Breyik Lives! (And I’m Back) – Travis Senzaki

Breyik Lives! (And I’m Back)

I very rarely take photos of myself, but I’m trying more, for my Instagram account. Here’s one from a recent conference in DC, where I was not impressed with Starbucks’ Nitro Cold Brew coffee.

In my last post here, five months ago(!), I shared my promotion at my day job. Then I promptly disappeared. That was no coincidence.

While I am grateful for the promotion and what it said about my bosses faith in me, it has honestly taken a huge mental and physical toll. The extra work and stress have knocked me down, quite literally. I’m not going to list my litany of woes here, but suffice it to say for now, that I did not have the wherewithal to keep up all of my extracurricular activities. I had to make some decisions.

What Happened with My Writing

I’ve mentioned on here before that in addition to fiction, I had a series of books built off my blog about the Japanese Government’s MEXT Scholarship. Up until earlier this month, that had been my primary focus. I wanted to get the latest book in that series out by the application period for this year, in April. I succeeded, but they they want and changed the very form I’d written my entire book about two weeks later when the guidelines came out! So, that kicked off a major rewrite.

Eventually the book did sell decently, but not nearly well enough to cover the stress that went into writing and rewriting it. And I learned a hard lesson about writing about a subject that could change at the whims of an organization that I had nothing to do with.

With that book done, I am setting that series aside for the foreseeable future; I am back to Breyik!

Where is Breyik, Now?

Earlier this month, I shifted away from the scholarship stuff and decided that my fiction, starting with Breyik, is my new priority. I want to write stories that bring joy to my readers. But that means I have to get professional.

I have set a deadline for my first draft: October 1 (Mark it on your calendar and hold me to it!) and a word target at 120,000, which means I need to churn out 1000 words per day. Since I already had my outline from before the February promotion, it has not been hard to get back into it. I have been hitting my target consistently, and am excited about the progress and about having something more exciting than this blog for you to read! As of today, I am nearly at 30,000 words, which is actually a little ahead of my progress target, since I started a few days into June.

No spoilers for now, but let’s just say that Breyik had been facing a tough choice about taking a short-cut to reach a goal, at the expense of a betrayal that probably would never have been noticed, or taking a much longer and uncertain route. But that was before the short-cut got a whole lot more costly.


I mentioned in my last post that I was experimenting with dictation, but now I have completely integrated it into my writing process, and that is one of the reasons I have been able to stay on target. Each weekday, at least, I dictate part of a scene, which inevitably comes out half-jumbled. The next morning, when I sit down to write, I start with that jumbled text, polish it into comprehensible English, then launch forward from that. So far, that approach has given me a running start on my daily writing, so I never find myself staring at a blank screen.

If you’re thinking about writing, I highly recommend trying it! It has not come easily to me, and I can’t claim to be even an amateur yet, but I’m already seeing benefits as I get better.

Breyik the Apprentice: Coming to the Non-Amazon World

I have had Breyik the Apprentice exclusive to Amazon for the last year or more, in the hope that Kindle Unlimited readers would take a chance on it since they could borrow it for free. But that hasn’t worked (I know why, but it would cost too much time and effort to get more eyes on it, at least until I have more follow-up books). So, on July 3, when my current contract is up with Amazon, I will be bringing Breyik back to the other bookstores.

If you were waiting for your chance to get Breyik, but morally object to Amazon, this will be your chance! I’ll send the link next month when I confirm its really out there.

OK, back to writing words that count in a world far more dangerous than this one.

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