Daily Update, or April Wrap Up

Keeping Track
Keeping Track

Current Word Count Stats

Today: [postwc] | Month: [postmonthwc] | Year: [postyearwc]

Today

This morning started with a two mile run. No computer this morning. I left it off to avoid distractions. The run went well, with celebratory burpees afterward. I did a little work, and then it was off to the Day Job. Wrote on breaks. I spent time reading.

Today’s sketch was practice from Matt Dixon’s Fantasy Artist’s Figure Drawing Bible.

I love this book. I need to spend more time going through it, there’s so much still to learn.

This month I started the second novel in my Land Lubbers series, Sea Legs. It’s been a blast working on the novel. This is a series that I started a couple years ago when I wrote the first book. It had a limited release at the time in a serialized fashion as I wrote it, but I haven’t had a chance yet to release the book the way I want. That comes later. After the second book is done, when I’m working on the third. Then I’ll start releasing them in the editions I want to create.

I posted daily about working creatively while also holding a full-time Day Job. And along with that I did daily sketches.

On the publishing side, two stories were reissued and the second book in the Dead Things series came out.

Dreaming Dead Things

 

It was a good month.

Summary

Here’s the monthly calendar, showing all my daily word counts for the month. Most days I met or exceeded my goal of 1,370 words per day, and mostly met or exceeded my target of 1,500 words per day. Even while working full-time at the Day Job, I still made time to write.

[monthly_cal]2014-04-01[/monthly_cal]

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.

Daily Update, or Use the Force

Use the Force
Use the Force

Current Word Count Stats

Today: [postwc] | Month: [postmonthwc] | Year: [postyearwc]

 Today

I did the drawing today in honor of the episode VII cast announcementStar Wars was a big part of my childhood growing up. The action figures, the toys, and the rest. It was a lot of fun. It and Star Trek, I always had plenty of room for both and tons of other movies and books.

When episodes I-III were coming, it was the same hopeful anticipation. I enjoyed the movies, I didn’t come at them with enormous expectations or a super critical mindset. I’ve just started watching the Clone Wars show on Netflix, and have enjoyed the first few episodes.

I’ve read a few of the books, not many, and played various video games from the franchise. One of the earliest books I read was by a favorite author, Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye.

Star Wars created a fun, exciting universe. I’m looking forward to what comes in the future.

Today I got up, I started slow but I made the time to get in the word count on my book. I don’t know that any of the worlds I recreate will find their audience, those doubts are always present, but I’m closing my eyes and using the Force.

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.

Daily Update, or Doubts in a Creative Life

Doubting Dead Things
Doubting Dead Things

Current Word Count Stats

Today: [postwc] | Month: [postmonthwc] | Year: [postyearwc]

 Today

I can’t really say that today went better than yesterday. I was sore from yesterday’s run, so decided to take it easier. Also, I didn’t sleep much, getting about five hours of sleep.

I had a story rejected today, receiving an “Honorable Mention” in the Writers of the Future contest. It’s not my first, and it’s a nice rejection, but still a rejection. This was one of the last quarters I could enter the contest. Soon I’ll have another pro-sale published, so I won’t qualify any longer.

Despite the fact that I am selling stories, both “pro” sales and indie, the doubts remain. Usually I’m pretty good at keeping them at bay but stress is one of my triggers. Thinking about financial stresses, getting a rejection, and suddenly all those doubts come rushing back. I’ve been doing this long enough that I recognize and expect that to happen.

It doesn’t make it easy for loved ones, though, to have someone that is positive and optimistic one moment, and then down the next. I’m not talking about extreme swings, just the normal up and down that tends to come with creative types. Someone buys a story, and we’re up, and then there’s a rejection and we’re down. On the indie side that can be triggered by watching sales dashboards too much with sales one day driving moods up, which then plummet when the sales don’t continue the next. Reviews are particularly destructive that way, either good or bad.

The main thing I try to remember is to keep the focus on the tasks that I have control over. Getting my word count done, for example. The better job I do with those simple things, the better it’ll work out overall.

Tomorrow

Back to work at the Day Job. Word count to do, a story to finish illustrating, and more to work on than I ever have time to do. I need to review edits on Killing Dead Things, aiming to have that out at the end of May!

