Writing Notes: May 14, 2022

Weekly Writing Progress
DLA (Revisions): On Hold
Beet Down(Edits): Starting next week
24C: 3654 words

This week, I made progress on 24C, but not as much as I’d hoped to. I really just can’t type fast enough, so I’m exploring options for dictation & transcription again. I downloaded the Dragon Anywhere app for my phone, which actually transcribes really well, but in the car with engine noise (which is mainly where I want to dictate – on my commute), it just doesn’t “hear” well enough. So I ordered a Bluetooth lapel microphone to see if that will allow me to dictate and drive. In the meantime, I may try to do some dictation this weekend at the house if I get some time to myself, which is…unlikely, but not completely impossible.

I also backed a Kickstarter run by Kevin J Anderson, who predominately uses dictation to draft. One of his backer rewards included copies of the raw dictation files for the book he was “kickstarting”, and now I have those files! So I’m going to start listening to those this weekend to see how he does dictation, and maybe get some pointers for myself. It’s just so much faster than typing…but the key is getting good transcription so I’m not trading typing time for just basic text clean-up.

I also got the Beet Down edits back from my most excellent editor, who helpfully pointed out several subplots I started and dropped, and how I could expand them to double the size of the story.

But the Death by Veggies collection is a collection of short stories, and I don’t want them to go longer. So what she also did was show me exactly where I can trim it up (it was already too long for a proper short story), and also where I need to do a better job explaining and wrapping things up. I have a character that needs a personality transplant too, but that won’t be too difficult.

So while I’m finishing the 24C draft, I’ll be working on trimming, editing and polishing up BD, and I think I can do that in time for the June 3 release date. It just requires focus and motivation, and not getting so bogged down in the creative side that I allow myself to slow down.

That’s largely been my problem for the last five years – giving myself too much “room” for the creative side of things. Yes, there’s an argument to be made for going slow and making something “everything it could be”, but I think it’s easy to use that as an excuse to never finish. An artistic work of any sort is *never* done. There’s always something that can be improved or done differently or expanded or condensed…and if you’re not worried about making money or building a career, then indulging those whims isn’t a problem.

However, I want to make money from my writing. I have a specific income goal in mind, and I want this to be a lucrative endeavor. And that means at some point, I have to make creative decisions that will serve my larger income goals. Which means if a story is meant to be a short story because that’s how it will fit best with my brand and marketing plan, then it needs to stay within those parameters and not go longer just because it can.

Basically, my creative side needs to work *with* my manager/admin side toward the larger goal that will serve both sides best. Up to this point, I’ve been indulging my creative side, treating my writing like a hobby because I have an alternate form of income. But now that I have a definite goal to eventually make writing my main form of income (and a set deadline for reaching that goal), I need to learn when to say “enough” on a project, and move on, hitting my deadlines and moving the whole career forward, rather than focusing on individual projects.

I’m lucky in that unlike a lot of creatives, I do have a good goal and business-oriented mind. So putting some limits on my creative side doesn’t feel overly restrictive or inauthentic. On the contrary, it’s actually kind of a relief to reign the angsty creative in and give her some boundaries.

Next week, my goals are to finish 24C and do the initial read-through/plotting, and then get a good start on the second round of revisions for BD. I have a bunch of admin stuff to do too, but those are the main writing goals.

I just wish I had more time to work on them, but I’ll use the time as well as I can, and hopefully get dictation working for myself so I can take advantage of those fifteen minute drives during the week!

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