Confessions of a Grizzled Newbie
As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m a veteran writer, because I’ve been writing seriously since I was 14, which was in 1973, and I’ve been writing for publication since 1982. However, I’ve never earned my living from my writing, so I’m also a newb in that sense. I suspect that I’m nowhere near unique. The American Capitalist economic system being what it is, many talented writers have had to wait til they retired from their day jobs to write full time.
Don’t Quit Yer Day Job
I’m 63, and I have not yet retired from my day job. So, until I do, I have a hard time coming up with the energy to crank out novels the way many younger people seem to be able to do so effortlessly. It’s intimidating for me when I look at my 3 titles on Amazon, 1 short novel and 2 standalone short stories, and I see that successful Amazon authors, some of them in their 20s, have anywhere from 12 to 50 novels in their catalogs. How can I ever catch up to that?
Finishing What I Started
As I speak, I have my second novel in my current trilogy almost done, plus a Cozy Mystery and 2 Westerns 1/2 to 3/4 done. So, I could finish my 2nd King Leary Crime Novel, and write the 3rd really quickly. Then I’d have the King Leary Trilogy, the Cozy, and 2 Westerns done. That’s 6 novels or novellas done in the next 6 months.
Trilogies We Have Trilogies!
The Cozy would be part of a series, at least a trilogy, and the 2 Westerns are the first novellas of 2 separate series, also trilogies at minimum. So the one novel I have published and the other 5 novels I need to finish could turn into 4 trilogies, 12 books total, in a year. To finish the books I have almost finished, I probably need to write a little over 100,000 words, that includes a full NaNoWriMo length 50K King Leary novel.
Crunching The Numbers
100K spread over 6 months is 555 words per day. I can do that. AND, if I could knock out 50K of that for NaNoWriMo, that makes the remaining 50K over 5 months a mere 333 words per day. Which gives me time to work on other projects like the Full-length Screenplay I’m writing for a Screenwriting class I’m taking from Michigan State University.
Screenplays, Short-Stories, and Sundries… Oh, my!
I’ll continue to write Screenplays and Teleplays, as well as short stories.
Today, as I worked to get my newest Mystery/Crime short story ready to be sent off to my Beta Readers, I was pleasantly surprised that two other short stories, both Mystery/Crime/Noir stories, were both self-edited and ready to go to my Beta Readers as well. I knew that one of those stories was done, but I’d remembered the second story as being not quite finished.
So, suddenly, thanks to my ADHD brain, I’m suddenly quite jazzed that I will soon have THREE short stories ready to submit to markets like Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly.
Writers Of The Future
The other day I signed up for the free WRITERS OF THE FUTURE ONLINE WORKSHOP course. Yes, the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of The Future. The course is taught by David Farland, and Science Fiction legends Orson Scott Card and Tim Powers.
The course promised that the diligent student will have a short story done by the end of the course. Although the course is a general fiction course, I , in deference to Hubbard, Farland, Card, and Powers, am using it to write my first sellable Science Fiction story.
My next step after getting those three Crime Fiction stories submitted to the aforementioned markets was to write some new SF stories for markets such as Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Analog Science Fiction Magazine, and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Not coincidentally, when I began writing for the markets way back up in 1982, I was submitting Mystery/Crime stories to EQMM and AHMM, and SF stories to Asimov’s, Analogue, and F & SF.