Where Has All My Mojo Gone?

I started off this year busting some serious tail. I got things done, man. I read four books in January alone. I was finishing projects and feeding off that accomplishment. I was even getting into the groove of starting Book ’em, Danno.

And then my mojo failed me.

Sometime around the end of February, it all started to dry up. This month has been hard. The productive days have dwindled from above average to bare minimum. I’m getting just what I need to get done to keep the train rolling, writing-wise. Podcast-wise, that train has come to a halt. I’m struggling to even write a blog post once a week. I don’t have the energy or the motivation or the interest for it. I’m tired more often than not.

Now, obviously, I’m looking for a solution. But to find a solution I first have to identify the cause. I’ve been having some trouble with that.

Is this a byproduct of some recent insomnia? Is it my depression acting up? Has my anemia returned (I was given the all-clear to stop my iron pills and have been off of them for about six weeks)? Is it PMS? Menopause (hopefully)? Something new? I don’t know. I haven’t been able to nail the root cause of my malaise down. Believe me. It’s frustrating.

More frustrating is that I now have to use the cooked spaghetti method of finding something to help me get my groove back. Just throw a bunch of possible solutions at the wall and see what sticks.

I’m getting back into my meditation, which I had slacked off on, so that should help with my sleep issues. I’m going back on my iron pills, just in case. I’m digging into my depression-managing toolbox to see if there’s any tricks in there I can try.

I’m also trying to conjure up some productivity by working on one of my half-assed resolutions. In trying to figure out something to do with the art I did last year, I’m starting a new art project. I’m hoping that getting those creative juices flowing will open up the dam for the rest of my creativity.

Pray for rain and get a flood of mojo working again.

Advertisements

March Writing Projects

As you may have seen, my flash fiction collection, Take a Bite, did indeed get finished and published last month. And once it did, I started work on Book ’em, Danno. I actually recorded and edited the first episode and it’s not horrible. It’s something I’m going to continue to work on, so stay tuned for updates.

This month I’m going to revise The Coop Run. I wanted to work on something geared toward publication, be it traditional or self-publishing. I really need to do more work designed to generate income, which sounds crass, but hey, you like to get paid for the work you do. Well, same. Finishing The Coop Run would be an excellent gain on my 2019 project goals.

Speaking of projects.

I have GOT to re-organize my writing project To Do List of Doom. In the words of my grandmother, it is a fright. Directions have changed, projects have been abandoned, others have been started without notice. The current coagulation of projects is no longer helpful and I need to find another way to keep everything straight. So, that’s going to be something I work on this month.

I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised that it got so out of hand. After all, it is an extension of my brain and that place ain’t so neat either.

However, Murderville: Rounds of Luck is very neat and the next episode goes live on March 12th. Become a patron for $1 or $2 an episode and you can be neat, too.

New Release! Take a Bite: 25 Tasty and Twisted Flash Fiction Stories

Ghost…witches…murderers…werewolves…superstitions…revenge…the unexplained…monsters of all kinds…

25 flash fictions stories, dark, creepy, unsettling, and at 1,000 words a piece, the perfect bite-sized morsel to satisfy a horror craving.

Take a Bite: 25 Tasty and Twisted Flash Fiction Stories is out now! You can find this eBook at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo. And at the going price of $1.99, it’s a steal!

February Writing Projects

The good news is that I finally got the rewrite of The Coop Run done last month.

The less than good news is that I didn’t finish the flash fiction project.

I know! I said I would. Well, I said maybe. The Coop Run took priority. When I started working on the flash fiction project, I realized that I wanted to add a few more stories to it. And a few more became a few more and then…

It didn’t get done.

But it will get done this month.

I’m looking at twenty-five stories for this collection, each story right at 1,000 words. That’ll make it a solid 25,000 words, which I think is both satisfying, but easy to read in small doses. I already had eleven stories written and revised when I started. I’ve since written and revised seven more. I just need another lucky seven. Then it’ll only be a matter of formatting, designing a cover, and publishing.

And that’s the only writing project I’m going to work on this month because I’m also going to be working on some Book ’em, Danno stuff. Despite my Twitter tantrums, the show will (eventually) go on.

You know what else is going on? Murderville: Rounds of Luck! Episode 2 goes live on February 12th. $1 an episode let’s you read. $2 an episode let’s you read and gets you a sweet bonus every other month, like the one $2 patrons will be getting February 26th. So become a patron and don’t miss out!

The Results of My 2018 Experiments

In this post, I declared 2018 my experimental year, or more accurately, gave myself three challenges for the year. The results of the first challenge, exercising for 100 days in a row, was documented in this post, however, at the time that I did the challenge and reported back I didn’t realize that I was suffering from anemia that was causing debilitating fatigue. So, keep that in mind if you decide to check it out.

