10,9,8,… more Well Oiled Writer coming soon…

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A few people have said to me lately, “Hey you haven’t posted to your blog in a couple of weeks. What’s going on?”

And in most cases I’ve answered them and they say, “Wow, that’s cool!”

But, it’s not time for me to share that here. Fear not, I’m still here, still writing feverishly (more than ever), and excited about the coming weeks.

Stay tuned. Drop me an email at jkilewrites@gmail.com. This is a really good time to sign up for updates in the box on the left.

Stay tuned…

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A Day In The Life Of A Part-Time Writer

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I’m not six weeks removed from the release of my first novel, and about almost half way done writing the second. One of the questions a lot of friends and strangers have asked me is, “You have two kids and a full-time job. How do you find the time to write a book?” The answer to that question might be helpful whether you plan to write a book or master some other craft… painting, knitting, paddle boarding, cooking, or iPhone screen repair (fact: 105% of iPhone screens break). Here’s my very-full, but very enjoyable day (this is exactly what happened to me Tuesday).

My wife and I have two kids, 5 and 2. Morning is a contact sport. Sometime between 6:00 and 7:00 the 2 year old wakes up, setting off a chain reaction of coffee, toast, bagels, peeled apples, milk, Tom & Jerry reruns, crying, pushing, getting dressed, combing hair, brushing teeth, gnashing of teeth, and dashing out the door. In the midst of all that, I’m already handling emails and customer calls.

Some mornings, I drop my son off at pre-school and my work day in the field starts. Yesterday I had to visit with customers over 3 counties, and a side trip our warehouse. I covered over 200 miles, sent and received about 30 emails (a light day) and 30 phone calls (also a light day). Did I mention the 200 miles I drove? When I wasn’t on the phone I listened to The Rocking Self Publishing Pocast (Simon Whistler’s interview with first time novelist and best-selling author Chuck Rose) and then an audio book that is research for the current book I’m writing (I can’t tell you because it would be a spoiler). I would NEVER have time to read the book, but the audio book makes it possible. In the midst of my work day, I probably got close to 3 hours of information and research related to my publishing work. This was key. 

Podcast road signMy wife had a 5pm meeting and a class from 6 to 9 so I rushed home to take over with the kids.

The next four hours involved kinetic sand, Star Wars Toys, Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, a trip to the grocery store, more work emails, breaking up two fights, chicken dinner, baths, tidying up the house, and putting both kids to bed. When my wife came home, my son was still hanging around resisting bed.

At 9:45 I was exhausted, but totally motivated. Why? The three hours I spent listening to the postcast and audio book left my mind with so many ideas, I was chomping at the bit to get back to work on my book. My wife turned on a reality TV show (we met in grad school, don’t judge us), the perfect background noise for working on my book. I’m now 24,000 words into that book, which will probably be 75-80,000 words. I finally put it down around 12:15 and fell asleep immediately. At 6:30 my daughter woke again and another 18 hour day started.

Even though I didn’t open my laptop until almost 10pm, I felt like my writing was there all day. For me, podcasts have been better than taking writing classes. Whatever craft you wish you had time for, I guarantee there’s a podcast on Podcast Addict for it (it’s an app, get it, or one like it). Listen on your commute, at your desk, at lunch. Including my time in the car, I got more than 5 hours of writing related time in my day, even though it only used the last two hours of my night.

But Jonathan, I just don’t have that much energy.

Neither do I. I don’t always get that much done. Days can go by without getting much done on my writing. But days like Tuesday are more common than they used to be, and even on my worst days, I get a little done. Little by little it adds up.

2015 Well Oiled Writer Preview

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Happy (belated) New Year from Well Oiled Writer. It’s a fine Sunday night and I’m attempting to get back in gear. The holidays throw everything out of whack. The kids aren’t in school, there are parties to attend, shopping to do and there are trees popping up in every room. By December 20th, I woke up and it was like someone had moved everything in the night.

Wait… they did move everything.

See, we moved. It was only a few miles, but a long search for the right house in the only neighborhood we wanted to live in, finally sprouted on the MLS and things fell into place. On top of moving, we’ve not a new marketing head at work, I’m handling a roster of new accounts, and several new projects. It’s a big year for me everywhere, including at Well Oiled Writer.

The 2015 Well Oiled Writer Preview

First and foremost in 2015 is my plan to write and publish not one, but two followups to The Grandfather ClockIt Isn’t going to be easy, but the second book is coming along well. Yes, I was awake at 2 AM last night over-analyzing a new character, but it was a productive hour that put me back to sleep.

Second, I’ve got a couple of writer friends who want to start a local self publishing group. There no reason everyone needs to figure this stuff out on their own. Now, these friends are loose cannons who are non-traditional journalists by day. I call them “non-traditional” because they work for a tiny, but influential weekly news magazine and I’ve concocted an alternate reality in which they control the City of (redacted.)

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Third, marketing. When my second book comes out this summer, I plan to have a real marketing plan. Here’s the marketing plan I put together for The Grandfather Clock:

1. Blog

2. Facebook

3.

There was a reason for this. A group of writers (at Sterling and Stone) who know what they are talking about said that the return on investment in marketing of one book of fiction is usually low. Right now, I’m investing in the writing.

Speaking of the writing. I’m grateful for every person who has read my book and taken the time to tell me that they enjoyed it. It motivates me to writer more, and write better (that sentence not included.)

This is why I need to complain about a movie my wife and I watched last night. We don’t get much time to watch movies (unless you count Pixar.) We finally got around to watching Silver Linings Playbook. I hate to say this, but we couldn’t get through it. Forty-five minutes in, I really needed something to happen. I’m pretty sure the problem wasn’t writing, and to find out, I’m going to read the novel. Once I’ve finished, I’ll update you on whether the movie ruined a good novel. I’m mentioning this because as a writer I’ve got two major forces at work… the STORY and the STORY TELLING. I not delusional, and I don’t think my first novel is some masterpiece. I do think it holds up very well with commercial fiction, but I know (very intimately) the book’s strengths and its flaws.

I promise I’ll tie this up before you quit this blog like I quit Silver Linings Playbook. I published my book on Amazon and they have a thing where Kindle Unlimited subscribers get my book for free. I get paid if they read 10% of the book (which is a generously low threshold.) Every few days I see these Kindle Unlimited readers pop on my statistics. I’ve got a dozen free books on my Kindle that I haven’t opened, much less hit 10%, so it’s great to see readers giving me a shot. The reviews of my book have been so encouraging, but this I know, the next book will be better than the first because I’m getting better at this.

Stay tuned. Sign up to get blog updates on the left. You can email me at jkilewrites@gmail.com. And of course, you can buy my book HERE.