May 2018

First Draft H2B started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Writing Days…

This has remained a difficult month as my mum remains in the care of the NHS in the County Hospital here and remains fragile.

However, in the time between I have worked on what ever I could – and what ever I felt like – and that has included getting on with H2B. It now stands at about 5k – I would love one of those blog goal trackers in my side bar  but it is something else to get side lined with – digital bright shiny things 🙂 Continue reading

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( Version B As dictated to Dragon) :)

Or The One Where Dragon Sits On Me…

My writing day.

Dragon 13 professional has finally taken flight and it has, without a doubt, saved my life. Scott Baker has been appearing on a few pod casts recently to support the launch of his Dragon Training School and his book, and also which joined the dots for me because I had been trying to get Dragon to dictate or transcribe Q3 and Q4 and it was hopeless.

Several weeks ago I actually went and bought paper notebooks – because I decided it was I might as well give up trying to get my Indie dream to work – and just write more longhand – as this is obviously just a friggin hobby – so the stories don’t need typing up!

I took them back and got my money back – and that was hard because I wanted to sit under a tree and just write on a proper bit of paper with a friggin pen…

I resigned myself heavily to the fact that I was going to have to sit down and do the 1500 – 2000 – 3000 even words/day to get Q3 and 4 typed up – because there was no point spending money on external editing by an Editor if those things hadn’t happened.

There it was – and it was always going to stop me. The fact that it wasn’t typed up and the fact I don’t touch type.

So Five/Six weeks ago this worked out at 11 ‘finished’ words per minute typing and that was fast as I could get – ‘finished’ = typed, spell-checked but not line edited  (as-I-wrote-it) copy that is also divided into Word Chapter files and Scrivener, Ywriter, and Novel Factory and printed and filed – which means that my remaining 175 K was likely not to be done this side of next Easter!

The thing that was very, very doubtful was whether or not I was gonna be prepared, to do the typing at all and that meant at best I was going to have to move the deadline of being ‘ready’ by a year Sept.

In which case I felt I was gonna lose all my credibility not just with perhaps other people, but with myself – and that’s hard. You can’t push yourself when you don’t want to be pushed because you think you’re making a mistake worse.

SO I’d got Dragon 13 out the box again – I’d done plenty of training last year out and about with it and the transcription was quite good then – but – I was really horrified to find that after the first three or four weeks  I printed it up what had looked pretty clean on screen (using Grammarly and Word Spell Check with just a glance at it) Only to come back to in high spirits and see the stuff that I thought was fine was absolutely full of what I christened Dragon Shit, it was horrendous.

Yes – the spelling was fine – I had searched the things I knew it did like calling ‘Doug’ dog or dug – but other these things I was word blind to and couldn’t ‘search for’ and they weren’t highlighted as they weren’t ‘wrong’ . It had changed the tense regularly – messed up when, were, where and will and added whole sentences of correctly spelt gibberish that it thought I said – I picked it up first when I printed out and 2nd when I got my kindle to read it to me OUCH!!!!

I couldn’t understand it because this time last year when the Scrivener iPhone App came out I was using Dragon REC with my RODE MIC and it was really good and I was very accurate – with it like that.

I couldn’t understand why now it suddenly was atrocious. In fact, when I applied my equation to it factoring the massive clean up time – the best I could do was three finished words a minute. I mean, that’s terrible.

Enter Scott Baker doing the rounds on the podcasts – Jo Penn’s, Mell Hammond’s and the SPP’s and SPF’s – the breakthrough came when he pointed out the best thing to do was to plug in your good microphone to your iPhone and use the free recorder application because the speech recognition software in your iPhone is better than is on the laptop!

I realised that the thing that had changed was WHERE I was – last year I was outside walking about using the iPhone and this year I had plugged the RODE into the Laptop as I happened to be at my desk !!! At that moment, I had a Ka Ching moment and I plugged it in and away I went and I discovered that I could get anywhere between 25 and 75 ‘finished’ words a minute and over the last five weeks I have been hammering away at it and I have now completely transcribed the whole of the remainder of the series.

