The Journal, Saturday, 8/26

Hey Folks,

Well, a Saturday. The sun is still a couple hours from coming up as I write this. I’ve done my daily rounds of the Internet, made my usual stops.

If you enjoy a bit of history along with really great photos and some personal insights, check Linda Maye Adams’ blog at http://lindamayeadams.com/2017/08/26/a-veteranwriter-looks-at-history-leesylvania-state-park/.

Over the past few days I’ve started several bits of fiction. Each time I let them go. I’m not sure whether they weren’t working or it was just that I wasn’t in the mood. Probably the latter.

I mean, you don’t have to be in the “mood” to write. You just have to write the next sentence. I didn’t.

Pretty sure when I first backslid off Heinlein’s Rules was back when I decided it was no longer important to have a daily word count goal. That’s the only thing I can figure.

Also I crave writing novels. So lately when something “feels” like it’s going to be a short story, I tend to let it go.

I can feel something welling up, something about to break loose. But recently I’ve been waiting for it rather than sitting down and making it happen.

So there are a few things I need to change.

I already blew my novel-a-month goal when I missed finishing the last one (in July) by one day. So that goal is broken.

But my annual goal to write fifteen novels or novellas this calendar year remains. To do that, I just have to break down what’s left to do, divide it by the number of months/days and get busy.

To reach 15 major fiction works for the year, I have to write 7 more novels or novellas. So if I go with 40,000 words per novel as a base, that means I have to write 280,000 words in just those novels.

So that’s only 70,000 words per month for the remaining 4 months or 2300 words per day for 122 days. And if I hit my previous daily word count of 3000 words per day, in that 122 days I’ll reach 366,000 words, more than enough for the 20 short stories I’d also like to write by the end of the year (see below).

Completely within reach. That will also give me a new daily word count goal. Duh.

I mentioned short stories above. I would like to reach over 200 short stories published by the end of the year. I’m currently still 19 away. (Twenty to cross it into 201, which is the real goal.)

Thing is, writing short stories often leads to writing novels, so maybe I should start with short stories anyway. Doesn’t matter, I suppose. The point is to start somewhere, and then keep going. Just write the next sentence.

My wife mentioned last night that this slump started about the time we got back from our trip to New Mexico to visit a few elderly uncles. One (he’s only 10 years older than I) is on his way out with the big C, and I didn’t even know he was ill. I file that in the Damnit category.

I have some beginner’s knowledge of how the human psyche works, that it most often operates independently of its host’s willpower, what we desire, etc. So all of that slump stuff probably is a consideration. But it’s also an excuse, not a reason.

So onward.

Topic: On Word Count Goals

In case you didn’t read it, James Scott Bell talked about his “secret” of success as a prolific writer recently at the Kill Zone blog. Or maybe in one of his short YouTube videos.

Anyway, the secret, he says, is to have a word count goal. Same thing I used to say. Having a daily word count goal drives me to the computer when nothing else will. That’s how it helps me.

Mr. Bell doesn’t set a daily goal because, he says, when he misses it he beats himself up. (That’s one problem I don’t have, thankfully.)

He sets a weekly goal, then divides it by six to get his daily goal. (Wait for it.)

He feels no pressure re the daily goal, though, because life happens. If he misses his daily goal, he knows he can still reach his weekly goal by making up the words he missed on another day.

Sounds like a good approach to me.

Oh, and he divides by six (not seven) because he takes one day off per week to recharge his batteries.

So there you have it, for whatever it’s worth.

Today and Writing

Philosophical Dud of the Day: I guess it’s all right that I continue calling myself a writer. I do write every day, even if it isn’t always fiction.

Neat sidestep, isn’t it? (grin)

I dropped the “Untitled” whatever it was below. Frankly, I got so wrapped around the wheel “thinking” (oh oh) about it that I paralyzed myself. Critical mind. Easy to do.

So I’m starting fresh. Again.

Around 9:45, off to Sierra Vista to shop for stuff. We’ll see what the rest of the day holds when we get back.

