Day 27: Got a lot done today

This is do or die time.  

We're getting closer to the time that I will need to take off.  I'm still working hard to finish this project as I prepare.  Not sure if I can do it, but tomorrow will require "the old college try." 

Honestly though, in keeping with my earlier philosophy of only striving for completion rather than perfection, I'm going to make getting the second story completed a priority tomorrow.  If I can do that, then I think I've accomplished my goal. 

Anyway, I went over the goal by almost three times.  Instead of 500 words, I almost got to 1 500.  

Starting Word Count: 24 764

Finishing Word Count: 26 225

Daily Word Count: 1 461


Day 26: A Break in My Promise to You, Faithful Reader

Tonight was fun.  I took two of my kids to go see "Solo: A Star Wars Story."  Most of our movie theaters are in the casinos here in Las Vegas.  It's funny, because I hate the stereotypes or misconceptions about our little (big) city like "You guys couldn't have schools there." Or "does everyone live in casino?" or some other inane comment or question.  Regardless, it's a weird experience taking my kids through Sunset Station (this time) to get to the cinema.

Anyway, I thought Solo was fun.  Since The Last Jedi was such a letdown and disappointment, I've let go of high expectations for these movies.  It was a solid film and had a fun story with some fun characters.  Nothing deep here.

Writing Update

So I haven't forgotten to update you.  Yesterday, was an intense day that involved some catch up as I prepare to take a few days off.  Unfortunately, I will not be able to complete my goal of writing 500 words of fiction each day until the end of the month.  My wife recently commented that I've gotten too intense about my work and it affects the time we have together.  I don't know if that's really true, but I have decided (in part because of her coaxing) to take the week off that I am going to be on vacation.  That means, I will not be writing 500 words per day of fiction after Monday.  

However, I am working on a story in the series that I have wanted to complete and I am going to commit to you right now that I will finish that story before the end of the day on Monday.  I believe I still have something like 7000 words to write, but I am going to try to do it.  That means 3500 words per day.  I have done more than that before.  

I'm sorry to do this to you (my faithful readers in Russia, Ireland and a few other select countries), but I need to be cool with my wife at this point in time.

Beginning Word Count: 23 917

Finishing Word Count: 24 764

Daily Total: 847

Day 10: My post of penance

For some reason, my ears just started ringing a few minutes before I started composing this post. I'm not sure what that means as I haven't had any earaches or sinus problems for weeks now.  Oh well, just push through it.

Last night's post was a bit of a self-pity post.  The original draft (which I published for about 24 hours) was way more self-indulgent.  The new version of that post hides some of the bitterness and cantankerous vibe that was coming out of my fingers into the keyboard last night. 

Anyway, onward and upward.  As I said at the end of last night's post, I live in the United States of America - A free country.  I get to publish books on the side.  While they aren't the source of a substantial income, they are still something and I they seem to be the thing I have been most excited about creating for a long time.

The Writing Experiment

So, I'm still working on my first story.  The great news is that I have rounded the corner of the first book's third act.  Along the way, I have taken a couple of liberties from my original outline (a chapter by chapter template) and so the book will be slightly longer than I had originally planned.  Regardless, that will turn out to be a good thing.  As I write this, I have a title for the first one. 

A quick review if this were one of the first blog posts you are reading about my "experiment."  I will lay it out below:

  • Find pre-made covers that range from between $14 and $30 to buy for ebook covers.  
  • Develop a cool central character to have adventures and stories with in a series.
  • Develop one outline that each story would follow loosely.  Some deviation is expected, but this will keep things rolling and on track.
  • Develop an outline for each of those ebook covers that is more specific to the image and planned title for the book.
  • Write at least 500 words of fiction every single day for a month.  Track this progress and then report it daily on the blog.
  • By the end of the month, see how things go.  One novella (for ebooks this doesn't matter) can be any length and is definitely possible.  Two novellas in one month would be awesome.  Three would be amazing!!!
  • Publish the books in a slightly staggered fashion (with the covers of the other books in the front of each book to inform a new reader of all of the great adventures they can read about this character).
  • Write punchy action, brief and concise dialogue and really hone in on writing something you would want to read.
  • Publish books under a pen name.  

And there you have it:  My 30 day writing experiment.

Daily Starting Total: 14 274

Daily Finishing Total: 15 419

Daily Word Count: 1 145

When in Doubt...

... remember the wisdom of Socrates:

 I know that I know nothing. 

Write More Powerful Emails

Emails are a necessary evil and have been for a few decades now.

What follows are 7 tips on how to write better emails.  Check them out:

1. Always write the name of the person you are emailing at the top of your message.  This includes in replies back to emails the recipient is answering back to you.  

2. Be sure to include your company’s logo in the signature line whenever possible.  This also includes your contact information such as your phone number and mailing address.

3. Always have your email signature at the bottom of each professional email you send.  It amazes me how many professionals have not taken the time to make sure their signature populates on all ‘reply’ emails.  It can be really aggravating to have to scroll to the first email in a long thread to find a phone number or mailing address.

4. If you need to forward some information that started as a part of an internal communication within your office to someone outside of your office, always delete all previous emails in the thread.  There may be something shared internally, that when taken out of context by a client may cause problems in the future.

5. Refer to attachments in the body of your message when you send them. If you have multiple attachments that require a large amount of memory capacity, break them into smaller emails  when possible.  Another option for sending large files is to give the recipient access to the file on a shared drive.

6. If you are continually responding back-and-forth with a client on a specific email thread, be sure to change the subject line. In other words, if you were discussing your new service agreement and the subject line said “New Service Agreement,” but the conversation evolved into setting an appointment for lunch and you're still trying to decide on a place, be sure to change that subject line to “Lunch” or something like that. This keeps things more orderly for both parties.

The last tip I’ll share is the most valuable of them all.

7.  When in doubt, call it out!  Most professional service providers and their assistants can get too comfortable hiding behind the keyboard.  This has led to many email threads going to uncontrollable lengths.  Picking up the phone will lead to the problem being solved in 5 minutes.  I used to I tell my crew all of the time: ‘If you think this email is going to lead a long thread, cut it short and pick up the phone.’

I remember reading once where someone compared email to postcards:  Nobody else is supposed to read your postcards, but you'd be a fool if you wrote anything private on one. 

If you have any email improvement tips of your own, feel free to comment below.

business woman