When I was knocked off track by our slab leak this year, the first thing I tried to maintain was my blogging; I had an established schedule, and it was something I could do just about anywhere/time (as opposed to writing short fiction, or, heaven help me, trying to work on the Swordsmaster revision.) The easiness of it was definitely true, but it eventually fell by the wayside, too. At least the habit hasn’t been broken for as long as my fiction-writing, and the blogging lapse is easy enough to recover from.
Fiction, on the other hand… I have allowed myself to be out of the habit of writing for FAR TOO LONG (I don’t remember what the guidance is for how long it takes to establish a habit, but I’ve definitely gone beyond that when it comes to NOT writing fiction – now the NOT is my habit instead of the writing.
Sometimes when you set goals and metrics, you forget WHY they are there. I have NEVER had a year where I came close to meeting my 3000 words / week goal. Sure, I made it on some individual weeks, but my annual average always fell short (last year was the best at 1980 words/week.) Sometimes I thought about reducing that target to make it more attainable, but it just felt like that would be cheating just to get a feel-good moment of success (sort of like reducing the crime rate by making half the crimes legal – what have you really accomplished?)
When the “flood” hit, this was one of the first goals I let go of. I was wrong – that 3000/week gave me something to shoot for EVERY WEEK – not for the year – and there were lots of weeks when I could celebrate having made it that time, or it gave me an incentive to push JUST THAT LITTLE BIT MORE to cross the finish line. Looking back, that words-per-week goal was probably the most important one for me – like it says in Heinlein’s rules:
A WRITER MUST WRITE
Anything that helps YOU make that happen is worth keeping – the rest is just fluff and busy work. Reexamine what’s on your desk and see what REALLY needs to be there (what helps you reach your goals); stick with that and get rid of the rest.
Next up for publication: Some More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND (short story collection #8); includes:
“The Pipes”: Sometimes it’s the little things… An unexpected extraterrestrial visitation has an adverse effect on a Texas farmer’s well. Think twice before you drink the water – there’s something in the pipes.
“Good Luck!”: Sometimes the best laid plans don’t quite work out. With the Zavian Empire bearing down on Earth, The Chairman gives a final speech on the value of having a Plan B.
“Ultimate Awareness”: Omnius has relied on his Ultimate Awareness to dominate the city as well as any supervillain could, but an interview with a prospective sidekick casts doubt on both his own limits and his career path. How much does he really know?
“Mating Rituals”: It’s been so long… Manti has only one night left on Cuniculus before she returns to Cesilli – why not spice up a paid hit with a little romance?
“Obsolete”: When we leave Earth, will we forget what it’s like to be human? Mr. Omega, the last unmodified “man”, stands trial for unthinkingly preserving his own life over that of a superior being.
“Endangered”: Aliens create Hell on Earth in a plan to put Humanity on the endangered list. Sending in the park rangers to stop them may not be the best option – unless it’s the only one. Sometimes the best laid plans can be derailed by the smallest of things.
The release date is December 16th, but you can preorder until then for the reduced promotional price of only 99-cents (such a deal!) for 9 more days at the usual places, including:
William Mangieri’s writing, including his most recent publication “L-O-V-E Among the Stars”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri