words on words

Remember, you were warned.

Project Updates

Hey all.


As I’m still figuring out what exactly this newsletter is, this week will be a little different than last week’s. Last week’s piece is something I’ve thought about for a long time, and something about that time and place aligned to allow those words to flow out of me. This week I’m not so lucky, but as the overall point of this newsletter is a combination of updating you on my projects and learning in public, I will do a bit of both:


I just recently subscribed to a software service called Descript which is making recording audiobooks remarkably faster than when I was using Audacity last year to record the audiobook for Ballad. It’s essentially like editing a word document, and uses AI to speed up the process in a way that makes it far less of a chore than staring at waveforms for hours at a time. I’m currently in the process of recording an audiobook for the Classics line I intend on launching this year for my publishing imprint, and the project is taking longer than expected. I hope to tell you more about it when some of these products are launched in March.


Forgive what sounds like a sales pitch, but I’ve also been toying around with another feature of the program called Overdub, which allows you to generate text-to-speech with your own voice. I’d thought about using it to expedite the Classics production process, but the main reason I wanted to do that in the first place was to find a way to monetize my study of classic texts so that would be antithetical to the point of that project. I do, however, plan on using it to offer audio versions of the newsletter and pieces I write here on the site when I launch my membership program later in the year. Look forward to that soon!


My next novel is progressing along at a good pace, I’ve been on top of my 10K words per week target. I plan on actually querying this one around this time, as I came to a realization a few weeks ago about how I can’t lose with querying: if I send it out and get it rejected, I can still opt to sell the book on my website. If I do actually manage to land an agent and then sell the book conventionally, the book pushes people to look up more of my work, leading to sales of work that no one wanted to publish in which I get a greater cut of the sales. It’s a can’t lose scenario that I wish I’d understood earlier. It may not yield sizeable results with only a couple works, but once I hit at least 5 novels on here (as well as a sizeable collection of classics), I think that’s when it’ll really start to snowball. My aim is to launch at least 1 novel per year, and hopefully if I’m able to generate enough interest over the next few years as I publish them, I can do it full time and publish more work faster. How soon that happens falls on you all though, so we’ll see.


Anyway, thanks for reading, this week is less of a “what I’ve learned” analysis and more of a personal blog. I plan on doing notes on Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations next week, so next week’s newsletter may or may not pertain to that. I’ll find out when I sit down to read it. See you then!


Recommended Reading


This Week’s Selected Quote

There is a well-known phenomenon in AA called “drunnkalogues,” referring to tales of intoxicated exploits that are shared to entertain and show off rather than teach and learn.

Drunkalogues tend to trigger craving rather than promote recovery. The line between honest self-disclosure and a manipulative drunkalogue is a fine one, including subtle differences in content, tone, cadence, and affect but you know it when you see it.

– Anna Lembke, MD from Dopamine Nation