Progress – October 16, 2017

I spent a majority of my time last week getting up publications for October and November dates. Not everything is in place yet, so I don’t want to say too much, but very soon. Hopefully this week.

I’ve also spend some time playing around in Adobe Audition this week. I’ve been teaching myself how to use the multi-track feature. I think it’ll make everything more level in my recordings. Maybe give me some good options for the voice work too. I’m looking forward to learning more.

I also took Saturday off to go to Pocatello for the marching band competition and to watch my son perform. Between driving and sitting all day, I was exhausted on Sunday, so I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped. Oh well, it was fun and I had a good time. Ten years from now, that’s what I’ll remember; not the exhaustion.

I’m not sure how much I’ll get accomplished this next week. I’ll be traveling to Oregon for some writing continuing education. (grin) I am so looking forward to it, seeing friends I met last year, getting to meet new writers. I was going over my notes from last year of my major “to do’s” that I built while I was there. Some I knew would take longer than others and I’m still working on them. But, I was amazed at how many I had done (and without referring back to my list, which meant it really was a natural progression that I needed to do). I still have a lot to do and some days I feel overwhelmed by that list. But I remind myself that I’m building a future and you don’t make something sustainable without laying down some good roots for a foundation. The visible part of a tree has an equally complex system beneath the ground.

Well, I’m going to keep it short this week. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week: 5,176 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,885 words

Writing month to date total:  21,133 words

Writing year to date total: 304,535 words

Drawing/painting last week: I didn’t do any painting last week. I have spent time sketching this week though. I really want to improve my drawing skills, but I haven’t taken it seriously. I’m going to work on this.

Audio: I spent 5 hours editing audio.

I would just like to point out that I have accomplished over 300,000 words this year, while working a full-time job. I have other “writers” stammering at me about “how can you do that?” Let’s do some simple math, people: most writers can average about 17 words per minute. Yep, that slow. We may be able to type 60-70-80 words per minute when just typing, but when you have to make stuff up as you go along, that drops. The average is about 17 words per minute. If you only dedicate 15 minutes per day to writing, you get 255 words per day. Easy, right? All you have to do is get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning and write. If it’s your goal to write a book, then do it. Let’s say you make the commitment and do just that – 15 minutes per day getting about 17 words per minute – and you do this for 360 days out of the 365 days in a year. By the end of the year, you will be at 91,800 words. No, this doesn’t stack up against 300,000 words, but what do you have? At least 1 novel. Maybe 2 novels and several short stories. Maybe a plethora of short stories. The point is that you won’t be a 0 (zero!).

It’s easy. But what is easy to do is also easy not to do. Which camp are you going to fall in?

You get to decide. You can either sit here and be envious of my numbers going up every week or you can decide to get in the race yourself.

You decide.

Don’t post things on Facebook looking for inspiration from the black crabs who want to pull you back down to the dregs with them. You can only ever control your own energy, not anyone else’s, and most people don’t really want to control there own energy either. It takes too much effort. It’s better to say that they are too tired after work to focus on their life and their goals. No, the damn truth is that they don’t want to have to control their energy and do the work that they say that they want to do. Chances are good that they haven’t even set goals in their lives — not mini ones, not large ones. They want the genie to drop riches in their lap without doing a thing. It doesn’t work though; see my note above about trees and roots. They don’t do the work because of one simple fact: they are afraid. It’s better to keep you in fear too. Then you don’t chase your dreams and make them look back.

Break the cycle. Chase your dreams anyway. Small goals. Do what you can manage. If that’s writing 200-300 words per day, don’t make excuses for it; just do it. Build. Set your foundation.

If you want to see this in action from my side, just look at the audiobook work I do. I spend less than an hour per day on this (that’s why I only get 4-5 hours per week in on this). If you were to really see my chart where I keep track of this, you’d see that most days I put in approximately 40 minutes, if that. There are days when I only work twenty minutes on it. I get larger blocks of time on the weekend. By putting in this little amount of time, I’ve released 5 audiobooks since September of last year.

So, maybe that adds another item to my list: you must decide to do something, you must take action on it even if only a little every day that you can manage (these two are non-negotiable!), and keeping track of your progress lets you know how far you’ve come (you can do without this, but it will inspire you to keep moving if you can see what you’ve already done. I spent many years not charting my progress and I wasn’t as inspired to do the work as I am now that I’m logging it each day. It does make me more productive).

And, if you decide not to write your stories (as it might not be the thing that you really want to do or you might be in the wrong season of your life for it – I was there, so I get it), then go do what you really want to do. Go act, go sew, go teach meditation classes, go paint, go draw, go enjoy the social groups you are in, etc.  Go do your thing. But set those mini goals of doing it every day and see where you are at after a year. Challenge yourself to go further in the next year.

Build something that matters to your life. Make it strong and sustainable. Enough said.