I have about 10 chapters at the end left just to go through and divide up and print because I was doing one scene/ time read in/ transcribe it/ lightly edit/ divide it up/ run upstairs and print and file away/ write the count down and move on; but it appeared that I had rather more time at the weekends than I thought to actually do some work – but when there was no transcription ready I couldn’t do it – so  had  3 days I think of just simply reading and then transcribing to get to this point where it’s now done.

It’s an amazing feeling to have achieved something has been hanging over my head since I finished writing it three years ago and to achieve it apparently ‘just like that’- even though I’m completely knackered – and throat sore – it has opened up a realm of possibilities that I just had never thought of and the major point is that now I probably can be in a position to have that series, mostly edited, covered and ready to go out by 2018 autumn – 13, 14 months time –

If I had given up failing this wouldn’t be the case… but –

There’s no reason why I now can’t do that other than my own fear and inhibitions which have all come crowding round me. I must admit I am getting a whole range of negativity – might succeed/ might fail/ look stupid/it’s rubbish/ how embarrassing you now have to do this etc etc are coming at me thick and fast at the moment and I’m trying to deflect that.

So yeah that’s been a lifesaver – Dragon 13 professional and my iPhone and Scott Baker have saved my life. 🙂

I noticed that Scott had said something else that latched in my brain; I had a notification from the iPhone -like you do – which said that Dragon REC App might not work when the phone updated…and I know that Dragon is going towards a subscription thing for recording microphone and etc and it’s quite expensive and it isn’t as accurate etc etc and as far as I can tell is very expensive. . . So I figured that that is a distinct possibility that it might be the case that the Dragon record thing might not work with the iPhone at some point in the future – and also I’m very aware that my iPhone might pack up – in which case, I’d be stuffed and trussed and in the oven. . .  I noticed what Scott said about using and ordinary dictaphone and I remembered that when I bought  Dragon- I also bought a dictaphone.

It was £9.99 on Amazon and is a tiny little thing it’s not even got a brand I think it’s called Steel, back in the day I had no idea what I was doing and it was still in the box in the desk. I fished it out and tried it and it works as good as the iPhone J

So there’s no reason why – should anything happen to my iPhone I will be stuffed J

Scott Baker also brought a Dragon training course – and I’ve already bought it because he’s already helped me and there is going to be more!!!

On the train of thought about life without an iPhone I have also taken a good look at my old camera – a little Olympus Traveller 14/25 – I saw that Darren Rowse’s team have a 31ay spin off about taking better photos and learning to use your camera so I printed out my 65 page manual and signed up. One thing that gets me blogging is activity and a picture – when riding the horse I can’t use the iPhone as it doesn’t have a wrist strap even to guard against it falling and it is quite big to hold etc – my camera just hangs on the saddle in a tough bag and if something happens it isn’t my life handler that has just cantered off without me or been trodden on….:)

Now I have achieved the impossible type up and publication is a real possibility if I show up and keep working on it I think it is time to get on with the two big courses I have but haven’t started – 1st 10,000 Readers and Mark Dawson’s similar one – both very expensive courses I got  because I think that they will both be utterly relevant to what need to do but haven’t started as they weren’t relevant to ‘typing/transcribing’.

Holly Lisle has plenty to keep me busy as well that is new for me and I found a ‘new guy’ – Scott Teague, another from the Alli website and he’s got lots of how-to videos -all very pertinent to my next stage/steps and he has a great podcast I am already binging on J

Goals and Plans?

My long-term goals – and my short-term goals – have largely featured the fact that this ‘thrilling’ 350,500 words had to be typed up!

It’s been a feature of my goal setting for three years and was finally what made me jump from a day job I really enjoyed as a carer for our local authority Social Services…And it also played a part in me getting rid of my sheep flock and ‘standing down’ as an active farmer.

Now that mass of words is transcribed – bar enough of the rest of the Quest series and Hacked that I can use them when I’m playing with Scott’s course so I’ve got something fresh to do  that isn’t  huge – I need to re calibrate everything.

