to be edited.
  3. At the start of the month, I had finished the edits to the first Des O’Neal book. It will be called The O’Neal Saboteur.
  4. I have been working with my wife, the artist, on a cover for the Des O’Neal book. It is coming along, and it will be a post once I can show something about it.
  5. The edits of Jovian Marines #1 are ongoing. I have a title for the project, but no series name. I am not settled with Jovian Marines. I am thinking about the Odinite Campaign Saga. We will see what I settle on.
  6. As you can see from my previous posts, I have written four blog posts with them going live on Sundays. I wrote about goals. In February, I will be discussing a different topic, which is currently undecided.

Plan for the Future

Despite not hitting the publish button in the month of January, I consider the month to be successful. I start my day by editing for an hour before doing anything else. After that, I write my words for the day. Once those two tasks are done, I work on other tasks. At the end of each night, I write my tasks for the next day.

So far, it is working, and I won’t be changing a thing. If I keep going on this path, I will be successful this year. It is a long way off, and anything can happen.

I will post the February update at the beginning of March. Until then, enjoy the posts for February.

Procrastination: The Devil Within


[proh-kras-tuhney-shuhnoun. the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate action.  

Procrastination is a plague that hampers the vast majority of people in their daily lives. People tend to wait until the last minute to do anything. How many college students go through their school lives doing their assignments the night before? Even those who work for a living; how often do they wait until right before the report is due to work on it.

The question is rhetorical–we all know the answer. You wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t have a problem with procrastination to some extent. Procrastination affects most people in all walks of life. From the very old to the very young and everyone in between.  Some say that without the very last minute, nothing gets done.

How it affects me?

To me, procrastination is the epitome of a bad day. When I fall into the procrastination trap, it turns a bad morning into a worse day that is near impossible to correct. To keep the evil devil away, many things  have to happen or else I don’t have the productive day that I desire.

As I have stated in past blogs, I write a daily list of things I want to get done the night before. This reinforces what I need to get done and keeps me motivated to stay on track with what I need to do.

I must also make sure  I get to sleep at a decent time. Staying up all night doesn’t help the next day at all. Getting to sleep and having a restful sleep is important. I do suffer from bouts of insomnia; however, it is stress related. My stress, at the moment, is on the low side. If it rises, I will suffer from days on end of it, but I do have remedies for that. It is not as good as going to sleep properly, but it is better than nothing.

The next thing is getting up at a decent time. I know there are many people that say that when you get up doesn’t matter. That as long as you are sleeping for the necessary amount of hours and are able to make it to other events like work or school, then who cares. Unless you work graveyards, in my opinion, then getting up at a decent time sets up the day. For me, having kids, they have school early, and that means that I have to be functional during that time. It is a given. So, by getting up at a decent time and fully rested, then I have a solid foundation to work.

The third thing is food. For me when I am working on a project, I get sidetracked, and I forget to eat. The day disappears, and it is soon getting dark, and all I’ve had is the four cups of coffee. The term ‘hangry’ comes to mind. It’s not good for getting things done. All it takes is one distraction on an empty stomach then the hangry takes over, and then I put things off. Once I put it off, I end up going down a rabbit hole that never ends up well.

What does this all mean?

Some think that all you have to do is simply do the work. Putting things off until the last minute is a lazy thing to do. Usually, most people come to realize and remorse that they have procrastinated. However, this is not always the case. For some, they are lazy, and they procrastinate because of it. However, there is usually an underlining issue that affects them. Bad habits, and mental blocks.

Bad Habits

Habits, both good and bad take time to set in place. Like good concrete, or good wine. It all takes time. The 21 days habit myth has been floating around the internet for ages, but it isn’t necessarily the case. Studies have shown that habits take between 18 and 256 days to form with the average being 66 days. This is significant, cause for one person it might take only a few weeks to break the procrastination bug, while others it will take longer.

