Progress Report, Penmonkeys

I like that terribleminds has kind of become an inadvertent writerly community. People gathering around the campfire, burning their old trunk novels, weeping into cans of beans about this rejection or that bad review. As such, this seems like an opportune time to once more check in with you ink-fingered key-slingers and see:

How are you doing?

How’s the writing going?

Tell us some good news.

Trouble us with your problems.

Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk to each other about it.

Got a grievance? Air it.

Got good news? Celebrate it.

Progress reports: starting now.


  • I’m doing okay, I guess. Still getting rejections left and right from short story subs. Still a big yawning gulf of nothing on my open door Angry Robot sub, but I know that’s going to take time. Lots of time.

    The writing is okay. I have irons in the fire.

    The good news is I’ve been editing a standalone urban fantasy novel and I still really like it. I just started Draft 5, so far as my process goes, and I still really like it. The bad news is the “fantasy” part doesn’t start ’til Chapter 7, apparently. That needs to happen sooner. I’m already kind of playing Russian-nesting-doll with the main character and his memories and what happened with his wife, so some things can be cut and reordered. But coming off Draft 4, I’m down 10k words (from 74k to 64k) and I don’t want to lose much more or else it stops being long enough to seem viable. So it needs more magic before going down the rabbit hole, as it were. I just don’t know where yet. But that’s what editing is for.

  • Okay, I’m one of those people who reads the blog and then never comments 🙂 However, congrats to all of you who have shared your fabulous news! For those still in the writing journey process: Keep going! You can do it!!

    I’ve spent the last fourteen or so months cranking out lots of raw material to meet my personal goal of having projects to whip into shape for submission and have edited a bit of it. Two projects are out on submission. I was going to start getting down and dirty with the draft of the mystery I wrote at the beginning of the year, but that may have to wait until after my sister’s visit this weekend as I still have to clean my apartment for her 😀 All-in-all, I’m in a pretty good place with the writing.

  • How are you doing?
    That depends on when you ask me. I got laid off several months ago, one of my back teeth started crumbling and I don’t have enough money to pay the bills. BUT I’ve got 3 wonderful kids, ages 13, 10, and 3, a wife whom I love very much and I just got to be a beta reader for one of my favorite living authors. I’d say it’s going okay.

    How’s the writing going?
    Decent. I’m on the 5th draft of an urban fantasy novel I’m working one and I’m doing a major plot overhaul on this one, which means I’m writing a lot of new material. That part is going slow, but I feel the novel is getting much, much better now.

    Tell us some good news.
    I have so many ideas, I often fear my head will implode

    Trouble us with your problems.
    I had a stroke during Nano last year and it’s affected my hand. I’m close to 100% now, but it’s slowed things wayyyyyyy down this year. I mostly write either early in the morning or late at night (the only times i really get to myself). As a result of this, I only get about 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night. That was fine when I was single at 23. Now, as a married father of 43, it’s not quite as easy.

    Got a grievance? Air it.
    Lately, I just get really shitty at what I feel is unfair in my life. Problem is, there’s this other part of me that gets upset at me once I do that because I’m being whiny and juvenile.

    Got good news? Celebrate it.
    The best news for me lately is that I feel like I’m making a breakthrough in the quality of my writing. I’m right on the edge; I just gotta do it.

    • doseyclwn,

      I hear you. I have dealt with the repercussions of the emotional, physical and sexual abuse I suffered as a child. Every time I thought it was safe and I could try being less fearful, angry, shameful, etc. etc. one of my f****g abusers came back into my life. Even after they were both deceased, the sperm donor came back with a genetic predisposition to cranial anuerysms (what the hell I should be able to spell that by now)!!! This resulted in surgery for my daughter and my sister, sadly my sister is gone now, but back to your issue….
      I was so angry at the as*****e that just couldn’t shake it, it was taking me down big time. All I can say is LET IT OUT, I have friends, we do workshops and without them, I would still be stuck in panic/anger/fear. I kept thinking about how they were going to open up her cranium and stir around in there and who knows what I would get back?
      Imagine my reaction when my very quiet and shy daughter called the nurse a B***h! I thought OMG what did they do. LOL It turns out that she reacts to vicoden. Who knew?
      Enough about me, carry on…..

