Back on Track

A month or so after I posted about making time, which I really was doing, I stopped making time. Writing ground to a halt. Words stopped coming because I wasn’t at my chair, making them up.

Work got busier and more stressful, which I didn’t think was possible. I was already working some nights and weekends (which for a 8-5 isn’t supposed to happen). And becoming mentally drained from account retention left me in a zombie-like state at night. In addition to work, I adopted a dog, which consumes extra time in the morning, evening, and before bed.

Excuses, excuses.

Only they’re not. An endless flow of life and life changes can keep you from writing (drawing, photography, or other creative endeavor, hobby, or important activity). For me, the biggest difference isn’t that there were more distractions or new ones. No, the biggest difference is how I dealt with them.

  • I started ignoring the pop-up reminders in my phone to write and even deleted the blocked time from my calendar.
  • I didn’t have my laptop out at lunch or after walking the dog.
  • I didn’t escape to the cafe to write at night because I didn’t want to leave the pooch alone any longer
  • And didn’t focus enough to write if I stayed home and watched TV, played games, or read a book.

In short, I stopped making time. Writing wasn’t my focus. I let everything else get in the way. Well, enough with excuses. I’m taking back writing time and going to make this happen.

  1. Blocked Time – to write after work 3 times a week in evenings, and 2/week on weekends. (With reminder pop ups)
  2. Weekly Goals – Nothing lofty to start with, merely 2000 words a week. When I hit this with regularity, I’ll bump it up.
  3. Accountability – Let my writer friends know my goals so I can feel accountable when I hit them or not. Posting my goals on my website might help too.
  4. Avoid Meta-writing – which means cut back on writing-related activities and actually crank out new words or revise old ones. Blogging, critiquing, researching, and other writing-related activities seem important, but I’m not looking to publish any of those.

And BIC, Butt In Chair, because words don’t write themselves.


I Don’t Have Time, I Make Time (redux)

(Originally posted on NewGuyDave LiveJournal May 28th, 2012)

Lately, the day job has left me with waxing and waning (mostly the latter) motivation and energy in the evenings. I can’t let that keep me from penning the next modest Canadian novel. If I let the day go, hoping to write, it won’t happen.

I used to tell people I didn’t wait for inspiration, quoting Peter DeVries, “I only write when I’m inspired, and I make sure I’m inspired every morning at 9am.” Like I didn’t wait for inspiration, I shouldn’t wait for motivation. (snip)

Thus, I’m booking time in my schedule for writing (and exercise). It’s the only way to get them done. Mon/Wed/Fri nights are for the gym and friends, Tues/Thurs night and Sat/Sun AM are for writing.

How do you get your writing time in? What’s your plan? How do you follow up? Do you give yourself treats for writing?

Cheers, Dave

Steampunk Anthology Paperbacks Now Available

McNally Robinson is carrying the trade paperback version of Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens. Ideally, I’d love for you to support Canada’s Largest Independent Book Store with locations in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and New York City (McNally Jackson). Pick one up in store, or order it directly through their website.

McNally Robinson Clockwork Universe

Otherwise, click the Amazon link below to get your trade paperback copy from there. As of today, Chapters Indigo still doesn’t show any paperbacks available in their search, only the Kobo version. Maybe I can get some of the Winnipeg and Calgary stores to carry a few copies.

For all of you outside Canada and the US, or those looking for signed copies, I’m checking into prices of bookfolds and shipping. I might open up shop to ship books from my house.



Review: Thunder Road by Chadwick Ginther

Honestly, I was a little nervous about this book. I’d met Chadwick Ginther through friends at a writing convention. He’s a great guy, from the same province, writing about my hometown. Instant friends. When I asked him what his book was about, it sounded pretty cool: Urban Fantasy with Norse Mythology. Except I don’t read a lot of Urban/Contemporary Fantasy.

Thunder Road

I bought Thunder Road and got it autographed. Then I put off reading it for a couple reasons. How do you read your friend’s book and then review it? What if it stinks? Okay, maybe not that extreme. What if you just don’t like it? What it’s not that polished because it’s a small Canadian press?

What if, what if. Shut up and read the damn book. And am I ever glad I did.

This was an excellent story, engaging from the onset and didn’t let up at all. Dialog had me laughing regularly. I mean, you could read this for the banter with Loki alone (no joke).

The production value was no different than a book out of NYC, with clean, crisp pages and well-edited prose. Canadian small press? I wouldn’t have noticed. My bad for thinking otherwise.

The Norse Mythology is blended in without distracting and adds mystery and wonder, keeping you guessing at what each faction’s next move will be. Some author’s love to hammer you (no pun intended) with italicized words from history/myth and this wasn’t so bad.

Ted Callan’s tale reads like a Sword & Sorcery and reminded me of Robert E. Howard’s younger Conan. Where Ted lacks in experience and guile, he makes up for it with heart and sheer will. And he might be selfishly motivated, but finds a way to help the greater good.

Looking forward to the next book.


Kindle-Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs Aliens

Great news! The mass market paperback books of Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens shipped from the publisher this week to all the Kickstarter backers. If you were one of those fortunate to donate to the startup of the project, you’ll soon be able to read the book. I’m can’t wait for my copies in the mail.

For everybody else there’s still hope. Trade paperbacks will be available shortly. If you’re an e-reader person, the Kindle version is available for download. Just use the link below to go straight to Amazon.

Awaiting arrival… of the Steampunk vs Aliens anthologies.

Clockwork Universe Cover Flat

When aliens reach Earth, they encounter the clockwork mechanisms and Victorian sensibilities of a full-blown steampunk civilization. Inspired by the classic science fiction adventure tales of the nineteenth century, leading fantasy and science fiction authors will bring us tales of first contact with a twist, as steam power meets laser cannons . . . and dirigibles face off against flying saucers.

Links for Canada and USA below:

More links will follow for Chapters and McNally Robinson.

Have fun and #ReadOn.