At the ConDor XXVI convention in San Diego I attended a talk on Space Navies and Space Marines.

During the talk they got off on the subject of traditions. I felt that one thing they missed is traditions are kept because they are useful.

There’s a simple tradition on board U. S. Navy ships when a rover (a sailor that patrols the ship) hands his weapon to his relief. Although his weapon may be unloaded he never points it at his relief who’s standing in front of him. The sailor going off watch unloads the weapon, checks to see it’s unloaded. Returns it to his holster and then hands the holstered weapon to the his relief.

And yes there have been people shot because they skipped a step. The relief belts on the holster and then repeats the checking of the weapon. There are no bands playing, but this tradition is written into the books.

Other traditions such as ringing the bell to mark time may date from when sailors could not afford a watch and could not read one. You stand a four hour watch and studies have shown that after four hours your efficiency falls way off.

The general discussion was will future space ships be structured like Navy ships or like airplanes. After working for the U. S. Navy there is no doubt that space ships will be structured like Navy ships. Airplanes do not stay in the air for weeks or months at a time. If a light bulb goes out on an airplane the pilot does without till he can land and someone on the ground replaces it. If a light bulb goes out on a ship a sailor requisitions one out of ship’s supply (it’s usually hidden somewhere under a deck plate) and replaces it. A Navy ship carries replacement parts, even a big bomber aircraft does not. A navy ship has sailors on board to repair things, an aircraft does not. If you break down in space you have to fix your craft, or it’s a long wait for a tow truck.

A space craft has to carry as little as possible to save weight (mass). If the person who calculates what could break during a mission to determine what spares a craft should carry and they miscalculate the crew on the ship could die.

It’s called logistics and logistics saves lives.

There will be checklist for everything. In space one mistake and it will kill you. Now and in the future you will have a virtual assistant to make sure you do your checklist and watch you do it. Checklist will be the new tradition.

Stay strong, write on.

Professor Hyram Voltage

Don’t Let Goals Limit Your Writing

If you’re like me you celebrate when you reach a goal. That’s not bad, BUT (and there’s always a but) don’t let that limit you.

You’ve accomplished a major goal, go ahead and celebrate, but don’t stop. You’re on a roll. Use the momentum. Push yourself. A break and rest are good, but don’t abandoned the goal. There’s always more to do. Think stretch goals.

If you’re a football player and you have the ball, you don’t stop when you’ve reached ten yards and gained a new down you keep running.

If your goal is easy to reach or it has become routine to reach then increase the goals. If you don’t grow, you don’t strive for better hard to reach outcomes you will be eaten alive.

Look at RCA. It was a huge electronics company. Now all that’s left is the name that was sold to a Japanese company. The letters stand for Radio Corporation of America and now it’s only a label to be stuck on Japanese things. What happened? The company lived off the income from a bunch of patents and when the patents expired they had no new products. They did not have a big engineering staff developing new products not related to the old patents.

Is this what is happening to HP and IBM? They stopped making new and revolutionary products. They fired their development staff to save money, lots of money. The companies are a shadow of their former selves and may soon become labels slapped on someone else’s products. Don’t let this happen to you.

Movie stars reinvent themselves every few years. They do this to keep from being typecasted. To keep fans from becoming bored with them. To explore new roles.

Do the same. Write under a new pen name in a different sub-genre or even a whole new genre. Increase your word count per day goal. Write for an extra hour. Set a goal to write one additional new book this year, up from the number of books you wrote last year. Will this require changes? Yes. Will this be good? Yes. Will you succeed? Who knows, but you will strive and good can come from that.

Stay strong, write on.

Professor Hyram Voltage

Now go watch Chris Fox’s YouTube video on motivation at;

Stop Setting Goals

Weeks before Christmas I started getting emails about setting goals for 2019. The authors were saying they used systems for setting goals like the SMART method. There were braggarts saying things like last year was a good year but next year their goal is to make seven figures. There are people like Joanna Penn who said her goal was not to do any speaking in 2019, so she could write more.

She’s set a tough goal, speaking brings in more readers, get you exposure and a chance to travel on someone else’s money. Let’s see if she can do it. She is one tough writer.

I guess the straw that broke the camels back was Chris Fox’s email/video that he sent out today (12-28-2018) link:
In the video he said that in his recent book release the ninety nine cent book or free book as a loss leader to attract new readers wasn’t working. He did not say that this was do to the recent changes in Amazon advertising. He did say that he was going to write six books this year. This is slowing down for him.

I can barely get a book out a year. So what I’m going to do is get two books out this year. To hedge my effort I have one book at an editor. I’m afraid this book will require a major rewrite and another trip or two through the editor before it’s ready to be published. I have the second book outlined and am working on editing the first draft. Unfortunately, it can take me a year to edit a book (and you think your first draft is junk).

Even with this head start it may not be enough. I’m busy. I have a fifty five foot radio antenna tower in my back yard that needs to be put up. I have a forty foot antenna tower that I need to find a new home for, along with doing something with the light duty 55 foot tower that I will take down to put the heavy duty 55 foot tower up in its place. For sale; cheap, two towers. Contact me at professor at professorvoltage dot com. I will deliver short distances.

It’s rained here so the garden is full of weeds and I have to do something about them now or they will over run everything.

The living room is so full of stuff I can barely get to the front door.

And I get distracted by any bright shiny thing that comes along.

Also I have to do these blog post every week and I put a lot of thinking into them, even if it doesn’t look like it. I got to get my web page updated and soon. I need a new author bio for Kindle and a better book description. The list goes on and on, and I haven’t finished working on the Christmas lights. Got to get them working before I put them away.

So don’t set goals. Work on your books. Build a process, set a time to write, and then write. Trade time watching TV for time to write. Buy that voice recording app for you cell phone that you’ve been meaning to buy and use it to write your next book. Read more book in your genre.

If things come up, go for it. Do it. Life is short. Do as much as you can. When you look back on the year you may feel sad that you didn’t get enough writing done. But you can look back and feel good about the friends that you helped when they really needed your help. You have no way of planning that they would need your help. You have no way to plan that you will make new friends. You have to get out and meet people. You can’t do that while you’re writing in a closet or even in a coffee shop with your don’t brother me expression/mode on. Roll with the punches, but carry a big stick. And above all, enjoy the good things.

Stay strong, write on.
Professor Hyram Voltage