Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Writing - End of January Update

Writing Takes Much Time and often is an exercise in futility. I am reminded of old-time movie scenes where a wannabe writer, or sometimes an established writer rips page after page from the typewriter, wads up the paper and throws it at a wastebasket. Those scenes may be long outdated but the premise still stands. In today's world, we simply write it, in my case, read it, highlight it and hit delete. Writing takes time and can, at times, be hard work. I have long considered myself a hobbyist writer so maybe it should not matter. But, after twelve books, it does matter. I hate it when I write myself into a corner or need to tie something I missed along the way, together. And that is where I stand in my writing today. It will work out, it always does, but I may have a hurting brain before I figure all this out.

Sales - On the other hand, I can happily report that sales are still a bit on the rise. For this, I am happy. Both my sales numbers and KDP pages read are up for the third straight month. I may not be on the way to bestseller status but things are looking up.

Writing Update - I am finishing up two books, one fiction, and one non-fiction. The fiction book is the third in my, Blade Holmes, historical fiction/western series. These books are set mostly in Wyoming and have been well received by western readers. My other work, now in my first rewrite, is a nonfiction follow-up to my book, On Turning 70, and should be out soon – hope by March 1, 2020.

On a Local Note – We are enjoying incredibly mild Wyoming weather with many days hitting 50 or more degrees. This beautiful weather has allowed me to spend more outside time. Outside for me means, ten rounds of golf in January, lots of photo trips, and a few walks in our beautiful weather. It almost makes me want to start my indoor garden plants – almost.

Enjoy the day and the rest of the week – cheer for your favorite in Sundays Super Bowl.

Friday, January 3, 2020

A Look Back and a Look Into the Future

A Look Back and a Look Into the Future

2020 has got to be a better year than 2019. For me, 2019 will be a most forgettable year. A writer's life is not always easy, and I hope for each lousy year, I will have two or three good ones. One exciting thing for me is that I now have lived in every decade except the 30s. It might be a stretch for me to make that one, but who knows?

After years of writing around 300,000 words, this year was but a few thousand.  The consequences of writing less showed up in my sales, which were about half of the past few years, as were my Kindle Unlimited pages read. At times I thought maybe I had given up writing, but now I’m not sure. It might have had more to do with me than with writing. I not only wrote less, but I also gave up on a few other pursuits and hobbies. Physical ailments kept me from walking much and slowed me down from other things like photography and playing golf – looking back at 2019, I really didn’t do much of what has become my norm. But, there is always a bright side, we did some traveling, and I read quite a few good books, watched many fantastic movies, smoked some meat, completed some woodworking projects, and liked our terrific garden. I also enjoyed birthday number 71 – at my age, every birthday is excellent.

Writers are as bad as any other group at making and then not keeping New Year’s Resolutions. I have never lasted over a few weeks on any that I made. I do hope that the New Year will be a good one. Maybe I will get around to finishing and publishing the two books I have that have sat gathering dust for the past year.  Each of these books is within a few days of being completed.

My New Year’s Resolution – Enjoy life   --- As Dr. Seuss so aptly said, “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

Today's photos are from an outing earlier this week in Guernsey State Park a few miles from where we live.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Life of a Resting Writer

"Read, read, read. Read everything--trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window."
William Faulkner

I have spent quite a lot of time over the past few months reading and working on projects and precious little time writing. I guess with as much time as I have, I can do as I please, so I do. At one time I spent several hours each day, year-round, writing. I hope that someday I will get back to that.

What am I reading now? – Ernest Hemingway’s -A Moveable Feast
 I am getting some writing done, but so far, nothing finished. Along with a lack of writing I am also doing less photography than I was a year ago, maybe out with a camera once or twice a week instead of four or five times.

So what is the point of this? It is alright to ease up and take a break.
Soon the snow will be falling along with the temperatures, and writing will, once again, take up most of my daytime hours. It looks like that may be coming soon – snow forecasted for Thursday.

Book Sales - I am grateful that my books are again selling well. After my sales went through a case of the summertime Blues they are now close to brisk, at least for me. Thanks for reading! See all my books here on Amazon. 

