State of Things: May 2017 in Review

This month I’m breaking the standard format for the monthly State of Things report. May has been an atypical month, and June promises to be unusual as well. This was the month that I passed half a million words written year-to-date. Dancing Lights Press just celebrated its first anniversary yesterday. I’m getting the first wave of print books ready for release. There are things in the pipeline that I haven’t announced. I am, frankly, overwhelmed with work and facing deadline pressures. So let’s keep this short and sweet, to insure that I have time to take a brief nap before I get back to work!

My Manifesto of the Moment

I am happy and grateful that my life can be pared down to sitting at a laptop with a cup of coffee. Keeping my material needs to a minimum  allows me to focus on the things that are most important to me. Living a simple life keeps the right emphasis on my career, my relationships, and my lifestyle.

I am the one who defines what success means for me. While my company isn’t where I want it to be yet, I have survived my first year in business. I wrote and published 39 titles in that year, and all of them have been best sellers. My wife Katie and I have lived solely on the money I have earned as a writer. Having unfulfilled goals keeps me motivated, enthused, and moving forward.

I am going to accomplish my broader, long-term goals no matter what anyone else thinks, or says, or does. This is because they’re my goals, not theirs. I’m the one with skin in the game. No one else has to be happy with my life, what I do with it, or the way I live it. While it’s wonderful when other people believe in me and show their support, my mission and vision don’t change when they don’t.

I will continue to kick ass and take names, because I have things that I want to do with my life. My success is the only worthwhile response to the haters, trolls, and other toxic people in the world. They haven’t achieved a fraction of what I have, yet still feel entitled to express their opinions and mistakenly feel that I have an obligation to listen to them.

I Write Because…

The month-long blog series covering all of the reasons why I write is being expanded, re-edited, and turned into an ebook. It was an eye-opening experience for me to write. Not only did I have to explore my motivations, I gained a new appreciation for everything that being a writer and living the writer’s life has done for me. Read this one not to see the answers that I came up with for myself, but to help you take a hard look at your own journey as a writer.

I Write Because… will only be available at Amazon, so watch for it in the coming weeks.

7 Day Setting Design

The next month-long blog series is based on an experiment I conducted last month. It was based on Dean Wesley Smith’s book Writing a Novel in Seven Days: A Hands-On Example, but instead of a novel I tried to complete the first draft of a roleplaying game setting. It was an interesting experience, and I learned a lot of things that I will be incorporating into my work flows. You can read about it starting today.