Friday, February 18, 2011

Why My Writers' Group Rulez

When one of our members (Mercedes M. Yardley) needs a writerly kick in the proverbial pants, who's there to put their boots on?

The Illiterati, that's who:

You can be sure we are awesome. They should bottle our sweat and use it to fight fires, because everyone knows forest fires yield to awesomeness.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm Officially a Published Author!

Hooray for me!

Strange Tales of Horror (NorGus Press), an anthology featuring my short story "A Secret Amongst Boys" is now available for purchase through the wonderful world of or on the publisher's website.

Look at that gruesome cover art! Awesome!

Super kudos to Matt Nord and the NorGus press people for an incredible job on their first big anthology. And a double thank you goes to them for liking my story enough to publish it!

Yes I've been published before, but it's been so long that I'm pretty much starting over and calling this my official first sale.

(I also had one or two nibbles which fell through for contractual reasons--see my post about contracts)

So to celebrate my big publishing milestone I'm going to go home and play with my two daughters.

Now that's a great way to celebrate!

What about you? Have any publishing news? When was your first sale? Got a link where we can find your stuff?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pounding Out the Word Count

So doing this ghostwriting has really opened my eyes to pounding out the word count.

I've always looked for tricks and tips to help motivate me to write constantly, instead of just when the inspiration strikes. (Bradbury likens it to leaning out of a belltower gripping a lightning rod and screaming for the storms to come.)

Now let me just point out that there is a difference between having goals and being motivated.

One trick on the goal side is to set a word count goal. Every day you must hit 2000 words at the very least.
That's a pretty good goal, IMO. It's helped me churn through.

But, we can set goals for ourselves all day long and still get nothing done.

So what actually MOTIVATES you to write?

Well, I learned an interesting thing that may very well be a no-brainer: Money was a pretty darn good motivator.

When cold hard cash was dangled in front of my eyes, I wrote. And I wrote fast. And I wrote pretty darn good. (Did I mention I'm the humblest guy I know?)

How motivated was I?

I wrote 51K words in 52 hours spread out over one month.

Looking back it doesn't seem like that really was possible... but there it is, when i tally my hours (which i had to log) I spent 52 hours (stolen in 1-4 hour increments--sometimes several writing spots a day) and in effect wrote a thousand words per hour.

My keyboard is a little raggen now.

I won't lie. Sometimes I stared blankly at the screen. But the proof is in the pudding and the delivered manuscript stands currently at 51,357 words.

So folks, what motivates you? Figure that out, and make it happen.

Is it chocolate? Because i can come to your house and withhold chocolate from you (and eat is slowly in front of you) until you hit your daily word goal. I can do that. No really, I'd like to do that.

Is it money? Well, if you're a writer that dream will be nice and crushed soon enough...

Is it the burning need to say something into the void?

Well? Go find out and get back to writing!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Coming Up for Air

Hello people in the blogosphere, it’s been awhile since my last post and I’m here to tell you why.

I’ve been writing. Writing like a super-star.

And while I wish I could say I’ve been working on my WIP, I actually have not touched it in more than a month.

“Boo,” you say, “Boo mason, why aren’t you working on your book?”

Well boo is right. I’ve actually been at something I’ve never done before: I’m ghostwriting a book.

I really can’t give you details on the book, but let me tell you fellow writers, ghostwriting is a strange and wonderful process. It is also hard work, and the deadline is tight. I put in anywhere from 4 to 8 hours a day writing and that is on top of my two other jobs.

But writing this project has given me all sorts of new insights into writing—in particular I’ve gained insights into the nature of procrastination and earned some secrets to writing on-demand instead of waiting for the ole muse to show up.

It’s taught me tons about working with deadlines breathing down your neck, about writing in a voice that isn’t really what I consider “mine”, and taught me that to be a writer you have to be able to suck it up and put in the time.

Stay tuned for some interesting stories from my adventures in ghostwriting… when I come up for air, that is.