Heinlein’s Rule 4

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Went Out and Played
* SNAFU 1—Rose’s Story
* SNAFU 2 (No, I am not kidding)—Blackwell Ops 8
* Comments Matter
* Of Interest

Quote of the Day

“Just because electronic copying is very simple to do and happens trillions of times per day on computers around the world doesn’t mean that making an electronic copy of a bunch of organized electrons that are protected by copyright law is not a violation of copyright law.” The Passive Guy

Went Out and Played

Day before yesterday, the well that provides our water developed a severe leak, so it had to be turned off and repaired. As it turned out, moles had dug down beneath a PVC-pipe T, causing it to sag and, over time, to pop loose. That was day before yesterday.

Yesterday, I donned lace-up boots and played in the mud (black clay) for about an hour before the neighbor (and landlord, it’s his well) was called away. I came here and wrote this.

When he was ready again he came back, tied-in a PVC pipe T among three existing pipes and we had water again.

I wrote most of today’s edition of the Journal yesterday. You’ll see why.

SNAFU 1—Rose’s Story

Turns out I am dumber than a post. I finished The Stirchians: Rose’s Story last year. November 24th to be exact. I had to look it up. Why?

Because while I was clearing up the desktop on my business computer, I ran across my first reader’s input for the story.

So I opened the docx file, glanced over it, and sure enough, I hadn’t added my first reader’s input.

So I opened the book’s folder. I hadn’t designed a cover or created a promo doc either. Which means I hadn’t published it. Fell off Heinlein’s Rule 4 again.

I do that quite often with short stories. I have several at the moment that I haven’t published yet. Maybe I’ll combine them in a collection titled Unpublished Until Now or something just to get them off my desk. But I try to go ahead and publish novels since I went to the “trouble” of writing them and, ostensibly, there are readers waiting.

Anyway, I added Russ’s corrections to the Word document, designed a cover, saved the cover in my three favorite sizes (2000 x 3000, 300 x 450, and 180 x 270), drew up a promo doc and published the stupid thing. That took a few hours.

It’s ironic. I was in a hurry to write that story because I knew there were readers waiting for the sequel to The 13-Month Turn, yet once I finished Rose’s Story I let it slip through the cracks. And there it’s been, lying forgotten beneath the foorboards of my brain, for over a month.

I did at least have the good sense to add it to my inventory spreadsheet when I finished it, so it’s already included in my novels numbers below. Still, how annoying is this?

Oh well, it’s published now to D2D and Amazon, and I also updated the Science Fiction page on StoneThread Publishing and created a book page for Rose’s Story.

If you want to see the cover and promo stuff, visit the book page at https://stonethreadpublishing.com/the-stirchians-roses-story/. Kind of a nifty cover when you compare it to the cover for The 13-Month Turn (right next to it).

SNAFU 2 (No, I am not kidding)—Blackwell Ops 8

Wow. Like I said above, dumber than a post.

Because of SNAFU 1, I went back and double-checked my inventory spreadsheet. This time I just looked along the Published column. Surprise! I found another blank spot in the entries color colded as novels.

I’m pretty much amazing at Heinlein’s Rules 1-3 if I do say so myself, but by Fred, Ginger and Betty White, I really do suck at Rule 4. Go figure. Um, I’m a writer. Even the thought of the word “business” puts me to sleep.

Anyway, I finished Blackwell Ops 8: Philip Dunstan & Macy Marie Corman way back on August 19, 2022. It was the first of five books I wrote in 2022 as I struggled to come out of the last vestiges of the brain cloud.

As I did with Rose’s Story, I designed a cover, created a promo doc, and uploaded and published BO-8 o D2D and Amazon. And yup, I also revised the Action Adventure/Thriller page on StoneThread Publishing and created a book page for BO-8 there. You can check it out at https://stonethreadpublishing.com/bo-8/.

I started late yesterday morning at 5:30. So the above silliness (including volunteering as a supervisor on the well repair for an hour) plus all the business stuff plus writing this account has taken right at seven hours. It’s noon-thirty.

Oh, and there are those who somehow manage to equate designing a cover with writing a novel, as in “at least it’s a creative endeavor” etc. etc. etc.  And good for them, and good for you if you’re one of them.

