Getting Back to ROW

Hi there! Hey – got a secret for you…

I’ve been gone for a month.

But, I’m back. The explanation: Life Happens. In this case, a time of transition. For my family. For my direction in life. For my writing career. A choice to become a professional. A time to recalibrate.

It is very me. You know that saying I have:

“Only the moment seems eternal and in a moment everything will change.”

Sometimes the first moment requires us to step back from our worlds in order to gain perspective. Clarity. In the hopes that the next moment will propel us forward stronger and better for the experience.

This is precisely why I have been virtually non-existent for the past month. But, the second moment has come and I’m happy to say I’m back with a renewed purpose. A clearly defined direction. An end goal in mind.

So, here we go.

I’m redefining my goals.

But, before I head into them, one update to the former ones. I did finish Writing Love by Alexandra Sokoloff. Alex’s writing style connected with me and changed the way I think about writing. Right down to my method. Which, thanks to her, I now have one that is truly working for me.

I cannot. Possibly. Recommend. This Book. More.

By the way, that link to her book is not an affiliate one or anything of the nature. It is because it resonated with me that much.

Okay, goals.

Writing: I will spend 4 hours on writing every day. Not worried about word count. But the time is there. I’m locked into it. Already been doing it actually (smile). At times part of this may be used by editing and plotting, but at least 2 hours a day will always be on new writing.

Platform: I’ll spend 2 hours a day on platform activities. This includes email, twitter, blog comments, blog reading/commenting/sharing, and platform expansion. Oh, and eventually transitioning this blog.

The Blog: I’ll be getting back on schedule now. And, may be shifting dates to add a fourth post. We’ll see how the time schedule I’m working off of turns out first.

Reading: Not really a goal. I’ve moved most of my library to my smartphone and read every spare moment I get. Ebooks. Greatest thing ever.

And, I’m training on some things, like formatting and handling a business and all those little things that go into becoming an effective indie writer. It’s a pretty long list actually, but I’ll talk about it as we go along.

That, I believe, is everything. How have you been doing? Had any revelations or epiphanies about the writing path? I’d love to chat with you!

Peaceful Journeys!


About Gene Lempp

Gene Lempp is a writer blending elements of alternate history, the paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and horror for dark and delicious fun. He unearths stories by digging into history, archeology, myth and fable in his Designing from Bones blog series. “Only the moment is eternal and in a moment, everything will change,” sums the heart of his philosophy. You can find Gene at his Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, WANATribe, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
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16 Responses to Getting Back to ROW

  1. Laura Drake says:

    Wow, big things afoot, huh Gene? I’m going to check out Alexandra’s book now. I could use a new viewpoint to fire me up and get me through the two dreaded middles I’m in the middle of!

    Good luck in your new journey – we’re cheering!

  2. So I assume you are going to be self-hosting soon, eh? Since I recently lost all computer files when my iMac died, I now have some time to rethink. If I’m starting over, well… Why not commit? It’s scary because I don’t want to lose my readers.


    Like you, I’m having to make one big decisions. They just came before I was ready.

    Thanks for the blog treasures yesterday. And I’m thrilled to hear you have a direction and a clear vision.

    Obviously, I need to buy this book!

  3. Julie Glover says:

    You have piqued my interest! I’m wondering what that book had to say. I finally finished WRITER’S JOURNEY and started WIRED FOR STORY (interesting so far).

    Best wishes with that four hours. Sounds marvelous! You seem very organized with your priorities, and that’s great. Can’t wait to see your next progress update!

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Laura: The middle is a great place to apply Sokoloff’s teaching. She breaks it down into two segments similar to Brooks with the Midpoint as the divider, but goes into a great many techniques to make that structure work. I’ve found that screenwriting has many of the structure tips that novelists, or writers in general, need to make their work resonate. Thanks much for the support 🙂

      Renee: Yep, the plan is to self-host, but honestly, I’m not in a hurry. The writing is the #1 priority at the moment and the website, since I have a functional one, is just one of those things I know I need to do in time. Probably around the time I start having “product”, books, start to come out. Definitely pick up Sokoloff’s book, best I’ve read for structure and bringing the story to life in a powerful way. Good luck with your “big decision”, I know you’ll do great 🙂

      Julie: Well, one thing Sokoloff said often in the book is, “Use what works for you. No matter what anyone says there is no better method than the one that works – for you.” (Paraphrase). She also offers some amazing techniques culled from her time in screenwriting and theater that can have a powerful effect on writing of any kind. Not going to say I’m 100% on focus yet (schedules and such take refinement and time) but I do have a clear direction and that is half the battle. The rest is “work”. Thanks for the support 🙂

  4. Nice to see you back, Gene! I’d been wondering where you disappeared to. 🙂 And returning with some very impressive goals! Good luck on the indie path! All the marketing and formatting and cover creation (and learning how to do same) can be incredibly time consuming, and I regularly have phases where the actual writing gets lost in the shuffle — like this past week. *g* But I’m so much happier now than before I started down this path, if that’s any help. At the moment, I do not want to go back to traditional publishing, even though there was a period where I was able to make a living off it. Good luck!

