The Journal, Monday, 6/26

Hey Folks,

Wow. I could post this right now and chances are you’d find value in it. Just check out today’s “Of Interest” to see what I mean. There’s a lot there.

***

By the way, I requested and received a “free website critique” of my main website from Nate Hoffelder.

In a word, the guy’s legit. He’s also super helpful. My website doesn’t suck, but (to continue the analogy) he pointed out a few places where vacuum leaks exist or are forming. So I’ll take care of those over the next week or so.

So once again I encourage you to visit The Digital Reader at https://the-digital-reader.com/. Not only for his usually useful notes on the publishing industry, but for his services.

***

For those following the Saga of Grandson Bryan, he’s safely ensconsed at my house again. I’ll drive him to Tucson early on Tuesday morning and he’ll begin his training with Job Corps and then his new life. The older I get (seemingly day by day) the more I envy the excitement of young people experiencing new discoveries.

But new discoveries are neither limited to the young, nor are we more-mature folks banned from them. With this chapter of his and my life closing, two new doors also are opening.

Bryan will set off in wide-eyed wonder on his life’s journey, and I’ll begin the new challenge I’ve been hawking here for awhile.

Topic: Goals, Life Rolls and Establishing Routines

Stealing a bit of thunder from the “Today, and Writing” section, there’s something to be said for the interaction of goals, life rolls and establishing routines.

For example, now that my current life roll has almost come to a close, I’m clearing the decks to prep for the upcoming challenge.

If I can finish that prep work today, the current plan is to begin the challenge tomorrow. If this effort carries through Tuesday, I’ll begin the challenge on Wednesday.

But the disruption of this life roll has also brought a new insight. Why not use the current challenge not only to reach a desired goal, but to establish a new routine?

So no matter when I begin the challenge, I’ve decided not to limit it to a set timeframe.

I still have to write a novel for July, but I also want to write a complete short story every day through at least July 31. No matter when I start.

I once logged a 26-hour workday in the oilfields of New Mexico in a single 24-hour day. So why can’t I expand “Stories from July” to span June 27 or 28 through July 31?

And by July 31, if I have a routine down, I see no reason to voluntarily stop at that point, to voluntarily end the streak.

Think about it: It’s all well and good to write 31 stories in 31 calendar days from July 1 through July 31 and then publish Stories from July.

But why not continue through August 31? Or September 30? You see where I’m going.

And I’ve come to realize that’s the real purpose behind this goal and this challenge: to continue in my training (or retraining) as a writer by establishing a routine.

Certainly the short stories and collections and novels will be a pleasing by-product (to some readers) of that training, but nothing more than that.

Carving out time to write is important. Writing is important. But the stories themselves are not important in the slightest. They’re something to enjoy and let go.

So what’s the importance of establishing a routine?

The best, most deeply imbedded routines are those that can be interrupted by life rolls but to which you return automatically when the life roll ends. You know, instead of erratically “starting over” each time.

If I can do that, maybe I’ll emerge feeling like a “real” writer. We’ll see. (grin)

Today, and Writing

Today, and probably the balance of tomorrow, I’m continuing to clear the decks for my challenge. The websites are done, all but minor tweaks. So I’ll finally design the covers and other promo materials for my 10 unpublished short stories, a novel and a novella.

Then I’ll publish them, then upload covers to the website, create new pages on the website for the novel and novella, etc.

UPDATE: As of 11:30, I finished formatting the documents and writing promo documents for them. Now I only have to find the cover pics, create the covers, and distribute them. Piece’a cake, amIright? (grin)

By 1:30, I identified pics for the novel, novella, and 7 of the short stories. I have a feeling the last three will have to wait awhile.

It’s almost 3 so I’m gonna post this. I have 4 covers done. I’ll do at least one more today.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Check out “Why Indie Authors’ Websites Need to Evolve Over Time” at http://selfpublishingadvice.org/is-it-time-to-evolve-your-author-website/.

More importantly, see “US Copyright Office recommends sweeping, welcome changes to America’s DRM laws” at http://boingboing.net/2017/06/23/us-copyright-office-recommends.html/. (I personally NEVER use DRM and recommend strongly against it.)

And see “Hoopla Digital and HarperCollins Disrupt Library E-Lending” at https://copyrightandtechnology.com/2017/06/25/hoopla-digital-and-harpercollins-disrupt-library-e-lending/.

From Linda Adams via email, if you’re a veteran and you’d like to start your own business (publishing, anyone?) check out “VetToCEO – Veterans Entrepreneurship Training Program” at http://www.vettoceo.org/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 880 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 880

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14710
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 104690
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 442647

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 578 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

The Journal, Sunday, 6/25

Hey Folks,

Well, the best laid plans, etc.

An unexpected trip popped up for tomorrow morning. We’ll leave here around 6 for a 10-hour turnaround to Flagstaff to pick up Bryan.

Job Corps finally decided they have a slot for him. They called a few days ago (did I tell you that?) while I was in New Mexico.

Originally, Mona was going to drive to Casa Grande (about 3 hours) to meet Roy and drive Bryan back here.

But due to circumstances, Roy can’t do that now, so we’ll drive to Flagstaff to get him. Then on Tuesday, I’ll drive him into Tucson to his new digs at Job Corps.

