Scraping the very Bottom

This blog post is not about running out of ideas as I don’t have that problem. It is also not about running out of money as I try not to talk about that.

This post is to talk about November 2018, but this isn’t about politics. I don’t talk about politics on this page.

In November 2018, I had hit rock bottom. My writing had flat-lined in terms of quality. I had no idea which mistakes I was making. I know I was making them, but I had no idea why or how to fix them.

I was also unable to write any length of work. I had seven different novels partially written, and I was unable to figure out how to fix them.

In short, I was ready to quit. I was going to give up and toss the towel.

I had written some novels, I knew I could do it again, but I was unable to figure out how to do it again.

Statistically, there is a higher chance for a novelist to quit as they are unable to finish the novel. However, I was getting into the part where I was going to quit due to the lack of progression.

For anyone reading this, who feels the same. This is not the time to throw in the towel. Think about all the time spent getting to the stage you are at. This is the time to double down and try again. It might be time to take a course or two. Or to spend money on an editor or critiquer.

This is not the time to quit. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

This journey is not something I can do alone. It takes support from many people for it to become a reality. The easiest way is to visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. They are available in all countries and for free in Kindle Unlimited. I do have a tip jar set up at Ko-Fe, where you can buy me a coffee. Or you can also visit me on Facebook. Your help and support are much appreciated.

The Importance of Making Goals

Being the new year I hear all the time that people can’t do resolutions. Or that resolutions don’t work. To prove my point, I am going to bring attention back to my spreadsheet I made last January and filled out over the year.

2019 words

This is what I did with my 2019 New Years’ resolution. Most resolutions aren’t things that take a single day or a month. They usually involve solving something large in their life. Losing weight is the most common, while others want to make more money.

They usually fail cause they don’t have a real plan on how they are going to enact those plans. They think things will just change when they won’t.

In order to make your life better for the long term, the change must be fought for every day. If a person isn’t willing to keep at it every day, then the resolution will fail.

This is why I have a daily goal. I have a setlist of small daily tasks that will equal the larger goal. As long as I make the daily goals, I will make my monthly goals. That will make me earn my yearly goals. Without these smaller goals, they are no way to keep track of the larger goal.

So if you have a New Year Resolution and want to be successful, then break the goal down into the smaller pieces. Then if you have the discipline to continue each day, you will be successful in your resolution. I did it, and so can you.

This journey is not something I can do alone. It takes support from many people for it to become a reality. The easiest way is to visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. They are available in all countries and for free in Kindle Unlimited. I do have a tip jar set up at Ko-Fe, where you can buy me a coffee. Or you can also visit me on Facebook. Your help and support are much appreciated.

End of 2019 Report.

On the first of every new month, I have posted a small report on how I did during the previous month. The point of it is to show that I’m still putting my money where my mouth is. This tradition will continue, except for this report shall be for all of 2019 and not just December. I will talk about my accomplishments for December first, then move into 2019 as a whole.

DECEMBER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote 43,627 words.
  2. I have written for 365 days in a row.
  3. I have finished the first draft of my story with the temp title: Werewolf.
  4. I have passed the 500k mark in total yearly words at 526k.
  5. I am working on re-editing my Felix books
  6. I wrote my weekly blog posts.

EXAMINATION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. The entire intention of December was to take it easy as I wrote just over 63k words in November. I managed to write just over 43k words. I was worried about burn-out, and I decided that it was a bad idea to do too much over the holidays. I needed to work on my editing.
  2. This is still the longest number of days in a row I have written by far. I have written 365 days in a row. My min to count as a daily goal was 150 words. I intend to keep this going. As I have no intention of stopping that streek any time soon.
  3. My Werewolf story started out as a short story for a class I took. It needed to become a novel and will eventually be a trilogy. I have finished the first draft of the first book.
  4. I have passed the 500k mark. In my word counts. As part of it, I have started working on some projects I can’t talk about. It will be counted in my daily word count, but you won’t hear much about it. I apologize for that. I wish to be more transparent with you all, but I can’t in this case.
  5. I’m editing my Phantom Sorcerer story, and that is progressing. I should get the first of it done by the end of January. For those that have already bought it, once the new edition is published, then you can update it manually in your kindle app.
  6. My blog posts are still happening.

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.

2019 GOALS DEBRIEF

This year has been a mix of ups and downs. I’ve had a mix of good days and bad days and ups and downs. I have burned-out once during with the stress of it all, but I recovered. The biggest thing about the year was that it has taught me discipline over motivation. I have talked about it multiple times in my blogs and will talk about it numerous times in the future.

