goals / writing

Writing Wednesday: Measuring My Work

Goals:

Market rotations (every story back out to market within a week of returning to me) still keeping up, despite a dearth of markets (I need to revamp my list of markets.) I miss the days when Duotrope Digest was free – still not sure if it’s worth five dollars a month to have access to easier market searches when I can just indie publish instead. Do I really need it, or is it just part of the myth that if a traditional publisher buys my story, it makes me a REAL writer? Remember – I treat this writing business as a business – when it comes to putting out money on it, I have to be able to justify the cost vs. gain. My time is also involved, but I’m willing to put as much of that in as I can.

Made my three blog posts last week, and ePubs are on schedule (“Baastards’ Revenge” is live this Friday.)

I wrote 3026 words of fiction (again!), so that’s four weeks in a row of making my weekly 3000-word quota. This time it was on Herc Tom #5 and the final revision of “Truth in Advertising.” I had one day that I failed to make my daily quota, but I DID write every day.

I’m still sitting at 8 of 12 stories this year. Herc Tom #5 will make 9 (it’s already over 9000 words.) I’m still thinking that I’ll switch to the next revision of Swordsmaster (maybe it’s really a rewrite), even though I still don’t have a clue how I’ll measure my writing – not the quality (that’s a subjective judgement), but in terms of output volume.

For many of you this may not make a lot of sense, but I am (overly) analytical and process driven; believe it or not, I came late to REALLY applying goals and milestones to my writing – it’s only been five years (mind you, I am also a late in life beginning writer – I only decided to do this thirteen years ago (what I refer to as my Midlife Renaissance™.) Without setting those solid goals, my writing was held hostage to thumb-twiddling and other, more advanced forms of procrastination.

To make sure I’m executing, I’ve had to develop ways of telling whether I’m increasing – or at least keeping up – my writing production. What has helped me to continue pushing through life’s interruptions (yes, when you’re writing LIFE IS an interruption) is having these ways to gauge my productivity.

Counting fresh words when I write a rough draft is easy. Metrics become more difficult to determine once I start revisions – experience with my own process has resulted in a formula. Each of my two revisions on a short story is counted as ten-percent of the story’s total word count. That works fine for me on my short fiction (almost all below below 10,000 words), where I generally need an hour or two at most to finish a revision. But on a NOVEL like Swordsmaster? The rough draft I wrote (my gosh, that was over twenty months ago!) was 57,000 words, and when I get going on it there will definitely be fresh writing, revising, extractions, deletions and all sorts of mutilations (that’s what it feels like to tear apart something I’ve created) that will take me months. How do I measure all that? And without measuring it, how do I keep my pace respectable? How do I know I’m doing enough?

Of course, jibber-jabbering about all these HOW’s might just be more masterful examples of procrastinating. Just saying…

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BaastardsRevengeCover“Baastards’ Revenge” – the fourth story of my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series – is prepped and ready to go.

Champion of the Empire Hercules Tom thinks this is a mere diplomatic mission to Baast; little does he know what the Baastards have in store for him. But don’t worry – this cat has proven time and again that he has more than the usual nine lives.

The release date is July 28th (2 days to go), but it’s available for preorder at a reduced price now in the usual places, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/upload/details/736440

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073YDXMLY

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CatsOfWar_I_CoverSince the preorder campaign has begun for “Baastards’ Revenge”, NOW would be a good time to read the first three Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire stories, all conveniently collected in Cats of War I:

“Purr Mission” – Major Tom’s dander is up. His cub is dying of the Morient Virus, and he knows their sworn enemies are responsible (the Baastards!), but bureaucats order him not to go to their planet to recover the antidote. Well, it’s easier to beg forgiveness than to ask Purr-mission.

“Nipped in the Butt” – More intrigue as a familiar hallucinogen finds its way into Ramses society. Are their long-time adversaries behind it? Time for Major Tom to save the Empire again…

“Cat and Mouse” – Major Tom has plans for his leave time: this cat is finally going to get some much needed R&R with his mates. But recent additions to the household (including his Admiral father-in-law and an uppity mouse chef), as well as an unexpected visit from yet another enemy puts his whiskers in a twist.

I’m offering a Smashwords coupon to cut the price to just 99-cents for the collection (such a deal!) Here’s the link on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/588921

Remember to use coupon code WF25Z

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VictimlessCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his previous publication “Victimless”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• 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

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