However, a person with the bad habit of procrastinating must set himself up with methods and tricks to get him to move him to action. To break the pattern, it must be done daily for a few months. It is like learning how to drive. When I learned how to drive, I had to say the actions that I did before I did them. Cause I was afraid that I would forget to do them. I did that for weeks, to the horror of my mother I am sure. Then one day I stopped saying the words as the actions had become second nature to me. That is what needs to happen. To stop procrastinating and make the goals that I have set happen, I need to break the procrastinating habit using all of the tricks listed above.

Mental Blocks

Please note, that this is not writer’s block. It doesn’t exist. I have written about it in the past, and I may revisit it at some point in the future. This is a mental block to do the task that needs to get done. It is when the thought of it stops someone from doing it. Me, it is large crowds and long lineups. I hate them. As such, I hate the mall and going to government buildings to get things done. Unless I absolutely need to, I won’t do it. I will procrastinate going as much as I can for as long as I can.

Now, going to the mall or sitting in a long line up has nothing to do with my goal. But it may be necessary for other goals that I make. At that point, I am going to have to deal with it and do it. It is a given. But for writing, as it is my goal, sometimes the issue comes from not knowing where the story is going. This creates a block that sometimes makes it hard to push forward and get the work done. This easily leads to distraction and the issues of sleep and food become a big issue. If I am struggling with where the story is going, and I haven’t eaten or didn’t sleep, then the issue compounds. I end up procrastinating.

The Strategy

For those that want to end the plague of procrastination that has engulfed your life, you need to figure out what sets off the dreaded procrastination. Once you figure out the problem, then it is easier to develop a strategy to overcome those issues. My list above is what works for me. It may not be what works for you.

If you enjoyed this and wish to support me and my efforts, please feel free to buy one of my books available on Amazon.com. Or you can buy me a coffee. Until next time.

Stay shiny.

The Daily Struggle

We are not alone.

In my previous couple of posts, I have talked about my the year that has just passed and how I utterly failed in that year. After I have surfed my way through the internet, I have noticed that many people have failed to achieve what they intended to get done in 2018. It is not only me. It is not only you. Many people have problems staying on task and feeling the sense of accomplishment. They see the successful people that have made it and wonder what miracle they have found.

Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure for getting any type of success. I wish there was. And honestly, I have yet to find the level of success that I strive to achieve. A more detailed account will be discussed in future blogs.

Goals, and Dreams

In short, goals and dreams are the way we measure whether we are successful or not. If we made our goal, we are a success, if not, a failure. But what about the in between? The space from the daily struggle to the day that you deem yourself a success. How do you tell if you are on the correct path? Many people, like myself, use days like New Years as a judgment day where the previous year is weighed and measured.

Honestly, that is the reason why I hate New Years and my birthday. They are two easily recognizable days that tend to jump out at me when I am least expecting it. They always mug me for loose pocket change and leave me watching a rerun of that failed year. It is worse as my birthday is in the middle of the year, giving me a mid-year check-up day. I usually freak out and realize that the stuff  I was supposed to do isn’t done and that I am a half-year behind.

The Path to Success or Daily Tasks

As I have stated in previous posts, there is a disconnect between setting a long-term goal and setting daily tasks to propel you towards that goal. Many people, including me, have an issue with keeping on task. It is easy to get sidetracked and allowing a week or even a month slip by without realizing it. This sidetrack is the reason why I have not reached the level of success that I want. Such as having seven unfinished and unpublished books, which is not a good thing.

The outcome of having been sidetracked is, for some; the weight has not come off, the finances are just as bad, and for me; the book isn’t written and is not published. Some people will say, “It’s okay. Shake it off and try again.” So I try again. New year, new me. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

However, how many times must I do that before I wake up to that scam? Before I realize that it isn’t about trying again the same way. Einstein defined insanity as trying the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result at each attempt.

So this year, as stated in previous posts, I am trying something new. This daily accomplishment is my new thing. In 2018 I didn’t write daily tasks, I only doled out self-punishment for failing after I picked myself out of the ditch where I was mugged.

Giving out self-punishment is not a good thing and I see many people do it. Worse yet, it can come in a form that doesn’t look like punishment. It is not self-flagellation, but it is something more hidden. It is the act of giving up, of turning on Youtube or Netflix or cable or video games. It is wasting the days away and pretending not to care about the issue or about making your goal.

