To paraphrase Stephen Crane: In the desert, I met-a-mo’pho.
Anyway. That sure took a long time. Sure, I was re-thinking and reconsidering my entire approach to a writing career and everything that goes within and without it, but wow, what a long quiet spell.
I had planned that 2017 would be my most productive year ever. It was almost the exact opposite. I’m not happy about that. I traded progress for making sure it was going in the right direction. I’m not sure it was a good trade.
Nonetheless, I’m going forward again, and it’s time to stand on the throttle. If you see new products appearing in the next few days, you’ll know it’s working. I’m interested to see that myself.
It’s been quiet here, but I haven’t been quiet. Here’s what’s been going on. I’ll try to be brief.
Shortly after my last post, two things rocked my world.
First, I saw an article that distilled the common aspects of mega-successful authors. Details will come later, but the result of the article was my thinking: I can do this! So I modified my plans, broadening my scope and researching the new requirements and figuring out how it would all work together. It went well, and I liked it.
Then, I found Joe Konrath’s latest, self-published book as a featured book in the central library. Holy wow. It was always technically possible, but it didn’t happen in practice enough to warrant the effort to make the dots ready to connect. And yet, here it was. Suddenly, I was modifying not just my plans, but almost everything to be able to follow this path myself. The research and plans and changes took a long time, but they were worth it.
The result has been five significant areas of change.
- The kinds of books I’m creating. While I have dabbled in writing children’s books and I’ve always entertained ideas of writing memoirs, I had previously decided to focus only on adult fiction. Though adult fiction is still the main product of my work, I now plan on writing and releasing books for all ages, together with memoirs and possibly other non-fiction.
- The content of my books (front and back matter). I’ve extensively researched the front and back matter of successful authors, and I’ve decided to modify my previous minimal approach to use the best ideas of what I’ve found.
- The covers of those books. While I love the current design of my covers, I think that the benefits of adopting a more “traditional” look are compelling. Though I haven’t made a firm decision yet, I’m leaning toward adopting all new covers in the style of WMG publishing.
- Print editions. The new front and back matter combine with a modified layout to result into print editions for my books. This is also still being finalized, but it’s on the way.
- My organization, again. My analysis has highlighted the difference between treating writing as a hobby and treating it as a business. My tools and organization have been trending toward the hobby end of the spectrum, and in adopting a more business-like approach many of them have come up lacking. This is well traveled ground, however, so the migration this time was easy and, hopefully, final.
Now, after more than a couple months, I’m at the end of all these changes. The research is done. The plans are done. The implementation is nearly done, and complete enough for real work. It’s time to turn everything loose. I may not become a mega-successful author, but I’ll have all the pieces in place for it. And I just might.
I’m trying to kick things off with a new book.
Coming soon …
Hey, wow—a shiny thing.
There are books that I have written but not published. For a long time, I’ve thought of making them public. This week, I came up with a really good reason to publish them and more like them, and I could do it soon. It would mean some changes to the structure of my website, though, because they are unlike my existing books. Today, I got stuck exploring all the options for adding them to my website. I found the Publisher theme and loved it. Then I spent a long time trying to figure out if I could make it work with my existing tools, or clone it. After a while, I broke down what it was doing and found that I am already doing almost all of that, in the way that works best for me. So, lots of running around to get where I currently am. Not a good use of time. I did discover author videos, though, and now I want to do them. Right away. I think I’m also going to publish those books, too. I’ll decide for sure soon, but probably yes.
In there, too, I did get in 10K steps. However, I got stuck in Vampires Versus Comicon in a place where the action and place of the people and plot parts don’t seem to be working. In the end, I still didn’t have it all worked out. Secret Project #1 good some good work in, and I think that’s ready to take off.
Must go faster.
But I’m having fun.
Didn’t get on schedule, but got close.
Better day. Met my steps and almost my words.
I’m thinking that I don’t like these daily posts. I like posting the words and steps, but I think there’s probably a better way to do it. I might switch to making the WIP posts every few days. Although, reporting the daily results is very motivational day-by-day.
Better still tomorrow.
Another day trying to get on schedule.
I didn’t get on the schedule I’d like to, but I did get some good work done. I spent a big chunk of time cycling through my vampires book, confirming details, adding flavor, whatnot, then another chunk of time putting in new words, which was good. This being a Wednesday, my daughter was home early, and later some political things soaked up some of my time, but all in all it was a good day, though a little short on steps and words.
