The second of my three New Year’s resolutions was to post more regularly in this blog. Once a week, I think the song went, and on Mondays.
Yes. Well. How are your resolutions going?
Anyway! Outside of that one I’m doing pretty well. I have kept a consistent word count of at least 1000 a day, which is a minor miracle for me. Yesterday I did 700 and then was called away from the keyboard for several hours, and I got jittery. I’ve actually been doing over 3000 a day pretty often this month.
But this post is about my work in February! Since there were 28 days in the month, I had a goal of 84,000 words with a minimum of 28,000. I did 37,121, which is slightly above the minimum and well below NaNoWriMo levels. Still, went pretty well. During February I published The Valentine War and Rachel’s Expansion, plus another one under a different pen name. So I hit the minimum there, too.
Sales were down. They’ve been down for a while. I suspect it has something to do with me posting stuff under the other pen name, along with posting either seasonal or non-TG stories. Rachel’s Expansion was an experiment, actually…a friend of mine suggested doing an inflation story, and since I like that fetish as well I agreed. It’s selling okay, but since it’s not a TG story I suspect it’s having a hard time finding traction under the Avoi name. The Valentine War is seasonal, of course, which doesn’t necessarily kill a story but makes it a little harder to sell outside of the season in question. Also, it’s done for laughs, which seems to offend some people. Apparently TG fucking is a srs bzns for some. Ah well, can’t win ‘em all.
Just published Temporary Heroine, one of my longer stories, so I’m on track for this month (after publishing book 2 in the Staying in Vegas series, Raising the Stakes). My longer stories seem to sell better; Breeder is one of my best sellers and certainly my best-reviewed. More bang(ing) for the buck, I suppose. Fine with me! I like the long stories.
Checking my work: Currently writing a reality-show-based TG story. I have something like six more ready to edit thanks to recent prolifity. I’m also editing a young-adult urban fantasy and writing a more grown-up urban fantasy along the way. Next story up will probably be either a spooky one about a hitchhiker or a more light-hearted one about (wait for it) quantum nanites. Because mad science is fun!
I wanted to direct everyone’s attention to Carl’s Adult Books, a new site created and maintained by Carl East. Carl has been an erotica writer since the Bronze Age, and he’s created this site to promote both his and other writers’ books. He was nice enough to invite me to the site and now I can help repay that by spreading the word!
Go! Grab some erotica!
At least count, besides me and Carl, there were 14 other authors on there, each with around a dozen books listed and most with many more available. Now I’m gonna go write some more suggestive material about the Bronze Age. Cheers!
Booya! EAT it, January!
So the time comes to see how well things have gone as far as New Year’s Resolutions. Have you kept yours? Actually, I seem to be doing pretty well.
1. Write 1000-3000 words a day, and don’t beat myself up if I don’t hit 3000. Here’s a fun fact: at no time this month did I hit 3000 words in one day. However, I managed to hit at least 1000 a day, and I came in at 45112. Not bad for one month. So, good enough for me.
2. Post regularly in this here blog. Um. Yeah. I said I did “pretty well,” not that I was perfect.
3. Post at least two stories a month. On the surface it looks like fail city, but the fact is that I posted one Avoi story and one story under a different, new pen name. So far that new story has sold precisely nothing. I don’t mean, “Oh, it sold a couple copies but not nearly as well as my established pen name.” I mean dick. However, I did put up two stories, so I’m calling it good.
So that went well. Now the question is whether I can keep it going! Well, we all know that I can, the question is whether I will. I have other, non-writing resolutions like “exercise four times a week” that are already showing dividends, so it’s easy to hit 1000 words before eight, eight-thirty and then sort of fuck around the rest of the day.
I should have made a non-around-fucking resolution. That thing would have been in shambles by the end of the first week, though, let’s not kid ourselves.
Checking my work:
Finished story two in my anonymous short story series. It’s different; it’s not like anything I usually write, not least of which is because men stay men and there’s no magic or mad science. I know, screw that, right? But it’s been fun enough to make part of my writing habits. I’ll probably keep gouging away, as Spider Jerusalem tells us.
Finished my Valentine story for the year. It’s a light-hearted thing about four gods and goddesses of love who get into a war in the middle of a mall, with humans as their pawns. Unlike the previously-mentioned story, men become women in this one. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
Finished a 30,000-word story about some costume-contest entrants who get in over their heads, so that one’s in an editing bay on my computer. Similarly, story two in the “Staying in Vegas” series is awaiting its own wash and wax. Another story, the one I wrote under my real, actual name during NaNoWriMo, is currently in the unkind grip of Scrivener.
As far as Avoi stories, I’m currently writing a darker one, a take on a ghost story.
Heh. Generally I despise ghost stories and all mentions of Valentine’s Day. My muse obviously likes poking me with sharp sticks.
I’m reading this nice little ebook by Rachel Aaron called 2k to 10k, which is all about upping your daily word output. Great book on the subject, by the way. I mean come on, seriously good writing advice for $0.99? It’s a win all the way ’round, folks. Go buy it.
Toward the end, she puts up a few pieces of advice, and she says that she gets the question, “What advice do you have for first-time writers” quite a bit. Then she says something that I wish I could frikkin’ skywrite.
