Reflections of a Casual (and Quirky) Writer

CanMasGuest Post
by John Kenny

I like to think of myself as something of a renaissance man. Others regard me as a dilettante. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. I perform my own car maintenance and repairs. I sew (some of) my own clothes. I’ve done all the framing, electrical, plumbing and other work in renovating several homes. I create stained glass. I’m a volunteer mentor at my local jail. I also sail, garden, bake and race sprint canoe. Yes, the latter is a real Olympic sport. This year I won two golds in my age category (not quite dead yet) at the National Championships.

I also write when the mood strikes me and/or I make the time.

All of these things enrich my life and I wouldn’t want to do without any of them.

“Self-publishing ate my life,” Eileen Goudge wrote in an IU piece about a month ago. When I read about the amount of work many of you put into your marketing and promotion, I am amazed, horrified, awed, amused, inspired and dismissive, sometimes all in the space of a few seconds. I’ve even felt pangs of guilt for not being as dedicated, but they pass quickly. Continue reading “Reflections of a Casual (and Quirky) Writer”

Unleash the Power of Why

The power behind purposeWe write. Sometimes we write for ourselves and sometimes we write for others. At times, we look at what we wrote and think it sucks. Other times, we can’t wait to read it to someone else. What you write and what you do with it not only decides your future but also profoundly shapes the world.

What? Continue reading “Unleash the Power of Why”

The 1,000 Words a Day Project – The 1000/2000 Pledge

martin crosbie writing machineOne hundred and eleven days ago I undertook a personal challenge. I made a pledge to write one thousand new words a day. Every day. No matter what. I described how I was going to try to accomplish this in an article for Indies Unlimited right here. I’m pleased to tell you that as of today I have over one hundred and eleven thousand new words written. Since it’s gone so well I decided to expand on the challenge, which I have now renamed the 1000/2000 pledge.

In the past one hundred and eleven days I’ve written twenty blogs. Because of this accumulation of articles I’ve been able to blog for the BC Editor’s Association, Whistler Writers group (soon to be published), Book Reader’s Medallion (twice) and several others. I’ve offered my opinions on pricing, social networking, paying it forward (my favorite topic), the glut of eBooks on the market, and I put together a list of places where authors can access hundreds of thousands of images and photos for free. I referenced Rob Ford, the ex (I hope) mayor of Toronto. I wrote about how it felt to turn fifty last month. And, I even wrote a blog when the manager of my favorite football team, Manchester United, was fired. It’s been fun and it’s given me a break from the other stories I’ve been working on. Continue reading “The 1,000 Words a Day Project – The 1000/2000 Pledge”

The 1,000 Words A Day Project

typing smileyLast year I wrote and published three new books. I also taught a self-publishing workshop, spoke at numerous writers groups and festivals, gave a couple of talks at libraries, and I did a couple of book signings too. I thought I’d had a fairly productive year until I read Russell Blake’s recent blog. Russell has published twenty-five books in the past thirty months. I read one of his books last year; it was a good book.

My output is pretty good. I’ve had days where I’ve produced five thousand words but I’ve also had days where I’ve dogged it and produced zero words. When it’s “Go Time” and I need to complete a project I work day and night, so I know I can get the job done. But, I’m inconsistent. I have two new books and a revision of an existing book that I’m hoping to release in 2014. Those are commitments that I’ve made to readers and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to fulfill them. Granted, the muse isn’t always smiling, and that could potentially be a problem and hold me back, but I can usually find a way around that. My old writing teacher Ed Griffin used to tell me there is no such thing as writer’s block. Ed says that writing is a job and you just need to sit and get it done. I tend to agree with him. No matter how uninspired I’ve felt, when I really need to I can usually produce some fairly acceptable content. So, as I was planning my 2014 schedule I made a decision – I’m going to write a minimum of 1,000 words a day. Every day. No matter what. Continue reading “The 1,000 Words A Day Project”