8:15 am –

Wow, I’ve forgotten to post something for 2 days now. I think what’s happening is that my posting habit was tied to my Shutterstock habit, and now I don’t need to deal with Shutterstock in the evenings anymore.

Also, the last few days have just been weird. I don’t now how to describe them. Let me try to tease things out as much as I can to see what’s going on.

Freelancing is holding me up, big time. It’s one of those things that wouldn’t be so bad if I just sat down and did it. But I’m so uninspired.

The thing I am inspired by? Prose on Fire plans. I made one that I’m happy with, but now I need to figure out how to put it into action. I’m not completely sure where to start.

I haven’t gotten any fiction writing done in the last several days. Part of that is because I feel guilty about not freelancing (despite never getting freelancing done when I stay home) and another part is because the only thing I have beaten out is Fallen, which I enjoy writing, but which is so far ahead of where I am with edits (back in the middle of Unbound, book 2). It occurred to me this morning that I might be a cycler with editing, which is weird, because I’m not one with writing.

I’m a bit stuck on editing. I’ve gotten as far as I can with the two books I have on Kindle, and now need to apply those edits in Scrivener. I could probably keep going on Kindle if I had my other books revised, but I don’t. So something psychological is holding me up there, too.

So, I haven’t gotten much done this week so far, aside from 10k words of fiction. Based on what I’ve written, it seems like the priorities are:

  • Somehow get some freelance work done, even if I have to use pomodoros to force myself
  • Beat out some more fiction to write on the walks
  • Get some new books revised and ready for Kindle editing
  • Get Kindle edits into Scrivener so I can cycle through and move forward on editing

I have to admit, none of these really screams fun to me right now, which may be why I’m feeling stuck. I guess if I had to pick a few, I would pick beating out more fiction and getting books revised for Kindle. Maybe that’s what I should focus on for now?

Plus the freelance stuff. Ugh, the bane of my existence. Why can’t I just be happier about that?

Let’s talk about something more fun: Prose on Fire stuff. I have been doodling and brainstorming (and dreaming) for the past several days and came up with a framework for the 6 stages of successful fiction writers. This is the order in which writers become mega authors during their careers. I am, unfortunately, only at Stage 2 out of 6, but I realized something while creating the framework, that I could move through the other stages quickly if I follow them in order, since each stage only requires systemization before moving onto the next stage.

For example, Stage 2 is being able to produce books on a consistent basis. I’m not 100% there yet, but once I get a handle on this editing thing, I should be able to move on to Stage 3, which is all about streamlining the sales funnel.

The stages are actually very quick to move through, but what I’m more excited about is having a framework that I can share with others and become known for. I didn’t do this intentionally, but now I have some cornerstone ideas that can set POF apart from other writers who write about writing.

I also mentioned before that I wanted to launch POF being known for one very specific thing, then expanding into other topics, and the most obvious thing is writing more, faster. Between upping my writing speed and upping my word count per month, I have a lot to share there. Plus, Prose on Fire lends itself well to this idea anyway.

I’m excited about getting started, but also unsure of where specifically to start. And unsure of how much time to invest when I still have so much other stuff going on with freelancing, writing, and editing. It’s not like I don’t already have a ton of work to do. How realistic am I being with this idea?

I’ve done some cost calculations and don’t expect to be seeing any dough for awhile, but once I get everything set up, I believe I have a decent way to monetize that should be worth my time and efforts. That’s a relief, but in the meantime, I have bills piling up and not a ton of immediate income coming in. I HAVE to get some freelancing done. That is just the reality.

My second priority going into the end of the month is getting books out. I’m really questioning if my drafting goal is what I should be focused on right now, but I also don’t want to lose momentum completely with either drafting or my Lose Weight Slowly efforts. I checked again yesterday and I’ve lost nearly four pounds this month. Things are working, and I don’t want to ruin that.

I CAN DO IT ALL! Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. Am I being unrealistic?

8:55 pm –

So, I did the exact opposite of everything I said I was going to do today. I woke up with an urge to walk and had to get it done.

I completed the last seven scenes I had beaten out for Fallen, and got 7,394 words. Not a bad amount, though not as many words as my last outing. For whatever reason, a lot of my scenes in this book are short, and they are also coming out slower on a words/hour basis. That’s okay though; Waters Dark and Deep stuff always seems to come out slower, and it’s not a huge deal to me.

I still have a long way to go to hit my 100k goal. I’m currently at just over 50,000 words. I probably need to go walking twice more this week, then at least 3 times early next week to hit the monthly goal.

I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, I want to do what I said (to myself) that I was going to do. I want to follow through. It’s pointless to set a 100k goal, then say, well, 80k is still good enough.

At the same time, 100k just isn’t quite as important to me as it once was. With the walking, it’s clear to me that I can maintain a steady writing pace with 3 walks a week. That feels good enough to me, in some way.

I want to finish the Fallen draft, pick up the Hellfire draft (WD&D #5), and pick up another two drafts from my other pen name (8 scenes each) before the end of the month. It’s a stretch goal, but close to within reach. And this amount should be just enough to help me finish out the month.

As for next month… part of me wants to hit a writing goal, but part of me doesn’t. It’s important to me to hit 25k or more each week. But outside of that, I’m not particular about the numbers. I think I’ve proven to myself that I can make progress on drafting. The important goal now is editing and publishing progress.

And that’s where I’m still failing, despite an entire month of trying to work on it. I’ve made a bit of progress and not much more. I want to hit it harder, but I’m stressed out about freelancing and money and my lack of getting anything published so far this month, despite having some of this stuff drafted since the summer.

I think next month, I probably need to pull back on my word count goals, unfortunately. Because if I can’t get books published, what’s the point?

10:40 pm –

The Cardinals are in the World Series and we’ve been watching a ton of baseball as of late. But I’ve noticed, even outside of that, that on days when I walk ‘n talk, I don’t get much else done. As it was today.

I can’t tell if it’s because I’m at capacity in terms of energy or something else. What I do know is that at the end of my walk, I felt more energized than ever. I felt like I wanted to jump right in and get back to work. So what changed? How do I harness that momentum and push through to get a second block of work done on those days?

Tomorrow I need to stay home and get the aforementioned list of things done. I’m happy I wrote today, but I’m fresh out of outlines, beats, anything. I couldn’t walk ‘n talk tomorrow if I tried.

I keep reading content about directing passion into something positive. I want to, I really do. I want to get my work done, and I want it to be a happy place for me. I want to not be stressed out about money, but I also want to put my talents to their best uses.

Everything feels very mixed up right now, and I’m torn over how to get it all done and stay happy and healthy and sane. I’m starting to wonder if it’s even possible. The numbers add up in terms of work hours per week—fewer than 50, even with all my projects. But the implementation has yet to gel for me. Is it just because the work is creative? Am I giving too much credence to the idea that people can work 40+ hours a week, productively?

It’s so hard to tell. I might be back to the journal tomorrow… that’s the only thing that seems to help me when I’m in these funks.

Challenge: Develop a Daily Fiction Editing Habit

Scenes beaten out this week: 0
Scenes revised this week: 0
Scenes edited on Kindle this week: 0
Scenes sent to Susan this week: 0
Books published this week: 0

Challenge: Pitch 15 Articles a Week

Pitched: 0
Assigned: 13
Completed: 0

Challenge: Write 100k Words of Fiction in a Month

Today: 7,394 words
This week: 16,628 words
October (so far): 51,977 words

August total (for the last week): 17,923 words
September total: 50,214 words