The Mayonnaise Murders Part 2; countdown to completion

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If all goes well – and this is the day I choose to think positive – then my first draft of “The Mayonnaise Murders Part 2” should be finished by the end of this upcoming week. I’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping to a schedule of writing 2,000 words per day on my fiction alone, 5 days a week,  and I must say it does seem to be paying off. I think it’s been a little over two months now that I’ve dedicated myself to this regimen after reading the book “Write, Publish, Repeat,” which gave me more inspiration, motivation and ideas for getting my work out there and creating a sustainable life as a self-published professional writer of fiction than just about anything else I’ve ever read on the subject.

There was a lot of good advice in the book, but what stuck with me was the importance of not just writing often but writing a lot, as in volume. And the best way to do this is not to edit yourself along the way (at least not when writing the first draft), but just spill it all out. Let the imagination out of the attic and let it run wild. You can clean up the mess later. What this does – which is pretty much what the authors said it would do – is:

1) Effectively destroy writer’s block like a battering ram through a toothpick fortress

2) Make you write more books in less time, good  books, which is important because many readers today aren’t willing to wait a year or more for the sequel.

I’m not sure I’ll ever approach their writing volume (because the amount of words these guys crank out per day suggests masochism), but I am definitely sold on the idea that the writing world has changed to a remarkable degree, even in just the past decade, to the point where agents are no longer a requirement to become a successful author, and being self-published is no longer the mark of a not quite legitimate, marginally talented writer who couldn’t get published any other way. Now it’s a way to have more control over what you write and to keep more of the proceeds in the process. Of course, the major hurdle is marketing – and I do mean major  hurdle, as I am finding out – but if you stay consistent and productive then your chances of succeeding improve noticeably. As they point out, you have about a one in a million shot of getting your self-published novel noticed if you just have one self-published novel out there. Short of a signed endorsement from God, nothing is likely to happen. But the more books you write, and the more consistently and intelligently you market those books then the more of a chance you have.

Of course, nothing can help sell a really bad book. And nothing in life is guaranteed except death. But (naturally) I’d like to think that my second volume in the Mayonnaise Murders series (right now I’m aiming for a trilogy) is good stuff that will catch fire once I get it in front of the right audience. (which was something else they said, namely locating your target audience and knowing how to reach out to and attract them). But here’s the thing, which I also picked up from WPR, and that is that as a writer you really do need to be somewhat delusional in the best possible way. And actually I’d say that about most artistic types. You really have to believe in your stuff, to the point where you’re willing to keep writing (or painting, or playing music) even when there’s very little to non-existent applause. You have to learn to be your own cheerleader and know within yourself that you’ve really got something here.

And then hope to hell you’re right.

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Writer and musician.

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