A New Story, This Morning, and Yesterday

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* A New Story
* Scale Your Writing Business
* This Morning
* Yesterday
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“The creative process is not controlled by a switch you can simply turn on or off—it’s with you all the time.” Alvin Ailey

A New Story

“Maldito & the Tourists,” the third story in an interconnected series of ten magic realism stories, went live yesterday on my Stanbrough Writes Substack. If you enjoy magic realism or Mexico, you probably don’t want to miss this series of stories.

To subscribe, click the link above and then the Subscribe button at the end of the story. You’ll receive a new short story every Friday, and it’s free.

Below the Subscribe button, there are other short stories you can read in most genres. Enjoy!

Scale Your Writing Business in 2024

Yesterday I mentioned a webinar sponsored by Atticus. After a few glitches, I received the link to the replay video.

To watch it, click this link.

The video is a little over an hour long, and according to the splash page, you should be prepared to take notes.

As you will see below the video, this is also a sales pitch for services. To be clear, I know nothing about David Chesson or the The Indie Author Empire and next to nothing about Atticus.

I’m only passing along the link to a free video. It has been my experience that I can learn something useful from almost any such offering. I neither endorse nor renounce anything in this segment of the post.

Meanwhile, my own “empire” is in fine enough fettle. But among professional writers, I am an odd fish.

Despite having been a top-notch salesman at one time — try selling a young man or woman three or four years of his or her own life — since I started writing in earnest in 2014, I have never found any activity that will trump “Yes” as the answer to “Would I be better off writing?”

This Morning

This morning a Talkwalker Alert notified me that I had been slapped around by another writer for recommending (not mandating) daily word count goals and eschewing the myths. I won’t mention the writers name or website.

But I thought I’d paste part of my response here, especially since I was blocked from defending myself there:

1. “Post your word count on your blog regularly. Harvey Stanbrough did it for a while.”

Um, I still post my daily word count on my Daily Journal every day, as I have for most of the past 9 years, during which time I’ve written 82 novels, 9 novellas, and over 230 short stories. I do so partly to motivate myself and partly to motivate my readers, most of whom are also writers. Most of them find it encouraging.

If you find my daily numbers reports annoying or depressing or somehow dissuading, please don’t read them. I put them near the end of the post and label the section plainly specifically so those who don’t want to read them can stop reading before they get there. They aren’t even included in the word count of the Journal.

2. Re word count (and other) goals, I can only recommend (again, not mandate) what works personally for me. And I’m not afraid to define the term. “What works” means what enables me to write instead of not write. “Write” is an action verb. It means putting new words on the page.

However, if “what works” for someone else is delaying writing by outlining, rewriting, research, or whatever else that is not putting new words on the page, that’s fine with me. What does not directly affect my quality of life or my paycheck doesn’t matter in the slightest to me, least of all how or whether someone else does or does not do anything at all.

Also, I constantly cheerlead for the writers who follow my Journal. Unlike those who spread the myths, I never tell them what they can’t do or that any writing method is the “only” way to write. To each his or her own.

3. “We’re told that the ideal number is 1,000 words an hour.” (This is the sort of misrepresentation with which the post was replete.)

I have never heard anyone say 1000 words per hour is “ideal.” By the way, that’s only 17 words per minute. Leaves a lot of time for staring off into space.

I won’t always write what you want to hear on this blog, but I won’t use innuendo, half-truths, or outright lies to bend anyone else’s words or actions either. Please, if you do not want to quote me in context and precisely, don’t quote me at all.

Finally, the writer started the blog post with “I realized that writing had lost some of its fun for me. … I think it’ll be a theme for 2024, because I want to find that fun again. That starts with exploring why it faded. One of the reasons was word count goals.”

If a daily or other word-count goal causes the fun of writing to fade for you, adjust your goals or drop them altogether. What difference does it make to anyone else? Word count goals are personal to each writer.

As for the fun of writing fading for this particular writer, I am not surprised in the slightest. But as I often say, if writing is not fun for you, then perhaps you should find something that IS fun and do that instead.

Perhaps most importantly, how does anyone benefit from running down “what (actually) works” and what is fun for others?


I used to call this section “The Writing” but it is alwaya about what happened yesterday. (grin) I urge you to scan it each day. Often I’ll include something that might help with your own writing.

In yesterday’s post I mentioned I’m thinking of going live on YouTube again. Looking for your input. Leave a comment or email me.

In yesterday’s post, I also mentioned that my POV character did not reveal her personality to me until I was around 20,000 words into the story. Well, as they say, the plot thickens.

After I’d written another thousand words or so during yesterday’s writing the POV character also revealed to me WHY she had not revealed her personality earlier. And as she did so, her arms were crossed over her chest. Actually we had met before, but I had forgotten.

It was a revelation, a true surprise. She is not who I thought she was. And frankly, I think she was a little miffed that I didn’t recognize her earlier. I don’t blame her. Or possibly I DID recognize her but my critical mind was holding her at arm’s length.

Like Hydra or Medussa, critical mind has many heads and is likely to rear one or more of them at any time.

Anyway, the Character Recognition Meatware in my head finally kicked in, and it called for cycling through the entire manuscript again. Of course, it was well worth it. Though I fell just short of my word count goal for the day.

I recognize her now, and that’s what counts. For now I have removed the alpha title of the current novel in the numbers below. I will reveal it again when I finish the novel. (grin)

I usually know who the character is from the very first word I type into what will become a novel. But I have to admit, this was an exciting experience. One I also hope neither this character nor any others will ever repeat.

I’ll talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

Resetting as a writer

Episode 873: Bookstore Closings and the Rise of the Author as Bookseller

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 1360

Writing of Blackwell Ops 17:

Day 1…… 4204 words. To date…… 4204
Day 2…… 4284 words. To date…… 8488
Day 3…… 3355 words. To date…… 11843
Day 4…… 1623 words. To date…… 13466
Day 5…… 1284 words. To date…… 14750
Day 6…… 4065 words. To date…… 18815
Day 7…… 4083 words. To date…… 22898
Day 8…… 3903 words. To date…… 26801

Fiction for January……………………. 14958
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 14958
Fiction since October 1…………… 318015
Nonfiction for January……………… 6300
Nonfiction for 2024…………………… 6300
2024 consumable words…………… 21458

2024 Novels to Date……………………… 0
2024 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 82
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 238
Short story collections…………………… 31

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Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Unreasoning fear and the myths of writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.