Creativity / goals / writing

Writing Wednesday: It Is Time to Stop Procrastinating

I plod along in pursuit of my goals… I’ve added eight markets that I didn’t have in my list before, but I’m having a little trouble making my seven-day max cycle from return to resubmission. I have eleven stories seeking publishers right now, and between the number of publishers that have closed permanently, or are just closed for submissions currently, and not being able to do multiple submissions at those that are open, I’m having trouble finding an open market in seven days. I’m going to be kind to myself and increase my metric to ten days between submissions.

Blog posts are on schedule, I finished my blurb updates, and I’m still listening to Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. After that, I think I’ll finish out my sixth “reading” of the year with a Terry Pratchett.

“Imperial Purrogative” and “Interview with the Blue Neon God” have been completed, so that’s ten of this year’s twelve stories. I started the eleventh (working title “Schitzo the Magnificent”), but I’ve decided it’s time to bite the bullet and work on Swordsmaster. These items resulted in 2760 words – just short of my 3,000 for the week, but ramping back up from last week’s pitiful performance, not bad at all. This year’s weekly average is currently 2,200+, which is the best I’ve done since I started this gig.


And so, I’m finally returning to Swordsmaster. I keep records on everything about my writing that I’ve done in this century (2004 is when I decided to have my Midlife Renaissance™), but the first rough draft of Swordsmaster began in 1978, and arrived at eighty hand-written pages (yes – HAND-WRITTEN) before the book started going in an unplanned (not that anything I write is really planned) and unacceptable (a became fond of an incidental character who was about to die, and I couldn’t stop it if I wrote another word) direction, and so I stopped. I may have a copy of the original manuscript somewhere (I thought it was in my guitar case with some music I wrote around the same time, but I’m mistaken), but when I decided to try writing it FOR REAL (everything we do in the present moment is FOR REAL – the earlier attempts just weren’t serious), I’d had almost forty years of thinking about the story, so that draft would be too passé to be useful, anyway.

I started writing the current rough draft’s 57,000-plus words on April 1, 2015 while working in a couple of the locations mentioned in “Interview with the Blue Neon God” (there’s some symmetry for you – getting back to Swordsmaster after “returning” to those places on the page), and I finished the draft November 8th of that year. I haven’t done anything else with it since then, other than the failed plan to return to it last year (I blame our slab leak); that’s close to twenty-two months’ hiatus.

This weekend I wrapped up “Imperial Purogative” and “Interview with the Blue Neon God” and decided to stop procrastinating (is it really procrastinating when you’ve been working on other goals instead? YES – I have been putting it off.) I looked at my notes first, and was struck (as always) with how much I don’t understand the meaning of what I wrote (this happens to me on short fiction if I take a week off – imagine the impact of TWO YEARS on my memory.) You’d think – knowing how POOR my memory is, that I would have thought to take better notes, but when I’m in the middle of things, it’s easy to think that there’s NO WAY I wouldn’t understand what “- blue” means next to Arneydor Tarlenon, and a host of (for now, at least) similarly obtuse and obscure references.

Fooled me.

As a result of the dearth of meaningful notes and a two-year break from Swordsmaster, my first task is to read what I wrote. It’s obvious from the get-go that I did a good job of silencing my internal editor while I was writing all this – there are numerous grammatical errors, misspellings, and obvious mistakes throughout, and much of the phrasing is unclear. I am already struggling to NOT change a word – I won’t begin revising and rewriting until I finish reading, because I don’t want to alter something that might have a good reason for being the way it is before I realize what that reason is.

Nothing for it but to push onward.

Just saying…


I finished posting my slightly revamped blurbs last week, so now I’m back to ePublishing on schedule. The next release date is September 22nd – just have to figure out what that release is going to be. I’m thinking maybe another collection…


BaastardsRevengeCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his most recent publication “Baastards’ Revenge” (the fourth story of his Herc Tom series), can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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