July 24th, 2019

Today is interesting. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had good periods and bad, and right now I am in a positive productive phase. As a result, I am writing WHT most days, and on several shooting over the 1K threshold. Well, right now there are 11,631 words to go, and I have had at least one 1,600 days this week.

That means WHT might drop from 5 digits to 4 by the end of today, or if I chain two good days from tomorrow. That is nuts, and the idea that I have this story almost complete when I worried a historical piece would stall me out makes me feel pretty darn good. Not much comes close to finishing the first draft for me.

Right, back to work, and here’s hoping I can keep up the pace. I’m feeling in control.

July 23rd, 2019

300 days. By the time I hit target today, 1K will have lasted for three hundred lots of my thousand-word minimum. Doing the maths that – funnily enough – adds up to 300,000 words in the last just under a year. In reality, there have been plenty of days – including yesterday – where I wrote far in excess of that total. Last night I hit exactly 1,600 words, which with the 400 or so I had floating since my last count up, brings WHT to 62,000 words in length.

I started WHT from scratch in late April, so in just under three months to have that total, I’ve averaged over 20,000 words a month, with the remaining 10k~ from each of those being short stories, VOL and TUS additions, and various smaller pieces. I sound like a bit of a broken record, but that is still insane to me.

This time last year, I had one “finished” novel with too-long chapters, one 40k mess that needed tidying, and a bunch of ideas, and that was the sum total of what, 6 years of half-hearted work? I would write in bursts for a few months and then, nothing. And now, I have a 45,000-word encyclopedia of my extended universe, one fully edited novel, and two ready or almost to type up.

That 40k~ mess though, that’s still here and is what I will be picking up as soon as WHT is done. That is The Spectrum Sings (TSS), a novella in its current form of that length, but will be getting the same treatment as all my other books. What will make this one interesting, is how I will be developing it.

Any long term imaginary readers will remember months ago when I got this story all printed up in a form I could annotate. I’ve chipped away at this bit by bit, though not much of it so far. Come August 13th, I will be typing this whole previously typed up story again from scratch, and extending it as I go.

This gets particularly interesting when you consider this likely won’t take anywhere near the full allotted time of 120~ days. In fact, it should all be done by November. So I have a question to mull: given I’ll be on track, and have a free month, do I jump right into my next story – The First Stroke (TFS) – orrrrr, do I attempt NaNoWriMo?

My gut says the former. I imagine there is so much noise around NaNoWriMo that it’ll be tough to stand out for it. Also, I don’t like rushing stories. I give myself four months at the moment, and my goal one day would be one month, but that’s for if I ever do this full time. At that point to make a livelihood I’ll need to do one a month.

So why torture myself for a sub-par first draft that won’t be part of my main series? Unless I come up with a great answer to that question, I cannot do NaNoWriMo. That, and I don’t want to. But I do need to raise my profile. The Discords are a good start, but there is a level of toxicity that wards me off. You know where this is going, so let’s load the forums now and try, try, to make sense of them.

July 22nd, 2019

Yesterday I messed up. I wrote a 5-word blog post and never bothered to hit publish. The disclaimer I wrote when I published it late – earlier this morning – was longer than the darn post. But none of that matters to be honest, as given the state of my mental health the last few days, for that to be the one mistake I made is nothing short of a miracle.

I made a pretty stupid mistake before my mini-breakdown happened. There’s a book – well no, there’s more than one, but this one is the worst offender – that I am not supposed to look at. I know this, yet sometimes I forget how important it is to not touch the wretched thing. I assume that I’m being silly and if I read it this time I’ll be fine.

And every time I do, I am a wreck within minutes. In the past, touching this book has been enough to throw off my mental health for as much as weeks at a time. This time, however, I had 1K on my side. It threw me out of whack, but I didn’t drop a day of 1K, and only failed to write WHT on the day itself. By having a neutral goal to focus on, I was able to rebuild at a time where in the past, I would have been too busy falling apart.

So yesterday, the strangest part of this whole weekend was I forgot to hit post on my blog, because I was busy working on my stories and busy with family and friends. Given in the past, breakdowns have seen me isolate myself and stop doing anything, it blows my mind that the one mistake I made was for the opposite reasons.

I now have 14,600 words of WHT left to write for the first draft. It’s surreal to reach this point with any novel of any length, where I know I could finish the whole thing in a day if I chose to. I have no intention to do something that jarring, but with 23 days till my deadline, I feel pretty great about where I am.

I am still not being active enough on WattPad. I am doing bits and pieces and thanking new followers when they pop up which is something I didn’t keep up with very well when I started out. I have one series on my to-read list, but it’s 10 books long so that will keep me busy. But I need to tackle those forums, as much as I really do not want to.

One day I’ll stop moaning about ^ that and do it. Probably not today.

July 20th, 2019

Well it’s gonna be another short post, but that’s because I’ve been focused on rest and recuperation. That’s gone well though and I feel good. WHT is going great, and while I’ve been quiet on the Discord recently I’ll try and turn that around tomorrow.

July 18th, 2019

I knew this day would come, but I’ve kicked it down the road as far as I could. It’s time to stop moaning and get on board with the community forums on WattPad. It still looks far too overwhelming to make much useful sense of, but I need to get my act together and go for it already. I should have started doing so weeks ago but, here we are.

My reticence has more to do with it being overwhelming, and my needs to do so more than mere publicity. I am confident in my writing ability, and in the advice, I can give to budding authors. But on a platform like that where it looks like 5 people talk over one another at any given moment, what I write on there has to shine like a beacon. That, or I may as well have written nothing at all.

The benefits are pretty clear. If I can leverage my helpful skills on the forums, I can build a broader audience as a positive community member. When people check out my profile as a “may as well”, and see I can also write to a high standard, that converts to followers.

In time, my goals are these:

  • By the end of serialising TUS, I want to have 50 followers. Also, I want to minimise the number of those whom I followed first. If I hit 50, to celebrate VOL’s first chapter, I’ll do two a draw for £20 Amazon Vouchers as a giveaway. To enter new followers fill out a Google Form. Anyone who encourages a new follower, and the new follower who enters them, have a chance to win as a pair.
  • By the end of serialising VOL, I want to have 200 followers. At this point, I will do the same give-away as above. I will also launch my own Discord server at this point. This will be with the focus being on the same kind of writing advice and such as take place on the existing servers. Being cynical, it’s a place to start cultivating my own fan base. I will also hold DAILY writing contests. Yes, DAILY.
  • By the start of November, if I finish TSS as a “revised new first draft”, I will do NaNoWriMo. I will write my fantasy series “The Night Orb”, and do 4,000 words a day. That’ll work out to two chapters, or four, depending on how it breaks down, for a total of a 120,000-word total story.
  • VOL, WHT, TUS or OR1 needs to win a Watty in 2020.

These goals are ambitious, but they are far from unrealistic. NaNoWriMo is a gruelling task, but if I type it that will make it a lot easier. That is also my incentive for hitting the ground running with the TSS rewrite. TSS will have on this timescale 79 days of development time. That sounds tight, but I already have 42,000 words of the story. I’ll only need about a 50% efficiency to hit that, and I’m typing, not writing by hand.

Ambition is important. It’s no vice, so long as I have a plan to get there. Each plan until now for publicity, and each to do with writing before September last year fell flat for me. But I’ve learned. I know my blind spots. I’m ready to do this.