The other two challenges ran the course of the year: writing a page a day on a project and writing a sentence in each of the languages I’m studying every day. I’m happy to report that I did both.

The point of doing the language challenge was two-fold. First, it meant to help me be consistent with my language practice because sometimes I’d flake off and only practice one of them instead of all four. Because I had to write a sentence in each language, I needed to practice all of them. Second, I thought by writing out the sentences it would help with the learning part.

The first part was definitely successful. I have a notebook full of random sentences from my lessons and I never missed a day no matter how busy or tired or unenthusiastic I was. The second part is a little harder to gauge. I can say that my Russian handwriting improved greatly, but French still confounds the hell out of me and I still screw up my Czech grammar and my pronunciation in all of those languages isn’t great. I am reading all of them easier, though. I’ll take the small victories where I can.

Writing a page a day was a simple enough writing exercise. It guaranteed that I wrote something every day and it acted as a nice warm-up on the days when I was having trouble getting started. I had an idea of what the story was and where it was going when I started, but it ended up being something else entirely by the end (though the ending is pretty close to what I had envisioned when I wrote the first page).

I honestly didn’t know whether or not I had enough story to make it all the way through the year, but it turns out I did. I ended up with 365 (double-spaced) pages and 101,493 words of a messy first draft of story. It’s the longest thing I’ve ever written and likely will be the longest thing I ever write, but I’m so glad I did it. And honestly, I’m kind of lost not having it waiting for me every day.

So, it is with these results that I declare the experimental part of 2018 a success.

Man, I love me some good science.

January Writing Projects

Hello, there, 2019. I’m certainly glad to see you, though I’m a little apprehensive to see your face, too. I’m afraid you’ll look too much like 2018.

And in so many ways, 2019 will. That’s because much of what I didn’t get done in 2018 will be on the projects list for 2019.

In fact, January 2019 will look a lot like January 2018 because I’ll be working on The Coop Run again. Last January, I was finishing the disaster of a first draft. This January, I’ll be finishing the rewrite of it which will turn it into a much better novella, a rewrite that I started sometime last year and had to abandon so I could focus on the torment that was Murderville Season 3. I have no idea how easy it will be for me to return to a half-finished project that I haven’t looked at in months, but the first of the year sounds like a great time to find out.

I’ll also be finishing the flash fiction project that I wanted to do last month. I ended up writing a few new stories for it, so it didn’t get put together and published. But it will this month. Honest! Maybe.

Starting off 2019 really strong and stable here, as you can see.

But what is getting off without any(more) hitches, is Murderville Season 3! The first episode of Murderville: Rounds of Luck goes live on January 8th. As always, $1 per episode patrons get to read, $2 per episode patrons get to read AND get fun bonuses every other month. It’s super easy to become a patron. Just head on over to Patreon and join in the fun.

2018: The Writing Year That Wasn’t

To help me keep my shit straight, every year I create a writing calendar. I fill in each month with the projects I’m going to work on. This gives me an easy way to look at what I’ve been working on, what I need to work on, and the progress I’ve made throughout the year. Sometimes I’ve got months planned well in advance. Sometimes I’m filling out the month as I’m writing up the blog post about what I plan to work on for the given month.

On this calendar, at the beginning of the year, I make a list of projects, the big things I want to work on during the course of the next twelve months. These projects range from things I absolutely must get done to things I would ideally like to get done to things that are just wishful thinking, but hey, I might get bored.

My projects list for 2018 was more than reasonable, I felt, and I thought that I’d easily get four of my top 5 done this year.

I did two and that’s because I’m counting two items as half-done and/or attempted.

Between the fatigue issues caused by the anemia the first part of the year and the summer lost to the crash and burn of the day job, shit did not get done.

And I’m feeling pretty down about that.

It’s easy to say that I faced some challenges this year; that it’s understandable. The problem with that is that I didn’t really overcome any of those challenges, now did I?

It took me the better part of six months to complete one project that in the previous year took me maybe two all together. It’s very hard to look at that, challenges included, and not feel like I biffed it big time. I’m looking back at that wondering why I couldn’t push through, why I didn’t work harder, why I didn’t find a way.

It does me no good to do this, I know. I’m not going to find any satisfactory answers there.

But I do find some lessons.

There are times that I don’t push myself as hard as I could. I get lazy. I give up too easily on the days that I struggle to focus. I don’t adapt and adjust to changes and challenges as well as I’d like to. I have a tendency to be too bullheaded when it would be in my best interest not to be.

These are the things that I’ll be working on in 2019.

Along with another list of projects.