Monday, February 16, 2015

Writing in Public - Year 1, Month 3, Days 9-15

Michael Salsbury
My adoption of Dean Wesley Smith's Writing in Public challenge continues.

After posting my weekly numbers on Sunday, I wrote a 1,075 word article for Columbus Beer Scene about the Dayton AleFeast event.

On Monday, I continued with and got 776 words in.  During my lunch hour, I spent time reading Tim Ferriss' blog (source of some quotes below).

I spent the rest of the time trying to work out the ASL story using Snowflake Pro.  I find that I'm really starting to understand story development in a way that has eluded me until now.  While writing descriptions of what I thought would be the last couple of scenes in the story, I realized that I'd made some huge mistakes in the earlier parts.  Given the way the aliens in this story behave, it's non-sequitur that the supposedly derelict craft the crew encounters wouldn't have tried to repel their ship and shuttle as they tried to board.  This needs to be fixed.

I also wrote a 460 word post for Columbus Beer Scene about Temperance Row Brewing in Westerville.  I also wrote a post about Buckeye Brewcraft, a homebrew shop in Westerville, which generated 464 words for Begin Brewing.

On Tuesday, I moved the journaling from to Penzu, primarily because I'm not sure I'll stick with it.  750words is $5/month after the first 30 days, while Penzu is free unless you pop for the Pro features, which I may do if I decide they're of value.  I got 781 words there.  On my lunch hour, I worked on the Captain Garrick post for How to Write Fiction.  It's at 1,546 words now.

Didn't do any writing of significance on Wednesday.  Work was very demanding and I simply didn't have the energy.

Thursday I came home and wrote a journal entry to cover Wednesday and Thursday.  Got 1,262 words in there.  Added the Death Wish Coffee quote.  Wrote a post for the Application Repackaging Blog (534 words).

Friday I didn't do any writing.  I was tired from having been awakened during the night to resolve problems for my job.

Saturday I was up and moving early.  I wrote a post about Zaftig Brewing Company's First Anniversary celebration on Feb. 28 for Columbus Beer Scene (61 words).  I finished the characterization series on How to Write Fiction with a (2,008 word) post showing another scene in Captain Garrick's life.  I used the two scenes I'd written, with some intro text, as posts for the ASL site (for 1,881 and 1,860 word posts).  I did a post about The Grainfather for my Begin Brewing blog (701 words).  I also wrote one on Yeast Starters (1,357 words).

Sunday, I worked on a few blog posts.

From the look of it, this was my most productive week since beginning this challenge.  I managed about 60% of the words I did in my best month during this week alone.

Here are my notes from this week:
  • Things I Accomplished This Week That I'm Proud of:
    • I finished the Anslo Paul Garrick character sketch for the ASL series
    • At work, I correctly diagnosed the cause of a problem as the way a software vendor created a "permanently registered" copy of their software.
  • Major Lessons Learned This Week: 
    • A number of successful people say that success doesn't come from doing lots of things, but from looking at what's on your to-do list, asking yourself which items provide the greatest satisfaction and impact, and blocking off time to do those.  Much of what's on our to-do list is far less important than the energy we give it (e.g., email).
    • Being nice to people isn't always the best policy.  Sometimes it can drop a lot of extra work or pain on you.
  • Meaningful Quotes: 
    • "There are two decisions you need to come to in order to be free, and to be more effective. First is that you are not entitled to anything in the world, until you create value for another human being first. Second, you are 100 percent responsible for producing results. No one else. If you adopt those two views, you will go far." - Joe Polish
    • There is no bigger killer of dreams than those five words: “I don’t have enough time.
    • “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.” - Kurt Vonnegut
    • "This morning I added a shot of espresso to my Death Wish Coffee and about half way down the highway, I realized I left my car at home."  Advertising email.
    • "I'm not Irish but my liver thinks I am." - T-shirt seen at a beer festival
    • "Maybe it's just the beer talking, but I really love the beer." - T-shirt seen at a beer festival
  • Inspirations:
    • The artists behind Big Hero 6 from Disney.  They did a great job of creating what feels like an organic, real world in San Fransokyo.  You know you're watching animation, of course, but it feels real anyway.
  • People I'd Love to Meet: 
    • Scott Francis - Brewmaster at Temperance Row Brewing
    • John Flansburgh and John Linnell of They Might Be Giants - I love their music and they seem like they'd be fun guys to know.
  • Inspiring People I Did Meet: 
    • Hannah, a server at The Winking Lizard, whose extremely pleasant personality, bright smile, and great service made our experience there Friday night more enjoyable
  • What Didn't Happen and What I Can Improve for Next Week:
    • The alien AI character sketch I wanted to do for the ASL story.
  • Biggest Outcomes I Wanted for This Week:
    • Finish the character sketch for Captain Garrick - DONE
    • Do a character sketch for the alien AI in the story - NOT DONE
    • Write at least one Application Repackaging post - DONE
    • Write at least one post for the ASL Series blog - DONE (2)
Below is how all the above activity turned into word count.


  • + Penzu: 2,819 words
  • Begin Brewing: 2,522 words
  • Columbus Beer Scene: 1,596 words
  • How To Write Fiction:  3,554 words
  • This Blog: 991 words
  • The ASL Blog: 3,741 words
  • Application Repackaging Blog:  534 words
  • Opening Lines Written:  3 lines, 0 paragraphs, 74 words
TOTAL WORDS FOR THIS PERIOD: 15,831 words (avg. 2,261 per day)



  • Fully Invested: 0 words (notes and backstory)
  • The Alliance (series): 0 words
  • Alien Love Story: 0 words
  • Driven To Kill: 0 words
  • Local Gods: 0 words
  • The Black Eagles: 0 words
  • The Old Hotel: 0 words
  • Thief of Police: 0 words
Short Stories:
  • The Mimas Object (a story in the Alliance universe): 0 words
  • Introduction to Application Repackaging: 0 words
  • Troubleshooting Windows Applications: 0 words
  • Amazon Product Reviews:  0 words
  • Alliance for Sentient Lifeforms (ASL): 3,993 words
  • Begin Brewing: 4,392 words
  • Columbus Beer Scene: 1,596 words
  • How to Write Fiction: 3,554 words
  • Introduction to Application Repackaging: 534 words
  • Windows Desktop Administration: 0 words
  • This Blog: 2,228 words
  • Guest Posts for Other Blogs: 0 words
  •  3,767 words
Opening Lines, Paragraphs, Pages:
  • Opening Lines Written: 13 lines (476 words)
  • Opening Paragraphs Written: 10
  • Opening Pages Written: 0

FEBRUARY 2015 - MONTH TO DATE WORDS: 20,540 (avg. 1,369 per day)

  • Month 1 (December 2014): 20,754 words (669/day)
  • Month 2 (January 2015): 16,018 words (517/day)
  • Month 3 (February 2015): 20,540 words (1,369/day)
  • TOTAL WORDS WRITTEN: 57,312 words (744/day)

About the Author

Michael Salsbury / Author & Editor

In his day job, Michael Salsbury helps administer over 1,800 Windows desktop computers for a Central Ohio non-profit. When he's not working, he's writing, blogging, podcasting, home brewing, or playing "warm furniture" to his two Bengal cats.


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