Daily Update, or Coming Up Short

Sad Gnome is Sad
Sad Gnome is Sad

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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.

Daily Update, or Four Weeks of Creativity and Writing With a Day Job

More Dead Things
More Dead Things

Current Word Count Stats

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

 Today

One of the fun things today was watching my son’s expression when he saw his Easter basket. He doesn’t believe in the Easter Bunny, but he still had fun today. He also had some post-sugar meltdowns, but mostly I think he had fun.

Holiday or not, I still had quite a bit of work to do. I wanted to work on the cover for Dreaming Dead Things (sample above). I still have to finish up creating new e-book files before it’ll be available. Hopefully by the end of the week!

I did set aside some time to write, but not as much as I’d like. I spent a lot of time working on the cover for the book, and less time on writing. Between that, holiday activities, watching House M.D., reading and even some games my word count isn’t quite finished. I think I’m just going to accept the lower count today and do better tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I’m feeling better. I need to get back into working out. Hopefully I start doing that tomorrow.

This post also marks four full weeks of daily updates. It’s amazing that four weeks has already gone past! I’m finding that posting about my progress, my thoughts, and the challenges of writing while at working full-time day job is interesting. I’m also enjoying creating daily sketches. Usually I don’t spend as much time on it as I did today, but the practice is good.

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 Drawing Dead Things

Drawing Dead Things
Drawing Dead Things

Current Word Count Stats

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

 Today

I had planned on releasing the new edition of Dreaming Dead Things, previously published under my Tennessee Hicks pen name. I’ve been making progress on the new edition, but it isn’t ready yet. Maybe next week.

I’m still getting over not feeling well this week, but I’ve been able to have fun working on the book through that anyway. That’s been about it. Between being tired and the day job I haven’t found time for anything else, but I hope that turns around this weekend.

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 Playing Chicken With Your Writing

Playing Chicken
Playing Chicken

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

 Today

The other day writer Jeff Ambrose posted about fears.

The fear of rejection, and the fear of making mistakes are the biggest two, I think.

Fear is one of the biggest things that anyone creating art faces. It’s always there, always coming up when you don’t expect it. Like a hydra, you chop off one head and two more come up. Rejection and mistakes, sure, and deeper ones. Voices echoing around in your head, like a bunch of one-star reviewers.

“You’ll never make it as a writer.”

“Writing sucks. Characters unbelievable.”

“Why send the story to Big Market? They’ll never buy it.”

“You can’t write science fiction.”

Fears get in the way of sending your work out into the world. Either to markets or online. I started out creating pen names for each genres, until I realized that it was another form of fear. How else could readers identify the genre? Well, the design, art, title, and blurb would probably give the readers clues. It was the fear that somehow people wouldn’t know what they were getting.

I have fears that I won’t reach my goals with my writing. One of my biggest fears is running out of time.

When I was younger I had the crazy notion that this would all be easier. I expected to work, sure, but I had the notion that it would all just sort of happen. Guess what? Things didn’t happen that easily and it fed the fears.

The thing is, I think fear is useful. Facing your fears, that’s the key. Doing the thing that scares you, challenges you, or makes you work. If it was easy, if it wasn’t scary, then I’m probably doing something wrong.

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 Another Day, Another Dollar

Another Day, Another Dollar
Another Day, Another Dollar

Current Word Count Stats

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

 Today

Still fighting this cold or whatever today. I got up late, didn’t have time to get anything done before work, and spent the day working. I did manage to get some writing on breaks, but was hard. Not feeling well, working, it makes it harder to keep my focus. I was tired.

The work still got done. I also had fun. Even through not feeling well, I had fun with the novel. These characters, the world, it’s fun. I might not feel well, but I had fun today. I got to teach at work, I got to have fun on my breaks, and had a chance to finish up tonight even if I fought sleep at points.

I don’t like being sick, but I do like meeting my goals. That’s a great feeling.

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 Creativity When You Don’t Feel Good

Missing You
Missing You

Current Word Count Stats

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

 Today

Pushing through pain. Some days you don’t feel good. This was one of those days. I’ve been feeling achy, tired, and I finally figured it out today why — I picked up a cold from my son. Complete with the clogged sinus.

On top of that the Day Job went long, that meant I was even more tired by the time I got home.

Anticipating what my day was likely to be like, I worked on the novel this morning and managed to get a good start on my work this morning. During lunch I managed to pull out a bit more, but still hadn’t met my count. I was tired, which made it harder to focus, so it wasn’t enough.

When you’re not feeling well, creating new work is hard. The nice thing, later on, you can’t tell. And it’s one thing to feel positive and great and get the work done, it’s another to do it when you have a down day.

The other thing that helps are pets, and family. Keep them close.

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 When is a Vacation Not a Vacation?

Various Doodles
Various Doodles

Current Word Count Stats

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

 Today

I had today off from the Day Job — but it wasn’t a day spent sitting around watching movies or even working entirely on creative activities. This was one of those days off that isn’t a day off, because of family dental appointments for both a dog and humans. Not at the same time.

The first was a follow-up with the vet for our older dog who had teeth pulled a month ago. She’s doing great, but it was an hour of driving round-trip for the two minutes that we spent at the vet to let them make sure that her teeth were fine. Good to know, but lots of driving.

A few hours later, back in the car to take the rest of the family to the dentist and another hour spent in the car, plus time at the dentist’s office (which didn’t go as well as expected). And I still have to go back for my own cleaning, but not today.

In all, it was a vacation day from the Day Job but not really a “vacation” in the sense of taking it easy and having fun. I’m fortunate that I can at least take vacation days.

Around all of that I managed to get in my word count today on my current novel. I also spent quite a bit of time working on my next release (hopefully Saturday). I’m working on getting the new edition of Dreaming Dead Things out, which is going well, but it does take a lot more time than doing a story.

Today I also received my paperback copies of my three latest stories. I like getting these, it’s always fun to see hard copies.

Paperback Stories
Paperback Stories

Otherwise, a pretty typical day. I took a few breaks, managed to read a little, watched a little House M.D., but that was about it for today. I got done what I needed to do and made good progress on my projects, so all-in-all, that was good.

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.