I will be truthful, in these last three weeks, I have had my good days and my bad days. I am not perfect. Some days I let things get too much and others, like today, I am getting things done; like writing a blog post on a Wednesday that will be posted on Sunday.

But I have a strategy for that.

(Please note that I read this or heard it somewhere, but can’t recall where.)

The ultimate goal is to do a few little things that get you closer to your ultimate goal. These little things make one day better than the last. It will make you stronger from one day or one week to the next. Or smarter. Or it will get that book done or more money in your pocket and that debt repaid. However, it is easier said than done.

My strategy is my daily accomplishments. The idea, in short, is to write out everything that you need to do that day. But not to write them in randomly. The goal is to write them in an order of importance, to write them the night before instead of when you wake up and to write out the list every day even if it is the same thing over and over.

As stated in previous posts, the starting point of my daily list is my word count for the day. For you, it may be to work out at the gym or go for that 5am run. Whatever it is, put it on top and do it first. That way if you lose steam or get distracted by a honey-do list, then at least you have done something. If you wait until the end of the day when you are tired to do the most important thing, then it is easier to say, “fuck-it-all,” and turn on your distraction-vice of choice.

The task of writing out a list at the end of the day is a nice ritual to end the day. If I am feeling good about what I have accomplished, then it is exciting to write things down. If I failed at the day, then it is an important recap of the day and a chance to think about how to make it better. For me, it works.

This brings me to the last point; the act of writing a new list every day. It gives me the ability to look back at the day and ask the important question. If I didn’t get my tasks done, why? What went wrong on that day? Is it cause I put too much on the list? What distraction hampered my day? When I do that, it gives me the ability to figure out ways to overcome that problem. Cause problems will happen. Days will flop.

But what about…

There are loads of people that have excuses why they can’t do a daily task list and the ability to accomplish daily goals. Some of them are justified, but some of them are not. I struggled with this for a long time. I was not a list person until I was.

In my attempt to prove that I wasn’t a list person, I wrote out all of my excuses on why I couldn’t write. These were the things that got in my way. The job, kids, wife, video games, youtube, anxiety. At the end of my list, I wrote anxiety down as I was grasping at straws hoping to have something that would prove that lists don’t work for me.

But it did. After I went over my list, I realized that all of my issues were not insurmountable. They were details that I could and am overcoming. The important aspect is to take a daily interest with your goal, turn it from an abstract concept and work steadily towards it. If you don’t then you will be thinking the same thing at the end of 2019 that you did at the end of 2018.

That is it for today. If you enjoyed the blog and wish to support me in my work, feel free to purchase one of my books or to simply buy me a coffee.

Until next time.

Stay shiny.


Dreams, Goals, and Daily Accomplishments.

With the coming of the new year and resolutions and all of that, I have thought that it is a good time to talk about the differences and similarities of dreams, goals, and daily accomplishments. Many people have the wrong idea when it comes to these concepts, and a more concrete understanding of them is beneficial to all people.


A dream is a wish. It is an abstract concept that a person wants to obtain at some point. It might be to learn another language and speak it like a local or to buy a house when they work retail. Whatever it is, it is big, unobtainable and aloof.

Dreams are important though. They inspire us to make our lives richer, to make our life better, and to get us up in the morning doing the things that we’d instead not do to get to the things that we want to do.

The problem with dreams is that they seem very far away in the grand scheme of things. They are hard for people to obtain, cause they are always five years away and the intermediate steps are sometimes hidden from view.

Long-Term Goals

Long-term goals are the building blocks of obtaining your dream. Whether your dream is moving to a tropical island or to buy property, a long-term goal is a large piece to get just that. They are still big, still abstract, but somehow smaller and slightly more obtainable.

A long-term goal is getting a better paying job in order to buy property. It is cashing in your investments to move to someplace tropical. These goals are usually the end of a long struggle, but for many people are just as unobtainable.

They are many times five-years away and a large dark object that you are climbing up. Many people give up on there long-term goals for that very reason.