  • I’m getting my first short story published soon! 🙂
    But, I haven’t written anything new in months… 🙁
    But, I just started college to get my English Lit degree! 🙂
    But, I’m becoming more and more resigned to using that degree to teach high school. :/

    It’s been a grab bag lately, to be honest. I’ve never been this lazy for this long. Where be the passion o’ fates and muses!? I want my damn passion back, garshdurnit. The last time I was writing a lot I was also drinking a lot, but I’m not going to grab a bottle of vodka just to get some words on paper. Seems a slippery slope and I’m wearin galoshes. Lol.

    • Congrats on getting the story published!! That’s awesome.

      As far as the writing goes, just do it anyway. I give myself a minimum number of words and I write no matter what, even if what I write about is how much I don’t want to write. At least then, I’m writing. Just keep at it, man!

  • August 19, 2014 at 1:48 AM // Reply

    How are you doing?
    great getting ready to retire Yea!

    How’s the writing going?
    Great second N.E.S.S. book word count 141, 000 my editor likes it this time. Has not stomped on me yet but that can change need to bribe her more

    Tell us some good news.
    Art work coming along for the cover along with the illustrated chapters

    Trouble us with your problems.
    getting the art work to follow the mood of the chapters banging my head against the digital canvas just does not feel right.

    Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk to each other about it.

    Got a grievance? Air it.
    Naw just the normal indie stuff, your who? Nice art work can you do my cover for free?

    Got good news? Celebrate it.
    cancer free for ten years , my wife still loves me and my grown children actually listen to their parents.

    Progress reports: starting now.

  • My new, and only rpg, A World of Dew, nearly sold out at GenCon this weekend. Also several distributors were interested in carry the game.

    Also received several inquires about freelance writing for other rpg designers.

  • Pretty shitty, actually.

    I’ve followed this blog for a long, long time, hoping that some of the wisdom that Chuck flings like so much simian excrement would somehow spurn me to finish what I start. Turns out that in order to finish it, I have to start it first. I think that my biggest issue is my own self-esteem. I have ideas which are potentially good ones (at least, I think one of them is, in that when I read a really crappy book I think to myself that I’d rather be reading the book that’s living inside my head). But I keep on thinking that the grand idea will die under my inexpert hands, just like so many other ideas have died before it. And then I try my hand at the drug which dragged me into writing to begin with: flash fiction. But nothing I put down on digital paper is terribly inspiring. The characters are flat, there’s no real stakes, and it is completely devoid of any thematic purpose. I don’t know where to start. I’m not sure I even remember how to start any more. The only things that I do manage to start are hopelessly derivative off of the incredibly geeky role-playing worlds that I still participate in even though the material is horribly dated at this point.

    What continues to kill me is the drudgery of the day-to-day job, working nights to keep my family afloat. And it’s not really a bad job, either. I can’t say that I hate it. I just hate spending that much time doing absolutely nothing of consequence. At the end of the day, any effort I expend there (which is, honestly, as little as possible) doesn’t matter. I expressed this to my wife today, and she put into words what had managed to escape me: I want a legacy, but I don’t want my family to suffer in order for me to try to build it.

    In the end, what I think I really need is psychological help. But between the social stigma and the glaring gap in minimum required insurance, that’s not exactly obtainable, either.

    • I’ve been where you’re at. If you need help, get it. Fuck stigma — we’re all damaged. Nothing is more awful than having the words in you and not being able to get them out. Get your WP site back up, Holliday, Even if it’s shit, that’s where you start.

    • I heard somewhere that the first 500K or a million words you write are merely practice. You have to give yourself permission to SUCK. I’m a firm believer, through personal experience, that you have to write a lot of things that suck in order to get better.

      And honestly? Fuck the grand idea. You will have ideas galore. You will have more ideas than you know what to do with.

