On Abstinence
He may not go quietly

ROW80-2 -16/04/17 -Too Much Abstinence?

And did the heart grow fonder?

I abstained for Lent from The Facebook - which went quite well. Here's my post. However, I also seem to have pretty well abstained from editing. Darn.

I had joined Camp NaNoWriMo for April to challenge myself to do 2 hr/day editing - but that lasted only a few days. My excuse is not enough peer pressure. With the November NaNoWriMo you not only have other online writers, but friends and family know what you're up to. Editing - a little vaguer. Some days I spent two hours making some good changes, some days it was just a bit of staring off into space. All that time freed up from NOT Facebooking didn't translate into more editing.  

So, some editing did take place, plus some marketing for my first two novels, some reading, some Netflix (of IMG_3762 (1)course), some video games, and - right now - another visit to Toronto. Where my girlfriend and I made up an Easter basket of bread, home-dyed eggs, salt, a tiny marzipan lamb, pussy-willows, and tulips. And then we brought it to the local church, St. Casimir, to be blessed. Along with a lot of the people from the local Polish neighbourhood, so many in fact that the blessings were in shifts, every 15 minutes.  It was very interesting as a writer to observe this event - basically a pagan ritual co-opted by the Church. Ours was one of the plainer baskets, but some were quite ornate, with flowers and ribbons. Lots of kids here too. The service was mostly in Polish, but seemed quite relaxed, especially when the priest walked along with his holy water, sprinkling the baskets and the parishioners. I think there was a very slight sizzle when it struck me.  

On to the details:

  • Editing/writing - I editing my novel Ghost in the Machine - As mentioned, not much Camp NaNWriMo success. I did get some good feedback from my girlfriend on some structural changes. I also found (again) some good tips on developing characters - at Terrible Minds
  • Publishing/Marketing
    • I have done some writerly things lately: publishing, promoting, researching, etc. I tried Amazon Marketing Services for book promotion, and have had some success. I set up a Sponsored  Products advertising campaign, with a 'bid' of so much per click ($0.25) and a daily max ($2), and add keywords for my book content, the genre, and similar authors. My ad pops up when people do searches, and hopefully, they click to my page and buy. I've sold a few extra books so far.
    • I've tried Goodreads advertising too. For them, you have to prepay, and they measure clicks that lead to people adding your book to a 'to be read' list. Not as direct a link, and not worth as much I think.
    • My local library is glad to support local authors, but you have to donate a copy. If popular, they will buy more copies. They did that for Kirk's Landing. I've just sent in Return to Kirk's Landing.
    • The issues between Smashwords and Overdrive and my library seem to have been resolved. Kirk's Landing is now in there as an ebook.  
  • Reading - My book club did The Renegade, by Jack Whyte, and Capitol Murder, by Dane Cutler. 
  • Exercise - I downgraded my walking to a daily 2000 steps. Much do-able. If that becomes a habit, then I can go to 3,000. Yoga - I have this quick Yoga session, Your Morning Cup of Yoga, that I do occasionally. Not enough. 
  • Other
    • Games - more ETS2 (Eurotruck Simulator) driving around Europe. And MP (multi-player) mode where I get rammed by pock-faced punks.  
    • Netflix - ah, the temptations. Scandal keeps going, every week. There's the the Fall, an Irish detective series starring the talented and scrumptious Gillian Anderson. And Bubblegum - a kooky British series.


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Beth Camp

Just a lovely overview of what's going on, Mike. The editing goes out of rhythm for me too, perhaps more so since I'm so very close to the end, but I'm pleased as I tighten and fret and edit and rewrite, for the end is so close. PS Yes, I would like your feedback on the new cover for Rivers of Stone (cost $47) (I'm a frugal indie writer). Re Advertising, I did try the Amazon Sponsored Product ad after listening to Joanna Penn's podcast, but it wasn't as successful as yours. The Google Express ads (after just 2 days) seem to connect with readers much more, but I'm targeting Australia as my Book 2 is set there. Enjoy the afterglow of Easter, despite the sizzle!

Lila Leigh Hunter

I'm using CampNaNo for editing as well, but it has been a slow go. You accomplished a lot, even with the Easter holiday. Good luck this coming week.

Shan Jeniah Burton

Your basket sounds lovely! And I giggled at the sizzle!

I invested in an online revision class at the beginning of the year, but there's been so much going on that I'm creeping through it in super-slow-motion. Once my creative marathon ends with July's camp, though, I intend to devote much of August and September to learning the basics, so that I can get better. Revision is the largest hurdle keeping me from publishing my own writing for profit - and that is the goal.

Pop in here a couple of times a week; we'll be your peer pressure (and now I expect you're off to edit, right?) =)


Shan - I skipped the last NaNoWriMo in favour of revision, as that's where I learn and improve - when compiling feedback from peers and friends, editing and re-writing and exploring various writing tips.


Not a lot of editors in my cabin, so less peer pressure this time. And I am in Toronto, at my girlfriends, so it's hard for me to take a solid chunk of time to work. But I'm getting there ;-)

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