Saturday, April 16, 2016

Writing in a Fishbowl: Day Twenty-Nine and DONE!

Nifty logo of words in a fishbowl

7:20 PM: Finished! I started and finished a book in under one month. Next up, I’ll spend the next week on the second draft, which will mean that I only fix typos, commas, and focus. Then I send it off to a copyeditor. While that’s away, I’ll gather graphics and put together landing pages and book summaries, etc. My goal—and, boy! I like them aggressive—is to have everything finished so that I can self pub by April 30th. Then I can begin my next book project on May 1st.

I’ll probably miss all those deadlines. I might tic a few days away, my daughter’s problems might flare up, or I’ll get distracted designing icons for my desktop. Maybe even reorganize my garage one night at 3am. Who knows what might happen‽ With ADHD, depression, chronic motor tic disorder, and a daughter with epilepsy, I obviously run into one issue or another. However, making this serious goal—and failing it—has focused my life in a way that it hasn’t been in a long time. My oldest girl thinks I should continue this “Writing in a Fishbowl” series if just to keep me on task. I may take a break from the series for a few weeks and focus on regular blogs, but I’m leaning towards jumping back into the fishbowl on May 1st.

Truthfully, there was some material already written last year when I first conceived the project, about 2000 words, but I had to heavily rework those 2000. There’s not much of them left. The project ended with 13,313 words in total, and I may add something to get to 15,000. I’m only one chapter away, though I don’t want it to be padding. What’s more important to me than the magic 15,000 number, however, is that I started and finished this project within one month, and I want it published before the end of this month. That way I can begin May with a clean slate and prove to myself that this project didn’t take over my life.

Now for hindsight.

  1. I need an easier way to blog so that these entries don’t take up any time. Most third party apps are terrible—at least the ones available for the iPhone. Blogsy is my favorite, but they only make an iPad version. Whatever my solution going forward, I will need to create a Fishbowl template so that I can copy, paste, and edit it rapidly. Writing time is precious, and I should spend it on writing books. To that end, I may change some things around here in the future. We’ll see.
  2. I need to fix my sleep schedule. If I plan on doing professional level output, I need to be working during the day when my daughter is in school, not recuperating from late night writing sessions after she finally goes to bed. It’s upside down, and I know it.
  3. I need to plan my social media usage better. Not just to avoid wasting time, but to leverage social media for self-promotion. It’s a missed opportunity. Since Blogger has anemic social media support compared to Word Press, I need to manually schedule more promotional tweets and posts than I do.
  4. I need a better action plan to deal with disability setbacks. I can’t will disability away, but I can figure out better ways to get back up on my feet and start running much more quickly.
  5. Eleven thousand words is not enough. I need to do MORE. A project like this should have only taken 14 days. I know that a lot of my time was spent rewriting. I realize that I had to complete research and spend time checking my facts. This wasn’t material I shot from the hip. I also know that I can’t blame myself for my daughter’s epilepsy or my tic disorder, but I can drive myself harder. I believe that I can be better.

Now, what are your thoughts? My readers have been unusually silent during this experiment. I’d love to hear what you make of this journey I wrote about so publicly. I hope that some of you found it inspiring in some way. We really are capable of doing much more than we believe. We just need to apply ourselves and keep pressing forward.


Day No.1: 1250 words
Day No.2: 703 words
Day No.3: 671 words
Day No.4: 262 words
Day No.7: 2725 words
Day No.8: 231 words
Day No.13: 974 words
Day No.17: 633 words
Day No.19: 758 words
Day No.21: 473 words
Day No.22: 1277 words
Day No.26: 815 words
Day No.29: 511 words
Project Word Count Total: 11,283 words