Friday, April 27, 2018

Favorite stories / Happenings In The Outhouse 27-Apr-2018

I was listening to a podcast the other day, and someone had asked a bestselling author: "What is your favorite story that you've written?"

This author gave the usual answer, by saying all of his stories were like his children, so all were his favorites, but in the end he did choose his first one, as it was more near and dear to him.

What are my favorites?

All of them.  Past . . . present . . . and future.

Yes, even the future stories I have ideas for are included in my favorites.  Time keeps me from getting them all done--if they'll all ever be done.

Speaking of new projects, my current work-in-progress, a romance novel written under a pseudonym, has roughly 12,000 words written.  My goal of writing at least 2,500 words a week has been going well.  It may seem like a small goal, but it's a manageable goal and one I can even overachieve on.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Can art be created quickly? / Happenings In The Outhouse 20-Apr-2018

Two weekends ago, my wife and I saw the movie I Can Only Imagine. 

At that point, the movie had been out for three weeks, so we thought there would be plenty of places to sit.  Wow, were we wrong!  The place was packed!  We sat in the front row, which was an ideal place to begin with as my wife is legally blind.  And the movie?  In short, it was amazing!

Which brings me to the reason behind this post, about art being created quickly.

At the beginning of the movie, Bart (the lead singer for MercyMe who wrote the hit song that the movie was named for) was being interviewed by someone (no spoilers here, as I won't share who this was) and asked about the song's creation.

Bart told the interviewer that he wrote the lyrics in about ten minutes, and the music in about as much time.

The interviewer then objected and said no, it had been written over his lifetime.

Sorry, but the interviewer is wrong.  There are plenty of artists who, on a whim of inspiration, have written great works in short periods of time.  I do know why the interviewer said what she said, that it was what he had experienced in his lifetime that led up to the creation of their iconic song.  But great works of art can be created in short periods of time.

Don't believe me?  Here's a link to a list of 10 novels written in less than a month.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Keep your goals visible (AKA My Next 5 Things) / Happenings In The Outhouse 13-Apr-2018

I'm embarking on a new venture, under a pseudonym.  I am roughly 5,000 words into a romance story, and it's going well.  It was slow going at first, but lately has ramped up.

I've preached before about the importance of goals.  I don't do New Year's resolutions.  Simply, they don't work.  I set goals year-around.

I also do not participate in NaNoWriMo (the National Novel Writing Month) which occurs every November.  Instead of writing in November, I write all the time--or mostly everyday.

I've had to revamp how I set my goals.  I have a two-year plan, but in the meantime what do I do?

Last week was the start of a new quarter.  I wrote down 5 things to accomplish.  I call it "My Next 5 Things."

I wrote down 5 things I want to accomplish in the second quarter.  It's a manageable list, and I see it everyday.

I have also set a weekly writing goal.  I have it broken down into a daily goal for 5 days (minus the weekends) as well as the full 7 days.

So far, it seems to be working.

What have you tried to accomplish your goals?  How about one goal a month?  It's okay to start small.

Friday, April 6, 2018

New Ventures - New Challenges / Happenings In The Outhouse 06-Apr-2018

I wasn't happy with the productivity behind my last project, so I'm amping it up on my next and future projects.

Training Grounds was started around the first of the year, and completed only last month.  And it's a novella, to boot.  I've written other novellas in a matter of weeks.  Not months.

I apologize right now for my secretiveness, but I'm experimenting with a few new things.  If they work, from a productivity standpoint, I'll share my findings and what they are.  It could be something you can try too.  Keep in mind, everyone's working style is different.  For the past few years, I logged all of my writing days on a spreadsheet, and almost obsessed with having as few non-writing days as possible.  But around November 2017, due to health and other personal issues, I had more non-writing days than I liked and it stressed me out.  So I quit the spreadsheet.  Oddly enough, my productivity increased and I finished the novel.

But something happened after the first of the year.  One thing I discovered is that I need a publishing goal.  A date.  Something to shoot for.  If I have to change it, I will.  But with no deadline to shoot for, I find myself lingering on and on . . .

Okay, now for the new stuff.  I am currently writing . . . drum roll please . . . a romance novel.  I'm roughly 2,500 words into it, and it's going well.  I have another one I'll write right afterwards.  But I will not share the title here.  Why?  I'm experimenting with a pseudonym.  I know, pen names can have its pros and cons.  I'll need a separate website and such.  But I have my reasons, after juggling the pros and cons.

Why a pseudonym?  Because in the romance world, men don't sell as well as women.  It sounds sexist, I know, but that's the reality.  So, my pen name will be initials.  It won't resemble my name at all.

It should be fun.  I'm looking forward to the results.  I've never written romance before, but I have added romance elements into my stories before.