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Monday, 20 September 2021


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I'm sure you thought of this, and hopefully it is part of your plan, to reprint in your book some of your best blog posts such as the one about your brother. This is for a few reasons: They can be together in a collected, curated form -- not scattered through the online archives. They are YOUR picks -- a Baker's Dozen of blog posts if you will. They can illustrate points or topics in the book. And, perhaps best of all, you get to recycle them to reduce your total book-writing burden!

Is this book on blogging in addition to the book you are writing on raising Xander? Gonna need more typewriter ribbon!

I wouldn't use wordcount as a measure of literary success. I've read short masterpieces and long masterpieces. Some of the greatest writers wrote very few books. And in fact I far prefer your writing to that of some of the "high-energy" writers you mention (except when the subject is pool and dieting that is).

Realistically, won't you write for the blog and copy/edit the blog entry for your book? Or copy the book entry to the blog as appropriate.

Guest blogger?

Have someone come for a five day stint once every six weeks, and that week dedicate yourself to book writing. Maybe 1 or 2 Mike posts on TOP?

On the other five weeks, give 2-3 days to the book project.

Just a thought…

You are not all those writers listed above. You are Mike. You get 5 good writing hours daily? Lucky you!

Budget the time like money. Bang for buck. If the book takes ages to write then so what? Stick to your Sensible budget and be amazed.

What I’ve found that works for me is to incorporate the stories or short essays that are written for the letter or blog into the larger volume of work as a chapter or highlight. Two birds with one stone. Just editing and sequencing is all that’s left to knit the essays together.

Yikes; at my peak as a reader I must have been reading several hundred books a year. I know in 8th grade I read over 5 a week during the school year, and that was the year I taught myself programming in first Fortran and then Assembler, up to professionally-employable levels, and started doing darkroom work and doing photography more seriously, and kept up with school (after missing the previous year by being out of the country; I was in school but not learning any of the same things).

Of course old SF books were pretty thin.

That's not energy, exactly. That was all stuff I loved doing, that doesn't take energy in the same way.

Could you post raw pieces of the book to TOP 'n' times a week and kill two birds with one stone?

I know anecdotes of other writers doing this — writing "live" and using reader feedback to help inform their final edit.

There are writers who publish the whole book a piece at a time, with fans buying the thing they "already just read for free" because what they want is the physical object.

Words. When I was in primary (elementary) school) - a "term assignment" might be 300 words - which took all term. In high school - the same but maybe 1500 words to 2000 words - also took all term. At university in my undergraduate degree, a semester subject might have a 5000 word essay - hmm, half way through the semester, better start. For my masters degree, each subject had a 10,000 word essay - hmm got a month left, better start. These days, I'm asked to deliver a seminal paper suitable for journal publication to a conference (albeit on topic about which I"m already expert), 30-40,000 words, hmm, it's now Tuesday morning and due COB this Friday, better start. But could I produce a blog at about 1000 to 1500 words per day, 5 or so days per week for most of the year, year in and year out for well over a decade? No chance. My hat is off to you, Mike.

I won’t go into the details, but last winter we went through some extended traumatic events. My doctor gave me a couple of prescriptions this spring to deal with panic attacks and general anxiety. They raise my serotonin levels. I found out after taking them that I have needed them all my life. For the first time, my mind isn’t full of negative thoughts about myself. I can be around people without worrying about what they think about me. Instead, I am able to enjoy them! I am happy. I can’t believe I had to spend most of my life unhappy because of the torment my mind put me through. This is all a roundabout way of saying, talk to your doctor. What you are experiencing may not be a character trait but an underlying medical condition.

Reading this I would say the best option would be to alternate the days between the blog and the book (or is that The Blog and The Book?). As you say, you need to adjust your methods to what works best for you. Then you do not have to limit the one activity in order to have some energy for the other. That will only impact your flow.

I'd say you need to work on the title, which is the first thing potential buyers see. I'd suggest "F**kin' Photography" or "Blogs Are My B*tch," but your taste may vary.

Before covid, I'd go to a thriller-writer convention in NYC every summer and talk to fellow writers, some very well-known, and the one constant is that when it comes to writing, there's no one constant. People are all over the place when it comes to technique -- some outline, some don't; I met one guy who outlines so much that his final outline, aside from a few needed fill-in words, are essentially the novel. Other guys don't outline anything. I don't outline anything until the last 10,000 words or so. So, like I said, all over the place. One thing about that, though (and about King): We pop writers need to produce, because we need the momentum. We need to keep the readers we have and hopefully expand, and to do that efficiently, it's best to have books that come out at predictable intervals. I come out each Spring and Autumn, and rarely skip. You don't have to do that. If I were you, I'd look for a solid 750 words a day, and then go on to the blog. 750 publishable words a day would get you a longish book in half a year...do the numbers.

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