Justin Cawthorne dot com

read, write, ramble

Category: Write Page 1 of 5

Messin’ with author photos

I decided it was time I had something approaching a decent author photo – something that I could stick wherever my books appear. Trouble is I can’t decide which one to use so I need your help!

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From the Department Of Words

For my fourth third#yoyo blog post of February I’m going to take a brief look at something that I find really interesting: language policing. I don’t know if that’s the correct term or not but, hey, who’s gonna tell me I’m wrong? I have a few opinions–which I will, of course, share with you–but I don’t have any firm conclusions on any of this. One day I’ll look more closely into this, but for now I invite you to read this hastily scribbled post and comment below.

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Writing update: January 2017

Turns out I haven’t done a regular monthly writing update since last March. So here’s one for last month

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On rejection

I began last year with the quiet hope that I might manage to get at least one new story published somewhere. While I definitely had some wins, I didn’t end up getting any stories published. What I did end up with was a small pile of rejection emails. You might think that’s a bad thing, but it’s not, and here’s why …

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January 25

I wake up at 6:20am feeling like my body is made of lead. Thoughts of getting up for my morning shift are briefly considered, then swiftly abandoned.

It’s a two-coffee day. It’s also bastard hot, which makes the second coffee in particular feel like some sort of Sisyphean endeavour. I have to take Rach home halfway through the day when a migraine hits. I plough through the rest of afternoon with the knowledge that I have a four-day weekend coming my way.

At the end of the day m still determined to start reading something (that hasn’t been published on the internet). Browsing through the swatches of books that I’ve purchase from Amazon I spot On Writing by Stephen King. Perfect. I love Stephen King and I love reading about writing. I settle in and end up reading way past my bedtime.

The writer’s progress: 2016 edition

In which I reflect on my writing progress during the course of 2016, aided as ever by by my trusty Google Sheets Writing Log.

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writing log feature image

A free wordcount tracker for 2017

Before I launch into my next post, which will be all about analysing my writing efforts during 2016, I thought it might be useful to share my Writing Log template that I’ve been using for the last few years.

It’s very simple, does most of the calculations for you (monthly totals, averages, etc, etc) – all you need to do is to enter the number of words you’ve written, or edited, each day. I find it particularly useful for working out what my average wordcount is, and for tracking when I’ve been particularly productive, or anticipating when those seasonal slumps might occur.

The download link is below (a zipped up excel file) but I can always share the Google Sheets original if you travel that way. Jump down if you want to get stuck in, or read on for a breakdown of each column:

  • Session – choose between morning, lunch or evening, depending on when you did your writing (or add something else in the Lookups sheet)
  • Action – select write or edit or, if you missed that day entirely, select n/a (this is used to keep a total of the days you’ve missed). Again, you can add different entries in the Lookup sheet if you want.
  • Word count – you don’t really need me to cover this one, do you…?
  • Title – I like to enter the title of whatever story I’m working on
  • Draft – I also like to keep track of which draft of a story I’m working on. Add different entries in the Lookup sheet, if that’s your thing.
  • Target/Actual – I don’t use these, but I’ve left them in anyway.
  • Total/Written/Edited – these are all calculated columns, so let them do their thing
  • Notes – if I missed a day, I usually like to put in the reason here. Also, if I hit a particular milestone (e.g. finishing a first draft) I also like to put it here.

There’s a worksheet called 2017 Totals where some more of the magic happens. As you progress through the year you’ll be able to see your monthly totals and averages here.

If you happen to use this and have any questions, use the comments below or find me on twitter. In the meantime, here’s the link:

Writing update: March 2016

March wasn’t one of my best writing months, but despite missing a bunch of days, it turned out to be almost as productive as February. Which was weird.

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Writing update: February 2016

Well, it’s March already which means it’s time to share with you all the gory details about my writing exploits during February. (It wasn’t actually gory, of course … apart from that one time …)

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Writing Update: January 2016

I did a brief update on my January writing efforts a couple of weeks ago, but here’s the formal update with stats and all sorts of exciting stuff.

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