5B2021* Journal, Issue #7

*Five Books in 2021

I’ve got some good news and some setbacks to share!

I’ve Finished a Draft of Book #1

For those just joining along, I’m not writing five books from scratch. I’m writing one and the other four are from assorted story collections and essays I have floating around in my laptop from the last five years. (Learn more here)

This means the hardest part was going to be writing the new book. And I’m pleased to report I’ve done it! I have a draft of a book I’m tentatively calling What Your Dad Believes. I’ll be giving it to my son when he turns 14 in about four months. Woo woo!

It’s Not As Long as I Had Planned

I had planned on writing 30,000 words and right now I’m at 19,028. It won’t be a big and heavy book, but it’s more than a pamphlet. I’m planning on ordering a hardcover copy of the draft to feel it in my hands. Then as I read the book I’ll realise all the good stuff I forgot, and by the time I’m done I’ll probably be closer to 30,000. But I need to get rolling, his birthday isn’t very far away.

Other Progress

I’ve been spending a lot of time with data cleanup. For example, some of my writing uses H2 tags for the headers, but others use H1s. Lots of my writing contains links, which doesn’t translate to the written word, so I need to re-write some sections. I also have some duplicate content that exaggerated my word counts. For example, I had a long story I found in three different places.

I’ve been tracking everything in spreadsheets and todo lists to make sure I stay on task. Now that I’ve gotten What Your Dad Believes out of the way, I’m looking forward to getting into more of a curation mindset with the other four. There’s a lot of good stuff (relatively speaking), I just need to polish it up.

Next steps

I’ve moved draft copies of these four books into my phone so I can read them all and get a sense of how they all feel. I suspect once I dive back into the fantasy worlds of Bedtime Stories, or see the political arcs I was tracking in the Trump administration with The Beginning and the End, or wonder if I should add another new issue of Plebe to Volume One, I’ll end up writing a bunch of new content. But that’s later on. In the meantime, I have a bunch of editing to do, and the year is almost half over!

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Jon Bell

Jon Bell

Designer, writer, teacher. I love building things.