Well, it’s been an interesting year in my writing world and I thought I’d share a few things with you.
As an aside, did you ever notice how folks sometimes use the word “interesting” when they’re not sure what other word to use?
My writing life has been mostly about writing short newspaper and magazine articles or stories so when I took on the challenge of writing about Merlin, I didn’t realize the learning curve I had jumped on (or fell into, slid on or…)
Putting out a massive book series hasn’t been a quick or clear a process as I would have liked and I appreciate your patience as I worked through the story. Or, to be more precise, I appreciated your patience as I work my way through multiple stories in this process. I say multiple stories because that’s what this has become.
It’s not just about Merlin but several new characters (one in particular) appeared to win my heart.
I’m about 100,000-ish words into the story and I’m now picking up steam.
Part of that speed variation is technology is I’m now dictating the rough drafts and outlines. That has been an adventure in itself and slowly but surely, my speed is increasing as I learn how to do this.
The first thing I learned is you don’t start off tripling your word count until you figure out how to retrain your brain to talk to a computer instead of process it through your fingers.
I’m retraining my brain and it’s not at all happy with this. Not at all.
I did write (somewhere?) I’d given up on dictating but as of early January, I’ve realized I really do need to dictate. It’s far easier on hands/wrists than hammering away on keyboards so…)
I started out using Dragon Naturally Speaking for Mac but then the software company discontinued supporting the Mac version and abandoned any new development.
I messed about with the native Mac dictation but it’s not quite ready for prime time yet.
So, I bit the bullet and picked up a Windows laptop as the software company will continue developing the Windows system.
Naturally, all of this took more time than I thought it would.
But as I write, I’m home for the winter and punching out the words.
I believe travel is one of the great educational activities open to us so this year I found a way to take two trips.
- One was to Jordan (with side trips to take an archeological tour of Jerusalem and up to the Palestinian Authority to see Jericho.) and
- The other was to an equally foreign country – the South in the United States.
Both provided great fodder for stories and I’m sure you’ll be able to recognize some of the details in the future. (FYI to new readers – I’m Canadian.)
And yes, there are plans afoot to take some other trips next fall.
But all this travelling and recuperating does take its toll on word counts.
In my world, having a balance and life quality between work and play has been something I’ve really needed to learn. I’m working on it now.
The Day Job
The second thing is one of those things we all face – and that’s the day job. So yes, the words are coming along but there’s that pesky thing that gets in the way more than I might like.
Do You Open The Newsletter? (And what will happen if you don’t)
I will tell you a little known secret in the writing world.
Author newsletters a major cost for writers and, as a result they are increasingly set to identify those who do not open them.
If you want to continue receiving the stories, it’s important you open at least one every five emails. Or click a link at least once every five stories.
That tells the email system you’re still interested and you’ll continue to receive the stories into your inbox.
If you’re not interested in the stories I’m sending out, I’d encourage you to unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of every email.
If you don’t interact with the newsletter, do not be surprised if you get an email asking if you want to continue and then being unsubscribed if you don’t respond.
Starting next year again, I will send out links to free ebooks. That seemed to be popular this year so I’ll continue.