Category Archives: Writing

Project Fail Better: day 3 check-in/end analysis

[This is being written two days after the fact and I’m backdating it to the correct date—that’s not a new thing: I do that with a lot of my posts.*]

Words written: 0
Time spent writing: 0
Project: (none)

Analysis: I write better in the nighttime, with headphones. It’s something I need to work on, since living the nocturnal life isn’t an option at this time/in this location.

Total words written over 3 2 days: 1759

Despite not even remembering what happened to throw me off on day 3, I think I can keep going with this. Overall, not a bad result. On some future date, I will do 3 Day Novel the right way and register and everything and try for real. I will do more of these Project: Fail Better things because they’re a good jump-start when it’s not November.

*Seekrit behind-the-scenes action, wow! ;P


Project Fail Better: day 2 check-in

Today was better, but only just. I would love if I could just pull the shut-in thing and for-really-real have nothing to do except write, but it’s probably better to learn how to Tetris the writing around my life insead of shutting everything else out (right?). I think not learning how to do that sooner is what’s been fucking me up so hard all this time.

Words written: 871
Time spent writing: 3 hours(?)
Project: Undertow

Playlist: Zeromancer, Julien-K

Analysis: I am still writing background/prologue information. At this point I’m resigned to it, as it seems as good a way into the story as any. Zeromancer is a band I attached to this story way back the first time I was trying to write it because I was listening to them so much, and it’s interesting how easy it is to get back into that mindset just by listening to the music I was listening to. Brains are so weird. I’m also thinking about a writer-friend who is somehow entangled with most of the trite, emotive music I used to listen to, so he’s coming into my head just as often as the story. Humans, amirite?

Distractions: YouTube, internet in general, today was Sunday lunch with family (it’s this thing I do most Sundays) and grocery shopping.

Tomorrow will be better.

Project Fail Better: day 1 check-in

Well, this is embarrassing. I’d say “This never happens to me, baby, I swear,” except that anyone reading here knows that’s the opposite of true.

Words written: 858
Time spent writing: 2 hours(?)
Project: Undertow (as planned)

Playlist: Depeche Mode, Zeromancer

Analysis: Did some outlining to ease myself in and wrote some background/prologue-type things, which I should have had sorted prior to the day, but whatever, that’s what happened.

Distractions: I made a static front page for this blog, and shuffled things around a bit. YouTube. Netflix. Also I started taking melatonin again last night, but stayed up for 3 hours after I took it until I was feeling sick, and woke up feeling sick, which is just unfair.

Tomorrow will be better.

Project Fail Better: (Unofficial) 3 Day Novel

PFB - 201709-234

I’ve decided to hijack the premise of the International 3 Day Novel Contest this year, mostly as a stand-in for some sort of external deadline, which seems to be the only thing that motivates me.*

This is in no way official: I’m not doing it the right way, I haven’t registered for the contest and I’m not participating in the contest—except that I’m trying to write ALL THE WORDS during the same 3 days other people will also be trying to write ALL THE WORDS, because that matters to me for some reason.**

Back later tonight to check in for day 1. (I hope I write something.)

*I need to work on that.
**I’m kind of superstitious, for an atheist.

How I sucked and failed at freelancing

In August I started freaking out about money and looking at job boards and I realized I have no skills that qualify me for anything that pays enough to live. Then I remembered an account I signed up on a freelancing board forever ago, signed in, looked at their FAQ, then started searching for projects.

I applied for everything I could find that I was qualified for (writing and editing, basically) that sounded interesting, with a slight consideration for getting paid an amount that would be worth my time. After 25 applications, I got an assignment writing a 10,000 word m/m werewolf romance story. Since I knew next to nothing about writing this genre,* I did some research—enough research to kill all the best ideas I had (they died in utero the outline phase because they were too trite and obvious to live). Shortly after realizing how out of my depth I was, I withdrew from the project. Coolies…

There were 2 main things I learned from all the time I spent haunting** this freelancing board:

1) Typical payment for ghostwriting there is fucking abysmal. The most common offer I saw was $10/1,000 words. $0.01 per word. The Writers Market (by way of Google) lists freelancing rates as ranging from $0.50-$3/word, with an average of $1.65/word.

2) Most of the projects posted there seem to be listed by people who have lost (or never had) the concept of what qualifies as “a novel.” Really, really common to see requests for someone to write a “20,000 word novel”—I don’t know if this is a correct use of the term ironic, but there’s something weird about seeing this so often after all the times random strangers would criticize me for participating in NaNoWriMo because “50,000 words isn’t really long enough to be a novel, is it? I mean, that’s really short!”

2b) Most of these projects were for ebooks. Published quick and dirty on Amazon… and these things are selling. (So now I kind of have a new idea for a side hustle? Maybe?)

I am still slinging applications on the freelancing board and trying to find something else that’s closer to what I can do. Failing that, I’m going to have to go get a real job.***

*And most of what I did know had to do with the “werewolf” part.
***Anyone who’s wondering how I’ve been paying my living expenses: mostly savings, some of it is on credit cards, school is paid for with student loans;**** I grew up poor and I’m very aware of how to not spend money I don’t have on stupid shit I can’t afford to impress people I don’t like.
****Student loans fucking terrify me even more than my credit cards.

Project: Fail Better (Take 2)

I am trying this again since it clearly didn’t work for me at all last time and doing things that clearly don’t work for me at all is definitely a pattern of mine.

How this works:

  • Timeframe: November 1 – December 31.
  • Word goal: 60,000 words of rough draft by end of timeframe.
  • Project: Death Drive.

Extra credit:

  • Try to rope other people into doing this with me.*
  • Fully outfit my freezing deathtrap into a functional writing garret.
  • Devise a writing schedule I can commit to.


  • 100% completion: the cheapest bottle of champagne I can find and I blow some cash on a one week vacation/writing retreat at a seaside cabin sometime in 2016.


*Because I’m super-into rope?