Current Word Count Stats
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After yesterday’s long day I didn’t get to bed as early as usual, leading to getting up later than normal this morning. I’m naturally a morning person, although I find that I tend to create my work throughout the day. Since time was limited, I took today as a rest day from exercising but I did sign up for a #Spartan30 Pushups challenge today that starts April 1st.
Yesterday I finished a novel, completing Past Dark, the fourth book in my Moreau Society series. I’ve listed a number of my novels on my Books page, and that only counts those novels that have been published under my name or one of my former pen names, and new novels that are finished but haven’t been released yet. I have a few more titles to get added to that list, including this one. And those don’t count the novels I wrote years ago that I have no plans to release. Even with all those novels, I still think that completing a new novel is something to celebrate. I enjoy taking a moment to step back, look at the novel, and enjoy the moment.
Today at the day job, we had a staff meeting and were giving a chance to share any news at the beginning of the meeting. I took advantage of that opportunity to just share that I’d completed a novel yesterday. It’s also something to share with other groups — don’t be afraid to celebrate! Each finished project is an accomplishment. They each have their own challenges and rewards.
After celebrating, what next? I know which novel I’m writing next. I have a calendar with all of my to-be-written novels listed for the next couple years. The calendar adjusts as needed. Recently I came up with a new novel idea and I rearranged the schedule to give me time to work on that project.
Since I’m not quite ready, I started a new short story today. It gives me another chance to practice, and when I’m done, a story to send out to pro markets. Each novel, each story, is a new beginning and an adventure.
It’s also a a chance to practice something new as far as the craft. Maybe it’s finding real details and rich setting instead of fake details. Or pacing. Or a different POV.
Short stories are also great for this. In addition to writing an entertaining story, what are you practicing with the craft of writing? Openings? Endings? What are you practicing with this project?
To be clear, I don’t think about that when I’m actually writing. When I write I try to get out of my way and tell the story from my creative side. Before I start a new project, though, is a good time to prime the pump. Maybe I tell myself that I want to work on character voice. I might read some stories by someone who has strong character voice, like Stephen King. For study, I might type in sections. I don’t bother saving those sessions. I don’t care about the specific words, it’s training my subconscious that this is the sort of thing I’d like to do.
Then when I sit down to write the story I tell the story. Hopefully the manuscript works to tell the story. And when it’s done it’ll either go out to markets or over to Glittering Throng Press to come out in e-book and print formats.
Finishing one novel, getting ready for the next, and each new story, those are times I enjoy. It’s fun starting something new.
New Creative Challenges
I also spent time today working on a new reissue of a short story that’s already been out in e-book form. This is a new edition, with an original artwork cover. I’m creating quick sketches for the covers of the stories. It’s good practice and fun to do! The real challenge is doing it and letting it go to move on to the next. I’m always looking to the next project.
To catch up on other posts in this series, check out the contents page: Working Creatively With a Day Job.
If you enjoy these posts, please comment and share with others. It does take time that could be spent on other projects, so if you want to show additional support, consider picking up copies of my books or stories either for your own enjoyment, or for someone else.