Meta post about Daily Story Project

I’m thinking of doing short interviews with people I find interesting around my neighborhood and running them. Since I can’t just sit down and bang them out in an hour, since I’d have to actually go out and do the interviews and maybe get a picture or two and then write them up, maybe one a week? I’m not committing to it, mind you, I’m just putting the idea out there that this might be coming.

After the first 9 days, I’m having a lot of fun with this. Well, 8 days of stories. I’ve learned I can go from “I have nothing to write about!” to “I can’t stop writing this story!” in about 20 minutes flat.

I’ve posted 8 stories so far; one of them, the longest, was actually written years ago and posted as-is. A total of ~17,100 words. Three of them are fantasy of various sorts, and one of those might count as horror; the other 5 are literary fiction (or fictionalized memoir-ish).

I worry about posting these since they’re first drafts. Most of them were written right up against my personal deadline of midnight in my time zone, so I don’t even get a chance to look them over for typos or obvious errors before I hit Publish. And in the back of my mind I wonder if I’m somehow wasting these ideas by putting them out there for free, when I could be polishing them and sending them off to be actually-really published somewhere, somewhere I might get paid for them.

And then I remember that ideas are cheap; it’s the doing that’s difficult. The fact that I’ve tossed so many ideas up to see what sticks in a week and a half should be testament to that. If I want to be published I just need to do what I’ve been doing daily, then take one of those a step farther. I spend between 20 minutes to an hour and a half on these; I can devote another 90 minutes, one day a week, and see what happens. That seems like an easy stretch to make.

If you’re reading this and you have strong feelings about it one way or another, or an awesome suggestion of someone I should talk to (if you’re local) or a story idea (no matter where you are), leave that in the comments.

Daily Check-In #4 + funny cat video

It’s Friday! Have a funny cat video. You deserve it!

How did I do on my writing goals yesterday?

  • I did find another two sites I can query or pitch to.
  • I did not look for any content farm sites.
  • I did search Mechanical Turk for writing HITs; found none.
  • I didn’t work on my novel.
  • I didn’t keep track of interesting articles.

I did apply for a non-writing job I found on Craigslist. Also made another $10 doing surveys on MTurk. And I found three technical writer positions late in the day; I’ll apply for those, after doing some research. The descriptions for the technical writer jobs all mention UML, and DMD; I have no idea what those are.

Must make some time to work on the novel today. Also, I’d like to post something here that isn’t just a daily check-in. And it’s time to hustle and submit stories to the sites I’ve found.

“Hustle” is such a great word. I thank my friend Tristan J. Tarwater for that word.

Daily Check-In #2

I’m numbering this Daily Check-In but I didn’t number the previous one. I’m whacky.

How did I do on my daily writing goals yesterday?

  • I did find two sites that accept freelance work.
  • I did not search for, nor find, any content-farm sites.
  • I did search Mechanical Turk for writing-related HITs and found none.
  • I didn’t work on my novel at all.
  • I did keep track of interesting stories; I saved 4 links.

 

In fact, I submitted some clippings and wrote a writing-specific resume and submitted it to an editor, which took me literally all day because I was anxious about it. But I did, in fact, do it. Finding and saving clippings of my favorite posts took about an hour; and I did it at the bar, because the beer helped quiet that voice in the back of my head.

It was interesting reading back over old posts here. I wrote a lot. And I wrote well, although now, reading back over some of my posts, I can see what I would change. That’s a topic for a post on its own, though.

I also looked into how other writers keep track of their clippings, going as far as setting up my profile at clippings.me and Contently. Feels odd linking to posts here and at Tumblr but that’s what I’ll have to do until I’m published elsewhere, I suppose.

Today’s plans: polish at least one story for submission to the other site I found, work on the novel, add links to my clippings.me and Contently profiles. Maybe a blog post here. I have already searched Mturk and completed a HIT or two.

Clearing my head

Man, I am so bad at naming things. Even posts. Ah, well.

I went to bed early last night. Tired in spite of myself. Didn’t much exercise and ate a big ol’ chocolate raspberry cupcake late in the day; I’m sure it was the sugar crash that did me in. I tried reading but my eyes just kept closing, and finally I turned off the light and drifted off to the sounds of my neighbors chatting on their patio. Longest day of the year and I spent most of it asleep.

I did, however, get this blog up and running, yesterday, and now I am committing to writing here daily. Should I set a word count? Nah. Just the habit is enough for now. I hope.

So that was yesterday. My dreams were interesting – oh, other people’s dreams aren’t interesting? You’re probably right. I do keep a simple dream journal but since dreams are based on personal symbology, they probably don’t mean much to other people. Suffice it to say that my dreams were out of the ordinary for me.

And then I was awake by 5:30 AM. How to spend my morning? I made my usual breakfast: coffee from beans I ground myself, three strips of uncured bacon, a raisin English muffin with butter, and two large organic vegetarian-fed scrambled eggs. Got the two eggs out then dropped the whole rest of the carton. Ugh. What a mess. The breakfast was good, though, after I cleaned things up.

Today’s plans: Sunday Parkways is in North Portland today so later I’ll ride up there. Maybe try to catch Ken and his kids if they’re around, or Chaz, or Terry and Yukari. I have vague plans to have a gaming night tonight with Terry and Russ, which will probably involve more biking. And in-between, I’ve got nothing but time. Maybe watch the season finale of Orphan Black. Maybe work on the novel. Maybe do some research to start freelance writing.

I need to set concrete goals, so here’s my freelance writing goals for this week:

  • Find 3-5 good websites where my style of writing is a good fit and get an actual person’s email address.
  • Find 3-5 “content farm” sites and start writing.
  • Check Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for writing HITs I can do daily.
  • Work on the novel for at least an hour a day
  • Keep track of stories that interest me daily
  • Blog about how successful I am at all of the above each morning

That should get me started and it’s easy enough that I’m not overwhelming myself, at least I don’t think. I know what I have to do. Now I have to do it.