Jeff James

Blog

Recommending new TV shows to your friends is a social faux pas at this point. Everyone already has plenty of shows to watch, and who are you to insist they give up even more of their precious time? It doesn't help when it's a show like Get Shorty, which airs on EPIX, the premium movie channel that nobody has heard of even if they already have it. I can't just tell you to add it...

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I've had a tough year so far. When I last checked in on my writing goals back in December, I talked about how the US election did a number on my motivation and ability to focus. I sort of recovered from the post-election blues in January and February of this year… but then my cat, Jackson, got very sick. I ultimately had to put him to sleep on March 16th. Jackson was sick for a...

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Well, I had a good run while it lasted. I managed to write almost every day for more than half a year. No matter how you look at it, that's a major accomplishment, especially compared to every other time I've tried to write every day. I started missing days in the middle of the summer - first because we went on vacation, and then later for less compelling reasons - but I didn't completely blow...

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If you thought my last post in this series was belated, this one takes the cake! I just barely stuck to my writing goals in June and July. I had more than one day where I seriously considered throwing in the towel and calling the whole thing off, but I still managed to soldier on (for the most part) We went to Palm Springs in the middle of June, right after Amy's job ended. I...

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Well, here it is, halfway through the month of June, and I'm just now getting around to posting about my writing progress for May. That tells you a lot about what kind of month it was, and how my writing is going in general. The most significant thing I did last month was re-submit Ghost of a Friend after it was rejected several times. I ended up rewriting it a little bit every time I...

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As of this writing, I've submitted Ghost of a Friend to three markets and received three rejections, each one quicker than the last. After I received a rejection from Fireside, I looked for other places to submit, prioritizing markets that paid a pro rate (more than 5 cents a word) and had a quick average response time. I definitely don't want to submit somewhere that would keep it for months without responding. I also refuse...

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April was a good month for writing. I finally managed to buckle down and finish a third draft of Ghost of a Friend, and I did it with enough time left to submit to Fireside during their open period. I worked on the newest draft in small chunks throughout April, writing 100 or 200 words here and there until I finished it in a rush of more than 1200 words at the end of the...

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Tracking your writing can be kind of brutal after a while, especially if you have a month where it feels like you didn't hit your goals. March was one of those months despite the fact that I was actually very productive in a few important ways. First off, a lot of my writing time in March was devoted to several weeks of my screenwriting class. We read scripts (written by class members) and watched a...

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As an experiment, I decided to start using Hemingway to proof my blog posts and work assignments. Hemingway is a free web-based tool that catches a few common grammatical sins and rates the "readability" of your text. My corporate writing is meant for a wide audience known for their short attention span, so making sure that my newsletters and documentation are clear and simple is a priority. Hemingway works really well in this scenario, and...

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I've Kickstarted a few things over the years, but I'm much slower on the trigger these days. There aren't any projects I regret funding, but there are definitely categories I don't fund any more. I have more than enough games to play, for example, and I've barely scratched the surface of the ones I funded through Kickstarter. Instead, I put most of my funding dollars towards fiction magazines and anthologies. They always seem like worthy...

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