Spilling More Blood

When I started the Spilling Blood serial, I wanted to create a vampire series reminiscent of vampires in the 80’s. Vampires of this era were killers, still looking for a good time, but leaving no doubt that they are still monsters. Spilling Blood takes its influence from the likes of Anne Rice, the Vampire: the Masquerade RPG, and horror movies such as Lost Boys and Near Dark. I hope you’ll find the books stayed true to their influences.

It’s been a fun run, over the course of, geez, about 5 years. Now, the vampire serial, Spilling Blood, is nearing its end. This week brings the release of Spilling Blood episode 13. You can grab it now for $0.99. The price will go up in a few days.

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If you are new to the Spilling Blood series, you can now try episode 1 for $0.99 (as well as episodes 2, 3, and 4 at the same price, if you like to read in a serial format).

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If you like it? Great! The price for the complete 1st season has also been dropped to $2.99. That’s the bundle, and you can read Season 1 like a novel.

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On that note, we’re a week or two from the last book’s release. Episode 14 is coming soon, wrapping up Season 3.

 

 

 

Crushing Goals Before They Crush Me

I am slowly getting myself back on schedule for the goals that I created back in January.

I knew when I set my goals that my current work schedule would make achieving them difficult. That’s continued to prove true.

However, in March, I got a little more organized.

For starters, I made a new spreadsheet (because I love spreadsheet lists) that tracks a number of things.

  • It tracks my book ideas.
  • It tracks daily sales.
  • It tracks when I can promote books through Amazon.
  • It tracks daily goals.

For book ideas, I made a list of 100 ideas I want to write. This wasn’t to overwhelm me, but to see if I could come up with better ideas through brainstorming, than just accepting the first idea or two that came to mind.

I began tracking daily sales because I needed to know what is selling, and where, and if the promotions were working. This has helped me realize that sales on Smashwords are competitive with my sales on Amazon, despite having fewer books published through them. Also, paperback sales do far better than digital, as long as I have some type of signing event.

I made a list when each book becomes available to do a promotion on Amazon. This has been a problem, because I have a lot of books on Amazon, under numerous pen names, and I’ve been missing opportunities to promote them.

The daily goal spreadsheet is exactly what it sounds like. I have a list of everything I would like to accomplish, regardless of time to actually accomplish it. The first few columns are the easy ones, that only take a few minutes. Each consecutive column gets into projects that require more time, which includes most of my writing projects.

The daily goal spreadsheet also keeps my editing projects in front of me, a necessity considering I’ve still got 3 books needing editing, which is three more books I could have on the market.

So this has been fairly successful for March. The intention is that for April I can continue to grow with developing my tracking to be a more productive writer and a generally more happy person (because let’s face it, feeling successful living as a writer makes a writer generally more happy. You gotta write to be a writer, right?).

2017 Week 2 Accountability

This morning I woke up to frost.

It's a lot of frost this morning.

A post shared by Garth Wright (@gswrite) on

Anyway, here’s the official week 2 accountability post!

WRITING

The Goal: Write Every Day. Hit 2 million words for the year. Write a book a week.

Actual: I wrote 4 out of 7 days. Week Total: 14,421. Daily Average: 2,060. Words per Hour: 2,653. Books Written This Week: 1. O.ne rough draft completed.

January Totals: 31,085 words; Daily Average: 2,391; Words Per Hour: 2,646; Books Written: 3; Books Published: 0

I am still well below averaging high enough for 2 million words for the year, but fortunately, just a little behind for hitting one million. I am still cautiously optimistic for both. As far as writing every day? On those three days, I wasn’t home. As soon as I got off work with the post office, I left again. I did manage to finish something, though.

Spilling Blood episode 14 is complete. I hope to have episode 13 revised this week, and hopefully published by the weekend.

The biggest distractions to writing this week were working for the post office and grinding xp for my Rock Band Crew in the mornings before going to work. I know, I know. I’m playing a game. 😛

I am going to continue and put off adding any other goals until my writing is more stable. This remains the focus.

  • This week I will write something new, I haven’t decided yet.
  • I will complete editing on Spilling Blood 13, get it to my proofreading crew, and get it published.
  • I will up my minimal writing from a minimum of 30 minutes a day to a full hour.

MUSIC

I didn’t get a chance to even touch my guitar last week. I think I will launch my music goal in February. Why because there’s a site called fawm.org. That’s February Album Writing Month. Hell, why not?

OTHER

As far as putting off my other goals, I think I will add back in one. Social Media, and specifically, Instagram. I will post at least one photo a day this week, and more as I can. Please follow me. 🙂

 

2017 Week 1 Accountability

The first week of 2017 is over, and time for Week 1 Accountability.

Writing

The Goal: Write Every Day. Hit 2 million words for the year. Write a book a week.

Actual: I wrote 6 out of 7 days. Week Total: 16,664. Daily Average: 2,381. Words per Hour: 2,641. Books Written: 2. Two rough drafts completed.