      And fuck stigma. I’m in the same boat, and ended up having to go to the County in order to obtain services. It’s made all the difference for me.

    • I’m sorry you’re struggling so much, B.H. Echoing Catastrophe and doseyclwn, fuck stigma. I’ve been getting psychiatric help since I was in elementary school and it makes a world of difference. There has to be something out there for people in whatever situation you’re in financially and insurance-wise. Don’t know where you’re located, but if you’re in the US, I know even some states that don’t provide medical insurance to people who supposedly make little enough for medicaid *cough*Texas*cough* have mental health services available at low to no cost. Also, the healthcare exchange websites for most states are working now and you can usually get insurance with at least a partial government subsidy if you don’t make enough to afford it on your own. That’s what I did. Wishing you the best.

      • I agree with you and everyone else, fuck stigma. Without mental healthcare, I would not be a functioning human. My daughter has been treated since sixth grade. I could do nothing but assure her of my love and acceptance and let the pros do the work. Oh baby, its a wild world.

    • Just wanted to chime in a couple days late and say that if you write fiction as well as you wrote this reply to a blog post then you have nothing to worry about. You’ve got skills. You just have to start and not quit until it’s done. And, at the end, I guarantee it’ll be better than you think. You’ll read back over it and see holes and things that could be tightened, sure, but you’ll be happy with it overall. I promise. Because, seriously. You can write.

      This part was particularly well said: “I just hate spending that much time doing absolutely nothing of consequence. At the end of the day, any effort I expend there (which is, honestly, as little as possible) doesn’t matter. I expressed this to my wife today, and she put into words what had managed to escape me: I want a legacy, but I don’t want my family to suffer in order for me to try to build it.”

      I think that just about everyone responding to this thread can identify with that. I know I can.

  • I have my first ever publishing contract. Easy there. Contain your excitement at the back. It’s only for a short to go in an anthology but it is paid work and means that I am officially a hybrid author.

    Other than that life goes on, I’m Mumzilla for another couple of weeks, also DutifulDaughterZilla and possibly DutifulDaighterIn-LawZilla the week after that. Then McMini is back to school and I’ll start writing my 5th book. Having a proof edit on books 1-4 which is going very well. Hugely impressed by the detail this one is picking up. Might have found an editor. Did LonCon. Only for a day but there was an empty stall next to Gollancz and they’d put a Gollancz sci-fi authors banner behind it. I had enough leaflets and info about my free stuff to set up a pop up stall there with another author friend. It was brilliant fun and enough people checked it out to crash my website.

    Cheers y’all


  • Progress – I’ve had several short stories accepted for publication recently. The best thing about that is that one of them was selected by someone I didn’t know and had never met – on the strength of a sample I sent. Which is quite affirming because it means it’s not just people who know me who say ‘yes’ to my writing.
    Problems – I realised I don’t actually know the difference between active and passive voice after I was told by an agent I use the latter too much. (No-one else who’s read my stuff seems to think this though.) So I’m trying to get to grips with what it actually means, how I can spot it when I’m writing and, more importantly, teaching myself how to change what comes naturally to something more ‘active’.

    I live in hope that when I’ve cracked it, my novels might get a bit more attention…

    • Congratulations on the shorts!

      A note: Passive voice is when you use the verb ‘to be’ rather than a direct verb done by the subject For example:

      She was always talking too much. -passive
      She talked too much. – active

      He is discovering his passion through dance. – passive
      Dance makes him discover his passion.- active
      Through dance, he discovers his passion. – even more active

      Better examples and ways to fix it:

      • I think the thing that throws so many people about recognizing active voice and passive voice — and this was true especially for me — is that the verbs in a passive voice sentence are active (talking). In an active voice sentence it’s past tense (talked).

        This is something that I still struggle with. My first drafts are filled with passive sentences that I know I’ll have to remove later. But at that point it’s all about getting the words down.

