Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Several Announcements

::BEGIN FOOTBALL TALK::

I do have several important things I need to update you all about, but before we get to that I want to talk about the Minnesota Vikings.

I know most of you don't care about the NFL, and I'm okay with that, basically because I don't care whether you care or not.

Point is: I'm extremely worried about my team this year. I'm really happy with the Donovan McNabb pickup, for several reasons, but mostly because the Vikings are known for resurrecting the careers of black quarterbacks. We picked up Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham; won with Duante Culpepper even though he was young, and are now set to define the twilight of another hall of fame black QB: Donovan McNabb.

Those are all good things.

But I'm worried about this season because as much as I love and respect McNabb, he doesn't have the weapons that any QB would expect to have in order to succeed. I realize the only major free agency loss we had this off season, when related to Donovan, was Sidney Rice, but the best argument I can make to that is this: our number one deep threat receiver is now: Bernard Berrian. Bernard Berrian, y'all.

::END FOOTBALL TALK::

Anyway, I've probably said way too much about football by now, and I should move on to more important and relevant things.

The next announcement, as you probably already know, if we're friends on Facebook, is that I just finished what I'm calling the umpteenth draft of Warrior-Monks. It's taken me over two years to get here, and I've had to cut it from 477,000 words to 160,000 but now it is finally out with some writers I trust to help me polish it to a nice finish, and I honestly have to say: I don't know what I'm going to do with my days.

Write the next story, I guess.

Finally, and this is bad news in some way, but I'm also still undecided, my day job has asked me to move to a new shift. It's call the DuPont schedule, and it's probably unlike anything you've ever heard of. I'll be working 12 hour shifts, 4 day shifts the first week of the month, then three days off. 4 night shifts the second week of the month, then another three days off. Then 6 shifts, 3 night and 3 day, followed by 7 days in a row off. There are some major advantages to this shift, like getting 7 days off every month without having to use any vacation time, but the thing that worries me the most is that I've gotten into a great routine with my writing and blogging, and I'm concerned that this change is really going to affect that.

In particular, I will no longer be able to blog every weekday at 7 AM EDT. I would love to write a bunch of posts ahead of time and schedule them for the mornings, but that's just not me. I'm an off the top of the head kind of blogger, and though I may schedule a post ahead of time every once in a while, it won't be happening on a regular basis.

Hopefully things will settle in soon enough, and I'm sure I'll be able to adjust (especially since they're offering me a VOIP phone and a laptop so I can do my night and weekend shifts from home), but it's going to take some time to get used to, and I just don't know what kind of blogging presence I can expect to have, yet.

I'll do my best to keep you guys up to date.

48 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Wow that's going to be a big change! Well ... you will get used to it. I guess you'll just have to write off the top of your head in the middle of the night, but schedule it for the morning. You don't always have to be online when your posts go up :o)

Bryan Russell said...

Yeah, that is a weird schedule. I think the key is just being focused on carving out a bit of time for your writing, trying a few things and seeing what works. I mean, I write at night, after everyone has gone to bed, but that's far, far from my ideal schedule. I'd rather write in the morning when I'm fresh, and haven't already spent 10 hours writing and editing for the day job. But that's the time I have, so that's the time I use.

I have faith in you, my man.

Anna Staniszewski said...

Congrats on finishing that draft! I can't imagine cutting that many words.

Good luck with the new work schedule; I hope the new hours aren't as crazy as they sound. :-)

Suzie F. said...

That is a crazy schedule. Those 7 days off will be nice though. Good luck with the adjustment. You know we'll be here whenever you get the chance to post.

I still haven't mastered fitting my writing into my busy school year schedule so I can't give you advice. I just try to squeeze it in when I have both time and energy.

Old Kitty said...

Of course I care about US football!! I just need to understand it, is all! LOL!!

Yay for your Warrior Monks doing the final rounds!! GOOD LUCK!!

As for your work shift changes - so long as you get to adjust ok - esp with your writing!! The blogging can wait! Take care
x

Josin L. McQuein said...

Yes, the schedule sounds odd, but who knows, maybe the block of off days will make you even more productive as a writer.

Congrats on WM making the final rounds. Hopefully your polisher-uppers will get back to you quickly and it can get out into the market soon!

Scott Stillwell said...

Congratulations on finishing the draft! It sounds like you've poured your heart and soul into it, so I'm sure it's going to be a fantastic read.

As far as your new shift goes, well, just be a warrior monk. Coffee helps. Lots of it.

Hart Johnson said...

First--CONGRATS on getting that huge monster whipped into shape!

That's a CRAZY schedule. And I really hear you on the challenge it throws up. I think those 12 hour shifts can be really draining, too--Hubby works a few of them every week (back to back) and he is WORTHLESS AND CRABBY the day immediately after (be warned). You do some writing AT WORK, yes?

I blog 5 days a week and I don't plan WAY ahead, but I write them the day before when I can fit it in, and then I schedule so they go up at 3AM. It's just an effort to be predictable, as I want to be there for the people who are in a routine and visit daily--it is always the same couple people in Europe who hit me first.