  5. Lovely to have you back Gene. Good luck with the writing and the other goals. 🙂
    ( xxx

  6. Juliana Haygert says:

    Glad you’re back, Gene!
    And you know I read that book because you suggested it and it was great!
    I’m sure you’re gonna kick butt with your new goals. Have a great week!

  7. Marcia says:

    I love that you have a new direction and goals, Gene! I know this plan will work for you. I’m scheduled to begin reading Alexandra’s book next week and looking forward to some enlightenment! My switch from amateur to pro begins on Monday. I give 4 hours a day to writing also, though I’m going to try to achieve a specific word count, too. The goal is to finish this book during Sept and pub in Oct. I’ll be announcing a hiatus in a couple of days, too.
    Missed you tons and happy you’re back with new intentions and a smile on your face, my friend.

  8. Welcome back, Gene, and wow, what a big shift! Kudos to you for making it work already. But can I ask what you’re giving up to go pro? I’m a long way away from it myself. Besides that I have several more years of student-status, at this point I get side-tracked too easily to put enough hours in. Well, not ooh-shiny sidetracked, just too many other irons in the fire. But you’ll be a great example to me until I get there!

  9. Jenny Hansen says:

    SO happy to see you back, Gene! And I can tell you’ve been having some serious changes. Can’t wait to catch up. 🙂

  10. Welcome back, Gene. Your new focus sounds really good. 4 hours of writing time per day gets you into the flow strongly.

    And Alexandra Sokoloff is brilliant. I have learned so much from her. She finally made me understand storyboarding. And how to make lists for… well, every aspect of my writing 😛 That technique really works for me.

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Ruth: I may have to write you for some tips or places to focus on. I know from reading your blog that you’ve both been working hard and finding personal success in the indie route, maybe I can prod you to share some of that experience with the rest of us. Thanks for the support and being such a fantastic example 🙂

      Laura: Thanks! Much appreciated 🙂

      Juliana: Glad you enjoyed Sokoloff, I won’t say she is for everyone, but I guarantee everyone can take something useful from her work that will make their own shine more. Thanks for the support 🙂

      Marcia: My dock at the hiatus port is open and ready for use – wishing you the best in the endeavor I know you are about to begin. The four hours is easier than one thinks, most days, just have to be flexible with it. And here’s that smile for you 😀

      Jennifer: Yep, a big shift, and a very long time coming. I started to take my writing seriously about 19 months ago and during that time have gone from a “Hey I can write a sentence, so I can write novels too…” (right, not) to actually knowing what I want to write, how to do it, with a professional plan and attitude and an understanding of the field and business of writing. And no, it was not an easy path, but it is well worth it. Focus is one of the primary keys, the “new shiny’s” are nice, but they can never preempt the current project and while there should be more than one iron in the fire, you only want to hold one at a time and they should be cooking at different places in the flame. If that makes sense to you (smile). Happy to walk the path with you, Jennifer. Best in all things 🙂

      Jenny: And – always a pleasure to see you Jen! I’m sure we’ll be catching up soon, in the breaths we are allowed between writing and life 🙂

      Reetta: Storyboarding (the index method) never made sense to me until Blake Snyder, but when I combine it with Sokoloff, it is now a powerful tool. Along with so many things – recommend her “Writing Love” as a must read for any and all writers. Four hours does indeed get one into the flow. There have been a couple of days I didn’t get that many hours in, but many that I went over the 4 hour mark by up to 2 hours. I’m not really controlled by the clock. Thanks for the wonderful support, Reetta 🙂

  11. Jess Witkins says:

    Fashionably late to the party, as always, I’m here! Excited you’re back and with renewed energy, direction, and resources I’ve no doubt you’ll share! 😉 I can’t wait to hear about what classes you’re taking to learn the business and what new ideas you have for your blog. You’re really an inspiration, Gene, for all your motivation and passion in this industry. You’ve done well establishing yourself Supreme Connector and a go to guy for all the hot blogs to read. Here’s to your continued success; I’m rooting for you all the way! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  12. S. J. Maylee says:

    It is good to see you Gene. Writing Love is on my kindle and now I’m looking forward to reading it. Your ROW posts always get me thinking about my commitment and my writing day and this one did as well. Thank you, Gene.

  13. I love this post, just because I can feel how centered and enthusiastic you are! Sometimes taking time to really think about what we need to do and how to create a road map to get there is just the thing that will help everything snap into place. I am cheering you on, Gene–wishing all good things to come your way. 🙂


  14. Sounds like you’re approaching writing with renewed purpose and enthusiasm, which is great! I want some of that. Thanks for the book rec – I’ll have to check it out, methinks, especially because writing romance is not something that comes naturally to me.

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