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Month: August 2013

The Big Damn Writing Tracker!

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The other day, I noticed something astonishing. Since January 1st of 2013, I have written over three hundred thousand words.

Obviously, I ran straight to Twitter to report, because twitter or it didn’t happen, right?. My tweeps were astonished– not by how much I had written, but by the fact that I knew how much I had written.

When I got my start writing, I was a part of a critique group. We reported our daily and weekly writing totals to each other via an email loop, so from the very beginning, I’ve always taken meticulous care to note my word counts (well, in the beginning, it was page counts, but stay with me). It never once occurred to me that other writers weren’t doing this, as well.

I thought about sharing my spreadsheet to show exactly how I’ve got mine set up. But mine is like, super depressing and not fancy at all. I thought, well, Troutnation is so nice to me, I’m going to do something nice for them. Or at least for a small subset of them who are interested in writing and logging word counts obsessively in a spreadsheet. For the rest of you, there are donuts in the conference room.

So, here is this thing I made: My Big Damn Writing Tracker. You’ll need Excel, or any other program that opens .xls files. I made it on Excel, so if it’s all shitty and messed up in something else, I apologize, but Excel is what I have to work with. Anyway, the basic instructions are, you put in the projects you’re going to work on for the week where it says to (I’ve left space for up to three projects at a time, because who really works on more than three projects in the same week?), then every day, you’re going to enter your word count for those projects. At the end of the week, you’ll see how many words you wrote, total, and how many words you wrote per project. 

There is also a Year To Date box that will keep track of all the words you’ve written in the year. You don’t have to wait until January 1st to start using it, as the weeks aren’t dated. There are fifty-three weeks in the sheet (in case you’re anal about time keeping and don’t want to miss that .2 week during a Leap Year), and I’ve included quotes about writing from writers in all forms of media. And also The Doctor. Because I can.

At the end of the year, you can copy the sheet and start over, while retaining the record of your amazing feat from the previous year.

So, there you go. Use it however you want, if you want. I find that being accountable to a spreadsheet helps keep me on track, productivity wise. I hope some of you find this thing helpful, too.

50 Shades Freed chapter 21 recap or “Lysistrata”

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It’s that time of two weeks or whatever when I once again wade into the utter bullshit that is 50 Shades and come out the other side a fuller, more enraged person for it. But first, links:

@JennHolton sent me this link from, “It Happened to Me: I Had a Baby with My Abuser”. I feel like the “It Happened To Me” features are the very best articles XOJane has to offer, so when you’re done reading that one, check out some of the others, too. And I very much hope that Ms. Nolan and her son continue to have a happy, safe life together.

Luisa Prieto drew an awesome comic about what would happen if Hannibal Lecter took Dr. Flynn’s job. And I’m totally flattered that she name dropped me in such a magnificent post.

Here’s a handy guide to identifying the species Poortasteus Grey in the wild.

Meanwhile, total badass Lacey has come up with a drinking game and sound effects for your recap reading pleasure, but I like them so much, they’ll be getting their own post later this week.

So, on to the recrap:

That’s a typo, but I’m leaving it.

Michael Cairns’s “The Spirit Room” Blog Tour

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Today on the blog, I’m welcoming author and all-around swell guy, Michael Cairns, whose new UF/Sci-Fi book The Spirit Room drops this month. Who is Michael Cairns?


Chocoholic Michael Cairns is a writer and author of the real-world epic fantasy trilogy, The Assembly and science fiction adventure series, A Game of War. A musician, father and school teacher, when not writing he can be found behind his drum kit, tucking into his chocolate stash or trying, and usually failing, to outwit his young daughter.

He is not even messing around about the chocoholic thing. Read on for some writing advice from Michael, a look at his new book, and find out how you can connect with Michael and try his work for free!

State of The Trout

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Long time, no see! I know, it seems like I’m avoiding you. I’m not. I’ve just got stuff going on! Great stuff!

  • I’m hard at work on editing The Girlfriend, the much anticipated sequel to The Boss. I’m aiming for an August 20th release for the ebook, but since I’ve never worked with the ebook company I’m working with now, that could be subject to change. So stay tuned. I’m also looking to coordinate a cover reveal for August 10th. If you have a blog, and you’d like to be a part of the cover reveal, fill out this form.
  • Speaking of cover reveals, you still have a day to enter the Such Sweet Sorrow cover reveal contest, for a chance to win the book!
  • I’ve also been hard at work editing a short story for a friend, and it got me thinking… I could definitely do this for other people. So, I’m offering up my services as an editor. If you’re looking to hire someone to work on your project, check out the “editing services” tab in the menu above.
  • And on top of all of this, I’ve been sucked into a New Adult book idea that hit me like a truck. More information on that as it’s available.

So, what have you all been up to? If you’ve been up to nothing, just make something up. If you want to be really awesome, make something up and put dragons in it.