I'd recommend blocking out the writing on a monthly basis and then adjusting as needed. I think if you don't schedule it initially, you will be too tired from all the changing around and it won't 'just fit in'. (exercise, too--in fact maybe even more so on the exercise, as wonky schedules really can be physically draining until you get used to it)

Sommer Leigh said...

Go you for finishing your draft and getting it out there! How wonderful for you!

Also, how crazy is that schedule? I'm sure once you get into it though you'll find a natural rhythm for when you write, when you blog. It might take a little while, so be patient. Good luck!!

Em-Musing said...

First...can you say Fran Tarkenton? Yeah, I'm that old and an old Vikings fan. And whenever you blog...we followers will find you. If you blog...we will come.

William Friskey said...

I do love to talk football, and though I believe in McNabb, too, I think it's time the Vikes settle on a franchise quarter back. All the recent champions have had quarter backs they drafted and groomed. That's the way it works bests. The elderly patch-work QB's may get you to the playoffs, but the franchise quarter back wins championships.

Rachele Alpine said...

Congrats on finishing your draft...woo hoo!

And if you're worried about your football team, just remember, you're not from Cleveland. Even if our teams look good, something is bound to ruin that. It's our curse in life! :)

Michael G-G said...

Can't help you with the football stuff (it's not real football anyway, says the Englishman) except nod sagely in agreement.

You are a genius for cutting such a huge chunk from Warrior Monks. I'm sure it's amazing and can't wait till the world, and not just the amazing betas, can read it.

As for the work schedule, everything that Hart Johnson says above.

And lest ye forget: we're all rooting for you (if not for the unsteady Vikings).

Shain Brown said...

When I was young I was a big fan of the Vikings. My family is from North Dakota, figure that to be my excuse.

I can understand how difficult work can be, but we have to do what is necessary to take care of our family, right. Good Luck. Give it time, You are a very intelligent guy and I'm sure you will figure out a way to make it work.

Congratulations on your manuscript. I look forward to reading it and I wish you the best.

coneforce said...

"I know most of you don't care about the NFL, and I'm okay with that, basically because I don't care whether you care or not" hahhah nice said!!!

storyqueen said...

Just blog when you can and don't worry about it. Your readers will always find you!

And serious congrats about Warrior-Monks!

Shelley

aspiring_x said...

WARRIOR MONKS! WARRIOR MONKS! WARRIOR MONKS!!!! whhhooooo hooooooo!!!!!! :)

EXCELLENT work!!!! EXCELLENT!!!!

man that shift sounds KILLER! but getting to work from home would totally take away much of the sting of it! you do what you need to do. we'll understand, and be here when you get back!

btw, i wish my hubs had a giant red warning before he went into (and came out of) sports rants... that sounds like a marketable idea. :P

Talli Roland said...

That's quite the schedule! My brother works something like that, and he does love all the time off. I bet you can find a way to make it work for you.

maine character said...

Will definitely miss your 7 am posts, but if you can work at home, then balls. And Grolsch.

And super congrats on the umpteenth draft. That's like hiking the Appalachian Trail and trimming it down as you go.

Sarah Pearson said...

First: I got all excited at the mention of football talk. Forgot you were American, and thought we were going to talk about the Premier League :( (go Liverpool!)

Second: Huge congratulations on finishing another draft of Warrior Monks. That title really makes me want to read it :)

Third: Never mind us, how long do you think it will take you to work out whether you're supposed to be eating, sleeping or working at any given time? We'll be here once you know whether you're coming or going :)

Clarissa Draper said...

Sorry, I skipped the football talk but I'm really excited to hear about your manuscript. How awesome.

Geoff said...

As a life-long Lions die-hard and an eternal hater of the Vikings, I can only say, in Nelson's high-pitched tone, "ha ha!"

I hope this doesn't come between us...

As for the other stuff, congrats on finishing Warrior-Monks. Holy crap that's a monster of a manuscript, lol. Good luck going forward with it.

And good luck on the new schedule as well. That is a pretty unique set-up, but the week off will be nice. I'm sure you'll adjust and be back in the swing of things in no time!

Jonathon Arntson said...

Well, I totally skipped the football bit, I hope you don't mind.

The thing with any change is to embrace it and see where it takes you. It sounds like you're on your way there, Matt. As much as your blog is depended upon by writers as a resource, do not forget to do what it best for you. I recommend not attempting to set a new blog routine until you are settled in and comfortable with your new schedule. Got it? I am definitely willing to kick your ass if needed.

Lastly, WTF do 500,000 words come from?! Holy cow. I mean, 160,00 is pretty killer too. I'm not trying to freak you out, I am just very curious about how you arrived at that word count. I have a hard time getting over 60k.

Paul Joseph said...

I started McNabb a few weeks last year. He was never supposed to start, but thanks to the disaster that was Brett Favre, I had no choice. He had two decent weeks, but really disappointed the bulk of the season (and by disappoint, I mean scored way below his projected points, which were low to begin with). But, I like the guy, so I'd like to see him step up this year (though I will not be drafting him). It's actually unbelievable I won the league without having a single QB I would call decent.

