Fuel for writing

So, I’ve been trying to work on Untrue Tales… Book Four for the last …month and a half or so, but not making much in the way of progress since Vegas. Part of this is to do with other distractions, priorities, and time-sinks in my life. Part of it has to do with procrastination, generally. I’ve certainly (as I said) been working through ideas for it, which is better than simply setting it aside and ignoring it. Alas, progress has been grindingly slow. Like, less than 1300 words in August slow.

I know that for Book One and Book Two (not to mention: Forget What You Can’t Remember, More Lost Memories, all versions of Lost and Not Found, and a good chunk of Dragons’ Truth) I got my most productive work done while spending time at a coffee shop all day, drinking overly-sweet coffee drinks. ((For Book Three, I wrote the bulk of the book in a single 60-hour session, in my bedroom, while using modafinil to stay awake and only white tea to drink.)) While in Vegas I had 3 days to write. The first day I tried writing in the hotel room, drinking water, and barely passed 1k words all day. The second day I went to Starbucks and, after spending an hour updating podcasts/etc, I tried to get by on cheap iced tea drinks… slow. Then a bit after mid-day I ordered a super-sweet espresso drink I’ve dubbed ‘liquid awesome’ and proceeded to write at over 850 words/hour for the remainder of the day. The third day, feeling the crunch on my wallet from a few of days in Vegas, I tried switching to the cheaper drip coffee and iced tea, and only wrote ~1500 words all day (though that’s partially because I spent a couple hours chatting with a stranger).

What I’d like to be able to do is to take my laptop to a local coffee shop in the morning, sit all day drinking fancy drinks (and eating coffee-shop sandwiches/etc) and working on the book, and repeat that day after day until at least Book Four is done. ((Preferably until Book Six is done.)) I wrote most of Book Two over about a week of such days, and expect to be able to repeat that performance for the rest of the Untrue Tales… series. The only (big) problem standing between me and this goal is money. As you know from my other posts, this writing gig doesn’t exactly pay the bills. Not even close. And while my wife’s income is sufficient to cover our monthly expenses, allowing me to be a full-time creative, after going to Vegas and San Diego Comicon this summer our “disposable” money is used up for now. So while we aren’t behind on any bills, and we can afford groceries, there’s no extra money (at least for a couple of months) for spending days/weeks in coffee shops.

You can help, and I’ve thought of a couple of possible options:

First, easiest, is that you could buy the $50 signed paperback copy of the first trilogy of the Untrue Tales… series from modernevil.com. I currently have 6 copies of this edition “in stock.” Sales of the last couple copies have to pay to re-order,  so they don’t help as much with coffee unless even more people order. I also have a limited number of copies of the not-currently-in-print individual paperback first editions of Book One, Book Two, and Book Three available signed for $25 each. Order any of these 4 books directly from modernevil.com at these prices and I will personally sign it (and can personalize it) and ship it to you, then add you to the acknowledgements / Special Thanks page of the second trilogy (and of the individually available eBooks)… and use the proceeds to do the coffee shop thing, for as long as the money lasts.

Second, if you run a local (Phoenix, AZ), independent coffee shop (or are friends with someone who does) and would like to sponsor or co-sponsor my writing, I would be glad to give you my loyalty, Special Thanks in the books, and lots of mentions on twitter/facebook/yelp/this-blog/my-podcasts as I work on, publish, and later podcast each book remaining in the series. I realize this isn’t a traditional way to advertise, and doesn’t reach a vast/huge/mass-media audience, but the majority of my paperback sales are hand-sales in the Phoenix area, most of my facebook friends are in Phoenix, and a reasonable chunk of my twitter followers are in Phoenix. If you’d like to be seen as an author-friendly place to be, this could help. Even something as simple as first-drink-free/day would go a long way to stretching the dollars contributed by supporters who take advantage of the first option, though if you’re a coffee-shop-owner and a reader, I’d be glad to work out a books-for-coffee exchange, too.

Third, even if you can’t afford a signed paperback right now (or already have one and can’t think of anyone to gift a copy to), or aren’t a coffee shop owner, you can help: Spread the word. Link to this post. Give people my email address. Tell someone at your favorite Phoenix-area indie coffee shop you know an author looking for a spot, or just tell me what/where your favorite local coffee shop is so I can go talk to them myself. Tell your friends who read books about my books, and about this offer.

Until something happens on this, or until November (when I should begin to have a bit of “disposable” income again), I’ll keep slogging on at home, a couple hundred words at a time. The current setup of my desk/home, while great for podcasting, just doesn’t seem conducive to writing books in the Untrue Tales… universe.

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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.

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