Tag Archives: Ray Bradbury

Weekly writing check-in: the one where I look back at 2014

Action is hopeHappy New Year! I hope it was joyous and safe and you have lots of plans for the new  year.

I’m going to take a quick look back before I jump into 2015 proper.

Words written:

For 2014, I wrote ~270,000 words.

Uh, yeah. That looks like a lot. You know what? It doesn’t feel like a lot. I don’t feel tired or drained from doing that. In fact, I feel energized, and to quote Mr. Bradbury, I’ll be damned, it’s been a good year.

270,000 words looks intimidating. But really? Divide that by 365. It’s only 740 words per day.

740. Not even 1,000 words per day. That’s doable. If you bump it up a bit, you can take weekends off. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now. Daily writing is a lot like exercise. It isn’t sexy or glamorous, but if you commit to it, you’ll see results.

Of those words I wrote, I managed a couple of novels, a handful of short stories, and several novelettes. I love writing novelettes, but it’s hard to find a home for them.

Other stats:

I made 51 submissions this year (down ~ 50 from last year).

I sold six stories/poem thingies.

Of my fiction writing income, 30% came from selling to traditional markets (short fiction markets) and 70% came from publishing my own work. With this in mind, I will probably concentrate on publishing my own work in 2015, in a variety of ways.

2014 Publications:

Straying from the Path at Flash Fiction Online

A Most Marvelous Pair of Boots at Timeless Tales Magazine

Breakfast in the Desert at Every Day Poets

Playing Soldier in issue #9 of Vine Leaves Literary Journal (and best of anthology for 2014)

The Secret Life of Sleeping Beauty, in audio, at Cast of Wonders

Girl with the Piccolo, in audio, at Cast of Wonders

Incriminating Evidence in Fantasy Scroll Magazine, Issue #4

This week:

Writing Work:

  • Writing ~ 9,700 words (I’m on a bit of a tear this week)
  • Graphic Design tutorials


  • None


  • None


  • None


  • None

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking (disasters), Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: the one with a word-count milestone

My news this week? I hit a milestone. So far this year I’ve written 250,278 words! Yes. I know. I have no idea how I did it either.

Well, actually, I do. But the nuts and bolts of it are pretty boring. There’s no magic formula, no silver bullet. It’s a lot like exercise. You do a little bit every day and that little bit adds up. Not sexy in the least. But that’s all I have.

But if you’d like a bit more inspiration, I highly recommend Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing. That’s really where this all started.

Also? It’s snowing on WordPress. I love that.

Writing Work:

  • Writing ~ 7,805 words (those last five words are very important)


  • None


  • None


  • None


  • None

1 Comment

Filed under Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Ten day challenge day 8: writing routines

10 Day Write Blog Challenge button200

Jumping back on board with day #8. Today’s prompt:

Post about your writing routines / rituals / habits or quirks – or – your writing origins story

The key word in the above is routine. Not rut. Not chore. But routine, like exercise routine. (See post #6 in this challenge where I write about exercise.) The benefit of a routine–or habit–is that you remove the decision-making part of the process–and the angst that surrounds it. Now is the time I exercise. Now is the time I write. Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance.

You know, like that.

Anyway, after I eat my lunch, then I write. Since I’ve been doing this on a regular basis, I’ve discovered that some of my best days happen when I walk in without any idea what to write. I do mean nothing. Not a clue. No muse. No inspiration. But! It’s time to write. So. I go do it. Often, I have a conversation that goes like this:

Me: You’ve got something brewing back there, right?
Unconscious Mind: Don’t I always?
Me: …
UM: No, really, I do. It’s only when you force it and think too hard that I don’t. I’m shy that way.
Me: Right.
UM: I always have your back, as long as you don’t think.
Me: I’ll stop thinking.
UM: Good girl.