There’s also the fact at the moment I have not finished writing the first drafts of Hacked Apart or Hacked To Bits – but then my goal for them was to finish by Sept 2017 – and that IS still doable and I am still on course…

Editor Eileen is saying that she will invoice me next week for the story edit read through of Hacked Off – I’m very keen to keep that going just on the story level. It will help me with HA and H2 B but mostly it will help with the revision and editing of the Quest series  as I am bound at this stage to have made similar mistakes.

I want to be revising and editing Quest from Sept onwards – and booking someone for the long haul of editing that series with me these next 14 – 16 months while I also  . . SO those of the ways my goals are starting to re- emerge so far

I’ve repurposed the Extensor laptop with Vista as a second screen. It might not last forever, but it should last for a while.  I threw out lots of software from it and  I’ve just put back in the software that I actually need so that when I’m using Dropbox so it will open the files – it’s also – I think going to really bring in the capacity to have a whiteboard on the table because I got Scapple and Free Mind on it and at the very least I can put either the to-do lists for plot points or ideas up on it – so I don’t have bits of paper everywhere – it’s is not wholly portable because it it’s too old now and it needs it needs power, but equally it fits the space and is big enough for me to see things clearly and has a brain – unlike a separate screen.  And yes, it’s got Vista so – bits of it may stop working at some point but as long as I don’t do any actual writing on it – it will be fine J It is important to have a bigger second screen because my eyesight is not good.

I have also got around the horrendous experience of finding my Broad Band was too slow – and the 4Gee too expensive – for me to move stuff out of Dropbox to work on my spare machines with when my main machine needed a fan clean – by getting 2 separate Seagate 1TB hard drives – I use one one week and one the next so the off site stored one is never more than a week behind

SO/ 🙂 That’s my update for my writing day…

This morning  I’ve dictated this and I will go in  and  edit it – take the horse bit and post that in ‘Riding’ and this bit I will post later  in ‘Writing ‘ – what I want to do is go in and actually sit and write a ‘pantsed’ normal blog update with the same subject – and then I will post this ‘dictated to Dragon version with a light edit’ later just to compare the two –

If you have read both you can see what I see – I talk way too much!!!!!!!!!!

So if I am thinking of using Dragon with a few plot cards in my pockets to do first draft on – if it follows this non fiction voice/style difference then the ‘voice’ of HA and H 2 B will change drastically and they will rival War and Peace in length!!! Because in a 38 min walk I ‘wrote 4270 words!!!!! Happy Days!!!

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Writer’s Retreat…

2016-10-07 12.13.47.jpgPeaceful – with view.

Writing Week…

Good place for inspiration –  which was just as well – as it turned out I needed some for the  WIP I am story editing right now. Much walking about the fields these last few weeks talking to Dragon and then – depending on the Dragon’s ‘windyness’  editing the transcriptions  – new addition to the Tech Dept’ was a tiny fur thing for the MIC – looks like a dead mouse on my jacket – but it dealt with the growling wind that Dragon was suffering with 🙂 I have less transcription editing to do now and I can actually ‘see’ my ideas.

Next step will be to work them into the plot on scene cards – and play about till I am happy – then get on with the rewrite. I would like to have this draft done by the end of this year.

Reading this week?

‘How To Blog A Book’ by Nina Amir – very interesting and giving me ideas for this book I am  editing now and for the non fiction projects I have on the go at the moment.

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Writing Week…

Spent week doing other things…ice horse

Put together a sound track for the novel Hacked Off that I can revise to as it helps me keep the tone and pace I want – and chose some photos to use for potential cover shots from Fotilla  as it helps to see ‘a product’ ASAP rather than a pile of paper work I think. 🙂

I also spoke to local web design engineer about the Blue Host situation and he said no – it sounds a lot of time to sort out – may be best left as it is. Mark Bede Black and White Computers is due in Friday to have a look at another issue with this machine – so I may ask him. But opting out of Blue Host may take longer than I want the sites to be down and combining the three accounts to one with Blue Host may not give me quite the result I want either apparently -but I have yet to follow that through.

Take out from this experience is…

When you don’t know what you don’t know it is hard to ask the right questions or realise your knowledge gap.

My experience with ‘Idiots Guides’ are that no matter how Idiot proof they think they are – they are not THIS Idiot proof…

Revision of Hacked Off?