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.

Daily Update, or Running From One Thing to the Next

Worf
Worf

Current Word Count Stats

Today: [postwc] | Month: [postmonthwc] | Year: [postyearwc]

 Today

I took it easy this morning, relaxing since it was a day off the Day Job. Everything fills in the day off. Including relaxing. Without having the same time pressures as normal it’s easy to put things off. I spent time reading first, just relaxing and enjoying the morning.

The sun came up through the clouds. The rain had washed everything. It was cool, but not cold. I strapped on my Xero Shoes and went for a run. It was 3.57 miles, 37m:04s. It was a good run. Fun. It went well. I felt strong.

After that was some publishing work, then errands, lunch and finally a nap. Other things came up, including more reading and watching some television. Dinner. In all of that I was slow making time to write. It ended up going well, but I’ve stayed up much later than usual.

Tomorrow, hopefully, I’ll get on it a little sooner.

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.

Dreaming Dead Things

Dreaming Dead Things

Current Word Count Stats

Today: [postwc] | Month: [postmonthwc] | Year: [postyearwc]

 Today

This morning saw the official release of the new edition of Dreaming Dead Things. Previously published under a pen name, I’m glad to have it out in this new edition. Work is progressing right now on getting the brand new Killing Dead Things novel ready to release in a few weeks.

I spent some time this morning updating pages for the new release, before heading off to work at the Day Job. We had people out today on vacation and sick, but it wasn’t too bad. I still managed to get my breaks in and complete my word count with time left to finish reading Scattered Suns by Kevin J. Anderson, and I started reading Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton.

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.

Daily Update, or Memories

Self-Portrait
Self-Portrait

Current Word Count Stats

Today: [postwc] | Month: [postmonthwc] | Year: [postyearwc]

 Today

In the first episode of The Walking Dead, Rick wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world with zombies. At his house he asks if he’s really there, if he’s dreaming and says, “Wake up.”

Who knows? Maybe the whole show is a dream.

Today I got up, I went for a run. I did some writing before I headed off to work, some more on breaks and bit by bit it got done.

We were looking at videos yesterday and today. Family movies, pictures, that sort of thing. It’s amazing how quickly the time passes and kids change so fast. In The Walking Dead episode they talk about trying to save photo albums and pictures. We want to hang onto those things, to our memories.

I said to my son, as he watched a video of himself as a toddler, “Do you remember that?”

“Yes, because I watched the video,” he said. “But I don’t remember everything, because we don’t have videos of everything.”

Writing is another way to remember. So is drawing and sketching. All of this, it helps.

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.

Daily Update, or Coming Up Short

Sad Gnome is Sad
Sad Gnome is Sad

Current Word Count Stats

Today: [postwc] | Month: [postmonthwc] | Year: [postyearwc]

 Today

Over on Twitter Mark Fassett and Jeff Ambrose were talking about doing daily posts. Dean Wesley Smith is up to almost ten months now of daily posts. I mentioned in my first post in this series that his posts were one of the inspirations for doing my own series. We’re in very different places with our careers and lives. I think it’s interesting seeing what different writers are doing, what challenges they face. I’ve talked to writers that don’t know how to fit writing into their lives, and posts like these give some possible examples.

There’s no point doing a series of posts like this if you’re not enjoying it. Kristine Kathryn Rusch just ended her Business Rusch series after five years of weekly posts (which is extremely worth reading, if you want to get a handle on the business side of a creative career).  I really don’t know how long I’ll continue it, but for now I’m enjoying the posts, and enjoying creating a quick sketch for each posts. Some days that’s the only time I find to draw. It’s quick, but it’s something.

Today, for example, was a day when I came up short for my usual goals. I took the car in to the dealer this morning, breaks at the Day Job were interrupted and short, and I chose to spend the evening playing with my son instead of getting more written. That was fun, and okay. I’m up over my goal for the year at this point, so having a shorter day isn’t a big deal. Tomorrow I’ll aim to meet my minimum again, and see how it goes.

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.

