Tag Archives: Summer of Writing

The End is Here!

It’s Monday September 5th, 2016 and in the US we’re celebrating Labor Day. It’s also the end of the Summer of Writing!

Back in July I created a challenge to write every day called “Summer of Writing.” It was meant to encourage anyone who writes and get them writing something, anything, every day from the 4th of July to Labor Day. We are at the end of the challenge. If you participated, how’d you do? Get more writing done? Focus more on your craft?

I’m proud to say I completed it knowing I wrote something every single day. I worked on projects soon to be released (like my new collection of stories), I worked on existing projects, I wrote outlines, blog posts, and more. All in the name of writing.

I made it a priority. Every morning I wake up, have coffee, and read or play games on my ipad. Instead, I used the time to write before the stress of the day zapped my creative energy. I found writing at the end of the day difficult and often unproductive. Working in the early morning when the house is quiet was the best for me to focus on my writing. There were occasional days when I didn’t get to write in the morning and I’d write in the evening but all day I kept thinking how I needed to get the words out.

That was by far the most important part of the challenge for me. I created a new habit in my life which will dominate my thoughts if I don’t take care of it. I made it more than a hobby or something I’d get to when I had time. I made the time. When I did that, everything else fell into place.

Like all writing some of it was bad, but I feel I’ve grown in the craft because I made a deliberate attempt to do so. Maybe I’m wrong and fooling myself. I’ve gone through moments when I wanted to stop. I thought “Who cares if I keep at it? No one reads what I write anyway.” I expressed that to my wife one morning and in her wisdom she told me not to give up, to keep at it, and if I loved what I was doing to continue no matter what. Those are things we’ve all heard but her words held more weight for me. I trudged on. My focus changed. I found the joy again. Even if I’m the only one who reads it.

The biggest sacrifice I made to create this new habit was my gym time. I used to go semi-regularly with a friend of mine to our local gym. We were one of the early risers and be home around six in the morning. I chose to use that time to write instead. I can honestly say my middle-aged body misses the workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I hated getting up and leaving the house so early. I always looked for excuses to get out of it. The determination I used to build my writing habit needs to be applied to exercising. I’ll need to incorporate working out into my schedule or I won’t be around long enough to see all my amazing fans!

I appreciate all of you that tried the challenge. Lakesha Mathis, Aaron Hamilton, John Smith, and others all attempted to make a change and if nothing else, I hope you were able to refocus your time over the summer to work on your writing.

It has been a summer of growth. Thanks for sticking with me. Let me know your successes or failures so we can all learn from them. Thanks again!

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Summer of Writing (revisited)

If you missed my post the other day (Summer of Writing) let me visit it once again. Starting July 4th and ending on Sept. 5th (Labor Day in the US) the goal is to write everyday. There is no word limit. There are no projects off the table. It can be something you’re already working on and need a boost to finish. It can be daily blog posts. It can be a novel. It can be short stories. It doesn’t matter what you’re working on so long as you’re writing! I know the 4th has passed but it’s not too late to join us! Whenever you read this post get to writing until Sept. 5th, you’ll be rewarded with your work.

Why did I start this? I want to encourage others to finish what they start. I want to encourage anyone wanting to write to develop the habit of putting words on paper or on the screen. Selfishly I want others to join me. It’s a lonely road as a writer. Having others involved in the same thing as me helps. It’s what I love about NaNoWriMo. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, tag your posts with #sow16 so I can find you and bring us all together. You can also add your Twitter name or Facebook link in the comments below. Let’s do this! Start today!

Continuing with this theme of writing, I want to give an update on what I’m doing and what to expect next.

I’ve been revising a short story (5,ooo words) that a critique group sent back to me. They had a ton of suggestions to help tighten the story and I think it’s a whole lot better because of it. But while working on it I developed an idea to make it part of a larger work. At the moment I think I’m going to make it one part of a collection of short stories revolving around a central theme. All the stories will be connected in one way or another. My initial plan is to shop them around as individual stories or release them on my own one at a time. Once they’re all released I might bring them together in one volume. Each story will come in around the 5,000 word mark with a total of 4 stories. It’s a darker collection of horror stories that I’m tentatively naming “Dark Corridors.” That name will most certainly change.

I’m also still in the early stages of outlining (yeah this pantser is structuring a novel AHEAD of writing it!) a larger Medieval fantasy novel. It will feature dragons, knights, mages, and the like. I’m revisiting a concept from one of the stories I wrote in (Almost) Average Anthology and expanding it for this novel. I’m taking my time with it and hope to have the basic structure ready by early to mid-August. If it comes together sooner that would be great but that’s the deadline I’m working with for now. I’ve attempted and failed at writing a large fantasy story for years. I think this might be the one I see through to the end!

Finally I have a manuscript in the hands of a freelance editor to work it over, tell me what’s wrong, and help me tighten the prose. It should be a couple weeks before I get the first edit back and I anticipate the entire project to be done by mid-August. I also have an artist lined up to create the cover. I’m pumped about releasing my first novel and hope you’ll be part of the excitement when it’s released this Fall!

That’s it for now. Thanks so much for your encouragement and support. It means everything to me. And get to writing…you got this!

Summer of Writing

OK, I’m gonna throw this challenge out there. Starting July 4th and ending on Labor Day (Monday Sept. 5th) let’s have a Summer of Writing!

The goal is to push yourself to write – Every. Single. Day.

There won’t be a word count required per day. Write as much as you can. That might be 100 words, it might be 5,000. No matter what – WRITE!

You can work on a project you’ve already started or you can start something new. It can be a bunch of different projects as well. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you write.

Think of it as a sort of NaNoWriMo without a word count goal. If you want to include a goal, by all means share it with everyone else so we can support you. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook  and together we’ll share our experience and push each other further.

Share the challenge with other writers. We can use the hashtag #sow16 to find one another.

You can do it! We can do it!

Let the Summer of Writing begin!