The Rule of 19 | The Bookmaker’s Note 4/19/21

Writing Log: OTR +6,530 words


Let’s get right into it. Yesterday I was talking about… I don’t remember exactly what, but I said it reminded me of what I wanted to say today. Well now it’s today. So I’ve had this idea floating around in my head for a while. Almost every time I randomly find myself speaking aloud to an audience of nobody, this idea is what I’m talking about. I call it The Rule of 19.

You can apply it to anything you want, but I make books so that’s where I’m going. If you’re in the game of making books then it’s pretty safe to say you want your work to be remarkable. I’m not talking about it being good or acceptable here, I’m talking about it being remarkable, being a book among books so to speak. So you give it your all, you write with passion and you try your very best, you create the best final product you can, and you put it out there. You give out your free copies, you get your first wave of reviews. Mostly 3 stars. A few 2s, a few 3.5s. No 1s, but no 5s either. Your project you worked so hard on, that you put your entire being into for a whole few months, is unremarkable, and it fades swiftly from the consciousness of humanity. You are crushed, finished, the defeat is getting to you and visions of violence cloud your mind like a red mist. You cannot eat, you cannot sleep, you are terrified to try again because you cannot take much more defeat after that first failure and so every night you hug your knees to you chest and rock back and forth on your bed whispering sweet nothings to yourself in hopes the demons will stay away another night, but they have been clawing at you lately. They’re breaking down the door to your bedroom, they’re breaking in through the windows. It’s suddenly the middle of the day on a weekend. The sounds of children playing and screeching about flood in through your windows. The demons detest the laughter of the children. A memory comes to you, last week at the local Whole Foods you ran into your neighbor. She was talking about the firewalker they hired for the kid’s birthday party, dude walks across a bed of burning coals. The demons flood your mind with cravings for the taste of freshly seared longpork and you know you are powerless to their whims, you know it’s about to happen again, you know you’re about to take out the firewalker and as many of the kids as you can and you know you’re going to fry them on the firewalker’s strip of burning coals and you know the commandos in the white coats are going to storm your suburban Utah neighborhood to lay their hands on you again, but it will all be worth it for the taste. The demons tell you it will all be worth it for the taste, for just one luscious taste…

Listen, I don’t know what happened either. It got off track. We’re moving on.

The Rule of 19 says that only 19% of all books are remarkable. The other 81% are less so, and that’s okay. You can still love books in the bottom 81%, they are still books, they still exist, but only 19% are truly remarkable. In order to contribute to the 19%, you must contribute to the 81%. They cannot exist without one another, and that is okay. Try your best for the 19, expect to land in the 81, and keep making books no matter what happens. The more work you do the more refined a worker you will become, so beat on your goddamned craft you semi-hairless ape.

The Rule of 19 on April 19th. Boom, fucker. All according to plan. Chapter 4 of OTR is drafted, only chapter 5 and the epilogue to go. I tinkered with the book file a little too, added in headers. This is going to be my first book with headers. I think it’s going to be my first book between 100,000 and 200,000 words, too. 3 of my 11 are over 200,000, the rest are all under 100,000. It’s not at the milestone yet but it’s almost there, should hit it tomorrow if I keep on my shit. I’m excited for OTR. It’s a pretty fucking despicable book but I’m excited for OTR.

In other news, for exercise I sawed logs today. Also, the Shopify stalker struck again just 2 hours ago. I hope they’re okay. I don’t understand their behavior.

This is the end of the blog post. This was either an 81% blog post or a 19% blog post, but it was definitely a blog post. I definitely posted it on my blog. Gonna end up in the book at the top of 2022 regardless of which percentile it falls into. I feel like if I don’t keep asking the question it will undermine my dominance, so uh, how many words do you like to hit in a day when you’re working on a project?

If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~

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