  1. 500k Words. I will be going over the details of my experiences of the first goal in a future post. But, in 2019, the primary goal is the one I was hoping would set up the rest. It is one of the few 2019 goals I have accomplished.
  2. I had written a plan of what projects I was going to accomplish. But as things got added on and things changed, those went out the window. I have updated the plan multiple times throughout the year, and I have a new 2020 plan on what projects I want to write.
  3. I have a new cover for Felix #1, but with the re-edit, that is not something I count as being done. It will be considered done.
  4. I have managed to get a blog post each month about different subjects. Some of it about being creative, some of it writing. I tend to keep away from talking about writing.
  5. This goal is a work in progress. I should have it done in 2020.
  6. The two short stories I was hoping to be submitted to market didn’t happen. I have a publisher interested in one of them. But he isn’t doing another Mil Sci-Fi anthology in the near future. They are on the block of projects to work on during 2020 if I get time.
    1. The short stories From Planet Everdark, Rise of the Ghids have been published in anthologies. Click on the links to check them out. News about Sailing Vessel Wanderlust: the Delivery is forthcoming.
  7. Earn $1000 per month. The naivety in that goal is thick. There was no way I was going to make that goal. Perhaps if I managed to get all the books published that I wanted to.
  8. The publishing imprint has been relaunched with a better name. I am more happy with the name Atomic Slingshot Press.
  9. Another goal that is thick with naivety. I do want to launch editing services, but that will have to happen in the future.
  10. This goal is the second goal I’m most happy with. I have written 365 days in a row. And I know. Most people aren’t going to believe me. I have a kept records and here is an image of the chart.:

2019 words

I will be posting about my 2020 goals. A friend of mine has told me that I need to post 20 goals for 2020.

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.

Expanding your Comfort Zone.

Habits, by definition, are comfortable. They become convenient for that very reason. If they weren’t comfortable, they wouldn’t become habits in the first place.

In the career of a creative, there is always the threat they will sink into a rut. This is where the creative will work a job, not in their field, or they will work in their field, but in a more corporate setting. Both of which are soul-crushing and will end with them in a rut. Once in the rut, a creative will end up spinning their wheels, getting nowhere.

For a creative, the rut is comfortable and soft. At least at first. The corporate job will pay the bills, the work not in the field gives the freedom to not work too much at their craft. All of this will become a habit, and habit is comforting to people.

But the rut and the habit are death spirals to creatives. They will end up with either the creative’s soul being crushed or them giving up and throwing in the towel. Either outcome is bad for obvious reasons.

However, there is a way for a creative to do soul-crushing tasks while still staying sane. For example, they can use the soul-crushing job to pay for the creative endeavor they genuinely want to do. This is hard as it takes determination and willpower to keep moving.

This will usually take the creative to expand and get out of their comfort zone to get out of their rut. It is not a natural thing for people to do, and it takes them to seek it out. The creative has to consciously make a move as it won’t just happen on their own. If they leave everything alone, nothing will change. They will blink three times and discover a decade has passed in the meantime. Staying in the comfort zone creates a complacency which hinders a creative.

What do creatives need to do?

Take on something outside of the comfort zone just cause its outside of it. Ignore the voices that say it’s not going to work. Or that it’ll end up in tears. The important part is to step up and acknowledge the need for growth. This growth will create the ability to get out of the comfort zone.

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. You can also visit me on Facebook. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Worldbuilding and Logic Rant

This is a ramble that I had late one night on social media. I thought it was interesting and that I should put it here.

Rant

I write my books in two main genres, which are Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The reason I do this is that they both scratch a different itch.

I enjoy science fiction cause I am a futurist. I enjoy telling stories about what I think the future could look like. I’m the type of person who wishes we had flying cars by now.

Science fiction is the question of what can happen. When it comes to creating my science fiction stories, I never choose the best choice for what could happen. This means that it is not the most probable or most straightforward. I choose what will happen based on what will cause the most conflict in the story. Conflict equals stories, and if there is no conflict, then there is no story.

I still try to figure out how to create the world, so it makes plausible sense. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to have some type of internal logic. Without any logic to the world, then the actions of the characters don’t make sense.

The starships should act in a certain way. Gravity still exists, and no matter where the characters are in the galaxy, they are in orbit around something. Either a moon, a planet, a star, or the center of the galaxy. The ships will act in a certain way.

I imagine it like being on the ocean. The wind and the currents dictate what a ship will do. A sailing ship has to move a specific way, or else it won’t move very fast. With diesel engines and the like, it allows ships to ignore some aspects of sailing on the open seas. Now, they don’t care what the wind does. But they listen to the currents. It is why there are shipping lanes. Having a ship go with the current saves on fuel.

In space, the same thing exists. Right now, we are in the equivalent to the sailing ship. We don’t have the energy to go against gravity and planetary movements. We have to ship things on long trips using gravity slings to get things where they need to go. If we figure out more efficient energy sources, then we may be able to take quicker routes. But like sailing on the ocean, taking routes where the aid of the gravitational force in travel will be a thing.

With fantasy, it is the question of what could have been. History is rich with stories and conflict and having some type of fantastical story set in a world that never was interesting to me. Back in my twenties, I did the Tolkein, and I had created a fantastical world complete with a map and different cultures. This was cause I was told that was the best way to do it. Create a map and peoples to inhabit said map.

I’ve refrained from doing that craziness to my later worldbuilding ideas. But there is still logic to it.

No matter what Hollywood tells us, swords won’t cut through metal armor. Battles in the middle ages resulted in very few casualties from combat. Most soldiers died of disease on a campaign than a sword blow. In battle, it was considered a massacre if ten percent of the soldiers died. Battles were about breaking the morale of the enemy, rather than slaughtering the entire enemy.  These aspects are just some of the logic used with creating a fantasy story.

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.

 

500,000

Annotation 2019-12-17 101622

This is going to be a short one.

But, on January 1, 2019, I made a goal to write a half a million words by the end of 2019. As of this morning, I have made that said goal. Writing every day has allowed me to make that goal.

Time for me to get back to writing.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

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.

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.

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.