Today's photos were taken this fall in Guernsey State Park two miles from our home.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Writing from my Wyoming Easy-Chair

Terrific read about writers and the west posted today by, Lex Anteinternet – take a look.

Meanwhile here from writing central, in my easy-chair, I am tapping along on my keyboard. I have two books with the first draft finished, but instead of working on those find myself writing new stuff. Not sure why, but it might be I am not in the mood to edit right now.

We had a bad storm move through yesterday.  Nothing much at our place, but a few miles north, softball-size hail and a tornado, glad we are safe, but sad for those who had much destruction.

Well, back to writing, maybe a bit of editing, perhaps not.

Photos of elk and Bighorn sheep from our drive to Laramie last Sunday.

“To err is human to edit divine” – from my Grammarly site.

I call this last photo - kids at play.

Have a terrific rest of the week. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Writing and Making Money as a Writer

Last week I said I was back, it's true I am, but not going too fast. I did work on a short story for Christmas and edited on my WIP, but didn’t write all that many words – but, it’s a start.

I am not sure if I will get back to writing every, or nearly every day of the week, maybe when winter comes, I will get a little more prolific. It is always rewarding to write a scene I like, but re-dos, do-overs, cuts, and adds, are tedious and can be downright dull hours on my laptop. 

It may be that I was enjoying writing more when I was not checking sales and looking at my writing income every day. What started as a hobby became more of a business, which is nice, but the business end takes time from, watching Baseball, playing golf, hiking, photography, gardening, and sitting around doing nothing – being retired.

I remember my first sale and the first check for more than $100. I keep a copy of that check

Of my twelve books, I have only two with sales over a thousand, but several more getting close. One of my books sits at less than 20 sold, guess they don’t all work.

What is Selling Now?
·                     1) Romance/Erotica
·                 2) Crime/Mystery
·                 3) Religious/Inspirational
·                 4) Science Fiction/Fantasy
·                 5) Horror

A few facts for new writers – or - how to not get rich quick.

The average traditionally published book sells 3,000 copies in its lifetime and only about 250-300 copies the first year.

To make the New York Times Best Seller list, a book needs to sell 9,000 copies, or more, the first week.

Most self-published eBooks sell less than 250 copies in their lifetime

Most self-published-only authors, make less than $1,000 per year, some much less than that.

I write, westerns/historical fiction, kids chapter book adventures, humor, and historical non-fiction.  Humm, don’t see any of those on the list above. I do write mystery into my historical fiction, that should help.

My Point for the day –
Write because you love it, write for the pure joy of putting words to a story -  and don’t quit your day job, not yet anyway.

Today’s photos are from Guernsey State Park, five minutes from our home.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Back to Work

I may be back, or at least I hope I’m back. With a little luck, a fast horse, the grace of God, and lots of fair weather and sunshine, I am going to attempt, again, a five or six times a month blog post.

It’s been a long year. I have dealt with things I never wanted to, none of us do. Family, health, finances, aging, the same things all of us have, or will have to deal with at some point in our lives. I didn't handle any of them well and wrote only a handful of blog posts and little of anything else in an entire year. I have several books in various states, one a finished rough draft, one 80% complete and another off to a good start. Goal - I will finish something before the year's end.

Did I learn anything from my time off? Yes. The less I did, the more my sales fell – I know, shocking. I also kind of missed the three or four thousand words a week I was writing.

Thank you to all my patient readers who keep asking when the next book or blog is coming. Looks like there will be more.

Today’s photos are from an enjoyable drive and hike last weekend into Wyoming's Laramie Range west of where we live.

Now back to work on the third in the series of my Blade Holme’s Western Mysteries, this one, tentatively titled after a completed rough draft - Wendover

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Taking it Easy

Still on my, self-imposed, hiatus from writing. Lots of other things going on that are taking up my time. I am not done yet, for those who asked, and thanks. I still have two nearly completed projects and will, someday, get back to them. I will keep you posted, today I am taking it easy watching the Masters and later Rockies baseball on TV. 

I have slowed down with my photography also but did get out a couple of times in the last week or so - today's photos from those outings. 

Enjoy the day!