It’s Never Too Late

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Johnny B. Truant
* It’s Never Too Late (guest post)
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quotes of the Day

“I am dismayed each morning to realize that another day has ticked off the calendar. But that inexorable passing also makes me more determined than ever to do what I can as well as I can before I must sleep again.” Anonymous

“If the reader can tell there’s a message, you have failed your job as writer.” Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt


Welcome to Johnny T. and any other new subscribers or readers of the Journal. I hope you will find it useful.

Be sure to check out the Archives and other free downloads at the Journal website. And I don’t do the ambush thing requiring an email address. Just click the links and a PDF will download in a new page.

And here’s a video where Vin Zandri and I are chatting about writing and a bunch of other stuff.

Writing In Public

A prolific writer, Johnny B. Truant, is going to write his next novel in public (see Of Interest).

This is something I’ve thought about doing myself with my next novel, whatever it is, maybe in a series of blog posts over on I would put a link to each new post, proabably consisting of two to four chapters, in the Journal each day.

Of course, what you would read there would differ slightly from the finished product. I would run a spell check it before I post each day, but what you would read there would be before I cycled back over it the next day. However, I’m also cycling as I go now, so….

If this is something that would interest you, please let me know either by commenting on this post on Substack or at the Journal website or my emailing me at

It’s Never Too Late

a guest post by George Kordonis

To give you a break from my regular tongue lashings, here’s a guest post by writer and Bradbury Challenge participant George Kordonis, lightly edited. Enjoy! And you older folks, listen up. (grin)

Some of you out there have only recently discovered Heinlein’s Rules and writing into the dark and how writing is supposed to be fun, not something to stress over.

Among this group there are a portion who might have thought (as I did): Would it have been better if I had stumbled onto this blog or Heinlein’s Rules earlier in life?

I used to think yes, I would have written more. But I don’t believe that anymore. I’ve come to think this is a myth we are told as writers.

The myth is that you have to start young. Even though you can start writing prolifically when you are older you could have saved so much more time if you had started 5, 10 or more years ago.

Nonsense. There is a reason you came to the Rules when you did: It was time. You have lived your life up to this time as best you could in terms of how you approached or did not approach writing. Perhaps you had to live life in a certain way, have certain experiences before you could even use Heinlein’s Rules effectively.

Learning to let go and letting your creative voice do the talking is easy and freeing when you finally do it, but its hard to get to that point in the first place. You sit down and write for fun and say, “why didn’t I just do this years ago?”

Well you weren’t ready. You might have had to go through certain things before you reached this point.

I know a few people in different professions who worked hard and had little to show for it until they knew better. But they all told me if they hadn’t been through the stress of ‘doing it wrong’ they would have never found out or allowed themselves to find out how to do it ‘right’. They wouldn’t have allowed themselves to accept the ‘easy’ solution until they suffered through the hard road first.

We have to unlearn the myths we’ve been taught, but that usually takes us through the hard road. When you are fed up enough, then and only then are you ready to see that Heinlein’s Rules are not a ‘cheat.’ They are the true way.

It really wasn’t your fault. You were born human so you were subject to lies and myths that were instilled by the culture around you — especially the literary culture. If you are born an eagle nobody has to teach you to be an eagle. It’s built into you.

But once you find out about Heinlein’s Rules you discover that the writing life and the ease of writing is also built into you. However, because you are human you have a mind, and where there is mind there is culture, and culture can tell the truth and it can also lie. It’s part of the human condition.

I finally realized we are not running marathons here, nor are we digging ditches under a steady rain (a favorite example used by Dean Wesley Smith). So it doesn’t matter what age you are. All you need is a quiet area to work in.

When Laura Ingels Wilder wrote down the now-famous Little House on the Prairie books she was 65. And when Bram Stoker wrote Dracula he was 50. And when the Raymond Chandler wrote his first detective novel (The Big Sleep) he as 51. Tolkien was 45 when he wrote The Hobbit in 1937. Their age was irrelevant.

Each of these people lived their individual lives before they wrote and, I dare say, had to go through certain experiences when they finally sat down and dedicated themselves to the writing life.

Because humans aren’t taught by instinct but by life. They each have a unique road they have to travel before they are ready. And yes, when they are ready they will break through any myth that others might have taught them.

I believe even if you knew of Heinlein’s Rules before you were ready you would not have used them. It happened to me. I knew of Heinlein’s Rules years ago but didn’t implement them.

I had to go though certain hassles in life to finally say, “Enough!” When that happens you finally trust yourself and have fun. You understand that writing really is being “at play in the fields of the Lord” (Ray Bradbury).

And you finally undertand why, as C.S. Lewis wrote, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

Cover Design Services for Indie Creatives THIS! Fast service, inexpensive pricing and GREAT covers. Strongly recommended. (Thanks to Philip S for the info.)

Does Anyone Want to Read My Next Book As I Write It? A prolific author will write a novel in public.

Why I Prefer to Read Fiction without Lessons or Messages

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 1160

Writing of Blackwell Ops 12: Nick Soldata (novel)

Day 1…… 3683 words. To date…… 3683
Day 2…… 3186 words. To date…… 6869
Day 3…… 3315 words. To date…… 10184
Day 4…… 3260 words. To date…… 13444
Day 5…… 3175 words. To date…… 16619
Day 6…… 3649 words. To date…… 20268
Day 7…… 3061 words. To date…… 23329
Day 8…… 3705 words. To date…… 27034

Fiction for October…………………… 59074
Fiction for 2023………………………… 276616
Fiction since August 1………………… 162069
Nonfiction for October……………… 18420
Nonfiction for the year……………… 216760
Annual consumable words………… 493316

2023 Novels to Date……………………… 5
2023 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2023 Short Stories to Date……………… 6
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 76
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 234
Short story collections…………………… 31

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.

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