Survival Tip #283

Yeah bet you thought you were done with these! Not so fast.

The thing about writing post-apocalyptic stories is you look to find how far you can push a character and have them still hold onto their humanity. In my series there are two ways it can go…a character can go primal, losing their humanity, or they can become primed finding their end of the world self.

In my younger years I thought this was something that only existed in works of fiction. The older I’ve become the more I see it was a real world trait. The decisions people are faced with every day can change the course of their life.

So this tip is know your line before you get to it.

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Going dry

Going dry…I’m about 2/3rds through the rough draft and also let go a little physically this summer. So to spur myself into motivation on both fronts I am going dry until I finish the draft. If you catch me drinking at an event that is not a wedding or funeral I will give you 5$.

The only question remains is will I write faster or lose weight longer…

When I write

When I’m working on a TPAC novel I do all the story lines in separate documents. It helps me track where each arc is and also keeps my word counts low so I don’t think too highly of my progress.

To make sure I was on progress today I did a quick tally.

Slightly over halfway. Means at my current rate I am a month and a half away from completing this draft and can be on track to be edited out by January.

Damn that feels good.

Reflections on Strays

Strays was a heart breaker for me. Everything that could go sideways in the release. Sales have been low. Reviews have been slow. I dislike even looking at the book.

But…

Huge but…

There have been few times in my life I really felt awesome as a writer. It’s mostly self-loathe and whiskey. Decent bit of whiskey. Lotta bit of self loathe. I wrote the second book in a booth at what was the Middlesex diner. They kept my coffee full and my stomach fed. When the release date finally came, the diner was happy to host my release party.

That night people came from far and wide to support me. Many bottles of booze were drank. I read a pseudo sex scene in front of my mom and all of her friends. Luckily my sister, Brother-in-law and nieces had left by then. Three friends I had best manned for were there. A college friend I hadn’t seen in years drove six hours for it. Old room mates. Bosses. Coaches.

Writing is lonely.

That day I was not.

Strays may have disappointed, but the people I have in my life have not.

strays

FOAMERS FOUR YEARS OUT

So it has been four years since Foamers released. I’ve learned a lot about writing and publishing since then(and even some about life). That first book was where I recognized for that this thing that many people told me was a pipe dream, was actually possible. Yeah, Dad, I still haven’t got you that beach house I promised you when I started writing at 14, but I am climbing.

So today I happened to Amazon search myself, just to see how I was doing with reviews and always curious to see my sales rank and at this very moment the, once upon a time, #1 dystopian novel on Amazon is .99 cents.

Already have your e-version? They have a new thing where you can buy it at as a gift, and who doesn’t have a friend who could use the story of Kade and crew, and if you don’t have a friend, I’ll be your friend.

Here you go: FOAMERS

FoamersCover

And no, that is not me or my dog on the cover. I’m not that skinny and she doesn’t have a tail.

Gotta remember it’s a job not a hobby

Back in April I was visiting a good friend of mine. I was talking about my job and my life and all that stuff. He interrupted me and said I’ve never heard you say your dream in life was to be a professor, you were always out to be a writer and you are a writer. If you’re going to do it, do it.

Last night I was talking with my girlfriend(for those of you following along we’ve moved up from engf). I was saying how I planned to spend today writing. She said that makes sense since you’re a writer.

When paying the bills it’s easy to lost sight of it. While lounging in my casual sweat pants and writing shirt it’s very hard not to feel like it’s just a hobby.

So today I reminded myself it’s a job. I showered. I dressed. I fancied my hair. Even put on nice shoes. And clichely drove to the local coffee shop to have a marathon session with the page.

Remember, whether it is writing or not, whatever you do in this world, if you don’t take yourself seriously no one else will. Be what you are meant to be.

More weight

Overall I don’t remember much about the Crucible, but I do remember one part and that is when the one man is being crushed under the rocks and instead of confessing he says “more weight”.

Salem university Women’s water polo coach

Salem university men’s water polo assistant coach

Full time English professor(double load whenever possible)

Academic support tutor

Managing editor of Oddities

Writer of the Primal Age Chronicles

Freelance anything people will pay me for

So let’s add student to the list. Just completed the first class for my MBA.

Or in other words bring it on life, more weight!

Good days and bad days

In writing, and life, you’ll have good days and bad days. The one thing I always remind myself on the bad writing days is finishing is more important than winning. Sometimes you just have to get through a bad day to get to a good one, but that doesn’t give you an excuse not to do what you set out to do.

For those of you following know that I’m holding 1000 words a day. I am not so ocd that I stop at 1000 words. I’ll usually finish the thought or paragraph but I won’t go too far because it makes it easier to pick up the next day. When I am having a bad writing day where each word is a painful as pulling a tooth, I stop at exactly 1000.

But the important part is I finished what I started. Meet your goals. Even if you don’t meet them as well as you’d like.

I’m not the master but

I’m not a master of writing, despite what my degrees would tell you, but I do have some success. Two books, two on the way. I’ve had a hand in publishing close to twenty titles(if not more). For a brief spell I was an Amazon #1 best-selling author.

Not saying any of this to boast, my last royalty check was 7$. Just saying this to express that I have a lot of years of experience in this writing world that is such a fickle mistress.

The one thing I’d like to talk about today, if you care to keep reading, is the quality of writing over the years. Once upon a time I was a 14 year old boy who found a love for writing. And that starry eyes little dumb ass called up his cousin who studied writing at Columbia and asked her to take a look at his stuff.

She was polite. And I will say she didn’t bash in my dreams as she likely should have. But the advice and schooling she gave me then was the same I paid a lot of money for 10 years later. Read more, revise more.(and a lot of other helpful stuff, but trying to stay on point since 75% of the people who clicked on this have already stopped reading)

But tonight, I was having a conversation about the fact that I make the same mistakes in writing I always have. I even know when I am doing them. But there are incorrect spellings and wrong grammar that flow naturally to me so I don’t fix them in the writing process.

I write as poorly as a did half a life time ago. I revise like my life depends on it. I let the red pen strike like I’ve got dragons to slay.

So if you’re out there, and you’re debating writing, remember writing isn’t the hard part. Writing is the fun part. Revising is where the work comes in, and revising is where many of us lose the will for a project. So write fast, edit slow. Get the words down. Make the mistakes. Keep moving forward. The best thing about writing is you don’t have to be perfect the first time. Enjoy the journey.