And actually, I always assumed you blogged ahead of time given your 7AM posting schedule. I'm extremely impressed to learn this was not the case. Good for you!

Bish Denham said...

What a wild schedule! That said, whenever you find time to blog, I'm sure we'll find you.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

That's an insane work schedule! I hope you adjust to it easily and quickly, I don't know how I'd do it. :)
And p.s. mega-congrats on being able to polish out 300,000 words - how did you do it? That's incredible! I have trouble cutting 20,000.

Kristen said...

Re: the schedule--you'll figure it out.
Re: the writing--great job.
Re: the football- GO PATS! (Ocho cinco, baby.)
Enough said.

Laura Marcella said...

I'm totally okay with football talk! I'm an Eagles fan...and you have my favorite quarterback :( Philly fans like to rip into former players (I'm not one of them...I find it super annoying), but no one can deny McNabb did a lot of good things for the Eagles. I do hope he does well for your team!

12 hour shifts is long, but 7 consecutive days off every month? Sounds totally worth it! Good luck juggling your new schedule.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, I'm way too old to work those kind of hours...
That's some serious editing on your manuscript!
McNabb is sill a good quarterback. Be more concerned that everyone is saying the Packers will repeat this year.

Carolyn Abiad said...

That's a harsh schedule! I would probably feel jetlagged. But working from home AND seven days off sounds tempting enough to try it.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Wow that's a crazy schedule! Good luck!! I know my brain would probably explode, but you'll probably fly through it. :)

Ted Cross said...

Don't know what to do with yourself? If you like I can send you the first 11 chapters of my sci-fi!

Your Vikings are toast, pal. The Patriots are going all the way this year!

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Congrats on finishing the draft! Give it a few weeks and you'll get back into the swing of things (and we'll all be here for you :D)

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Congrats on finishing the draft! Give it a few weeks and you'll get back into the swing of things (and we'll all be here for you :D)

mshatch said...

477,000 words!!! And i thought I was bad with my 164,000 words. lol

congrats, that was a massive undertaking.

K. M. Walton said...

Best of luck with the new hours - you can do it, Matthew.

And congrats on the new draft!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

477,000 words? Wow, and I thought chipping away at my formerly 205,000 words books was a challenge.

I'll have to find you on Facebook.

Hmmm... might be asking you for a guest post relating to my post yesterday. You get a lot of comments.

Steve Abernathy said...

Good luck with the book. With all those words you cut, you can make 9 Great Gatsbys, 10 Miss Lonelyhearts, and 11 The Crying of Lot 49s.

Michael Offutt said...

You make me feel so much better about my word count. My sequel just finished at 140,000 words and I've started editing the rough draft. You tell me yours has been edited A LOT and is now 160,000 words. Hee hee.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

that is the craziest schedule ever. I don't even know how you can keep it straight.
But no worries, actually on my blog post tomorrow i wrote about how i've switched up my writing and reading schedules too (which is why i'm commenting so late). you'll make it work.
and MAN!! That is such a HUGE rewrite of your novel! I am so totally impressed!

Liza said...

I have never heard of a schedule like that, but I am sure you will get into a new rhythm with writing and working. Good luck!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I'm an Eagles fan so I know all about rooting for McNabb. In Philly, he only had good receivers one year (the year we went to the Super Bowl) so who knows?

That is a different schedule. I hope you get used to it quickly. I've been a bad blogger lately myself. Just not enough time in the day to write, edit, grow a baby inside me while chasing after two toddlers.

And congrats on finishing the umpteenth draft of Warrior-Monks! :)

Ishta Mercurio said...

You finished! WOO-HOO! That was a monster of a draft, and it sounds like you whipped out the axe and chopped the hell out of that sucker. Great, great job. You deserve a million high-fives.

As for the new work schedule, it will be tough, but you'll get used to it. My dad has done some sort of crazy shift work or another for my whole life, and he's in great shape for his age. Exercising and proper rest are key: get that figured out, and you'll be fine. And we'll be here whenever you are. :-)

Carrie said...

After last season and the lockout I'm ready for football. I'm still not sure how I feel about McNabb. If he can make my Super Bowl Dreams come true than I am all for that.

Yeah, changes in schedule can be awful for writing, blogging. I try to remember to carve out the time to write anyway even if it is just a 250-500 word day. I'm always really proud of myself when I write on a day that I didn't schedule because I had an awesome idea about my story that I had to work on.

Sarah said...

Whoa. That IS a big change. I hope it works out for you and that you adjust quickly. Congratulations on finishing your draft! One more step along the road.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So awesome you finished your draft. Me too and it's with beta readers as well. Good luck with your schedule.

Munk said...

With your dedication the DuPont schedule sounds like it could be productive. Here's to making it work.

LTM said...

I'm six days late, but I want you to know, I appreciate the whole "football talk" tags. *snort*

And now I feel like I know what's going on... sort of. That's the wiggiest schedule I've ever heard of! And cat lady over here would have a hard time adjusting...

but it's like I keep telling Catherine, the longer you do it, the more familiar it'll get, and you'll find your routine.

(I'm actually saying this as much for me as for you guys. ;o) <3 good luck~