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The Writing Process Schedule
The Leveller Interviews the Crackpot Via Email
© 2018 James LaFond
The Leveller
4:13 AM (8 hours ago)
to James
As a nomadic writer, who seems to thrive on writing while essentially living out of a backpack, I have a few questions for you:
LV: What is a typical writing schedule for you during the average day? Essentially what is your
routine from when you awaken to when you pass out?
JL: When I wake, if I have wify access, I go to my main site article files: Literature, Combat, Ancient History, Plantation America, Harm City, and Masculinity, select 1 to 3 articles I have written over the past few months [keeping a general backlog of 20 to 30], proof them, post them and them file them in the destination folders as to what book they are going to be printed in.
I then hydrate and do light exercise.
Then I do article outlines, write articles and complete outlined articles, filing them in the above folders.
This done I look at one of the above: blogspot outlines, travel writing outlines and Plantation America articles. Once a week for each I will take action, writing and sending articles to Lynn and Jamie to post once a week at the sites they manage for me, with my goal to keep them stocked with articles a month out because I want to be a prolific dead white writer. Once a week I make a Plantation America post on the Patreon site and the last week of the month I also write and post a draft chapter for the novel Sold on that site.
I then engage in either reading, hiking or training.
If I have trained I write a fight article.
If I have hiked I usually have been inspired to outline an article, story or book.
If I have read or viewed a documentary I generally write a review.
Once evening begins to fall I have generally gotten too tired to write fiction or essay, so look to my emails and write Q and A type articles inspired by readers, such as this article. I also check my online publishing accounts and answer and approve comments on the main site, blog spot, you tube channel, etc.
Now, if I am offline, when I wake in the morning, I concentrate on finishing all open article outlines in my files.
When all open article outlines are complete, if I am still offline [in the mountains, at a private retreat, etc.] I then focus on book completion.
If I am offline and on the road or rails or airways, I read and annotate books. I no longer just read a book. Every book I read gets marked up and becomes between 1 and 20 articles, which are outlined inside a front or back cover. Selecting books for travel that will serve to provide material for a non-fiction book currently in the works is crucial to my travel planning, with 10 books my upper limit and hardbacks out of the question in most cases.
LV: How do you plan what you write? Novels vs articles (planned vs spontaneous), fiction vs non-fiction?
JL: Spontaneous non-fiction generated by readers comes first, as these are the people who support me through their donations and purchases. Generally fight advice is written and published ASAP.
The next most urgent material to write is nonfiction material for history and masculinity books in progress, as my notes are spare. Then I answer conceptual queries.
Fiction always takes a back seat on the day-to-day as there is little to no reader demand for it and it is hard for me to switch back and forth from fiction to nonfiction and fiction takes the most energy. It is the shifting of inspirational gears to writing fiction that expends almost a day’s worth of writing energy. However, once I have begun writing fiction I am good for 5-10,000 words per day, whereas writing nonfiction has me between 1,500 and 7,000 per day, and doing both in the same day usually puts me at about 3,000 words and is not sustainable from day to day. The next day I go one way or another. For me, writing fiction is a matter of reducing friction and writing nonfiction is a matter of staying awake. I typically write fiction by taking off a block of days from nonfiction writing, which I also do when finishing nonfiction books. Simply writing fiction is as demanding as wrapping up the loose ends of a history book and preparing it for the editor, both of which typically takes a few consecutive all-day writing sessions.
Planning fiction is a matter of envisioning a starting, apex or ending scene in my mind and then applying title and subtitle and an estimated number of scenes. The outline is that bare, as the story is alive or asleep in the mind as the case may be and writing is the process of awakening it.
Planning nonfiction works is as simple as announcing an investigation and applying a title, subtitle and a dustcover, then writing impressions and analysis of the research material and essays as they come to mind. Then, the real work is to take this material and arrange it by chronology, subject facet or concept progression. Possibly the hardest books to write are instructional fight books like Twerps, Goons and Meatshields and The Punishing Art, as they are mechanically arranged according to the mechanical and psychological needs of the reader. The easy writes are those advice and concept books on various subjects which block into subject categories and are essentially anthologies.
Oh, yes, every day that I can get online, I email Lynn my word counts.
LV: By what criteria do you choose to release what you write, when and why?
JL: I complete fiction books according to the inner drive of the story and sometimes its need to incubate and sometimes the lack of reader interest holds me back. Nonfiction books complete themselves either by running out of space or concluding the investigation.