Today, and Writing

So no writing today. In fact, I’m posting this a little early to keep the posting streak alive. I’ll try to punch in the “Of Interest” section before we leave.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Dean offers some thoughts on challenges. This is very good. See “Challenge Thinking” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/challenge-thinking/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 160 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 160

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13830
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 103810
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 441767

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 577 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

The Journal, Saturday, 6/24

Hey Folks,

Not a lot to report today. It’s Saturday and I’m still clearing decks to prep for the upcoming challenge.

This morning so far I made more tweaks on the main website. Then I moved over and made a few tweaks on the Writing in Public website.

After that, I worked on this website, The Daily Journal, to include creating a new header. I also narrowed it a bit and revised some of the colors. Finally I made some major revisions on the MailChimp side of things.

Now I’ve been to the store (with Mona) and am about to go back over to mess with the Writing in Public website again.

Speaking of Writing in Public, Linda Maye Adams is about to embark on a similar challenge at her website. Check out her site at http://lindamayeadams.com/.

Hey, thanks to Alison for mentioning that moving the tag cloud on the main site wouldn’t be a bad idea. And to Gary for mentioning that when he swipes stuff off a blog post, he’d prefer it would have a white background rather than yellow. (grin)

Keep ’em coming. If any of you have any recommendations regarding any of the three main websites (HarveyStanbrough.com, HEStanbrough.com or HStanbrough.com) please let me know.

Today, and Writing

Yeah, no writing today. Still doing prep work with regard to the sites. And with regard to my subconscious, I think.

A few days ago, I had a story idea. The next day, three or four occurred to me. Yesterday and today they’ve been almost nonstop.

It’s a little like being nagged by a two year old, but I’ll take it. (grin)

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Mark Coker of Smashwords says in this year’s survey he found a lot of gold. See the survey at http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/06/smashwords-survey-2017.html/. Note: This is a slideshow. The actual survey begins on page 25 of 111. The summary of key takeaways begins on page 101.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 330 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 330

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13670
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 103650
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 441607

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 576 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

The Journal, Friday, 6/23

Hey Folks,

Well, here we are back at HEStanbrough.com. Yep, I’ve moved the Journal back over here. Much more on that in the topic below.

***

Thirty-three years ago today Mona found out I’m a much better judge of women than she is of men. That’s when we tied the knot, and she hasn’t figured out how to untie it yet. (grin)

***

The first gem I took from Dean’s current post (see “Of Interest”) when I started reading was this: “Challenges get me focused for short bursts of time on writing.”

There you go. That’s the reason to establish a challenge. A personal challenge creates focus.

If you have a go at a challenge, at worst you’ll fail to success. Meaning you’ll have more work when the challenge stops than you would have had without it.

And if you succeed outright, you’ll have even more work out there plus the knowledge that you accomplished something you weren’t sure you could do.

Topic: Decluttering and Revamping My Writing Business

The plan for the day is to revise and tweak websites. I’m posting this as a topic in case it gives some of you an idea or two:

StoneThread Publishing — I’m giving up on StoneThread Publishing as a separate entity.

StoneThread was designed to give discounts to booksellers and private readers. Thus far (after almost two years) not one bookseller and few, if any, readers have taken advantage of it.

I’ll retain the name as my publisher, of course, unless I get a really good offer.

HEStanbrough.com — This is the once and future home of The Daily Journal.

I’m sending the Journal back down to the minor leagues beginning today. (grin) Those who are subscribed shouldn’t notice a difference.

I moved the Journal to the main site almost exactly two years ago in hopes of garnering new subscribers. But that hasn’t happened, so away it goes. This move will help declutter the main website. From now on, only the Pro Writers blog posts will appear on the main site.

Also, as more Topics from The Daily Journal become Pro-Writers blog posts, there will be less overlap on the main site.

HarveyStanbrough.com — This is my main website. First, I’m simplifying the menu (I started that yesterday). If you have a moment, take a look and let me know in the comments what you think.

I’m also transfering everything from StoneThread Publishing (individual book pages, etc.) over to this main site. Then I’ll link the StoneThread URL to the main site. I should be finished with this process in a few days.

Now to one more website and the challenge I mentioned above:

HStanbrough.com — This is the new Writing in Public site. This is my modern-day effort to recreate what Harlan Ellison did in that storefront display window several decades ago.

Only those who subscribe to HStanbrough.com will witness my efforts to write short stories (and maybe novellas and novels) “in public,” posted one scene or one chapter at a time.

Everybody who watches NASCAR or Indy car racing watch for one of two reasons: To see whether their favorite driver will prevail or to witness the wrecks first hand.

Wanna see me succeed and watch as I’m building stories? Subscribe. Wanna see me crash and burn? Subscribe. (grin)

Either way, I’ll be glad to have you along.

But don’t dawdle. The new Writing in Public challenge will begin on July 1 at the latest. But knowing me, there’s a good chance it will begin sooner than that.

Today, and Writing

No fiction writing again today, but I made a lot of headway on the websites.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

See Dean’s “Another Crazy Challenge For Myself” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/another-crazy-challenge-for-myself/. I haven’t read it yet (as I write this), but I suspect it will jump start me.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 520 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 520

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13340
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 103320
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 441277

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 575 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