One day closer

To the end of the next book. This is having a self-conscious effect, being aware of how many words I write. The first book is 85,000 words, the second is 141,000 and the last is 101,000. I think I have some formatting issues, as Vellum reports the first book would be printed on 648 pages. Google says it would only be 170 pages, that seems more realistic.

I like the Vellum software, it works okay I suppose, though I don’t really need it, I don’t think. It was helpful to separate the content though, and to clean it up a bit. Rather than purchase it though, I just exported it from Vellum into docx format. Then used that to import it into Kindle Create.

Going with a “Flowers for Algernon” vibe as an excuse to avoid proper proofreading. Not so much an excuse, as I do think that leaves insight into myself, the author, by my typos. Every day that I write is a different day. I suppose others keep writing the same thing over and over, proofing it and perfecting it. I just don’t have that kind of time.

As I write this tonight, I am intimately aware that this could be the last thing I write. Or this. Or this right here.  Okay, I suppose I’m safe for the moment and I’m not counting on much more.

write. WRITE.

It’s been over ten years since I first heard that Voice. 6:02 am on January 25, 2012. I did start writing and I think I did it wrong. Two reasons, both now corrected; hmm, maybe three. 1) wrong audience, 2) wrong topic, 3) I edited/proofread. 4) I stopped writing.

The audience is always key, not them, then to whom does an artist perform?

I’m smiling and laughing now, I think after all these years of hearing it, I think I figured out what it means to be called a “muppet”. To be entertaining others. I never really thought about it before and it seems to make sense; a lot actually, enough to make me wonder why I never thought of its definition before. Rather, I just took it as a general insult of some form that I didn’t understand.

So the audience, what was wrong before and how did I correct it?  Before the audience was a Judge, a single person. For me, that was an impossible audience to know well and extremely difficult (based on results,) for me to write a persuasive essay for. Ha, ‘essay’ makes it sound like it was under 10,000 words. I don’t remember the count, yet printed on standard paper it was an inch thick.

I don’t know if I ever did finish it or if I got lost in editing and proofreading, looping through over and over to reach some imaginary perfection. When in reality, I wasn’t being judged on the wellness of my authorship but rather for all the daily content that I missed putting in it. This is not perfect. I am using Grammarly though and I’m trying to avoid whole paragraph run-on sentences.

There isn’t a single person that I’m writing to now. I’ve mentioned my sons and yes, I know they read too. I’ve also mentioned God; not that he is they are [re-reading this 7/13/23, 5:47 pm, stricken removed, italics added; I am compelled to edit this line to be most accurate] a ‘reader’ of my blog, yet rather I know that I’m accountable for every word I choose to publish. My mother, my sister, my next-door neighbors, my friends, my former constituents, myself… who isn’t considered? That’s the point, this is what I would say to everyone.

I can’t quite think of the words, yet somehow by typing publicly, I’m trying not to lie to myself and I’m using everyone else to keep me honest. By “using”, yeah… I probably meant that in a way that sounds less good. That is what I’m getting out of this. Hopefully, it’s an even exchange and I’m providing some entertainment value for those that choose to read.

Let’s keep going down this list, next: wrong topic. I think I’ve always wanted to be an expert on something, to have other people regard me as smart rather than taking online tests to prove it to myself. Maybe that is just self-doubt, or maybe I should be doubted. In either case, I think the only thing I have a chance to be an expert on is myself, and even that’s going to take a really long time. I do however have nearly constant access to the source material, so there is a chance- eventually, I might write something really insightful about myself.

The proofreading and editing, that is how I usually sharpen a spear. A powerful well-written email? I’d write it one night then proofread it and send it in the morning (serious emails should arrive before 9 am I always thought.) It’s that second part, the ‘sharpening’ that bothers me now. To do that, you’ve got to have a point, a point you’re emphasizing in the edit. Somewhere, there is a potential for dishonesty there, somehow adding the polish reduces the authenticity.

Sure, the world is full of well-polished books; how many books are full of well, just real people? Sure there have been nights I drink before I write and get a bit sloppy. Plenty of nights I’ve smoked too much and can’t seem to remember how I started by the time I finish. Yet, that is my reality. Well, my reality as I’ve currently chosen it, or allowed it, or permitted it? (Deep thought, add to the list of maybe next time.)

Lastly, the worse thing I did back then is that I stopped. The deadline was reached, and I turned it in with all my errors, it didn’t work, so I stopped. Maybe that is why it didn’t work. I think so, if I would have written openly and honestly, kept the topic solely on myself, and forgotten about proofreading for the final production in favor of daily content, I think that all might have worked out differently by now.

However, I made a ton of mistakes ten years ago (and in the decade before and since!) So obviously, I should ignore what I heard and go back to an easy quiet non-written life. Looking back now, I’m kind of sad. The only stories I have now from the last decade are mostly skydiving, that is where I found confidence. Which, is really funny reading them now, as somewhere completely off base! Yet, that is what I had the confidence to publish.

I wish I could go back and remember more and other times better. I wonder if I had thought this much about ‘my story’ then, and made it a good one, how much the last chapters could have been better? I can’t get lost in that thought.. keep typing. More words will come.

Last year before I did start typing every day I used to have a lot of thoughts swirling in my mind. Doctors appointments and diagnoses, phone calls and bill reminders, and all kinds of things I was trying to keep straight. Always just waiting for that next conversation so I could talk it all out again before I’d have to stuff it all back inside my mind- always afraid to forget any details.

Always playing my hand close to my chest, afraid to let any piece of myself out, gosh what people might think? And so it was until after the last election, or maybe just a few days before – I remember I got into a Facebook discussion with Hakim. I really expressed how I felt, and I did it online where people could see it. And this, for me, is weird.  Emotions? How do I use these? Am I allowed to show them?

And look- other people do too, am I to respond to that feeling I read in someone else’s writing or just their words?

Before Vyvanse, never. Emotions were to be kept tightly regulated and never exposed. However, in retrospect, I think that had the opposite effect. I didn’t become an even-keeled person because I tried to pretend I could turn off my feelings. Depending on the decade I look at, well, it’s bad. Lacking emotional empathy allowed me to be an asshole repeatedly.

Sex, drugs, and rock & roll. My grandmother once told me those are the only reasons that kids move out. I did try to play guitar for years (and graciously ended my musical career after a single public performance of “Ode to Joy”,) but that was never my thing, way too busy with the first two.

It’s like waking up hungover on a Sunday morning. Replay the previous night’s events in your mind. Reliving the drama, then reminding yourself “Yeah, but I was drunk”. Then calling around to try to find more of the story and other perceptions. Except now I’m waking up from… thirty years? forty years? Good drugs now, I do like feeling emotionally balanced and able to hold a routine. I really should have tried this before.

I don’t know who might buy my books. Here’s a story of a guy. From Jackson. That… used to be?  That… will be again?

Idk. That’s all I’ve got; another routine day. Tired though. Lost an hour or two of sleep with the messaging with Chris last night. Texted with my youngest for a while today, and that was good. Worked on the books today too, have the first three processed through Vellum, and now loaded into Kindle Create. Next, I need to make some covers. Also, I need to decide if I’m going to do an ebook-only release first then go back to do softcovers for popular ones, or do ebook/softcover of each, then hardcovers if one ever takes off.

See there are three books now, yet averaging well over a thousand words a night, that is essentially another book I’m putting out every quarter. I am convinced that one day, I will do something worthy of an autobiography. When I get there, I want to remember how I got there. How many books will I need to write until I get on a bestseller list?

If I write every day, will I eventually get that good? This is that story… at this point, still a work in progress.

Time to rest.


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