Checking in on a few things:
Lent: It went very well, giving up sugar. I learned a great deal about myself, my ability to resist temptation (even serious, practically impossible temptation, like a bowl of cookie dough that I was assigned to brew up), and what happens with me physically if I restrict myself. I didn’t lose a lot of weight, only a couple of pounds, and I didn’t feel dramatically better. But I did feel like it was good for me both physically and psychologically, and I intend to continue seriously restricting sugar in the future.
Patreon: the first of the paid stories went live on Friday last, and paid me $350. The first day, I got 14 patrons, and things petered out after that, but they picked up again right before the launch of the story, and I’m sitting at 24 patrons now and $358 per story, with a secondary pay (second story of the month) at $192, which means that if I release two stories a month, I will get about $5000 a year. For short stories, that’s not bad at all. I still do not have a stranger as a patron, but I do have one patron that I haven’t seen in 28 years, so I’m thinking that’s pretty close.
I am a working writer. I get paid, and paid consistently, for writing.
The story I released is called Cheating Death, and it’s a novella about a half-Choctaw woman named Sara Elizabeth Twopenny Rogers, who is forced to go to work for Death himself, hunting down people who’ve “cheated death.” It’s pretty bad, as jobs go, but she’s good at it, until her latest partner gets in the way, and their assignment makes things even worse. Still, how bad can things get when you’re already dead?
It’s a universe and a set of characters I think has legs. I’m writing another short about Sara right now.
I have also been editing (first pass) The Vortigern Jack, and I have edits back on Stolen Away, from multiple sources. Since I’ve never gotten to that point with any other story, I don’t quite know how to proceed. I will, though.
What I desperately need is a cover art designer. I need someone to build covers for all this material I’m writing. I’ve tried a couple of individuals, but none of them have panned out.
Writing progress: I have written two hundred fifty thousand words in the last five months, almost exactly. I have written every day for a hundred days, and a little bit more. I average about 1700 words a day, and have done for five months. I always meet the 50,000 monthly target, although it is always a struggle and it has been especially difficult the last two months.
Keeping to this schedule, though, makes writing enough stories to keep the conveyor belt moving on the Patreon work a simple matter. I like doing it. I like being able to make myself write every day and write 50,000 words a month. It’s enough to allow me to be a serious working writer. Integrating editing is the next challenge, but it’s the last one. If I can master it, I will become a true working novelist, not just a working writer.