Short-Term Goals

Short-term goals are more obtainable than long-term ones, but they add up. These short items will make up a larger, longer goal. But the short-term goals still take time to do.

A short-term goal may be finding the better paying job or cutting expenses down to live within your means. They are obtainable but take work that will fill up many days.

The issue for a lot of people is the same as what they have for the long-term goals. They can be abstract, and people will have problems staying focused on doing what is needed to obtain the goal.

Daily Accomplishments

This is the meat of the issue. When I hear anyone talk about there dream, this is what I want to hear. That they have thought enough of there dream that they have worked there way down to this level. I want to hear that they have a daily task list that they can do to get there short-term, then long-term and finally there dream.

Without a daily task list, it is easy to get distracted and sidetracked. Once distracted, the ability to get anything done is limited and in peril.

My Dream

My dream is to become a full-time author earning enough money to allow myself to live where ever that I wish to. I don’t want to be tied down to any one place due to work or a job. My dream is the freedom to fulfill my wanderlust.

My Long-Term Goal

My long-term goal is to write 1 million words a year and publish 12 manuscripts in that time. I also want to earn enough money to pay for basic substance.

My Short-Term Goal

Please see my previous blog post on my 2019 goals. Those are my short-term goals right there.

Daily Accomplishments

To do those goals, I have a daily goal of writing 1500 words a day, plus editing a novel for 2 hours. Once a week I need to write a blog post. There will be other items that I will do when needed.

But, every morning, I take a 2-inch by 3-inch note card, and I write out my daily goal for the day. Then I do them. I track my writing on a spreadsheet to make sure that I am keeping to my goal. It is color coded and will go green when I accomplish my daily task. I am to make it all green.

What does this all mean?

This all means that my daily accomplishments will fulfill my short-term goals. By obtaining my short-term goals, I will make my long-term goals. With my long-term goals done, my dream will be in my reach. By having the accomplishments and goals set up the way that I do,  I don’t have to worry too much about the abstract goals.

However, I am not there yet. It is going to take me years to do this.

If you enjoy what you are reading and it has helped you in some way, please feel free to like and to share this post. If you wish to support me and what I do, please feel free to buy me a coffee.

Until next time. Stay shiny.

Waiting and dreams

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ― Steve Jobs

Life has been compared to many things. Chocolate is the most famous that I can think of at the moment.

To me, life is a pile of sand running through your fingers. It dribbles through and before too long, it has disappeared into nothingness. One day you look around and realize that ten years have rolled by and your life is the same as it was ten years ago. The goals that you dreamed of, still undone.

There is never a good time for anything. There is never a good time to have a baby, to leave a job, or to write a book. The time is never right, and there is always something else that will come along that needs to be done first.

In the last post, I talked about dreams and goals.

Today I am going to talk about it again. I feel like it needs reinforcing. This topic is more important than people realize and it deserves a second blog post.

The statement that I get most often from people when I tell them that I am an indie-author is:

I would love to write a book, but I don’t have the time.


I will write my books… but later… when I am retired and I have time.

Life is a finite resource. You will only live for so long. And unlike other types of resources, we have no idea how long that we have left. That fact scares and encourages many people. It scares and inspires me. Like many people, there are many different things that I want to do before the inevitable comes.

The time to accomplish your goal is now.

Not tomorrow.

Not next week.


Stop procrastinating and do the things. If every day you do one thing that takes you that much closer to your goal, then eventually you will get that goal. It can be a small thing. If writing a book is your goal, write a page. If it is losing weight, then exercising that day will do it.

Every day and every decision must move you towards that goal. If you want to write a novel, binge watching Game of Thrones might be counterproductive. Going to the burger joint for a greasy fatty burger might also be counter to losing that weight.

The last point that I am going to make about this tonight is, ignore the naysayers. The toxic friends that have nothing good to say about your decisions. When I decided to move my family across the province so my wife could go to university, there was a handful of people that had nothing good to say about it. Those are ones that I have no interest in listening to. Don’t listen to what others have to say, just do the things that you want to do. You will have fewer regrets later if you do.

Until next time.

Stay Shiny.