  • Just self published my first e-novella this weekend. Fantastic feeling, early notices are very encouraging. Currently engaging with promotion and other non-fiction projects to put off the next round of edits on my novel, because displacement activity FTW I guess? Hopefully the novel drops in Autumn, if I can somehow overcome my crippling self doubt and figure out how to get it the last 20% to ‘done’.

  • Oh my god, Wendig, I did it!

    I finished the first draft of a novel I started so long ago it should be starting middle school. I actually did it. And now I’ve gotten some reader feedback, AND NOW I AM ACTUALLY WORKING ON THE SECOND DRAFT. I have never had follow through. This story, though? I have to tell it. I HAVE to. I’m so excited about it .I’m so entirely fucking thrilled I could explode into joyshrapnel.

    AND I’ve been managing to get a piece a day (flash or verse) up on the blog since Feb 20th. Tomorrow marks SIX MONTHS nonstop. I AM A GOD. 😀 😀 😀

    Thanks for asking. 🙂

  • Hi Chuck!

    Your blog is one of my daily visit, though I’m mostly a comment lurker. I have recently discovered the novella form and LOVE IT. I wrote two this summer and published them, earning a 4 figure royalty check for July, and already got a 4 figure royalty check for August. Once the kids start school in SEVEN days, I’m full-time writering-it. 🙂 Got a schedule of two 2.5 hour writing sessions, four days a week. That should net me about 20-30,000 words per week, and I’m aiming for one novella released every 3 weeks. (the extra word count goes to other projects like a few novels I’m working on).

    Some might say it’s not real writing since I’m writing Jane Austen inspired variations and continuations, but as a reader who has plunked down some serious change the last 9 years for that genre because I love ot read it, I say a story is a story. 🙂

    I work in WordPress too so my editor and business partner just goes in and makes changes and I can check them with compare revisions (part of Jetpack). No track changes. And I publish chapters as I write for readers to beta as we go along, and just take them down once I publish. It’s working out great because by writing, I’m still creating a web presence and keeping my readership engaged, but I’m not doing a lot of EXTRA work to do that.

    So all great news, cannot wait for this year. It’s on like Donkey Kong!

    Always Smiling,
    Elizabeth Ann West

  • It’s going. As far as writing goes, my goal is 50,000 words by the end of the year. I’m about 2k in, writing weekdays. I’m pretty excited about how relatively painless it’s been to hit my goal of ~500 words, so that’s encouraging. Watching that little bar in scrivener fill in from red to green really works for me. I am pretty sure that most of those words are complete shit. That just means that editing is going to be FUN, right?

    My puppy has a broken leg that requires surgery, so that’s stressful and I kind of want to sit at my desk at work and cry, but I’m hanging in there.

  • I’m hard at work on what will be – what HAS to be – my greatest and longest piece yet. I can’t share many details (I’ve been sworn to secrecy due to the nature of the project) but it’s basically a dream come true and the chance of a lifetime. Needless to say, it’s a chance I simply cannot blow. I’m sort of terrified, to be completely honest. I’ve always been a short story author by trade. This piece has a word count set at 20,000-30,000. It’s a little daunting. (‘A little daunting’?! That’s the equivalent of TEN of my normal stories AND I have to use the same characters and plot the whole time!) I just hope I don’t let the people who have put their faith in me on this down.

  • I’ve entered (but not yet submitted) my first online critique group. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m nervous, which is odd. I had this absurd notion that I could abandon my ego and be happy for any objective (not influenced by friendship) criticism of my work. But here I am, doing a last pass on my story and getting belly-flutters at the thought of putting my words in front of relative strangers.

    I guess the upside is that if I fall down weeping, screaming my lamentations to the heavens, only the neighbors will know.

  • Working on finishing up my outline for draft two of the current WIP. I’ve got a board outline of the changes I intend to make, but am trying to finish a scene by scene break down. I’m afraid that without it I’ll just panst off into a completely random direction, as I tend to do.

  • Working on a new project under a pen name (different genre). It has me more excited than I have been in a while. Revising and editing now, and I am looking forward to sitting my butt down and working on it every day.

