As June comes to a close, my word count for the year is 209745. This is mostly new fiction, between a first draft of Dragonsgate, 14 chapters of Nobody Nowhere, and lots of false starts and test chapters on other projects. At the beginning of the year, I still thought I'd be writing a Smash Lass novel called Smash, and I may one day, but for now it's gone and forgotten. I also wrote several false starts for a younger reader novel called Squire. It's also set aside and mostly forgotten. In non fiction, I've written several chapters or fragments for my writing book, The Stuff. It's very much an alive project, but a ton of what I've written is probably unusable. I've been approaching the book as a series of essays, but am starting to see that, despite being non-fiction, it really needs a plot. There should be a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it needs some twists along the way. I wrote a new first chapter for the book last week and feel like I might finally have a handle on how to make the book a page turner. I also think that my previous takes on writing advice have been somewhat serious and dry. My new vision incorporates much more humor.
My word count is also including some non-revenue oriented writing, like these blog posts, some written interviews I've done, and some of the writing-related work I've done on organizing projects for the Friends of the Library. (For instance, writing the rules for the costume contest at the Comic Fair.)
But, still, I'm not happy to be over 40k words under goal for the year. On the other hand, I'm not panicked either. My year got off to a slow start, with really low selling cons in January and February, and the first BookBub ad I ever ran that had no long trail off at all. On previous ads, I had elevated sales for up to six months. The last one I ran had a one month boost, then a rapid reversion to what I'd been selling before. So, in March, as I was really starting to dip into my savings, I took a temp job. I really thought the project would end in early May, but it ran through the third week of June. Ironically, once I took that job, the writing income panic went away as bigger cons started kicking in. But, it's nice going into the rest of they year with my savings account boosted up a bit. I've got some good sized cons lined up for July and August. September doesn't have any huge events on the calendar, but October and November should be good, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this year I won't have two events in a row cancelled by hurricanes. It's the December through February window that's challenging, both for finding events of any size, and for not having those events canceled by snowstorms (which also happened to me this year).
Of course, the best cure for the winter con slump is going to be to have books releasing during that time frame to boost my online revenue, and I'm on target to do that. Getting in 300k words in the second half of the year requires an average of 12k words a week. Not very daunting. Now, it's time to wrap up this blog post, and get back to cranking out chapters!
Welcome to my worlds!
I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!