Got back late and then a storm started moving in, so I’m gonna post this. Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Today I’m referring to the Kill Zone blog again. PLEASE don’t take everything you read there for gospel. Like any advice from anywhere, take what feels right to you and ignore the rest.

See Dean’s “The Value of a Paperback” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-value-of-a-paperback/.

See James Scott Bell’s “Baloney Advice Writers Should Ignore” at https://killzoneblog.com/2012/10/baloney-advice-writers-should-ignore.html. Notice this is from 2012. The guy is a fount of information if you just spend a little time reading. You can find all of Bell’s posts at https://killzoneblog.com/author/jimbell.

You might also browse Joe Moore’s posts at https://killzoneblog.com/author/admin/.

ALSO SEE “Writing a Novel They Can’t Put Down” at http://knockoutfiction.teachable.com/p/novel/. This is a course in novel writing (from James Scott Bell), and most impressively, you have lifetime access to the materials. I’ll probably take this one myself. After I read one or two of his novels. (grin)

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 990 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 990

Writing of ()

Day 1…… 1205 words. Total words to date…… 1205
Day 2…… 1856 words. Total words to date…… 3061
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 16642
Total fiction words for the year………… 379620
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14270
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 133390
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 513000

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 637 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 8 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 181

The Journal, Thursday, 8/24

Hey Folks,

Well, I’m back.

A company called ReDigi is attempting to get an appeals court to let them resell “used” ebooks. Nonsense, in my opinion. And the way ReDigi wants to do it would cut the publisher and author out of any royalties. So double nonsense.

Nothing in an ebook can ever become degraded. There are no physical pages to be underlined and highlighted and dog-eared, etc.

According to current law (see https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/08/23/ruling-redigi-case-cant-re-open-door-used-ebook-market-door-never-closed/) an ebook can’t be sold as “used” but the seller can sell the media on which it is stored.

(There’s another link on the linked article above that explains in greater detail.)

To me, “media” means the device. Of course, lawyers can and will twist that word into whatever shape they want it to take.

So I could sell or give away my Kindle Paperwhite with the ebooks I have stored on it left in place. But I can’t collect a royalty on those ebooks, and that’s what’s at stake in the ReDigi appeal.

I hope ReDigi fails miserably, as any thief should.

***

To begin the day, I read again. I didn’t want to start anything long, so I read (again) Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.”

If I live another hundred years, I will never write anything so filled with depth, so ironic and so beautiful.

And on the tail of that thought, this appropriate quote from the book: “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.”

Excellent advice for writers, don’t you think?

No fiction writing today either, but big new changes coming soon in that regard.

Of Interest

If you want to learn how to write “talk tough” characters, see “How to Talk Tough” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/08/how-to-talk-tough.html.

I also enjoyed “The Ingredients of a Great Series Character” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/08/the-ingredients-of-a-great-series-character.html.

Oddly enough, both entries above are by the same author, James Scott Bell. Mr. Bell blogs at The Kill Zone once a week. I’ll be checking in on him if I can remember.

I am avidly against censorship. If you are too, take a look at “Confirmed: B&N Terminating Nook Press Accounts for Publishing Erotica” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/08/23/bn-terminating-nook-press-accounts-publishing-erotica/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 380 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 380

Writing of “Untitled” ()

Day 1…… 1205 words. Total words to date…… 1205
Day 2…… 1856 words. Total words to date…… 3061
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 16642
Total fiction words for the year………… 379620
Total nonfiction words for the month… 12900
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 132010
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 511630

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 635 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 8 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 181

The Journal, Saturday, 7/1

Hey Folks,

Okay. The roller coaster continues.

Maybe I’ll start the challenge today, and maybe I won’t. I’ll know by the end of the day.

Or maybe I need to adjust the challenge. I don’t know. Again, I hope I’ll know by the end of the day

Enjoying a visit with my youngest son, his wife, and three grandsons this morning.

Today, and Writing

No writing today.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via the Passive Guy, see “The Opening as Part of the Closing … of the Deal” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/03/the-opening-as-part-of-the-closing-of-the-deal.html. This is a really great article. You might also bookmark The Killzone Blog. I did.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 110 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 110

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 110
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 107940
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 445897

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 583 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 176