It’s Done

At the end 2020, I set a goal to write two novels in 2021. As of yesterday, I’m halfway there. Now, to be clear, I finished the rough draft. That means I have at least one revision before getting it to my developmental editor/ wife, and then at least one revision after that based on her notes, and then a proofread after that. There’s no publishing contract or anything like that.

That said, the raw act of creation is finished. Now it’s time to refine.

I wrote an average of just over two thousand words a day over thirty-eight days. That’s a fair amount of words. I know authors that push out a lot more in a day, but I also know a number that create far fewer words. I’m pretty content with that output, particularly since it’s Lent.

See, I’m a pastor in my day job, and the time between Ash Wednesday (February 17 this year) and Easter (April 4 this year) are literally twice as busy as normal. I purposely decided to attempt writing the rough draft in Lent, figuring that if I could write a rough draft then, well, I could probably write a rough draft anytime!

Now, how did I do it? How could I write so much, create so much, in such a busy time?

Continue reading “It’s Done”

The Ego Shelf Grows

Sometimes I just need to stare at it. It doesn’t feel real, you know?

But it is.

Look at it. That’s my ego shelf.

I didn’t come up with that title. I don’t remember where I first saw it, so don’t give me any credit. I’m not taking it! An ego shelf is the place where a writer can put all his or her published fiction. And that’s mine. Nearly all those books are anthologies. I’ve got at least one story in each of those. The last two little books are novels that my wife edited, so they belong on our family ego shelf. (Also, check out H. K. Devonshire’s work if you’re into westerns or good science fiction!)

And that last big, thick book… that’s The Keeper of Tales.

It comes out Monday, available for order in physical copies, as well as for download onto your Kindle. You should check it out. It’s a story about stories. Tales are alive. They will be told. There’s a great review right here.

But here’s the funny thing:

I’m not content.

Continue reading “The Ego Shelf Grows”

Because I Needed More to Do

Clearly something is wrong with me.

Well, honestly, there’s a lot of things wrong with me. Right now I’m thinking of one thing in particular, though:

I’m thinking of starting a YouTube channel.

Why would I do such a thing?! I’ve got enough going on as it is. I don’t need to add more to it!

Also, I know that having a YouTube channel is no guarantee of views! I run the YouTube channel for my congregation, and that doesn’t get a lot of views!

Really, it came down to me thinking about a side of being an author I don’t like: Marketing.

Continue reading “Because I Needed More to Do”

What is my writing worth?

The first check I received for writing fiction amounted to $5. I didn’t cash it. It’s in a frame. Look! I got paid! I was so proud of that first check. My wife and I went out to dinner to celebrate. A sale!

Since then, I’ve published a number of short stories in a number of anthologies and online. I’ve got a number more on the way that I’ll announce as soon as I’m able. At the beginning of this process, I was thrilled to get $5. I mean, I’m getting paid for plunking down words on a page? Someone thinks my writing is worth something? Sweet!

Now, I still get a kick out of getting paid for creating worlds. That said, I’ve found that I’m pickier about where I send my stories. When a story gets bought, I’m happy, but we don’t go out for dinner to celebrate too often anymore. Am I a snob? Or am I finding my feet and figuring out my worth?

Continue reading “What is my writing worth?”

The Work that Comes After the Writing

Writing is work.

I wish it was only fun. There is real joy in creating stories, crafting mythologies, sculpting characters, and weaving storylines. There’s something magical in discovering surprises you laid for yourself. I actually do enjoy revising stories and shining them up.

But if you intend to be successful as an author, it also takes a lot of work.

Today I’ve edited 100 pages of a novel. That took literal hours, butt in chair, hands on keyboard, looking at every single line of those 100 pages. Should this phrase be capitalized? How about that verb tense? Oh, that sentence needs strengthening.

My brain is now a gelatinous cube with less intelligence. Continue reading “The Work that Comes After the Writing”