Some revision done – but with husband now home for a few weeks – my working day is broken up to very small chunks of time – which I am out of the habit  of using to work in and my early morning long session now has another person shuffling about making toast in!! Like now. 🙂

My take out from this experience…

My experience has shown me that not panicking about this is the most productive way to deal with it – and accept that for a few weeks I can look at the work through a different perspective – planning a day trip to the setting of Hacked Off for a start.

I have also bought some Royalty Free stock photos from Fotilla that I am going to play with to make a place holder cover for Hacked Off so it can go on the Book Table here with ‘Coming Soon!’ tagged near by.

I will use Simon Whistler’s Rocking Self Publishing free video tutorials that he has to do this because it worked – I need to schedule a day to re watch the lessons and set it up

One thing I am still working out is the photo on the FB page issue – hence I will have to remember to post this separately tomorrow – if I bother to use FB at all this week – It may be on the list to ask when Mark comes up to sort out the setting in my Email program that is temperamental right now.

Looking ahead alreadyWater horse 4

I am thinking about what comes after revision to get Hacked Off  into book shape so I think next writing week will constist of brain storming and research and an overhaul of my wall charts that layout my To Do list and Progress chart for it. Happy Days. 🙂

 

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‘Mommie’s Ho – ome…’

I have no doubt that this will be so!

I suspect my Writing Week will consist of little more than endless rewrites of To Do lists and To Do To lists which obviously may involve wax and pins if we haven’t managed to get The House out of Recovery and it isn’t breathing on it’s own – or She Who Is Returning doesn’t have floor boards in her room still.

I am taking the cowards way out and writing this a head of time  – despite my dislike of all things automated – because then I will be looking forward to the next week and getting back to work.

I am always optimistic – and I have seen a bean bag chair that will ‘just go’ in my new writing cell and may by the time this posts I will have recovered from the white paint ‘snow blindness’ I suspect I am about to be inflicted with.

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The Joy Of Writing Software…

The Joy Of Writing Software.
Not. Like a horse that drops a shoulder ‘for no apparent reason’ and sends you flying because it can so writing software can cause painful landings, loss of function and total debilitation ‘for no reason’ because it can. In the same way it makes everyone else wince and say ‘Ooo Nasty…’
Having been pitched into the black void by Ywriter once before I always do everything twice and use Scrivener as well – even when I am tired and it seems silly – after all will anyone ever read this stuff? Will I ever finish the projects? Well not with Ywriter I won’t. This time it is being turned out to grass – those projects of mine it hasn’t scattered this time I can still use – but not add to. Scrivener and I will carry on alone – yes I could likely get my stuff back together if I take a few weeks out or give it to some one to sort out for me but really why would I bother? If I don’t know why it did what it did or if I did or didn’t do something – how will I ever be sure it won’t do it again? Scrivener is much more user friendly and is happy to be saved and copied and backed up and carried around – if it was live on line like Evernote and could sync it would be perfect – but it will do till Holly Lisle gets One Stop up and going out of Beta.
The work of typing up Q2 moves on despite the hiccup above – pick self up get back on horse – put lemonade in the glass half empty and type on… Happy days:)
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Still Thinking This Through

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Good place to think

Looking, listening and learning – what do I see? Hear? Know now? For Sure?

If I am going to sell ebooks.
1. I need books – finished, revised and beta read. Formatted, jacketed and I need to be able to upload them to the places where they can be sold.
2. I need a self hosted web page/s if I am going to run a shop for direct down loads and giveaways.
3. I am going to need a blog front to create interest and do all the things blogs do – link to Face book and Twitter etc.
4. It would be sensible to make it all look similar – ‘professional identity’ Back grounds, pictures etc with all the expected widgets and gizmos and buttons.

