Monday, January 11, 2016

Writers and Grandchildren

I'm not one to brag... but Calvin Michael was born on Dec.5, 2015 joining his cousins, Oliver and Harrison. 

I have three grandsons. Three! I thought it couldn't get any better.

And then...

My stepdaughter is expecting her first child in May and cleverly announced the sex on Boxing Day by giving us BLUE Christmas balls. Four grandsons! 

I'm thrilled to bits. These little guys are a total joy to be around. The best part of being a writer with grandchildren is they laugh at your jokes and when you tell silly stories they think you're a genius. There is no bad part. 

How fitting that this is my 100th post. Long before these little boys were a gleam in anyone's eye, I was holding vigil for a book that was out on submission and blogging about it. I felt like my life hung in the balance. I felt like everything was riding on that one book finding a publisher. I was wrong, as usual.

No matter how low we are in the moment, the future holds good gifts. Hold on and all will be well. 

Happy anniversary to all the blogging writers who are holding on and telling us about it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Writer's New Year's Resolutions

1. Write better books.

2. Get more exercise.

3. Write more books.

4. Make more money (anything above poverty level will do)

Resolution 4 used to top my list. Year after year, making money was my number one priority and year after year, it was never enough. I make more now than I did last year but at the expense of my body, emotional well-being and the joy of writing. So I'm ditching Resolution 4. 

Selling books is a crap shoot. Writers can spend years crafting novels and never make enough to pay the Hydro bill. Or they can spend 14 days writing a novel that lies there like a dead dog in August and never sells a copy. Or they can spend years working on craft and net thousands upon thousands of dollars from one book, or the exact same result could be achieved after a weekend of booze-induced scribbling. Total crap shoot.

I hereby resolve to ignore sales reports, do my best and let the money take care of itself. Sink or swim, the book is on its own. 


Resolution 1 and 3 can grow to like each other with steady, daily application to the word count. 200 words a day for 365 days equals one reasonably-sized book. 200 words is a walk in the park. For me and other writers, the demarcation between "good writing" and "cranking it out" is 2000 to 3000 words a day. 2K for me is a good day's work. A friendly, patient approach and good books will come in great quantity.

I resolve to write good books and more of them with daily dedicated application of 200 to 2000 words.

Which brings us to Resolution 2. All of us who sit in front of a computer for hours at a time need to stand up. Right now. I can see you. You're not standing. It has become life-threatening to sit for hours. (It probably always was but we're just learning about it.) I've restructured my office to allow me to stand and work. But that's not enough. Daily exercise outside improves just about everything.

I resolve to take a daily walk, which will help me stick to Resolution 1 and 3 and increase the odds of number 4 happening in my lifetime. 

I'll report back on December 31, 2016 (God and Blogger willing) on how my 2016 Resolutions panned out. Because that could be fun. Or not. We shall see!