“THERE ARE NO WRITING POLICE.” Or, as she puts it a few paragraphs later, “If you have a book that you want to write, just write the damn thing.”
Don’t worry about trends. Don’t ever…EVER listen to someone who says that something “shouldn’t” be in a book, or that a story won’t sell, or that it “can’t” be about something. These are the naysayings of small-minded, scared people who can’t tell their own stories. Write YOUR story. It does not matter a DAMN bit if I’d like it or not; if you like it, it’s your piece of art, and others will pick up on your passion.
Uh, rant over.
Well, here we are at the end of 2012. I don’t know about you guys, but my adherence to my New Year’s resolutions was spotty at best. Ideally, since this was a leap year (surprisingly important when it comes to certain things), I should have written around 628,000 words. I wrote…rather less than that. However, I did pretty well overall. I just didn’t keep up with my personal goals.
Goals. Psh. Psh, I say.
We lost dad this year. That was a hard time. It still is. I’m sort of dreading the first half of the year, to be honest. We’re going to head out to California for the memorial service (mom insists on calling it a Celebration of Life service…you can hear the capitals when she talks about it) sometime in April. We’re going by train to a place I haven’t seen in…geez, around fifteen years. Last time I was there I was such a different person. Anyway, we miss dad and welcome the opportunity to lay his ashes to rest in the family plot out there.
In theory I have an invitation from a friend of mine to join her in Nawlins for Mardi Gras, but I don’t think I’m going to have the money to do that this time. I might try to scrape up the cash, who knows? Sales are…volatile, mostly ’cause I haven’t been posting stories as often as I should.
Which brings us to the New Years Resolutions portion of our show! I learned last year that Things Happen, so I’m going to make them a little looser than before.
1a. Write 3000/day. 1b. Write a minimum of 1000/day. 1c. Don’t beat myself up if I can’t do that.
2. Post in the frikkin’ blog, Max. For a while I was posting once a week on Mondays. I’d like to get back to that.
3. At least two stories a month. At. Least.
Checking my work:
Still editing a couple of stories left over from NaNoWriMo, including the second in the “Staying in Vegas” trilogy. It’s pretty damn weird, y’all. Also editing the main story that I wrote for NaNo, a young-adult fantasy involving a smart heroine and some pixies. I’m using Scrivener for that, for the first time, so it’s an interesting experience.
Currently writing: another magical gender-change story, complete with escalations, cosplay, and other stuff. I’m also trying my hand at a bit more realistic fiction that will probably go under another name if it’s published at all. It’s present-tense and not like anything I’ve written before. We’ll see how it goes.
Have a wonderful 2013, guys. Treat other people as well as you can; you never know what they’re going through.
Well, 90,000 was the goal for me. I ended with 62,043, approximately a third of which was smut. I ended with most of a novel and 3 short stories.
The reason I didn’t get to the initial goal was that about halfway through November, my father passed away. Some of you might recall that he had been sick for a while. A combination of leukemia, lymphoma, pneumonia, bronchitis, blood clots in his leg and simply being age 82 ganged up on him and simply wore him out. He was in no pain at the end (thank you, hospice care providers, for all you do), and he passed away in his home, in his sleep. My mom and I had a long time to come to terms with the fact that he wasn’t getting better, and while we’re still sad we’re not utterly devastated.
I know you guys sent a lot of kind thoughts our way, and I want to thank you for that. I’m glad to have taken part in NaNoWriMo this year; it’s quite possible that this was the only thing that kept me sane. Congrats to all you awesome winners, and here’s to next year being a better one.
I sat down and took a look at the numbers of words written since my hiatus from this blog, and it ain’t encouraging. Well. It’s not good, how about that. It is kind of encouraging, in fact, because it shows me exactly how far behind I’ve fallen and how much I need to step back up. Shame is not always a negative emotion.
April: Goal 50,000. Total 35448. Percentage 70.9%. That’s a C-minus.
May: Goal 54,000. Total 24285. Percentage 45%. F.
June: Goal 52,000. Total 37229. Percentage 71.6%. C-minus.
July: Goal 52,000. Total 26983. Percentage 51.9%. F.
August: Goal 50,000. Total 24892. Percentage 49.8%. F.
September: Goal 50,000. Total 18637. Percentage 37.3%. Super F.
You know, that’s one way to look at it, and as far as negative motivation goes it’s not a bad one. However, there are other ways. The way I’m looking at things is that I wrote 167,474 words in that time. If I followed that pattern, I’d have twice that in a year, or around 335000. And the cool part about that is that I plan to do a hell of a lot better than I did. September was just shameful.
Side note: this year I plan to join in on National Novel-Writing Month for the first time in a couple years. I have a fantasy that I plan to write at the rate of 2000 words/day…and I also plan to keep up the smut at the rate of 1000 words/day at the same time. That’s 3000 words a day for the whole month, leaving me with 90,000 words at the end. To put it in perspective of the other numbers up there, the original goal for November according to my new year’s resolution would be 52,000 (and 90k would be 173%). To be honest, I’ll be happy with the 50,000 minimum for NaNoWriMo and another 25k for the smut, but this event is all about pushing yourself!
So booya. Cheers!