So this word count won’t get me to a million words, and not even close to 2 million. I have to really pick up the pace. I had two free days to write, where I wrote over 11k combined. Then our snowstorm hit, and I’ve been called in every day to help with the Post Office. I tried to make myself write for 30 minutes every day, even when exhausted (we got *a lot* of snow). By Friday, my willpower was shot, and Saturday, I no longer had a plan (two first drafts completed, so either needed to edit or start something new).

The books completed were Spilling Blood episode 13 and a pen name novel.

And distractions besides the Post Office? I was offered a position in a Top 10 Rock Band 4 Rivals Crew. How could I say no? 😀 And then Netflix – they have all of Season 10 of Hell on Wheels. *Sigh*

Other: I did not take the move into poetry. I may start this goal later, but it’s going to take a back seat to my prose.

Music

I put off starting this goal due to time constraints. it is a secondary goal to writing.

Other

I didn’t even bother with these goals, as I was barely participating in goal #1.

The weather doesn’t look to be letting up much this week, so I don’t know what’s going to happen. My focus this week will be to write Spilling Blood 14 and get my previous two projects edited. That might be a full week, depending on the weather.

5 Tips to Write Every Day

  1. Write early. Writing every day, even if you want to, is a chore. Therefore, do it early, if not first thing in the morning. Get it out of the way, otherwise, you might end up putting it off until there’s no time left. Which brings us to:
  2. Get up earlier than you need to. Give yourself the time you need to write. If you have a job to go to and/or family that needs your adulting, be ahead of them with some sacred writing time. Go to bed earlier, if you can, so you get enough sleep to be able to think upon awakening.
  3. Plan ahead. Know what you are going to write tomorrow so you don’t have to think about it. This will also prevent delaying until other distractions take over.
  4. Put off the distractions until your writing is done. This is your social media and email. It might sound like a good idea to get your communications out of the way first, but they will likely suck up your writing time. With this being the age of smart phones and laptops, you’re likely going to be playing on social media throughout the day anyway.
  5. Make it a habit/ritual. Start by making it a goal to write every day for thirty days. Then shoot for three months. Once it’s a habit, it’ll be easier to stick with. Don’t miss a day, if you can help it. Some people need the weekend off, but it hurts my performance. Add to the habit with ritual, such as launching music before starting, getting your coffee and breakfast, exercising, and invoking your muse. Create your ritual to suit your needs.

Why Haven’t I Met My Goals?

Hey again. Yesterday I wrote about my goals for this year. Today, I’m going to write about why I’ve failed to achieve my writing goals the last couple of years, and how identifying them will help me achieve my goals this year.

THE PROBLEM

I am somebody that must write every day. If I miss a single day, that gives me permission to miss more days. If I break my writing streak, it is difficult for me to get back into the flow. So what keeps me from writing every day?

  1. Another job. The more I write, the more it pays. The less I write, the less I can afford to write. I have another job working for the post office, which often takes up a lot of my time. When I am delivering mail, I often don’t feel like writing at all. In the mornings, when I’m working six days a week, it’s hard to do anything but watch TV.
  1. Netflix. Ohhh man do I love my show addictions.
  1. Video Games. Mainly Rock Band 4 and Rocksmith.

THE SOLUTION

So, I know I’ve got to write every day. The three problems above will likely be there for a while. But what am I going to do about it?

  1. The distractions have got to be limited. Primarily, during my morning time. If I wait until the afternoon to write, I have less time and it’s easier to tell myself that I can make up the writing later. If I work 6 days a week, I’m not making it all up on Sunday. Therefore, mornings will be sacred. No TV and no video games. Although they help me unwind, my intention is to continue my existence as a writer. Which is supposed to be my pursuit of happiness.

So… I intend to find 3 hours a day to write, on average. Two hours of this will be in the morning before I go to work for the post office. The third hour will be in the afternoon/evening. If I don’t work for the PO that day, I’m shooting for 5 hours of writing. Neat fact – my writing speed can sometimes hit 3k an hour now.

  1. Can I still watch TV or play games? Sure, but maybe in the evenings while unwinding with my family.

The allowable exception is my music. The evenings will be used to meet my music goals, though maybe only an hour of practice a night.

My 2017 Writer Goals

#selfie using #artisto

A post shared by Garth Wright (@gswrite) on

Hello, 2017, goodbye, 2016! Last year’s goals trickled out with a quiet, embarrassing poot. This year, I’m bringing to the table all new goals, along with some favorite oldies.

When I reexamined my goals and what I want to do this year, I decided that I want to focus on how I define myself. Therefore, my goals this year will focus on 2 things, writing and music. These are the two things (other than family) that bring me happiness, so I’m going to devote my time to having them daily in my life.

GOAL 1: Writing! I’m going to write 1 million words this year. And I will write every day. The real goal, again, is 2 million, because why not truly bury myself in disappointment by December? I am going to talk about what I’ve learned in 2016 about meeting and failing this goal later. I think I’m fine-tuning my writing ability. Anyway!!!!

