It’s 6:41 PM on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. I’m done working for the day so I tallied the month end numbers.
I averaged 1448 new words a day for April 2013, putting up a grand total of 43,451 new words for the month.
So far for 2013 I’ve put up 102,555 words. I’m about 10,000 words short for year-to-date goals.
My dad died December 15th and I spent January and parts of February away from the keyboard. Hence the short word count for the year.
My dad got pneumonia and was hospitalized October 4th, (he never got back home). He’d been fading away for longer than that, and I don’t think he ever got a chance to read my stuff. He just wasn’t strong enough anymore to relax with a book. Or in my case, a Kindle.
I don’t think he was aware of the tech changes in publishing that gave me the power to do what I’d dreamt about for some thirty five years. Write.
Thirty five years. Yeow.
I bought my first Writer’s Market in 1975. The cover blurb declares it contained 5,202 paying markets for novels, articles, poetry, poems, plays, gags, short stories, photos, and more.
Wondering how I remember what was on the cover of a book I bought decades ago? I just pulled it out of my library to check. Yeah, I still own it. There’s a couple notations on the inside cover from a twenty one year old kid, but I won’t discuss that here. Still, in my world, that book is historic.
As for Mom, she does read my stuff. Then she calls and tells me to stop swearing so much. But it’s not me, it’s the characters.
They pretty much say and do what they want.
Oh yeah, Mom used to tell Dad to stop swearing, too. Guess it runs on the paternal side of the family.
Words, Words, Words
(With a melody borrowed from Motley Crue.)
I sit at a laptop all day making shit up. And then I build complicated Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to track all the shit I’m making
up. So much for the dominant right brain, left brain crap.
But I understand everyone is dying to know what’s being tracked with those spreadsheets. So, here it is. It’s productivity, and in
my universe, productivity means word counts.
I’ve got a system in place where I ‘create’ a minimum of one thousand new words a day. Now, I don’t actually create new words. Get serious. Tolkien did that, but I’m not going there. I have enough trouble with the words already created by other people.
So what’s my definition of a ‘new’ word? New words are new parts of a story. A new paragraph, a new chapter, a new scene. One
thousand new words a day. Seven days a week. Three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
Well, my fancy MS Excel tracking spreadsheet says that while my goal is one thousand new words a day, I actually put down about fourteen hundred new words a day. Every day. Weekends and holidays included.
But wait, there’s more. What about old words? Old words are revisions of existing work. Or editorial changes suggested by the two editors I actually pay to tell me how much my stories suck.
I don’t track old words with a word count. I just schedule work to be done. Story XWZ needs minor revision and I’ll have it done
and published by next Tuesday at 4:00 PM. Something like that.
If I tracked old words with a word count I could scratch my ego with bigger productivity numbers, but who cares. At one thousand
new words a day I’m putting down three hundred and sixty-five thousand words a year.
That’s three novels weighing in at seventy thousand words each and nineteen short stories, each about eight thousand words. Every year.
Oh yeah, remember, my spread sheet says I’m actually putting down fourteen hundred words a day. That’s five novels of seventy
thousands each and some twenty short stories each about eight thousand words long. (Or short, your choice.)
Holy Crap, in terms of productivity I’m Isaac Asimov or Julian Simon. Okay, maybe not so much, but you get the word picture.
I’ve got another spread sheet that tracks story production stages. For example, stories done and published, stories I’m working
on, story outlines done, story summaries completed, etc. I’ve also got another spread sheet that doesn’t really track anything. It just reminds me of story ideas or bits and scenes that I might work in to some story already in progress.
All this data I collect on myself says I don’t have enough years left in my life to finish everything I’ve started. And that doesn’t Include the astoundingly brilliant, new story ideas that jump into my head every morning during eggs and toast.
Now, if I could disappear into a well stocked cabin, on lake front property, in central Wisconsin with no interruptions except an occasional splashing bass…hell, my word count might go to three or four thousand a day. But even that wouldn’t let me finish everything.
(I did do the “Zoe Winters, 10,000 Word Day”, on a Saturday last fall. It was exhausting and I’ll probably never do it again.)
And there you have it. Three novels a year. And if I cut out short stories (which I won’t because I love writing shorts) it would be maybe four novels a year. MINIMUM!
So, the next time some ‘author’ says he’s been writing a novel for five years…tell that author he’s not working hard enough.
And then give him a spreadsheet.
Hippies, the latest publication from my D. C. Chester pen name, is active on Amazon and will be available as a FREE Kindle download from 4-11-2013 through 4-13-2013.
From the eBook story description:
Two worlds collide as the sinister side of society invades a daydream of peace and love.
Jerry, Daisy, Pete, and Lucy, aging hippies from a wistful past, become ensnared by the violence and evil of a neighborhood in decay.
Maybe they never truly accepted the Age of Aquarius but they certainly wanted to cherish the memories of the age of Woodstock.
But Woodstock was a lot less then it always pretended to be. Plagued by random acts of unbelievable stupidity, drug overdoses, and scattered violence.
Now DaMar, Esto, and Damon will introduce the hipsters to a new age of degradation. As if the aging flower children have been
living in a bubble all through the years.
It’s time for those hidden agendas to come home to roost…with love and pieces.
I just launched a ‘free’ promotion for “False Bravado”, a short story eBook from my D. C. Chester pen name. As usual the free part is only on Amazon. The promo starts at one minute after midnight on Friday, April 5th, and lasts five days. Then it returns to its
stratospheric price of $2.99.
$2.99!? I guess I’m just a subscriber to the Gordon Gekko admonition,
“Greed is good.”
“False Bravado” is about a young man’s desire to meet a young woman…in a bar.
Or maybe it’s about a young woman’s desire to meet a young man…in a bar.
Either way, it doesn’t matter, because there’s something bubbling under the surface, here. (That’s a clever hint at the plot.)
Some people might think the story resembles a true tale from a time before Toma and I were married. But, without the dry ice. I won’t waste my time with a counter argument on that, but I will say this; that bar in the story seems suspiciously familiar to a place from my youth.
“False Bravado” comes complete with a bonus story titled “Everything We Wanted”. The bonus story is under my Danny Essex pen name and it’s more, well, I don’t want to offer any spoilers, but Danny Essex doesn’t write romance.
Some people might say this story also smacks of a reality lived by Toma and I. With an ending from a different dimension, of course. Who am I to argue?
So maybe I don’t really sit at a laptop and make stuff up. Maybe I just dust off old memories, pound them into gargoyles, and put them on display for everyone to see. Up on the roof gables of a deserted mansion.
Grab a copy of "False Bravado" for your Kindle or PC Kindle app.
And, as usual, tell everyone you know in the world about this great new story you just got.
And then pull out a gun and force them to get it, too.
Oh, yeah. Don’t you just love that cover?