Still moving up.
Another day of writing. Continued to get projects revved up. Wrote words and walked steps. I’m keeping this short because I’m working to do these posts in the evening; early to bed and early to rise and all that.
Here we go.
The day started with walking my daughter to school, which helped me get most of my 10K steps in. During the day I worked to get organized and moving forward, despite some annoying interruptions.
A Brief Detour
During much of the first part of the day, I worked to evaluate a possibility for a Zombies Versus Comicon film project. The deadline for the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival is in six weeks. My best guess is that what I have in mind could be completed in that time frame, so I explored what impact that would have.
My final conclusion was that, as alluring as it is, I will not put more energy into it at this time. The film project would require a significant expense of time and some expense of money, and even then it would have a small chance of success. Plus, it would mean taking time and other resources away from my current book projects, at a minimum delaying them. And they have a very big chance of success. I will have to let it go for now and instead try later this year. If my secret projects are successful enough, maybe I can even produce the whole thing. That would be fun.
You may have noticed that I have five active projects in my sidebar, and I need to get them done as quickly as possible. During the day I worked to get all of them moving, and I made some good progress late at night. It was only about 1K of my 5K goal, but I see that as a good start, with everything rolling again. These are really fun, and a little bit dangerous, and I see them coming together quickly. All I need is focused time with my butt in the chair, Internet off and my fingers on the keyboard.
5K Words / 10K Steps Results
Words: I don’t know for sure, because part of it was on screenplays and that’s still a problem counting. It was about 1K just in the books, though. I’ll take it.
Steps: 10,400. Good to hit a goal.
Sundays have been the worst. This is the last one.
It went more or less as always: Up late, some time with my daughter, some time with my parents, grocery shopping, running a poker tournament, home late.
The answer, of course, is to get up early and get some good work in.
It was a typical Saturday. That’s the problem.
Woke late. Partial morning routine. Family stuff. Had to run a poker tournament. Came back wiped out. Rested. Got a little work done late, but should have just slept. Tomorrow will be a little better, and Monday and the rest of the week will rock. Next weekend, I have to stick to my morning routine. Getting up and getting words in early will make the days.
Zombies Versus Comicon Screenplay
The simple excerpt of the beginning that I currently have on the ZVC Screenplay page doesn’t capture enough of the spirit of the story. I think a set of clips showing how the story develops might be persuasive, so I worked to adapt more of the story and to find the parts to assemble. It wasn’t much, but it was all I could do with the energy I had left.
- Words: Can’t tell becuase of the adaptation process, but it wasn’t many.
- Steps: About 4K.
That guy sure is a good con man. 15% of the country can’t see it. At all.
Morning routine. Daughter to school. Lots of good work before being distracted.
Distraction of the
Today, of course, one of the worst possible things happened. The wealthiest 1% managed to seize illegitimate control of my country, giving a ridiculous sociopath an irresponsible amount of power to get it, and taking us all to the edge of a dizzying precipice, all for their benefit alone—merely more money. Perhaps, at its core, it is irrepressible human nature and they can’t help it. Maybe. At any rate, I hope I never have so much money that my singular focus becomes getting more at any cost. And I hope I never become so controlled by propaganda that I can no longer distinguish facts from obvious cons.
Anyway, back to work.
That’s right, the day after I declared that it’s time to get busy cranking out books, I spent many hours working on screenplays. It sounds stupid, and maybe it is, but I’m trying to make something happen with Zombies Versus Comicon, and I’ve been meaning to add this to my website anyway, so today was the day to get it live. If you’re interested, the screenplay section of my website is at https://tftorrey.com/screenplays/, and the Zombies Versus Comicon page links from there.
Also, the screenplays page wouldn’t look very good with only one screenplay on it, so I added the screenplay for Compensation, which I wrote years ago. That one has an audio file of the script being read by computer-generated voices for the characters, which is a little annoying, and a little cool. Find that one, too, linked from the screenplays page.
Words: I don’t know. My process for doing the screenplay work doesn’t lend itself to counting words. And these are supposed to be new words anyway. Shame on me.
Steps: About 6K. I don’t know for sure, because my pedometer was confusing some from last night. I got in a good walk in the morning, and a shorter one in the rain in the afternoon. After that, it rained the rest of the day, a cold rain, and I didn’t want to go out in it. Step fail.