Monday, October 17, 2005

New Projects

There's nothing like starting a new project after spending several months writing and rewriting an old one. My two favorite words in the English language are "The End". Those words give me permission to start something new.

Since I'm a book writer, that most often means a new book. Often times I need to write a few articles to promote myself and my website, or I enjoy writing a short story just for a break in the routine, but most often, I think in terms of a new project as being a full length novel.

At the present time, I have about five novel ideas simmering in my head. A few of them have been there for a couple years. I take notes sometimes or daydream, but I try to put the ideas off until I've finished my present work-in-progress. It is often tempting to give in to a new idea and put the current project on the back burner. Bad idea. If I did that every time a new idea came to me, I would never finish the first book.

I wonder if other writers have the same problem. I get asked all the time if I worry about running out of ideas. After finishing my first book, I wondered if I had any other stories inside me. Then about a week later when I found myself immersed in the next story line, I realized it wasn't a problem. The more I write, the faster ideas come for the next book. And the next. Running out of ideas is no longer a concern. Now I just wish I had two or three brains so I could work on several books at a time without giving one more time than the other.

Ah, beginning a new project. The only problem now is choosing which one to run with. I will pray and meditate on it and let the Lord lead.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My field of expertise

After every post to this blog, I vow to myself that I will post more regularly. I also vow that I will spend more time writing each day and less time wasted on computer games and telephone calls. At this time of year I have a lot of distractions...not an excuse, just the cold hard facts. There's nothing wrong with having a life. It's one of the benefits of working for myself. But at the end of the day, I look back on it and lament all the things I should have gotten done and didn't.

I am still concentrating on writing articles to post all over the web. A way to draw traffic to my site, I remind myself as another day goes by that I haven't written the first article. Why am I stalling? Laziness, mostly. I love to write. Books. Short stories. Anything but articles.

I've spent a lot of time in the last year and a half marketing my books. I've driven hundreds of miles and spent countless hours practicing and preparing speeches for the people who come out to see me at libraries. While I enjoy speaking about myself and the books, I don't think it has had much impact on book sales. There has to be an easier way to let the world know I exist and I've written some pretty good books.

There is. Write articles. Post them everywhere. Keep blogging. Save my gas money for the upcoming holiday season.

My field of expertise goes without saying. I've written and published two books. I have two more under contract with two more ready to send to the publisher. The world wants to know how I did it. Why am I making those articles so hard? I should be able to write them blindfolded. So stop stalling and get to work. The rest will take care of itself.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Busy Writers

I didn't realize when I made all my grand plans for writing articles and setting up speaking engagements, that this is a one of my busiest times of the years. Besides my writing life, which takes up so much of my time, fall is fast approaching. The changing of the season means the buckeyes and walnuts are falling from the trees faster than I can gather them.

The past two weeks I have been collecting both nuts for holiday projects. Being from Ohio and surrounded by Scarlet and Gray fanatics, buckeyes are popular adornments for keychains, necklaces, earrings, and even Christmas tree ornaments. This year has provided a bumper crop. Between me and the squirrels, we've collected quite a stash I am using to create one of a kind merchandise to sell at craft fairs.

While it takes some searching to find the elusive little brown buckeye among the fallen leaves, all one has to do to find a walnut is walk across one's yard and try to maintain one's balance in a sea of green hulls. Walnuts and acorns are another bumper crop this year. Acorns I leave for the squirrels, but I plan to actually shell the walnuts for my holiday baking needs. I've never fooled with them before, but it seems almost like a sin to leave them laying in the yard while I pay nearly five dollars a pound for the pretty shelled ones in the store.

So I've been too busy outside to keep up with my writing duties, including keeping a regular routine with this blog. Today I plan to do better. I'll write a few articles this week. I will prepare for my appearance at the Portsmouth City library in Portsmouth, Ohio this Thursday. I'll enjoy the chill in the air and lament the Bengals loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last night in Jacksonville. 23-20. Not a bad showing, but a loss nonetheless.

Did I really expect a perfect season from the Bengals?

No, but 5-0 would have been nice.