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Some brief, semi-random thoughts that are unrelated to one another:

A)  Looking over the log of my daily word counts I’ve noticed several things. 

     1) Until the end of April, the amount of writing I did was pretty haphazard.  Between mid-November and mid-April I put just under 60,500 words into The Novel, roughly 12,000 words/month.  That doesn’t count any work done on The Script (which counts for Score, as it is revision, but I don’t include in the word count) or blog posts. Since I started keeping daily track since the middle of last month, I’ve logged just under 18,500 words – a 50%-ish increase.  I can only attribute this to the fact that I now have a page in the back of my notebook where I can take a look at my progress. The days I don’t write really jump out at me now.  Sometimes it’s beyond my control (soccer tournaments for example). Sometimes it’s not, but I have become more aware of when I don’t put my butt in the chair.  The daily writing log has really been a big prod towards keeping me writing at a steady pace.

     b. Closely related to #1: The log shows a good day’s writing for me is 1500-2000 words.  By pushing myself a little it’s a readily obtainable goal.  I have had one day that I can recall where I managed to put about 2700 words down.  I think that is going to be a rare occurrence for me, though.  At around 1500 words I start getting drained and my head wanders off.  That may be due to trying to write in one session late in the evening.  I might try splitting the writing day into two sessions and see if that helps.  I would love to be able to churn out 3000 words a day, but I don’t currently have the endurance for that kind of work.  1500/day is a first draft (of 100k words) in about 3 months.  3000/day cuts that down to just under a month and half.  Either way it’s a faster pace than the six month pace I’m currently on.

     III)  I’m beginning to think more positively about self-publishing.  I’m not 100% sold on it yet, but I’ve found some newer information that indicates (if the stories are to be believed) that it’s viable route to getting Your Work Seen.  What I had read previously, from 2000-2007 or so, had lumped SP into the piles of scams and less-than-desirable routes for Those That Can’t Cut It and be themselves published ‘the traditional way.’  More recent advice from 2010 onwards indicates that people are still reading (I had feared they weren’t), but they aren’t reading paper books anymore. Everything is moving to the KindleNook and other electronic devices.  This is good, and I’m finding indications that more control is retained by the author than the publisher.  I’m still not 100% sold on self-publishing, but it’s higher on my list of options to explore when the time eventually comes. [If anyone has any opinions regarding self publishing or can point me to some better, more up-to-date advice, I’d love it if you’d share in the comments.]

     4) I do like writing in a journal every day.  Usually it’s merely 1-200 words about some random thought that’s popped into my head, but it helps remind to work on other things.  I’ve taken to carrying two notebooks with me most of the time.  One is for The Journal.  The other is for Notes – ideas for new stories, where to take the current story, character names, world building, notes about alien races, ship designs, that sort of thing.  I found a three-pack of Moleskine unlined notebooks (about 5″ x 8″) on sale at Barnes and Noble for about half off and took a chance on them. They are big enough for me to write in and still small enough to carry in a bag or a jacket pocket.  They are quite handy.  When I get the feedback from Trusted Reader #2 compiled, I might post a picture of The Notebooks and how I make them work for me.  PS – I don’t own any stock in Moleskine.  They are just the first notebooks I’ve owned that I’ve wanted to keep with me and write in every day.

     5) The last thing is an idea I’ve read about but haven’t tried: Keeping a scuba diver’s slate in the shower and using it jot down ideas that come to you while splishing and splashing.  I did a quick Google search and found them for about $8-10 online.  Something else that perhaps someone can add to in the comment section.

~James

PS – went over 40 followers earlier this week, which is 39 more than I expected when I started. Thank you to everyone!  Please, if there is anything you’d like me to discuss, wonder if I’ve had problems with it (I probably have), or if I’ve found a source for something,  let me know.  Thanks again!

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