Writing In Public: Year 1, Month 1, Day 27

Thursday

I aimed toward getting on a schedule, with daughter time in the late morning. This morning, I took her swimming for 45 minutes. We had a great time, and I was impressed with how fearless she is in the water with no flotation devices. She has had swimming lessons over the summer, and she is nearly able to swim on her own. I’m so proud and happy.

After the swimming, she was perky and ready for whatever, but I was wiped out. I took a short nap, we had lunch. Late in the afternoon, it was nap time for her, and I got writing time.

In the evening, we went to have dinner with family, then I went to a side job. Late in the evening, I was able to focus on writing again.

Writing

Here at the end of the story, many of the wrap-up scenes that I thought would be natural do not fit at all. The story and characters have their own momentum, and that’s what needs to be wound down. It is interesting that here, whatever time I spent outlining was pretty much wasted. Or maybe not. The ending has evolved as the story has evolved. My initial ideas were shallow compared to how complex and detailed the story is now.

Anyway, I wound up doing a lot of taking out and reworking things, and I only netted 1,700 words for the day.

Nonetheless, this is the end. I should finish the writing tomorrow. I will still have to cycle back through to spread the changes I’ve made here in the end back through the book, but there isn’t much of that. If it isn’t done on Friday, it should be on Saturday.

On Sunday or Monday I will start a new project. I’m not sure which one it will be yet, but I’ll probably go where the energy is. More on that later.

On sustainable growth: Weekly tasks

In the spring, I conducted my Spring Challenge, with a goal of selling 10,000 books in the 13 weeks of spring. It occurred to me at the time that that isn’t a very good goal, because it depends on things other people do, not things I do. But, it sounded good.

I pursued success in that challenge by making a plan to do four things every week:

  1. Write a certain number of words,
  2. Do one upgrade action to improve my writing operation,
  3. Do one outreach action to attract new potential readers, and
  4. Do one promotion in the form of a discount to try to convert potential readers into new readers.

These are all good goals, because they are things I can do: write, upgrade, reach out, discount.

Ultimately, I did not meet my sales goal, but in organizing my efforts to try to hit it, I think I found the formula for my ultimate success. If I can take those actions on a weekly basis—write (and publish), upgrade my tools and designs, reach out to readers, offer discounts on my products—I don’t see how my writing business can fail to thrive.

Immediately after my spring challenge ended, we went on an extended road-trip vacation, and I came back with terrible sciatica pain and my thoughts about my writing process scrambled by the Heinlein/Smith writing rules. It took me a while to really embrace the Heinlein/Smith writing process, but now that I have, I see that it fits in perfectly with my weekly tasks.

Today I spent some time reconnecting with those plans. On Monday, I plan to renew my weekly actions.

I’m in a great place right now.

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