Pulp Writing Speed Day 37 – Thoughts on Instagram

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Bridge at Harrington Fork picnic area.

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There are some days when I’m just like, what the Hell did I do all day? This is one of them. I swear I edited a lot more than what yesterday looks like. I was pretty wiped out though.

Today’s a road trip, and there will be pictures for proof, so I’m only going to try and edit a Chapter or two. Tomorrow’s going to also be a challenge since I’ll still be on my mini-vacation.

I’ll have my book moved over to my tablet so I can work from a hotel room tomorrow.

I’m a little frustrated with myself, I drag editing out forever. I’ve had shorter books take an entire month to edit, but I’m 66% done, so realistically I only have a few days left, if I could buckle down.

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It was a dry Sunday at the falls.

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I’ve been switching up my Instagram to focus more on the world about me, and sharing it more as my adventures. I’ve never been one to take a bunch of selfies, unless they’re funny snapchats, and I don’t use Instagram like a lot of other writers do, posting quotes and excerpts from their books.

I think Instagram is a challenge for most writers. Most of us are introverts. And photos are visual, while we put the stories into your head. It’s a clash of two different mediums.

Yet Instagram is a story itself, chronicling the world and our lives. It makes sense, then, that we’re still telling stories with our cameras/phones. For a writer to embrace this rapidly growing Social Media, that’s how we need to see it. We need to be willing to share our more intimate stories, as they’re happening.

And sitting at your computer is part of your story. If you can capture the visual element, start sharing. However, I think that this is also a wake-up call, that there’s a world outside and around you. It’s an excuse to get out and create your own story. Make people envious that you’re a writer.

Follow me on Instagram. Click on one of the photos. Drop me a comment and I’ll follow you back.

  • Day 37 Word Count: 237
  • Day 37 Editing: 1,475
  • Current Works in Progress Word Count: Romance/Horror: 72,690 (editing completed through 48,251); Sci-Fi: 23,239

ACCUMULATED STATS –

  • Writing Streak Average Word Count per Day: 1,744
  • Current Writing Streak: 37 days
  • Writing Streak Word Count: 66,279
  • September: 25,910
  • September Ave. Word Count: 1,993
  • YTD: 200,609
  • Ave. Word Count YTD: 768
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I Wanna be a Pulp Fiction Writer

Sometimes I think I’m a prolific writer. I’ve written a bunch of books and a shitload of short stories. I know I lose steam and have difficulty juggling writing when I’m involved elsewhere, but overall, I write a bunch.

But then I go and read up on the golden age pulp writers, and I realize how low my productivity really is… They Wrote 4500+ words a day, well over a million words every year…

…for decades.

Complete novels every week.

For decades.

So yeah, apparently I’m not a serious enough writer.

So… Since I’m 40-something, I guess I’d better get started if I want to compete with the pulp writers of the past. I’ve only got so many decades left!!!

So what the Hell…let’s go for it. Might as well start my shocking decades-worth of writing output today, right?

And I should totally blog it.

So, let’s set the expectation…

5k a day. That’s a number that works for me. That’s about two hours of writing a day, and 35k words a week. That’s not quite a novel a week, but the 5k a day is a minimum, so we shall see.

Instead of focusing on multiple titles, I will focus on one book until it’s finished.

There will not be a set word count for book length.

Ideas – You know those writing prompts I’ve shared? I’ve got a ton of them, so I’m okay for a year or two.

Anyway, I’ll just go for broke this week and see where I end up, then I can make other plans.

For now, this week will be dedicated to my Zombie Horror Romance.

Deadline for first draft – Sunday, August 13th.

Other project on my plate – Finish paperback of Spilling Blood Season 3.

How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas

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Do you want to write but don’t have anything you’re excited to write about? Missing that something that makes you want to put your butt in chair and get started? Do you have writer’s block?

Goal: To come up with 10 story ideas every day.

For a month.

At the end of a month, choose your favorites for future writing.

Ready? Grab your journal. Let’s do this…

Break each day into a different theme, something you are genuinely interested in and want to write about, or include in your current work in progress.

Themes can be zombies, mermaids, dystopian setting, whatever. Choose a subject that you can conceivably come up with multiple story ideas.

To find out more themes: What’s your favorite book? TV show? Movie? For example, if you are into Game of Thrones, come up with a list of ideas to write your own dark fantasy filled with political intrigue and backstabbing. If Star Wars is on your list, come up with ideas for a Space Opera setting, filled with numerous worlds and unique alien species, with a powerful enemy out to rule the galaxy.

