Working Rules

Hey Y’all!

I was once told I wasn’t a real writer because I haven’t written any books. (I am changing that – see later in this email). But I write – a lot.

Since October of last year, I have written 165,000 words on my blog, for example. If that were in a book, it would be roughly the size of Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. Every week, I write the newsletter you are reading, which rounds out most weeks to around 500 words. And since Lent of 2015, I have written my newsletter most Monday mornings, which always works out to right at 800 words. Rounded, that works out to 280,000 words over the last 7 years, or put another way, more words than are in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

I do this by having routines. I write every day, M-F, like it’s a job. Sometimes, if I’m behind, I will write on Saturday or Sunday, just like you may go into the office on the weekend if you get behind. I take Federal Holidays off – again, as a way of treating this as a job, and thus something to be taken seriously. And sometimes, if things come up, I take the day off to deal with life – like I did this Wednesday when my brother-in-law and his kids were in town and I spent my writing time being Uncle Hugh and playing with children and chickens instead of putting words on the page.

This week’s writings:

The Mentor: I learned a lot from him, including, ultimately, that I had no desire to be like him.

Weeping this morning as I walked: The huge wave of loss from the last two years caught up with me.

Cool things I found:

My friend Abby shared this: a cover of Stairway to Heaven, played by Heart with Jason Bonham, to honor Led Zepplin at the 2012 Kennedy Center awards. YoYo Ma looks like he is going to throw horns he is rocking so hard in the audience, and the look on the faces of Bonham, Page, and Plant is priceless.

If you use Chrome as a desktop browser, this may be useful: A little droplet that puts a separator between your bookmarks on the bookmarks bar. I like the clean look of it.

Because of the ongoing Birdcam Project, I am buying a lot of things lately, including 32 GB micro sd cards. This isn’t a bad deal. Also, FYI, Prime Day is coming up, and historically, that is a good time to buy both Blink and Wyze cameras, the ones I use for bird and pond videos.


This is Membership Month here in what a friend lovingly calls The Hughniverse, and I wanted to remind you that I created a membership program to support my publishing and that together, my members and I are publishing a narrative cookbook. I explain more about the cookbook project in this link, and how members will get a chapter a week in their inbox as I write it, and then get a print copy for free.

More on the membership program, including how to join, can be found here.

(Before this sentence, this newsletter contains 526 words.)

Thank you for reading. This website is free and ad-free because of the support of my readers. Or, if you want to say thanks for this post, you can just buy me a cup of coffee.

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