Daily Update, or Working a Long Day

Long-lasting tech
Long-lasting tech

Current Word Count Stats

Today: [postwc] | Month: [postmonthwc] | Year: [postyearwc]

 Today

I got up this morning and went for a ride on my trike up into town and back. Just a quick ride, I didn’t have much time. I knew when I got up today that it’d be a long day at the Day Job. I had to start at 8 AM, and figured I wouldn’t be heading home until 8 or 9 PM. So pretty much the whole day would be spent at work.

Given that was going to happen, it was important to make the best use of the time that I had available. This is where cutting out distractions makes a difference. A few minutes spent this morning sketching meant that I didn’t need to try to do the sketch when I got home. My Microsoft Trackball Explorer has lasted a long time, having come out something like 13 years ago. New ones, or even used ones, listed on eBay or Amazon go for ridiculous prices.

After finishing the sketch, I worked on this post a bit, and then headed off to work.

At the Day Job today there were a couple things happening. The first was an all-day workshop, which proved very interesting and useful. There were breaks, though, so I was able to finish most of my word count. Then later, after a meal break when I finished my word count, I went to a Board of Trustees meeting at the Olympia library. By the time it finished, it meant I was home much later than usual, but not actually as late as it could have gone. It was a fairly quick meeting.

The nice thing with getting home a bit earlier than expected was having a little time to spend with my son before he went to bed.

Other than writing today, I also did a little work on the next story release coming up and I still found some time to read.

Tomorrow

What’s on the plan for tomorrow? At least another 1,500 words on Sea Legs, a run or bike ride in the morning, and some time working on publishing. Of course another post too. I’ve got to take the car by the shop too, because I noticed a headlight out today. And a full day at the Day Job on top of all of that.

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.

Daily Update, or Writing on my Pond

Writing on my Pond
Writing on my Pond

Current Word Count Stats

Today: [postwc] | Month: [postmonthwc] | Year: [postyearwc]

 Today

A funny thing happened this morning, an Earth Day synchronicity. The morning started out normally. I got up and went out for a run. As I was enjoying the early, pre-dawn run and looked at the trash scattered along the side of the road, I reflected that this was Earth Day.

Maybe, I thought, after work I should take a walk and pick up trash. 

It’s not much, but maybe something I could do. I finished the run and came back and had breakfast. While I ate I had iTunes randomly playing songs from my library using an ‘underplayed’ playlist that only has tracks that I haven’t played much, if at all.

And what did it play?

It seemed a very appropriate song for today, and all the more fun since it just came up on its own. Growing up I was a big fan of the Muppets. I was one of the kids that actually collected Muppet puppets, created my own stories.

The rest of the  day was fairly normal. I worked at the Day Job. I took breaks, and when I was on a break I took out the iPad, set a timer, and wrote. It was a good use of my breaks, with [postwc] words written. The novel is at almost 25,000 words now and continuing to be a lot of fun to write.

Other than that, I also spent some time working on art and publishing, so it was a pretty good day.

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.

Daily Update, or Choosing Happy

Grab On To Happiness
Grab On To Happiness

Current Word Count Stats

Today: [postwc] | Month: [postmonthwc] | Year: [postyearwc]

 Today

I woke up happy today. I got up, checked a few emails and then went out for a run. Not too far, a little under two miles. First I took a run up through the woods with my dog and then (leaving him home), I went out for my run in the street. I wore my Xero Shoes. I did some burpees at the the start and pretty much enjoyed the run. I didn’t get out this last week, so I wasn’t sure how it’d go, but I felt pretty good.

It was a day off work, which meant there were errands to run today. Afterward I spent time working on getting .epub and .mobi editions of Dreaming Dead Things created and uploaded to various sites in preparation for its reissue / relaunch at the end of the week. At this point that process goes pretty smoothly to use InDesign to create a validated .epub file. Once the files are done then it goes up on Gumroad to sell through Glittering Throng Press, and to retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple and Smashwords (and from there to various other sites).

Off and on through the day I also worked on my current novel. Right now I’m happy with the novel and having fun. Sometimes novels go through difficult patches when it’s harder to keep going, but I haven’t hit that yet. May not at all. It doesn’t happen with every book. Mostly I’m just having fun.

I also took breaks, played games, read and enjoyed the day. Only problem? Too short. Back to the Day Job tomorrow, so I’ll need to be focused to get everything done.

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.