I was about 20 minutes into my workout today when my mind started giving me perfectly valid reasons to quit.
It was a busy day at the new job.
I ate pretty good today. (Well, the first half of the day at least.)
I already worked up a good sweat/burned a good chunk of calories.
Was it time to quit, though? No, I still had another 15 minutes to go. I pushed myself to keep going and instead ended up burning the most calories I’ve done in a single workout.
The same applies for writing (or any other task that is hard). I sit down to write and my brain starts finding all this other stuff I could be doing.
Weren’t there some blogs I wanted to read?
Man today was busy at work, I’m fried.
I bet there was a new g+ post in the last 30 seconds.
Wait, I could write a blog post. That counts as writing, doesn’t it? (Worry not, I finished my writing goals today before I wrote this.)
I’m this close to getting the next level in Super Awesome Fantasy Game!
All these are just excuses for me to not write. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, there was no quick path to publishing. Some days would be better than others. Still I have to tell that doubting part of my mind to get out of the drivers seat. Today is the day I write. And the next day. And the next. Until I have a novel sitting here before me.
Oh, and unplugging the internet doesn’t hurt either.
Posted by Joshua on May 20, 2013
Finally have my word meter for this year live. I’m ahead of my goals. Right now though, it is mostly serving as a reminder that I haven’t spent nearly as much time editing as I planned. Time to rectify that.
Posted by Joshua on April 26, 2013
Maybe I’m just really tired. Not sure. Writing just isn’t coming tonight. I already met my goal for the day, but I thought I’d throw a few more words on the novel. Then I thought, ‘Hey, I haven’t updated my blog in a while’, and here we are.
Two weeks ago I finished editing the first draft of my novel. I have a few gaps I need to fill, some parts that need expanded on, but otherwise I feel like it’s pretty good work.
My wife and I just got back from Seattle where we celebrated our 10th anniversary. It was a fantastic time. We saw a lot of cool stuff and generally had a great time. I hope to go back soon.
Other than that, life is happening. All the time.
Posted by Joshua on April 3, 2013
Last night I met with a local writer’s group that is restarting here in Pittsburgh, Write or Die. Critiques are done clarion style. I’m looking forward to the next meeting. I have a couple of short stories that I’m interested in getting a new perspective on, so this will be good. Hopefully I pick up some good tips.
We also did a little writing exercise. The idea was to take a character from a current WIP, change that character to a robot and write a short paragraph from their perspective. Then pull lines out of that to produce a poem. Mine went like this:
Sub-optimal idle time
Minimal power to systems
Laying in his mother’s arms
Analyzing her organic nature
I don’t usually write poetry, but this amuses me.
Posted by Joshua on January 30, 2013
I finished editing Chapter 5 today. This was after going through and breaking the huge chapters into more manageable parts. I was as thinking “hey, I’ve edited half these chapters! But… this seems really short.”
So I look to the “last” chapter and realize, oh yeah, I wrote the rest of this down in my notebook.
I have some typing ahead of me. Hopefully I can still read my scribbles.
Other than that, I feel like editing is going pretty good. This round of edits is mostly low level stuff, punctuation, wrong words. I think two more passes at the story, at the very least. I’m also maintaining my daily word goals for the new work.
Posted by Joshua on January 25, 2013
We’ve entered the new year with the usual fanfare. I had a fantastic time with my family. My kids had a blast staying up late, banging pots and pans, noisemakers, the works. It was fun!
November and December were pretty erratic for writing. It usually ended up as large chunks of writing or no writing. I topped out at 205,801 words. That’s 17,701 words over the goal and 9.41% increase. I’ll count that in the win category as far as pure output goes.
I’m not one for setting resolutions. Goals on the other hand work pretty well for me. Unfortunately, my next goal is much harder to quantify than mere word count.
I need to edit! Producing all those words is fantastic, but if I’m going to make a career of this, there needs to be the other half of the process. So I’m not sure how exactly I will quantify this goal. Just need to dig in and get to work. I’m also going to set a goal of one page of new fiction per day.
So that’s that. If all goes as planned, I’ll have at least one novel published through Amazon at the end of the year.
Posted by Joshua on January 2, 2013
As predicted, I surpassed my goal last week. The day after I made the other post. (The title amused me too much to wait until the goal was cleared.)
I met the goal of 188,100 words in 290 days (technically 280 days because I had 10 days with 0 words) on October 16th.
I’m still writing of course, just not at quite the break neck speed I pursued previously. I’m only on chapter 3 of the novel I started, and I have big plans there.
There is still the editing I mentioned in the last post. So, I am far from done.
Posted by Joshua on October 22, 2012
I’m in the final stretch of my writing goal for the year. Two and a half months ahead of schedule is pretty good. Of course, the reality is that it’s only just the beginning. Editing needs to happen, big time. It’s been a march to get to this point, and I’m looking forward to changing gears after this.
So I completed one novel I carried over from last year, wrote another completely, and started on a third. Not to mention 10 or so short stories. I’m going to call that a win. Now to get something published.
Posted by Joshua on October 15, 2012
It was rather unexpected, but I started a novel last week. I really intended to finish off the year working on short stories. Though all the previous novels have led up to this one, so I guess it kind of makes sense. Obviously I haven’t outlined much, and that may end up causing some problems later, but for now I’m pressing on. So begins the descent into darkness.
Posted by Joshua on September 24, 2012
Today I was surprised to look up and realize that I’m at 90% of my goal for the year. Not bad, half way through September. Not much else to add here. I’ve mostly worked on short stories lately, wrote several new ones, editing some old ones.
I also started a small writing group (can you call it a group if it’s just two people?) with a local friend. It will be good to get some outside feedback on my writing from someone I can connect with locally. We meet at the coffee shop and talk about what we’re working on, go over stuff that could use improvement etc. I like it, and I think it will be the spur I need to really give things that hard look while I’m editing. He has already made some excellent points about a story I showed him.
All in all, making progress.
Posted by Joshua on September 17, 2012