  • How am I doing? Pretty good, to a point. My first novel, a fantasy adventure for mid-grade kids called Trapped In Lunch Lady Land, was published in May. Seeing it on Amazon, and on the shelves at my local Barnes & Noble, was beyond awesome. It’s sold a coupla hundred copies. So…now what? How do I get it in front of more eyeballs? Now that the bloom is off the peach, how do I get the word out..again?

    • Congrats on your release! I suggest following Chuck’s social media promotion advice from a post, last week I think it was, about self-promotion! Twitter and Facebook can be very helpful. I already have a ton more followers than I expected and I don’t even have a book out yet… we will see if it helps when I actually have something to promote.

  • Hmmm… I might not be in the best mood to do this, but what the hell. I have sent my completed novel out to several agents. Waiting. Have a good number of poems and stories out for consideration. Waiting. Have been rejected by several magazines, didn’t win anything in a couple of recent writing contests, and was told by my husband that once I managed to get published (you know, proving that I actually have talent and marketability) THEN we could talk about trying to get more time for me to write. So, this whole writing thing… I ain’t feeling it right now. Maybe that will change. But as of this moment, I don’t want anything to do with it.

  • Currently editing on the second draft of my fantasy-noir piece, and having just come from Gencon, I spoke to some designers there and hope to help out with some of their projects. On the film front, I start work doing craft service on another project on September 22nd, and I’m also eagerly awaiting the short film script revisions from a certain author who said he would be able to get to them at the beginning of September. So all in all, a pretty good thing.

  • Suffering through sophomore book blues at the moment. I wrote my debut as a stand alone and they wanted two, so the book was portioned off. I have enough story for two, but as I’m a horror author, I fear the follow-up curse. Only horror movie sequels that were as good as the first were Aliens and Evil Dead II, and those are both uhh. Thirty years old. So. Trying not to freak myself out too much. (And failing.)

  • Wow, I erally didn’t expect this much feedback. I’m touched, honestly.

    Regarding stigma, I do want to make it clearer that I’m not motivated by stigma to avoid care. I just believe that the social stigmas against psychological care have an effect on what states and corporations consider minimal coverage. Right now, my state is one of those who are participating only minimally in the new healthcare plan in an apparent attempt to gum up the works. For instance, the last time I approached a GP for medication for ADHD and anxiety, I wound up with a $400 bill because my insuranc rejected it. It’s a continual frustration that I try not to think about because, ironically, it makes me anxious.

    @Jarrett: thank you so much for your kind words regarding your confidence in my writing. I don’t know, maybe today while I’m at work I’ll spend a few extra processing cycles putting some scenes down on cards and start to adorn the corkboard which has thus far remained a blank scar on my bedroom wall.

    • As for not expecting this much response – we should be supporting each other, so of course some of us are going to jump in and offer words of encouragement when reading a post like yours! And I’m sorry to hear the state of affairs in your state’s medical system is as it is. Sending you good vibes for your processing and plotting!

  • Overall, I can’t complain. I’m making progress on second draft edits of a book I hope to release in the fall. And I hope when I do that I’ll see an uptick in sales of the first book in the series. That’s the one thing that not many people tell you about the author/publisher gig is that you get to stare your failures square in the face. And I wouldn’t call this first book a failure. It’s sold about 200 copies over it’s three year life. It’s 200 more than I would have sold if I’d never published it. Reviews have been good. But I feel like I’ve tapped all the readers I can reach. I need it to find some legs on its own. I am hoping that the advice I keep hearing is right and that having Book 2 out will help jumpstart sales of Book 1.

    I’ve also been getting more and more serious about this author/publisher thing. I’m considering starting my own little publishing company. Just doing my stuff at first. I’ll experiment with things like length, subject matter, price points, marketing on my own. Hone my approach with me as the guinea pig then start approaching other writers and looking for submissions once I feel like I’ve got a method that works more often than not. When I think about what I want to be doing in 10 years that’s always what I picture. It’s me behind a computer writing books and helping others publish theirs. So that’s in the works. Well, going to be. Like I said, I’m considering doing this. It’s serious, but it’s still a consideration.

