Quiet the Critical Voice

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Welcome
* The Writing
* Quiet the Critical Voice
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quotes of the Day

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” Anne Lamott

I’ve never seen this sentiment expressed better.

“Flip the fear upside down. Instead of bogging down fearing whether anyone will like what you’ve written, fear how you will feel if you don’t finish the story.” Dean Wesley Smith (paraphrased)


Goodness! Welcome to Tiffanie G, Daniel S, James G, David 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.

The Writing

What a great writing day yesterday turned out to be!

When my wife and I went to the store shortly before noon, I had written only about 300 words, mostly as I was cycling through yesterday’s writing.

I had also played catch up with my reverse outline, which I hadn’t filled out since Chapter 2. I filled in Chapters 3 through 15, and I also wrote most of this Journal entry. I told my wife I was tempted to make it a non-writing day. Just skip it and start again this morning..

But I screwed up. I have a writing streak going. (grin)

As most of you know, my firm goal is 3000 clean, publishable words of fiction per day. Thus far on this novel, I haven’t missed a day and I haven’t fallen short of my goal.

We got back from the store around 1:30. Driven by fears of how I would feel if I broke that short streak without at least trying to reach my daily goal, around 1:45 I came back out to the Hovel and sat down at my writing ‘puter.

By 3:30 I was tired, so I checked my word count for the day.

I was only 41 words short of my goal. So not counting the 300 words I’d added during cycling, I’d written almost 2700 clean words in less that two hours. How wild is that?

And that, my friends, is how a story can pull you along when you trust your characters and just write whatever comes.

I turned back to the writing ‘puter for another 15 minutes to finish the day.

At 3:45, so two hours after I started, I had cleared my daily goal by 61 words. That isn’t a lot, but surpassing the goal (and average) is what matters. So I recorded my numbers and headed up to the house.

There are a lot of writers out there who are “faster” than I am (they all write into the dark), but I’m pretty sure averaging 1330 words per hour is a personal best for me.

How to join the club of which I’m a member? Read on.

Quiet the Critical Voice

In a temporary moment of madness, I’ve decided to give subscribers to the Journal a free copy of Quiet the Critical Voice (and Write Fiction).

I wrote the stupid thing in the first place to help writers get over critical voice issues. So if you’d like a free copy, email me at harveystanbrough@gmail.com. Be sure to let me know whether you want it in .mobi, .epub, or .pdf. I’ll send it right out.

If you’d rather buy it, you can find it on Amazon or at other booksellers all around the globe.

Reviews for Quiet the Critical Voice

“I read this book as the author wrote it on his website, and am now reading it again. It’s not long, but direct and to the point. The advice is solid, well thought out, and more importantly, the author has been writing this way for dozens of books. It works!” DACS

“I love this book. I’ve been working on the same novel for 10 years. Ten. Freakin’. Years. I wish I could say I was having fun during that time. Not! Harvey’s book has helped me start playing again. After all this struggling and angst and gnashing of teeth I’m finally learning to let go of my Inner Critic and just let my Creative Voice play. … Great book on kicking the critical voice out of your head!” Sky King

“For anyone reading: immediately buy Quiet the Critical Voice. I haven’t stopped writing since I read it a couple weeks ago. The Critical Voice will stop you any chance [it] gets. You need to stare it down and shut it up early and often.” Big Philly

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

The Most Potent Little Gadget In Your Writer’s Toolbox A writer emailed to tell me I didn’t add the link yesterday. He’s right. I somehow omitted it. So here’s the listing again. The article is all about the importance of paragraphing.

The Unseen Speaks Volumes

Writer’s Guilt An excellent post

Write What the Muse Tells You to Write

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 920

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

Fiction for October…………………… 55369
Fiction for 2023………………………… 272911
Fiction since August 1………………… 158364
Nonfiction for October……………… 17260
Nonfiction for the year……………… 215600
Annual consumable words………… 488451

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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2 thoughts on “Quiet the Critical Voice”

  1. I would add some some more about critical voice.

    Sometimes it comes from being afraid of failure or from attempt to guess a right genre, character and so on. Maybe it comes from image of a great author who spends a lot of time rewriting one great novel that gain him fame and money after being published. Like Thomas Wolfe is shown in the movie Genius (2016). I think the picture of Thomas Wolfe made by Frank Gruber is more exact.

    The thing is (DWS tells it a lot, even in private mail) a write can’t be prolific writing stuff he don’t like and it’s impossible to guess what would be popular tomorrow. The true paradox is that if writer entertains himself, it’s always win-win – even if he is the only reader, he had fun writing it.

    Another thing (DWS tells a lot of it too) is stopping thinking that this story is important. It’s just another fun stuff, an entertaining tale about fun persons.

    Authors like to feel important as if they are a modern-day Upton Sinclair or Sinclair Lewis (I think, there should be third author, named Lewis Upton, to complete the circle). But from my experience, true mudslingers never have writers block, they can smell another big scandal like a shark can smell a drop of blood.

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