A Slightly Belated Happy New Year

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Happy New Year
* If any of you enjoy history
* I Hoped to Post Links
* My Only Real Escape
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“My subconscious mind always knows how to get from A to Z.” Novelist Robert J. Sadler

Happy New Year

More than one person has reminded me that even though I posted a Journal entry on New Year’s Day, I failed to say happy new year. I’d like to say I thought maybe that was implied, but maybe that isn’t true. Maybe I just forgot.

So anyway, happy new year to everyone. And especially as it pertains to your writing and publishing success.

If any of you enjoy first-hand history that hasn’t been blatantly, intentionally rewritten or sanitized, I strongly recommend “WWII Ace Pappy Boyington Recalls War, Prison and Flying” at https://www.historynet.com/pappy-boyington-interview-with-the-us-world-war-ii-ace.htm. The article is long but excellent. And thanks to my friend and former Marine Tim Weller for sending it to me.

I Hoped to Post Links

I hoped to post links below from the Kill Zone blog (they’re back today) and elsewhere, but I found very little worth passing along. The Kill Zone post itself was unremarkable, and the question the author asked (innocently) at the end raised my hackles a bit.

After talking about her back-and-forths with her traditional publishing editor, the author asked in part, “How about you, TKZers? … How will you manage the long trek to publication?”

What? Um, long trek?

To answer that question, I have an alternate question: How can any serious novelist in today’s world completely ignore that indie publishing even exists? I’m not talking here about the extremely rare occasion (ahem, John Gilstrap) when an author is offered a Life-Changing Advance (mid-to-upper-level six figures). I’m talking about novelists in general. But I guess ignoring indie publishing and pursuing the traditional route is the common, albeit foolish, mindset.

Just like the mindset that stems from our implanted collective inferiority complex. You know, the one that says you can’t trust your own creative subconscious, that you have to outline, plot, plan, revise, rewrite and polish, all with your conscious, critical mind, if you’re to have any chance at success. AND that you have to let the conscious, critical minds of others second-guess your work too!

So again, how can any serious novelist ignore that indie publishing exists, not to mention trumpeting the praises of their traditional publishing slave masters in New York? Do they have no pride left at all? Do they want so badly to be taken care of that they accept being taken advantage of as just part of the bargain? Do they crave the approval of some 20-something fresh out of college in New York? Or are they seriously just that naïve? Regardless, it’s embarrassing.

I realize going with a traditional publisher is a personal choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good choice. Jumping off a cliff into shark-infested waters is a personal choice too. But then, I repeat myself. Because jumping into shark-infested waters is pretty much what you’re doing when you sign over all rights to your copyright to a traditional publisher for practically nothing.

And trust me, the sharks will feed. They couldn’t begin to care less about you, or your work for that matter. All they care about is their own bottom line, and it expands by leaps and bounds every time they add some unwitting author’s IP to it. Traditional big publishers routinely increase the value of their company by MILLIONS of dollars for as little as a five- or ten-thousand dollar advance against royalties. Good business on their side, but head shakingly stupid for the authors who sign on the dotted line.

Sigh. Whatever. My apologies for the rant. If you couldn’t tell, inanity, which I define as a situation and/or argument (i.e., “reasoning”) that makes absolutely no sense, annoys me. And trust me, that’s a huge understatement.

So I can’t recommend the Kill Zone post. Besides, with any respect due the author, I find it difficult to take seriously any advice on writing or publishing from any novelist who’s written and published fewer than a dozen or so novels. But to each his/her own.

My Only Real Escape

When I’m annoyed with stupidity, my only real escape is fiction. I can escape into a really good story on TV, or by reading a good novel. Then again, those are few and far between unless I go to TCM on television or to a select very few authors in my Kindle or on my shelves.

I’ll be candid: If I didn’t have a story to dive into, I’d probably spend much of the rest of this day wondering what (the hell) is wrong with the world and the nation and some writers who—solely because of their platform, not their literary accomplishments—exercise influence over other writers.

And honestly, my frustration would only increase because I’m helpless to fix any of it. The longer I live, the shorter my patience with intentional ignorance and the more I realize why we’re allowed only a short time on Earth.

Anyway, my best and deepest escape is into something I’m writing at the time. Being directly involved with my characters and their world is a soothing salve to my reality. So I’m very glad I finally was able to pull the trigger and start a new novel.

Speaking of that, the writing’s going well enough. It hasn’t taken off yet, but it will soon. A lot of the set-up work is done. Soon I should be able to just let the story run. I’m looking forward to that, but unless I happen on an epiphany or something that I think might help you, this will be my last story-specific update. Of course, I’ll continue to update the numbers below.

Talk with you again later.

Of Interest

See “Last Two Days of Year End Workshop Sale” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/last-two-days-of-year-end-workshop-sale/. Just a reminder.

See “2022 Publishing Predictions” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/2022-publishing-predictions/.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 1000 words

Writing of The Stirchians (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2807 words. Total words to date…… 2807
Day 2…… 2986 words. Total words to date…… 5793

Total fiction words for January……… 5793
Total fiction words for the year………… 5793
Total nonfiction words for January… 2510
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 2510
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 8303

Calendar Year 2022 Novels to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 66
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.