    I also spent some time the other evening putting together a list of books that I wanted to write. I suppose if I started the publishing company it’d be my catalog. I quickly came up with 21 different works. Most of them are over four different series. Some are novellas. Others are full-on novels. I put them all together in a single Word doc. I open it at least once a day and look at it. I get excited when I see all of the titles there. I’m getting excited now thinking about the worlds I’ll get to play in and the characters I’ll get to play with.

    I’ve wanted to be a writer my entire life. I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve at least been able to be around words for all of my professional career. While 15 years in newspapers and another three in marketing have been fun, it’s the early mornings and late nights writing fiction where I feel most at home. It’s where I feel my most valuable.

    I had a friend who spent all of his free time chasing that perfect golf shot. Every once in a while he’d hit it, and he’d tell me that it made all of the hooks and slices worth it. I feel the same way about writing. Crafting that perfect sentence that makes even you say “Oh, that’s good” about your own writing makes all the clunkers worth it. That’s the dragon I chase every time behind the keyboard. I know I won’t get there every day, even most days for that matter. But I do every once in a while and that makes it all worth it.

    OK, so that got sappy and, maybe, for some of you, a little weird. But I love this stuff. Maybe more than even I realized.

  • Chuck, things are going well. Took a short hiatus over to Asia during the summer, but getting back in to the groove. I haven’t been doing the writing I’ve wanted, but then again, if that ‘s the case I keep asking myself if it really was the writing I wanted. It’s all about training myself and that’s just what I have to do. However, I appreciate the prompt and would love to answer the questions.

    How are you doing? Doing well, thanks! It’s a beautiful day and life is good.
    How’s the writing going? I feel great, but it’s just about me no longer lying to myself that I’m not going to write, and writing. So, in that regard, I don’t think I’m completely on track. Got in 1K yesterday, but need to still get the word count in today.
    Tell us some good news: Good news is I got in 1K yesterday and also wrote up something small for a short story contest.
    Trouble us with your problems. None that I can’t take care of. There are no problems; there are just more instances for me to learn and grow.
    Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk to each other about it.
    Got a grievance? Air it. Nope.
    Got good news? Celebrate it. Life, Wife, and All is going quite well, thank you.
    Thanks Chuck; I’m coming to you to share it.

  • I feel as though I’m still recovering from 2 Camp NaNo’s and 4 novel releases since January, in addition to regular blog posts, Flash fiction stories every Friday and all of the editing, editing, editing, editing that comes with the writing. I’m getting ready to release a novella, the first of the series. And I’m planning to get after two unfinished novels for 1st draft completion by the end of November. They’ve been sitting too long. Thank you so much for allowing us to share our status. Everyone seems to be deeply involved in their writing. Good for them. I wish everyone good luck and happy release day.

  • Sold a flash length story. Utterly thrilled about that. Picking away at various other projects. This year’s theme is FINISH YOUR SHIT. Need that tattooed on my forehead, backwards, so I can read it in the mirror every morning. My problems are all being addressed. I have to keep reminding myself, I didn’t get here overnight, I’m not gonna get over it overnight. Knowing I have brain weasels is the first step to getting around the brain weasels. Or at least coaxing them into a cage where they can’t interfere with the work.

    Also, really enjoying “The Kick Ass Writer”. It makes me laugh and sets me on fire or dumps ice water on my head, and I don’t even have to do it on youtube. Every page has a railroad spike custom fit for my brain pan. It’s good stuff.