Since I write in multiple genres, I make a category for Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy, and then apply my theme of the day to each category.

Try to do this every day, for at least a month.

Write out a concept for each idea, so when you revisit it in the future, you’ll have an idea of what you originally came up with.

If you struggle with coming up with 10, can you come up with ideas to apply to, say, a romance arc? Or an antagonist story arc?

Some days, take a break from writing fiction ideas and try a day of marketing ideas.

Choose your one or two of your favorites each day, and add it to a second list, one of your best ideas that you’re excited about and want to actively pursue.

Don’t throw out the other ideas.

Can they be combined with your favorite ideas for other story arcs, whether for the main story or for secondary characters?

Can they be made into short stories?

This was not by any means something I came up with. I found it on another website that was written primarily for blogging, and found it works great for fiction development.

 

2017 Week 2 Accountability

This morning I woke up to frost.

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It's a lot of frost this morning.

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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. 🙂

 

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.

A Social Media Glimpse of Yesterday

Social Media is  a constant diary of our lives. Often I find it difficult to blog about doing anything else other than writing, because I rarely find my personal adventures exciting enough, and I keep my philosophical thoughts (including politics) mostly too myself. It was suggested yesterday I even chronicle my conflicts with all of the spiders that lurk near my writing station. (My office is right next to the back door and cellar. I’m in a high-traffic spider zone). Here’s a glimpse of what my life looked like yesterday.
 
A week ago, I stepped on a roadkill squirrel while delivering mail in Jerome. I didn’t even see it. Honestly, I’m only assuming it was roadkill, because after all, how many squirrels does a person actually step on? So Facebook has become the place to share squirrel stuff.
 

 
I’ve been using Snapchat a little, mainly screwing around with their filters.

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I think this is me. 🙂

 

With this result….

 

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I’ll be at the Buhl Public Library a week from today…

And my most exciting moment of the day…
 

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Oh… and writing?

I edited 2,880 words and wrote an additional 671 words on a book I’m finishing up under a pen name.

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The Value of Word Count

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If you’ve been following my blog for the past week, you’ll notice I’ve been sharing my daily word counts. A lot of us writers do so just to keep track of how much we wrote in a year. If you have ever participated in NaNoWriMo, you’ve probably stared at your graph showing you how many more words you needed to write to finish a 50k novel in a month.

Also I’ve seen it said that by your first million words you’ll find your voice. I don’t remember who said that or how they said it, but it referred to that 10,000 hours of practice at whatever you pursue to become good at it. You won’t know when you’ve reached that milestone without tracking word count.

Word count is a measure of how long it will take you to complete your projects. Since I started independently publishing my writing in 2012, I’ve got plenty of unfinished manuscripts on my laptop. I’ve got the projects I want to finish this month, and those I’d like to get to later in the year. The ones I’m chasing now stand in the way of all of my other ideas. I see them as what I’ve committed to, but I really really want to start chasing my newer ones too. :/

Dean Wesley Smith wrote a blog article called Pulp Speed. It’s an inspirational article where he talks about increasing his own writing, and sets milestones, called Pulp Speeds, that show what he will accomplish if he writes so many words per day. He shoots for Pulp Speed 6, which would net him 2 million words of writing in a single year. Pulp Speed 1, his lowest, is an impressive 1 million words in a year.

Based on his article, I am at Pulp Speed Two, and on the cusp of reaching Three. I actually tie his article into my excel spreadsheet where I track my word count. I want to reach Pulp Speed 6. He gives examples of how many hours you’d have to write a day if you write 1000 words an hour, and there lies also the value of tracking your word count… pushing to get faster.

I am currently using a timer, and writing in 25 minute bursts. Often I get in only 750 words in that time, averaging about 1500 words an hour. I am pushing toward 2000 an hour. At that speed, I’m happy with the amount of time I spend in a day writing.

So! With all of that said, I take my daily word count and chart what I’m going to do with it based upon my average, to decide what I want/need to accomplish for the month. Pulp Speed 2 gives me 95,000 words to play with this month. 50k of that I’m giving to Hungry Gods 3. 20k is going to one of my pen names, Spilling Blood Episode 11 gets 15k, and then I’m going for 2 short stories of 5 k each. This is the start of week two of January, and I have one short story out of the way, and Spilling Blood ep. 11 almost complete.

That has netted me almost 26,000 words in one week.

That normally would be a fairly full month. But once I start looking at my productivity for the higher Pulp Speeds, it pushes me to add that extra 600 words a day to Reach the next level. I would love to hit 6k a day. We’ll see.