I’m not. For me, designing a cover, constructing a promo doc, formatting the manuscript, uploading, etc. is all business stuff, meaning “stuff that soaks up time I could be spending on the story.” All of that stuff fails the WIBBOW rule every time in my mind.

Which is probably why I slip off Heinlein’s Rule 4 so often. And why I sometimes seriously consider dropping Rule 4 altogether. Just write, then let my heirs publish the stuff (or not). Doesn’t that sound wonderfully freeing?

Anyway, at about 12:30 I took a breat up at the house. That turned into a trip to the grocery, and that turned into taking the rest of the day off and watching about half of the ridiculous college championship game.

Comments Matter

Hey, folks, much as I appreciate the private comments via email, it would help the Journal’s visibility a ton if you would go ahead and click through to the actual post on the actual website and leave a comment.

Comments really help the circulation of the Journal (and whatever other blogs you comment on). Comments cause the bots and spiders and other creepy-crawlies to take the Journal more seriously. Thanks.

Talk with you again then.

Of Interest

See “Workshops Are In Second Week” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/special-offer-from-me/.

See “Controlled Digital Lending…” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/controlled-digital-lending-could-canadian-universities-find-themselves-out-on-a-limb/. See PG’s take.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 1030 words

Writing of Wes Crowley: Deputy US Marshal (WCG8SF3)

Day 10… 3052 words. Total words to date…… 25809

Total fiction words for January……… 16101
Total fiction words for 2023………… 16101
Total nonfiction words for January… 7700
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 7700
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 23801

Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 71
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer because of my zen-like non-process. If you want to learn it too, either hang around or download my Journal Archives at https://hestanbrough.com/the-daily-journal-archives/, read them, and try WITD for yourself. The archives are free.

5 thoughts on “Heinlein’s Rule 4”

  1. Hello!
    Heinlein’s rules are helped me a ton. They are both simple and difficult to follow. Ok, with the first two, I write and I finish, but finishing even one year ago was still a problem. Don’t rewrite? It’s tricky, just because I loose confidence right after the finishing. I reread the story later usually, and don’t change fomr my critical brain anything. I just read it to know what has happened. End then the business side of things… Doing a cover, doing a sales copy, publishing and marketing… It’s something to learn.
    It’s interesting how writers don’t just write for others or for money, but instead they write because they love to write. Did you hear about sudowrite? It’s an AI programme writing with commands. We had a quarrel with my friends, and it had lots of emotion involved. They said the AI will take over all of their money in publishing. I said they don’t even have a book published… And writing is not just sales. It’s because we love that thing to do. Even in a world where the art is done by machines there would be artists. Because we love the thing we do. Maybe we don’t make as much money as everyone had done before, but telling the truth I would still write. Yes, who always see only dollars with every words they write… Who just writes only to the market, and with no heart, they never will feel the same when I got lost in a story with a character I never met before. Even if AI could create (AI can’t do it right now) to create novels for readers, he can’t do it instead of me. The journey is mine.
    I think that is a good analogy. When the WIBBOW rule enters its about ourself telling a story. Not just about business, money, or anything. While these things are important I think during any time it is possible to do it. Maybe fewer people would make it into publishing, but I think writers will always exist.
    Sorry, for I took a detour. But the WIBBOW rule and HR4 reminded me to that quarrel I did with my friends.
    Have a nice day!

    • Thanks for the comment, Balázs. As I told a group of writers a long time ago, you know what writers would do if there were no publishers? They would write. But what would publishers do if there were no writers? You want fries with that? (grin)

  2. Its funny you mention how some people consider creating a cover as part of writing or equal to it.

    Reminds me of how some writers believe taking notes, brainstorming, even daydreaming, is all ‘writing.’ Of course rewriting too (obviously. Because all ‘real writers’ do it. Makes me chuckle)

    But, as we both know, the only real writing is putting more words on the page of the story. Nothing more, nothing less.

    In regards to publishing consistently, I understand how you feel haha. There’s been several stories (both screenplays and short stories) that I have let slip through the cracks and forgotten to put out there. This year as a resolution I’m holding myself accountable and making sure I put everything I finish out there.

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