  • Hello from a lurker!
    In terms of writing, ‘m finally getting back into it with a particular story that’s been bouncing around in various forms for the past six or so *years*. I started writing this story six years ago when I was a firstie in high school; progressed from battered pink journal to computer, redrafted it a few times, took a year off to do my VCE (final year of school).
    That extended an extra six months or so while I did research, then finally, relatively recently, I got back into it and am totally redoing the story. Completely new draft, changed the setting from galaxy- to planet-wide, etc. etc.
    Hurrah for having time on public transport! That is my Time For Writing, now, morning and afternoon for about an hour and a half to an hour, in a quiet carriage of the train as it shuttles me from Ballarat to Melbourne and back.
    I’d *love* to write more than that, but other time is taken up by Uni (Health Sciences and Occupational Therapy, whooo!) and free-time pursuits such as reading, and oh yeah, fanfiction. That’s a big, but enjoyable, time-sucker, as I am a member of many fandoms. MANY fandoms. 😀

  • Steady progress on one front, minor setbacks on another. Nothing I can’t deal with provided I have patience and grit.

    Published my ONE HUNDREDTH paid article yesterday, a milestone I’ve been anticipating all summer. Had the best-ever day for my WordPress blog last week when I published a post on how to fact-check and debunk photos on Twitter.

    Game journalism’s been a little, well, *nasty* lately, so it’s important to remember these successes.

    On the fiction front I’m still writing and submitting. No bites yet on the short stories, but the first novel came back from beta readers with positive responses. The second novel feels like digging out of prison with a spoon — I make a little progress every day but it’s slower than I’d like. Time to step it up if I hope to finish two rough drafts in the next year.

    Final assessment: Good Work, Try Harder.

  • Interesting things happening now. I’ve been seeing an uptick in sales on my novels, He Drinks Poison and Message Stick, after a batch of new reviews posted on Amazon. Suddenly both are selling in Canada, Italy, the UK and of course US sales have picked up. I’m going to be driving more reviews to their site at some point to see if there is an extra uptick.
    Otherwise, I’ve been having trouble carving out time for my own novels as my business sees an increase in clients. I help other authors enhance their works then pitch to publishers and also market their published books. It’s tough to parse out the mental effort between their work and mine…and often mine suffers a lack of time. Balance for any author is important. Still working on that!

  • Started writing draft 3 of my novel and realized I need to do some hella outlining before I actually plunge in, because so much changed about the early bits while I was writing draft 2 that I need to organize my shit before I move on.

    That said, I’m having trouble getting a handle on the guts of my main character. It’s not so much that I don’t know what makes him tick, but what makes him tick are some issues that are going to be hard (emotionally hard, catharsis hard) for me to write. I’m not sure I’m ready to go there… but I don’t want to put it off, either, because it’s the story I need to write. I just need to figure out how to write it, and how to write it well. So that’s in a weird place.

    But, partially bc of the outlining need, and partially bc I have a crazy 2 months ahead of me in work and personal life, I’ve decided to spend my time focusing on my blogging, and outline and prep so I can dive back into the novel for NaNoWriMo. I went to my writing group last night and pounded out a 1000 word piece in 90 minutes, so feeling pretty great about that. And that’s where I’m at!

  • I was laid off today. Kind of shitty, but not a job I’m going to miss. Factory work is never glamorous.

    I’m about 60K words into a fantasy novel I’m working on with a goal of around 110K. I began writing the story at the beginning of this year, but was only able to write on lunch breaks and late nights at home, as I have two children, 10 and 4, that eat up a lot of time. Luckily, I have an awesome wife that supports my writing. So, not that bad, I think. It’s slow going, but now I should have more time to focus on it, since I’m jobless.

    I’ve also been trying to fool myself into writing and drawing a graphic novel, which is terribly easy to do, but not execute.

    I’ve got a few other projects (playing Diablo III) kicking around. A horror novel. A fantasy trilogy. A short story collection.

    Not much else to report.

  • I attended the Writer’s Digest conference in NYC Aug. 1-3. Learned some stuff, did the Pitch Slam thing, enjoyed a trip to the big city.
    At the Pitch Slam 5 agents invited me to submit material, 2 of which felt sincere and somehow ‘right’.
    Gearing up for back to school, for myself, 2 university-bound kids, and 2 little ones.
    Going to Fan Expo in Toronto on Saturday. I hope someday Chuck attends a con near me.

    Really gotta find the energy and motivation to polish up chapters for submission, but I’m currently mired in a deep blue funk. Time to scare up some self-discipline.

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