 

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Then we get into SEO  – well I will – when I get that far.
Most of that makes sense to me as I familiarise myself with it and mostly just requires me to just do it, and then get on with writing more books.
But in Guru Land and Advisor Plains and Coach Worlds where I  wander wondering at the moment – I am starting to see issues and to feel uncomfortable. Or may be I am just being British.
The primary sources have been in this game from the start – highly successful now – they are no longer alone – they don’t rely on the free third party software they suggest – their teams use the Pro versions – if they don’t use their own designed in house.
 They don’t sit down and write every day several times a day they ‘fill buckets’ and ‘schedule content’ – they launch ever tinier bits of ‘How To’ with mind trapping hooks, wallet opening, loan inducing marketing strategy – they talk of scarcity and of making the mark feel they belong to a community… they talk about peddling your message…  Of ‘monetizing platforms’ to the point you don’t have anything to sell of your own – you just recommend other folks stuff or  carry advertisements… reminds me of that song ‘Money For Nothing’ and everything is ‘Amazing’ and ‘Super’ and they want you to be ‘a good follower’.
 Why? They didn’t follow anyone. This brings me to the second and third tier guru, advisor or coach aka some one like you and me who has a product to sell being encouraged to pay money to learn to imitate someone else – the fact is that the up shot of my several months of study on this – is that I now see the genuine folk I thought were real are actually preprogrammed and scheduled team auto responses cleverly packaged and aimed at me – so do I really want to schedule email, Facebook and Twitter comments throughout the day or worry about Thursday’s ‘content?’ Do I scour other folks sites to parasite my blog posts off their headlines or just pass them on? Or do I speak when I have some thing to say? Get on with writing my books and getting them ready to sell?
I have to say at this point I don’t know – I keep sheep I am not one – BUT all the folks I have come across are genuine and generous and if that translates to them making mega bucks by selling a tiny product for a few ‘bucks’ millions of times does that make them wrong or make the advice bad? No it doesn’t.

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It seems to me – at this point in time – that most are saying the same things –
1. Don’t wait for perfect – go with what you have or have decided on and alter it later.
2. Product and Marketing are equally important – there is no one without the other.
3. No matter how big these people turn out to be they all say start using free stuff and don’t give up the day job with out a plan – and as you grow buy in what you need in terms of design and help even – heaven forbid – content, then look at giving up paid employment.
This all seems perfectly solid, sensible and responsible advice and rather at odds with the ‘Money For Nothing’ content products messages that seep in.
So I find my self deep in hooks lines and sinkers and trying to clear wood from trees to see which bit of the jungle out here I am in now.
1. What tech stuff do I need for a frame work?
2. What buttons will I need to get pushed?
3. What strategy for marketing will I choose?
4. Who am I?
5. What am I?
6. Why do I want to do this?
7. What do I want to do?
Answers 4 – 7 Marie-Claire is a writer who wants to sell the books she writes.

 

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Getting lost in my thoughts.

Any space is the right space to write.

Any space is the right space to write.

Warm enough to start working out side means juggling the delicate balance between the glaring sun on screen with chilly shaded fingers and both with the distance from my hub – so I tend to pick up and move regularly depending on the task in hand.

Today’s task was more research about web sites, blogging and about platform building generally and more specifically Michael Hyatt’s Platform University which looks like it is gearing up for a launch again soon. I am open minded about joining in this time around as there is much to be learnt and given that the building work begins on the house in a week, actual writing and revision will be hard to slip into. I might as well use the time to learn what I can so I can apply it later…

Between times I have been checking over some launch copy/ email that is being used by a student of Holly Lisle’s course that she runs in conjunction with Jeff Walker’s PLF – directing that at Indie Publishing and launching books specifically. It is interesting to be able to see it all play out and what works and what doesn’t do it for me.

My original goal for my Young Adult series was to launch this coming Christmas but then the Rayburn broke and it has triggered the major house overhaul we are about to get into – so I made my peace with that and regrouped setting a new goal to launch Christmas 2016 and using the time now to look at platforms, marketing, design and formatting – things that I had comfortably been avoiding thinking about till after the revision stage. I have found it is sharpening my focus and challenging me to look hard at the story material I have yet to revise, to present it in the most effective form I can to suit a future ‘today’s market’…  Had I revised as planned, I would have been left trying  to sell yesterday’s book in yesterday’s way. Food for thought.

I follow the free stuff from these above mentioned folk – and use Holly’s paid for courses but am not affiliated to any of them. If that ever changes I will say so.

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