In the spirit of documenting this writing path that’s been chosen for me, here goes: I’ve written the end, and I damn well mean it. The final manuscript came in somewhere between 71k and 72k, my longest written work to date. That means in the last two months I’ve written upwards of 140,000 words. This book, titled CONFESSOR, will be at the very least a trilogy, and there may be more. As I previously mentioned in my last post, this book was a bit more organic than I usually work. Part of that’s because I’m still figuring out exactly how I work, and I’m letting that grow however it does without being a stickler for a regimen that might over time grow stale. My first completed work, as you know, was completed using a semi-detailed outline. Part of that was due, to, that while writing is not new to me, as I’ve been doing it on and off most of my life, finishing work is new to me. Making an outline forced me to get it done.
This second work had less of an outline and more of a pair of book-end ideas. I had the character in mind, and his abilities, and I had a brief ending, which wound up changing when I got there, but only because the book I’d written was significantly different from the idea I’d had for the end.
Within that set of book-end ideas, I tried to allow the characters freedom to move, to do what they would, and in my own mind at least, they took on a life of their own, sometimes doing things that surprised me, and gave me an ending that, once again, I did not expect. It was a fun journey for me, and the days I wrote I sat down with no expectation, but with a curiosity of what would happen next. It was an entirely new experience for me, because, as I said before, I used an outline. What I’m thinking is, maybe I needed an outline to make the first one go. Maybe I needed it so I’d hang on long enough to complete it, to get enough momentum to keep going, to make learning the ins and outs a little less difficult, to keep myself from getting bogged down by the usual feeling that the book won’t be long enough, I don’t have enough ideas, how am I going to make this even book length? Because, I notice, if I have any fear at all of writing, it’s that either A: It won’t be good enough, or B: it won’t be long enough. Having chosen word count as my way of feeling satisfied with my work output, I cling to it as if it were a rope I’ve been thrown, and I’m afraid to let go. For the moment, I probably won’t. Everyone measures work in a certain way. For me, word count. For others, maybe pages, or characters, or maybe some people don’t measure it in any manner at all. Maybe some people are comfortable enough in their madness, they judge it by whether or not the words flow. I however, am stuck in the word count, and there I’m staying.
I wasn’t true to my goal of 4,000 words a day. While that was my goal every day, as usual, life gets in the way. The important thing was to keep writing, and the daily goal helps me do that. Most days, I did that amount. Some days more, some days less. I did, however, walk a lot of miles. In the last month, I’ve probably walked close to sixty miles, doing two miles a day. I didn’t walk every single day, but I’ve done more walking in the last month than I’ve probably done in the last year prior, so that’s a good thing.
So what’s the state of my writing career? Well, that depends on your point of view. Currently, I feel it’s taking off. No, I’m not rich yet. No, I haven’t made a ton of money, or even enough to pay my bills yet. From what I’ve read, it takes at least three books to get things moving, so I have a few goals in mind that will further this. I thought I’d list them here, as a “my word is my bond” kind of thing. I say it, I’ll do it.
In no particular order:
- Get at least three books published. With my second manuscript finished, I’m about half way there, if you count all the editing that will be needed first. Plus, I need a cover for it.
- When my second book is published, make the first one free for a time period. For this, I don’t have a specific period of time in mind. It will be at least free for a few days, perhaps a week, I will do some more research to decide what will be best for me. I also may lower its price first, again, not forever, but for a time, to see if that changes anything.
- Publish the first book in paperback. I will most likely use Amazon’s CreateSpace for this. I’ve heard they do good work. While I’d love to have a hardback, paperback is probably easier, and at least it will be in print, even if it’s not a good hardback copy.
Publish a total of 4 books this year, and at least six next year. This might seem like a lot to some people, but the old way of doing one book a year was a standard set by the publishing industry due to print costs, promotion, etc. Doing it myself allows me to write, and publish, at my own pace, and if the way things work, as again I’ve read but have not experienced yet, that the more I have on the market the more I’ll sell, Getting the amount of books I have on the market is paramount.
Before anyone says I’m rushing things, I’ll say it’s possible. But I need goals, and whether these are too lofty or not, I don’t care. I’m not one to feel crushed if I don’t complete one of my goals, but aiming at something keeps me motivated. As the year grinds on, I’ll keep you updated.
I’ve been nominated for a couple of blog awards, which I’m hugely thankful for. I do, however, need to write a post dedicated to them, so I’ll do that next. I’ve got at least three or four more posts in the pipes, so stay tuned.