One thing I would like to note is that I cannot apply an entire day to just one project. I find that tiring. I have to spread my writing out at least between two of my books, and often three. That surprisingly helps my mind stay focused on writing, and still meets the same monthly writing goals as though tackling them one by one.

This post is longer than  I anticipated, so to wrap it up, here’s my stats so far:

Word Counts

1/7/16 Word Count: 3,190 (ave. 2,004 wph)

Hungry Gods 3 +1,845. 17,425/60,000

Spilling Blood 11 +1,161. 15,342/15,000

Apocalypse Witch 3 +015,020/20,000

Pen Name Short +184. 5,764/5,000 From editing.

Pen Name Book +0. 4,679/20,000

January Word Count: 25,953

For Year: 25,953

Completed Projects: Short Story.

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10 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

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Are you a writer? Here’s a list of 10 New Year’s Resolutions to consider and ideas for implementing them. As a bonus, each includes a Hard Core version for you writing beasts.

  1. Write. You’re a writer, so this one makes sense. Life has many distractions like Netflix, Facebook, Video Games, and our cell phones. Take time away from what consumes your time and move it to writing. Set a minimum goal of finding 30 minutes a day to write, whether journaling, poetry, or a story. Hard Core Goal: Write every day, and find a minimum of 2 hours.
  2. Read. If you are going to be distracted by anything, it should be reading. Decide on a number of books you intend to read for the year. Utilize Goodreads to keep track of your “want to read” library, and participate in their 2016 Reading Challenge. Hard Core Goal: 100 Books in 2016.
  3. Word Count. Set a daily or weekly writing goal. If you have to, start with something manageable like 500 words. When you find yourself exceeding your daily goal with regularity, increase again. Continue to challenge yourself. For some perspective, a novel in a month (a 50k NANOWRIMO) requires 1667 words a day. Hard Core Goal: target 5k to 10k a day.
  4. Become Full Time. Why not write for a living? The challenge here is to make money writing. That means finding markets, a publisher, self-publishing, learning marketing (like Facebook’s ads), and writing more stories. This is a great goal, especially if you like working in sweats. Hard Core Goal: Support your family on this income.
  5. Book in a Month. Some people like to do this in November, but there’s 11 other months to choose from, and 7 that give a precious extra day. Hard Core Goal: One novel every month.
  6. Build your Platform. Make a resolution to get yourself known. Be a regular on Social Media and grow your followers. Check out klout.com to measure your influence and expertise in topics as a writer. Hard Core Goal: Achieve over 20k followers across all social media.
  7. Book Signings. Even if you are an introvert, getting out and meeting people will sell those paperbacks you’ve got in a box in the closet. Find other authors to share expenses with at trade shows and farmer’s markets. Plus you don’t look lonely and ignored at bookstores if traffic sucks. Get to know the bookstore clerks. Hard Core Goal: Set up a signing a month.
  8. Finish your Work in Progress. Stop going back and editing. Stop ignoring it. Force yourself to dive in and get it done. Hard Core Goal: Move on.
  9. Get Fit. Everyone seems to make this resolution, right? At minimum, get out and walk. Get a treadmill. Eat better, cut back on sugar and soda, find a program that works for your body type. Hard Core Goal: Get fit! Spend 4 hours a week in the gym. Show the world what a ripped writer looks like.
  10. Network. Meet other writers, editors, cover designers. Exchange advice. Participate in writer/author groups. Meet in person and have coffee. You’ll learn a lot from others. Hard Core Goal: Be the one who starts a group. Keep it going and growing. Set up book signings for your group.

What are your resolutions for this year? Please share them in the comments below. 😀

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Writing for Jan. 1st, 16

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Yesterday I started off the year about as well as I could ask for. I had time to write, probably in part due to the fact that my internet was wonky. It’s those subtle distractions that free us to write, right? I even had time to play a game with the family. We got the game Munchkins for Christmas, and it was a hit with everyone, except for the three year old.

I also entered 2016 fighting a flu bug. It hasn’t won yet, but neither have I.

Word Counts

1/1/16 Word Count: 3,850. That’s a good writing day.

Hungry Gods 3 +853. 10,439/60,000

Apocalypse Witch 3 +0. 15,020/20,000

Spilling Blood 11 +1,211. 8,691/15,000

Pen Name Book +746. 2,754/20,000

Pen Name Short +1040. 1,040/6,000

January Word Count: 3,850

For Year: 3,850

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