Goal 1.1: A story a week. I might not get it published the week I finish, but I will have it written.

Goal 1.2: A novel a month. Just like the short story, I’ll have it written, but it’ll get published when it is ready.

Goal 1.3: Poetry. This is a small goal. I might not even share much of this, but I’m thinking I want to create poetry at least every now and then, if not daily.

GOAL 2: Music! This year, I want to get better on the guitar, and maybe later this year, the piano. So, this brings me to:

Goal 2.1: Learn a song a week. 52 songs in one year? Yes. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I have a fun repertoire to annoy people with at parties.

Goal 2.2: WRITE a song a week. Because that would just be cool.

The idea is that I will practice daily, and by 2018, I’ll have a bit of talent development.

Other minor goals:

Zazzle. I like Zazzle, and it provides a little bit of spending money throughout the year. I’ve got a few new store ideas I want to do, so I’ll share them as I make time.

Youtube. I intend to embarrass myself throughout the year, primarily with my music, in front of the world. This will be a difficult goal, because as a writer, I’m happier not being seen.

Social Media and Blogging. I will try to be more active. It’s easy not to be.

Part of the problem with my goals is that I saw them as chores that had to be done. This year, though they are mostly going to be daily, I’m going to try and have the attitude that I want to do these things every day, and it’s how I want to spend my time.

Tomorrow, I’m going to talk about why I see myself failing from past experience, and how I think I should go forward.

Halloween Vampire Horror Reading Sale

spillingbloodfreeadHalloween is getting closer! Yay! How about a quick promotion?

Spilling Blood, Episode 1 is free today through October 29th. You can grab it on Amazon for your kindle ereader by clicking here.

Also, you can also get episodes 2 through 12 for $.99 each through Halloween.

 

My Indie Author’s Day Experience in Buhl, Idaho

 

Yesterday (Oct 8), I participated in Indie Author’s Day at the Buhl Public Library. The event was surprisingly successful and went by quickly, considering it was most of the day. And that’s always a good sign.

The first part of the day was a youtube presentation that was fairly informative as a discussion concerning getting into libraries. From the standpoint of someone doing this for awhile, I don’t know if I considered it particularly useful for me, and maybe it was geared for writers a little newer to the paying field. At this point, having been doing this since 2012, I’ve got different methods. the talk about getting into libraries was by far the most valuable, but still not something I intend to act on in the near future. The gist is that libraries will help you find people to buy your books in the future. Here’s the video:

Following this one hour presentation, the library had 4 panels – Creation, Editing, Differences in traditional and indie publishing, and Marketing. I did Editing.

At the end, around 3:30, we returned to our tables, and those of us who have books did a book sale and signing. I’ve done signings and several libraries in the past, and the overall takeaway from those events is that people do not come to libraries to buy books. They are there to check out books – for free. This signing was pleasantly different. Books were sold. I also was asked to do a speaking engagement for the Idaho Writer’s League in January. 🙂

There’s a lot of other activities I know other libraries did, like author readings and critiques, that would’ve been fun to include. However, all of the allotted time was used up, and I don’t know how we could’ve squeezed anything else in without cutting out other stuff.

The participation, too, was great. For the video and presentations, our small library was packed. Packed means about two dozen individuals. There were people who have never published to people who have been doing this for years. The book signing too took up about half of the library, with the librarians having to drag out additional tables for those who showed up.

I did not know many of the authors, which kind of surprises me. I expected to see more of those in this area that I know, but only a couple showed up. Maybe Octoberfest distracted them, and I know at least one author was out of town.

But then an author group I belong to with heavy numbers in the Boise area ignored this same opportunity from their library, and I’m totally surprised by this. Are the authors/writers I used to run with getting burnt out? It would be a shame. I know life happens. Or maybe I’m seeing a dropout. Maybe they published one book and no longer care about selling it. We all write for different reasons. No judgment, but I’m left with unanswered curiosity.

I expect this event to continue next year, and hopefully, my author/writer friends will attend next year. I know a certain librarian (my wife) worked incredibly hard to make the one in Buhl a success, and I think it’s great that libraries across the nation participated in creating an event for those of us chasing this dream.

So did you attend? What did your library do, and what are your thoughts?

 

 

Indie Author Day at the Buhl Public Library

Quick Summary: I am participating in Indie Author Day on October 8th, ’16, along with a lot of other Idaho writers/authors. Follow me (and the event) on various social media. 🙂

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This Saturday, I, along with around 15 other authors (or more!), will be at the Buhl Public Libray for Indie Author Day. While most of the day is centered around workshops for indie authors, I will be signing books afterward, starting at 3:30 pm to 5 pm. This is also an excellent opportunity to meet many other indie authors.

I will have my newest novels there, including Apocalypse Witch and Soul Sister.

I am also going to attempt to keep up a steady stream of Snapchat and Instagram Stories throughout the event. Twitter and Facebook too. It might be too much Social Media. Just. Maybe. We’ll see.

On Instagram, add me as gswrite.

For Snapchat, snap this…

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Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.