Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Looking back at my first...

My current work in progress is the third book of a series. Me and my unreliable memory, forgot a surname of a character (not the main)I had to look for it in book 1 of the series.

I couldn't help my self reading part of the story while searching for the name. To my horror I noticed how bad my writing was, It's atrocious compared to how I write now and my current writing itself is a horror.

Still it made me feel good, at least I have some evidence now that I'm showing some progress, but it also made me feel anxious. Anxious about all the work I still had to do before I'm able to publish my work. I have to become much more skilled before I can do that.

I want my work to be good before I put it out for sale. I'm not a perfectionist(at least I think I'm not one...or I believe I'm not one), I don't seek the perfect book, but I do want one that's of a good enough quality that will do justice to the story.

I believe that to have a successful writing career the writing needs to be qualitatively good and the story should be great. As a writer you want your possible readers to lose themselves in your story and you want to avoid that bad grammar and spelling will yank them out of it.

Satisfied readers are those that will buy your next book and will talk about you and your books to their colleagues, friends and family. I really think the best marketing is done by them, the horde satisfied readers one hopes to get, their excitement will nudge the want into others.

I'm looking forward for the time I'll have my work out there in the wild for the first time, I'm yearning to make the first sale, but most of all I'm anxious to be able to deliver quality work in time.

The time I refer to is the moment before e-books will peak in popularity. The time we live in is an exciting time for (self)publishing, it's the moment you can go with the first few waves into a new era. After this peak you will only be one of the many that will follow instead of those that led the way to greatness. I do not want to be the one that follows, picking up the scrapings left by those that came before.

The feeling that I might miss out knots my stomach in a painful clinch. This uncomfortable feeling is a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that it drives me to work hard and harder, to keep trying no matter what. It's a curse in that I can see my own shortcomings and that puts me at times in a very blue mood.

I'll keep struggling with the words and my stories and they themselves are in my mind struggling for their time to come out and be written and with my hand yet too slow to write fast and well, those stories have a long time waiting.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This week I've been writing between 500-1000 words a day. I'm now 6400 words into my new WIP. My own deadline is set for 22 November 2010, that's 72 days left for me to finish.

I'll have to churn out about 1k words a day, which is certainly possible. The problem is that I am a slow typist, my max speed being 40 words per minute.

I write(When I write) two hours daily, in an ideal situation I should be able to write 4800 words daily at my slow 40wpm max speed. In practice(Harsh reality) I manage only about 1000 max a day, that's about 8wpm typing, even my longhand is faster.

I used to write longhand and indeed I wrote about twice the speed I'm doing now typing. So why did I stop writing longhand? It's because once I finish a first draft I still had to type the text over on my computer at a whopping 8wpm.

The reason my typing goes that slow is because besides thinking about what to write, I've to watch my keyboard from time to time to be able to type correctly. I cant type as I wish with my eyes glued to the screen.

So I'll do the thing I've dreaded a long time to do, I'll pick up my typing training where I left it off, twenty yeas ago at chapter one. I hope within weeks to be typing 120 wpm, 14400 words every two hours. I'll be a speed demon writer, leaving every other writer coughing in my dust while writing one book a week.

Okay, maybe that won't happen. I'll be glad if my current max becomes my new average, typing 40 wpm consistently will do, a possible 4800 words every two hours. It would make it possible to have a first draft finished within a month, that would be great.

The need for speed is ever present, so if you're like me, a slow typist, it may be a good idea to take some typing lessons.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The cruel slow death of my...

...trustworthy companion and helper, my computer.

I still remember the day I put it together. About three years ago I bought the parts at a computer shop in another city, a city that happens to be my brother's. (He lives there, but he does not own it, it would be cool if he did.)
Hence being efficient as I am (at times)I also planned to visit him

Doing so I knocked on his door, upon him opening I gave my greetings and I installed my butt in his living room and there I assembled my computer. Finished assembling I pressed the power button and electronic life coursed through it's circuits. Oh I was happy. I finally had a powerhouse of a machine, with which I could do my work more efficiently.

Eager to play with my new machine I placed it in my cars trunk and drove back home, leaving my brother standing in the dust waving goodbye. Well okay, I did not leave immediately after, in no way did I only use my brother's living room as my personal assembling line. I also played with his many Katanas. (He is an second Dan Iaidoka.)

Every time I visit him I feel the urge to touch his swords. He gave me his practice iato to shut me up about asking to give me one of his Katanas. I still want a Katana, I love the iaito but it's not an Katana.

That day I also didn't break any of his stuff, it was a healing and creating day. I got to see my brother and gotten a new computer, a good day. Did I say I did not break anything that day? I did not break anything.

After a long drive that seemed to last an eternity, must have been my excitement slowing time, I arrived home. I don't remember kissing my wife upon arriving, the probability being high I immediately went upstairs and connected the computer.

I turned it on, installed the Operating System, installed the drivers, then it went wrong. My OS (Operating System) did not support the drivers for the wireless network adapter. (Or was it the other way around? I can't remember.) I had to go downstairs on my wife's laptop to search online for a solution. (I think I might have kissed my wife then.)

After hours browsing the net I found the driver on some Chinese website. I had some language problem selecting the right download, but I finally succeeded downloading it. I went on installing said drivers and it worked and it worked for about 45 minutes and for it to work again I had to reboot my system each and every time. The next day I bought a new Wireless Network Card, one that was compatible with my OS off-course.

Now on this day after many years of service I have to accept that my computer is slowly decaying and I've to start thinking about buying a new one. The problem with it is I can't run any tasking applications (Games), for when I do so it will just shut itself off. I suspect the graphic card or CPU overheating quicker than supposed, probably cause of wear. As a work around I used to open the window to keep my system cool, but that does not help anymore.

I think my computer might have about 6 months to go before expiring. I can live without using tasking applications, but I can't live with not using the word processor. I really don't know what to do without, how will I put my longhand to bits?

I ask my self many times during the day: Why off all thing is it my computer that is slowly decaying to a death-state while I still have so many writing to do and for the worse on a moment I do not have a budget for a new one.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Missing Words

I had a bout of over confidence, this happens to me from time to time, although my wife would say it happens every time. I was very confident that I would finish revising my "Chick" story by Monday so my wife could start proofreading. Turns out I just finished today.

While revising these last few days I found more errors I thought I could have since the last time I revised. Corrections I made were:

* I added a few words and sentences to make things more understandable.
* I merged some sentences together because alone they seemed too much alike.
* I deleted a few sentences because they made no sense.

It was much more work I had expected I needed to do.

There's one thing I noticed yet again in my writing. While writing sometimes my fingers can't keep up with my thoughts. My brain will register some words as already typed, resulting that I omit them. While revising I notice these words are nowhere to be seen.

I do believe I'm not the only person with this problem or I better say I hope I am not the only one. If there are more we could start a support group, so we end up doing our best for these words we neglect to type. We should give them their worth and add them to paper, they deserve to be immortalized just as the other words that make our story.

I do really hope that this time I have put all the words in that needs to be in my story. After my wife proofreads my manuscript I know that she will put a sea of red on the paper for me to correct. In this I hope there are no missing words, because I've done my best to detect them all. If it happens I have forgotten one, I hereby apologize to said word.