A Seaman's Journey

Adventures of a Lifetime

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My Life as a Writer

Many Projects

I have numerous writing projects that keep me occupied. I love the act of writing and enjoy putting ideas into words. It took me a long time to realize that pursuing many goals is much more enjoyable than focusing on a single work.

The main issue is my need for variety and novelty in my work. It is a thrill to start a new project and is often a burden to write within the confines of a previous project.

The Internet age

The way that people consume information is consistent with this type of writing. The internet has changed how we think, and this is clear in how we now consume information. People no longer are likely to sit through a 1000 page book on a subject of small interest.

The new way that most people consume information is limited to very short articles that can be digested quickly. In this world a short payload weighs in at 100 words (one paragraph). Longer articles run around 1000 words (or four pages of typeset text).

For the last few years I have tailored my writing to this new short attention span. I now write for internet community, which has an attention span like that of a squirrel. If the large payload is all that is offered then it will be very difficult to find an audience in this world.

Large Works

Is there a market for large works in the ADHD world? I believe that there is. Some things that must be explored require many hours of deep thought to create for an author. Some ideas require thousands of words to express the underlying ideas.

I have developed techniques for addressing both ends of this spectrum. I try to write for two domains at the same time. The big picture is reflected in the outline of content for a book. This may require 80,000 words (320 pages) and requires about 1,000 hours of effort for me.

Having this outline gives the work integrity that a deeply interested audience can appreciate. A book written is this style is intended to convey everything I know about a complete subject.

Small Works

Most readers have a limit on how much they will consume in one sitting. Authors must cater to this new mentality and be able to deliver the payload. There is a whole science around writing headlines for articles (click-bait to the cynically minded).

I like to think about what I'm going to say as a pyramid of words with different levels of detail in the payload. It starts with a great headline where I get 10 words to tell the story. The reader may stop there or opt for more.

The first 100 words should lay out the same concept and deliver some details promised by the headline. The next 1,000 words should follow the same pattern by introducing new aspects of the story with a great headline and then delivering on the promise.

Micro-publishing

The power of this approach is that it provides a great deal of flexibility for both writing and publishing. The building block for all of my writing is a hundred words of text that is expected to address and single concept and can be read and understood by itself.

Twitter limits the message length to 140 characters since it was built on top of text messages (SMS). This constraint is perfect for fitting a headline and hyperlink. Linking to a web page is the best way to provide more more content with a single click.

The web page can be crafted to provide one level of detail or two levels of detail. If the page is constructed with 10-100-1000 word structure then it is easy for the user to start with the specific interest and immediately see related topics with a single click.

Daily Writing

My life as a writer is extremely diverse. I have a lot of different interests and it has taken me several years to create methods of writing and publishing that are well-suited to my unique personality quirks.

The one constant has been my practice of writing. I try to spend one to four hours each day writing. I have developed complete outlines for each major topical area that I am interested in writing about. These outline guide the overall structure for what is written over the long run.

Daily activity, on the other hand, is completely free-style and spontaneous. When I wake up each day, I have no idea what I will end up writing about. I do have an expectation that there will be something created and that I will enjoy the process of self-expression.

Once I am happy with the article, then it is posted into the venue where it belongs. This publishing activity takes less than a minute and happens many times throughout the day. This whole process is optimized around writing and publishing requires no thought.

Autonomy

Most writers must make a living through their writing. This means that everything they write is done to fulfill the expectations of readers, critics, editors, publishers, and the general marketplace. Not attempting to monetize my writing has given me complete freedom to pursue what I feel like on any given day.

Writing is my career, but not my job. I invest in writing even though it will not be a source of income. It is my great joy and core to fulfilling my life's destiny. I don't care at all what publishers might think of my work because I am not writing for them.