Or something like that. The hard part is trusting yourself to do this. But this idea is hardly original to me. In fact, I’ve borrowed this idea from Ray Bradbury. On a card I carry with me, I have these three rules from Zen in the Art of Writing:

  1. Work
  2. Relax
  3. Don’t Think

Need a bit more convincing? Here are seven more rules from Mr. Bradbury. See if they don’t resonate.


Leave a comment

Filed under Write 1/Sub 1, Writing

One way to capture those fifteen magic minutes

In late November of last year, I was searching for a way back into my writing. I was searching for a way to do what Ray Bradbury urged here:

“I don’t believe in optimism. I believe in optimal behavior. That’s a different thing … Action is hope. At the end of each day, when you’ve done your work, you lie there and think, Well, I’ll be damned, I did this today.

It doesn’t matter how good it is, or how bad – you did it. At the end of the week you’ll have a certain amount of accumulation. At the end of a year, you look back and say, I’ll be damned, it’s been a good year.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Terrific and inspirational advice but how, how, do you get there? How do you turn your hope into action? One way is to create a writing habit (which works an awful lot like an exercise habit–in fact, exercise has a lot in common with writing, but that’s fodder for another post).

Take a quick look at Rosanne Bane’s post on Why Habits Work When Discipline and Will Power Won’t and you can also read her post here about those fifteen magic minutes. To everyone who says you can’t create something worthwhile by writing for fifteen minutes three to five times per week, I say:

You can’t create anything worthwhile if you never start.

So go. Start something. What that something is matters less than you think it does.

So anyway, back in late November, when I was trying to figure out a way to start, I stumbled upon The Southeast Review’s 30-Day Writer’s Regimen. They were gearing up to run a version during December. I nearly didn’t do it. Come on, December? The holidays? How on earth was I going to write? Then I decided it would be a Christmas gift to myself.

It was very low stress. All I needed to do for each prompt they sent was write a single page, longhand (that’s maybe 250 words for me). It didn’t even need to be about the prompt, just whatever came to mind after reading it.

I missed a day or two (but oddly, not Christmas itself). One prompt inspired exactly nothing, so I wrote about my reaction to that prompt (wow, I have a whole lotta nothing for this one …). Some prompts got a page. Some built a continuing story, one became a poem, another a flash fiction piece. And one was the jumping off point for my very first Write 1/Sub 1 for the year, which ended up at ~8,000 words.

All because I decided I could write a single, longhand page per day for thirty days. By doing so, I built a habit, one I happen to love.

And … they’ll be running the Writer’s Regimen again in June. All new material. Still plenty of time to sign up. Anyone want to join me?


Filed under Getting Schooled, Reading & Writing, Write 1/Sub 1, Writing

Writing in 2013: And now for something completely different

Inspired by many things, like writing The Secret Life of Sleeping Beauty and reading Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing, I am trying something completely different this year.

This year, I am taking on the challenge, inspired by Ray Bradbury, to Write 1/Submit 1. My firm commitment is writing one story each month and submitting one story each month (not necessarily the same story). My stretch goal is to do this weekly. Yes. Weekly.

I know. Just a little bit crazy. But I’m thinking I need to do something just a little bit crazy with my writing this year. I’m under no contracts; I have no (writing) obligation. So why not?

I know my (writing) self well enough to realize I’ll probably end up tallying my weekly progress at the end of each month. My process is such that I may write two stories in one week, then spend a week or two woolgathering. (I’m a world-class woolgathering. If woolgathering were an actual profession, I could pull in six figures.) Then, I’ll write some more. Ultimately, my aim is to write 52 stories this year and to submit 52 times as well.

Fortunately, since I turned my attention back to short work in the middle of last year, I have an inventory of stories that are either already on submission or can go out fairly soon. In fact, I submitted a story today! I just met my monthly goal. So: Ha!

You can read about the challenge here if you’re interested in trying it yourself. If you do, let me know. We can keep each other on track.

And whatever your goals for the year are, I wish you success and happiness in working toward them.


Filed under Writing

Your Saturday dose of writing inspiration

From the master:

Go forth and write!

Leave a comment

Filed under Video, Writing