The release or publication of books used to be random, according to the process outlined above, just publishing it as soon as I could proof read it. But now, as the proofing, editing and publication is taken care of by those folks who have volunteered to assist me, it is up to them when a book gets released. When I have written a book it is out of mind. I had one book which I wrote in 1999, The Logic of Force, which Paladin Press did not release until 2011!
LV: What things other than books aid you in writing? (Coffee, whisky, music, type of chair, setting, training routine, walking in the mountains, etc?)
JL: Coffee I only use to stay awake while finishing books and otherwise avoid its use.
Whiskey and other drink I use to write humorous nonfiction, to really get into the smartass zone. My favorite writing drink is chilled coffee liquor made from rum.
I use certain types of music, songs or albums, as theme music for certain books to assist in maintaining a writing trance, Audio Slave, ambient and dope-smoking music predominating.
My hips are in bad shape so I have to sit on a padded chair with extra pillows or stand at a high counter.
I can write nonfiction anywhere, but to write fiction I usually need a regular, and not necessarily quiet location. I have quite enjoyed finishing fiction books in certain seasons, according to the theme of the book. I finished 1 massive history book, one concept book and one novella in Ishmael’s reloading room, which is an ideal writing perch.
Training always pumps me up for writing. I write training instruction and fiction best after training.
Walking is the place of inspiration for new articles and sorting the jammed and rusty gears of the brain for answers to old questions.
Banging slave girls is an iffy proposition. Sometimes they leave me unconscious and addled-minded and sometimes I am energized to write, usually on masculinity or history as soon as they roll up their yoga matt and head down the way.
LV: A) Name the 5 most influential writers on you.
JL: I will do so in chronological order with notes on influential aspects.
-1. J. B. Bury [analysis]
-2. Will Durant [style]
-3. Edgar Rice Burroughs [pacing]
-4. Gene Wolfe [subtext]
-5. George R. R. Martin [inner dialogue]
B) Your 5 personal favorite.
JL: from most favorite
-1. Robert E. Howard
-2. Gene Wolfe
-3. Louis L’ Amour
-4. Harold Lamb
-5. Barbara Tuchman
C) finally 5 "unknown" writers i.e writers you never heard of till relatively recently that
seem like finding a lost treasure/tome.
JL: from most important
-1. Julius Evola
-2. Ernst Junger
-3. Peter Williamson
-4. Theodore J. Kaczynski
-5. Samuel Wiseman
LV: Finally what is the progression of you as a writer, i.e the stages of your writing as they relate to your age (decade by decade) and evolving thoughts over time. There seems to be a real coming together of various strains of thought in the last 3-4 years from before that time (forgive me if this seems like a leading question).
JL: Childhood—was retarded and could not read, so dreamed a lot. [The Three-Rivers character in the Sunset Saga is based on me as an idiot child dreamer]
Youth—read an unhealthy quantity of books while practicing psychopathic levels of violence.
20s—designed historical tabletop war games and RPGs, an exercise in applying historical outcomes and tactical realities to valued moving parts, which later helped me better ingest books as a mature man and predict the outcomes of interactions with certain behavioral types. My White Deviltry was born here.
30s—began to wake up and write articles for martial arts magazines and books for Paladin Press on survival and hand-to-hand combat.
40s—began doing systematic research and stretched my mind beyond a concern for predicting the outcomes of my own interactions with the world. In a slave sense I was growing up and resented it, so banged a bunch of babes and fought scores of brutes as a rebellion against this sissy world and found myself learning far more than I wanted to know about how human society works on levels far beyond my concern. I discovered definitely that I truly do not care about my neighborhood, my city, my nation, my race, human civilization or even my species, but only about masculine action as the only worthy agency in the festering pit of modernity. An inability to hate seamlessly accompanied the realization that I was a thought predator among domesticated automatons.
50s—from the late 40s my disconnection from the media and the wage work place, my lack of familial slave chains, has permitted reading and perspective development and blunt expression [which forced its way from my fiction to nonfiction platforms] which has shaped my mind into something severely at odds with the world which hates the dissident twerp it created, quite by cruel accident.
60s—if I remain among this seething gaggle of apes six years hence it shall serve as proof positive that God hates me.
LV: Thanks!
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Goose     Sep 20, 2018

James, I was surprised there was no list D for writers whose work is centered around masculinity as the core theme, and who are "the real deal", i.e. they lived what they taught. What would your list look? J.London, E.Hemingway?
James     Sep 20, 2018

I'll do this as an article, Goose, thanks.

I can tell you that L'Amour and Howard, with Howard trailing, do make that list also. I'll give the reasons why they walked the walk, as opposed to just writing the fight, in that piece. I'll title it 'The Real Deal' Writers Who lived What They Taught. We've already got 4 of them picked.

Shep     Sep 22, 2018

Looking forward to Filthy Few!
Bryce Sharper     Sep 26, 2018

You need to start doing some mobility movements or Somatics and read "Explain Pain." I have it in .pdf if you want it.
James     Sep 27, 2018

Sure, I'd like to take a look at the pdf.

I do about two hours physical therapy a day, not counting the walking.

I'm sure there will be something in there I can use.
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