In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* Great Comment
* Guest Appearance
* Of Interest
Quotes of the Day
On being original: “The next Bill Gates will not start an operating system. The next Larry Page won’t start a search engine. The next Mark Zuckerberg won’t start a social network company. If you are copying these people, you are not learning from them.” Peter Thiel
“Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.” T.S. Eliot
Welcome to ibib1850 and any other new subscribers to the Journal. Welcome aboard. Glad to have you. If I can help with your writing, feel free to let me know.
Be sure to read Frank T’s comment on yesterday’s post, especially if you don’t yet “get” that your opinion of your work is only one opinion, the reader is the only valid judge of your work, etc.
And thanks, Frank, for the comment.
I didn’t say anything in the body of yesterday’s Journal, but my guest post appeared at The KillZone blog yesterday. You’ve seen the information before in this Journal. It was a series of posts that I compiled as an article (“What Heinlein’s Rules Mean to Me”) and then posted free on the Archives, Gifts & DVDs page.
But you might want to stop by the TKZ blog anyway to check out the comments. It’s a pretty easy way to see how strong the myths are and how they persist among even some professional writers.
Anyway, I came away with a few notes:
1. “Whatever works for you is fine” works in only one direction. (grin)
If you follow the myths, you like to hear, “Hey, now, whatever works for you is fine.” Of course, following the myths requires a wholly different definition of “works” than the one to which I’ve grown accustomed.
To me, “works” has always meant “is effective.” Following the myths might “work” (is an effective way) to write one or two novels per year, but if you’re truly prolific, you don’t want revising, rewriting, and garnering critiques to clutter up your writing time.
And if you don’t follow the myths, trust me, you’ll never hear another writer say, “Hey, whatever works for you is fine.”
2. “Writers are the worst judge of their own work” is a true statement.
What it actually means is that the writer’s opinion of his or her own work is only one opinion, so don’t give it any more weight than that. What you’ve written has value, but how much value is up to the individual reader, not you. And what the reader thinks of your work, by the way, is none of your business.
The myth puppies repeat the saying often, and they repeat it exactly as it’s written above, but what they actually mean is “Writers are the worst judge of their own work if they believe the work is good.” Then they ship it off to a critique group so other people can tell them why they’re wrong and why it’s not good.
If they believe the work is crap, of course, they suddenly forget the saying. They don’t send the work to a critique group. It goes into the recycle bin on the computer or into the trash can in real life or into a drawer where it stays until some poor descendent finds it, reads it, enjoys it, and wonders why it was never published.
3. Driven by unreasoning fear (fear that literally lacks any real-world consequences), people will expend far more energy telling you why writing into the dark can’t possibly work and is a horrible idea and they’ll never try it and on and on—than they would expend simply trying it for themselves.
This strange phenomenon never ceases to amaze me. Trying WITD is literally a win-win, no-lose situation. If you really try WITD and it doesn’t work, you can always slip back into your comfortable niche among those warm, bloated myths.
That’s exactly what I thought would happen back in early 2014 when I tried it. But I wanted to be sure. I wanted to know absolutely, either way, whether it would work or was bogus, as I expected, so I gave it a real, authentic try.
Boy was I surprised. It worked. Of course, I thought it was a fluke so I tried it again. And it worked. And it kept working. And I’ve never looked back.
If you are able to really try WITD (for various reasons, not everyone is able), it will work for you. And from then on, you’ll be on an adventure with every single story and novel you write. At times you won’t be able to draw a breath because you’re so excited at the unexpected antics and utterings of the characters as their story unfolds.
And the only way to give it a real try it is to take a deep breath, be determined to shut out the critical voice, and do it.
I’d say good luck, but if you’re able to give it a real try, that would be redundant.
Still Not Writing
I’ll be back at it soon. Just now I’m serving as a caregiver. I won’t discuss details, but that’s more important than what ol’ Wes is up to right now. I suspect he’s cooling his heels up in Santa Fe, chatting with the marshal and the marshal’s deputy and Governor Lew Wallace about what they want to do when I come back.
On the other hand, I have bits of time right now to take care of some admin matters, like responding to the comments over on TKZ. I did that through the day yesterday.
Also, I learned how to schedule posts over at Substack. I took advantage of this time to select and pre-post four different short stories both on Stanbrough Writes and over on the Substack version. The first story will go live today at 10 a.m. to be followed by the Substack version at 10:15. And then every week for the next three weeks. You can subscribe to the Substack by visiting https://stanbroughwrites.substack.com/, then scrolling to the bottom of any of the stories there, and clicking the Subscribe button.
Each of the first three stories will feature one of my personas. And if you click the link provided at the beginning of the story, you can see a picture of the persona, read that persona’s bio and read a bonus short story by that persona. Which I thought was kind’a cool. (grin)
By the way, Stanbrough Writes is another of those niceties provided by the donors and patrons of this Journal. So to all of you donors and patrons out there, thank you.
Anyone interested in becoming a patron or a donor, please visit https://hestanbrough.com/patronage-and-donations/.
Talk with you again soon.
See “ChatGPT: 30 incredible ways to use the AI-powered chatbot” at https://interestingengineering.com/innovation/chatgpt-30-incredible-ways-to-use.
See “5 Tips for How to Return to Writing After a Long Break” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/5-tips-for-how-to-return-to-writing-after-a-long-break/. In the end, you just do it.
The Journal…………………………………… 1160 words
Writing of Wes Crowley: Deputy US Marshal 2 (WCG9SF4)
Day 1…… 3231 words. Total words to date…… 3231
Day 2…… 2990 words. Total words to date…… 6221
Day 3…… 1805 words. Total words to date…… 8026
Day 4…… 2025 words. Total words to date…… 10051
Total fiction words for February……… XXXX
Total fiction words for 2023………… 46873
Total nonfiction words for February… 3000
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 23350
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 70223
Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 1
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 72
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.