In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* What Hell Looks Like
* Restarting My Restart
* My New Webcam
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quotes of the Day
“I never read reviews. My job is to write the stories. It’s none of my business what the reader thinks of them, and every reader will have a different opinion. (Same reason I don’t seek or accept critiques of my writing.) ” Me, yesterday, on a post in TKZ
“Jay Lake, who sadly passed away in 2014, used to say ‘stories belong to the reader,’ meaning that readers own their reactions to a story or novel, and the same applies to their reviews.” Dale Ivan Smith, TKZ author
What Hell Looks Like
If you want to see what my personal Writer’s Hell looks like, read James Scott Bell’s “The Most—and Least—Enjoyable Parts of Writing” at https://killzoneblog.com/2023/07/the-most-and-least-enjoyable-parts-of-writing.html.
I’m in the wrong business. Ninety-nine-plus percent of writers propagate and support and rah-rah the myths and teach would-be and younger writers that writing fiction has to be this horrible, difficult toil, and those would-be and younger writers eat it up. They seemingly can’t get enough.
In this one tiny little blog, I tell writers they should believe in themselves and that writing can be a great deal of actual FUN (gasp!) and even would-be and younger writers line up to boo and throw stones.
But back to the article.
The resemblance to how I feel about writing fiction begins with “I love this place.” That’s also the full first paragraph of the article.
But that resemblance slams to a hard stop with the end of the second sentence of the fourth paragraph: “I’m in a land of infinite possibilities and not wedded to any of them.” Everything after that is unnecessary nonsense. It’s make-work. The more difficult the process of writing, the more valuable the product must be, right?
Wrong. Full stop.
For me, writing is fun.
It can be just as much fun for anyone who doesn’t feel a need to engage in martyrdom and personal angst to give his or her stories value.
I trust myself enough to simply report what happens as I run through the story with my characters. So the entire story or novel is “the most enjoyable part of writing.”
Well, at least up until I know how it will end.
Once I realize how the story will end, I get bored. I just want to type the words to get me to the end so I can move on to the next story.
On the best stories, the ending surprises me as much as the rest of the story did. I write it, then sit back and say, “Oh! That’s the end.”
Owing to the title of this section, I should add that I know I would make a truly lousy priest or preacher. I can easily see me counseling a member of the flock:
“Yeah, sure, I can show you the way to salvation. But the thing is, if you aren’t willing to fight for your own soul, why should I bother?” Pause.
You know, ’cause you have free will and stuff. So hey, if never-ending travail and suffering for your ‘art’ is your thing, knock yourself out.
Me, I’m just a writer.
Restarting My Restart
Not that this probably matters to anyone but me, nor should it, but I’ll be restarting my restart.
Trying for July 1 was a stupid idea. Besides, I’ve never been a calendar-driven kind of guy. A new week, year, and decade begins with every sunrise. What matters is taking advantage of one and running with it.
Independence Day is coming up, and that makes this the July 4th Weekend. Plus my wife’s birthday is on July 4 and we’ll have at least one offspring coming in to visit.
Friday and Saturday are usually the two busiest away-from-home days for us, and when I do a hard reboot I need room for the restart to flow uninterrupted. So I’ll probably reschedule the restart for July 9 or 10, though it could possibly happen earlier.
I could restart on July 5 or 6 for example, but only if I’m certain I won’t want to go play elsewhere on the 7th or 8th. I need to restart on a day that will give me at least an uninterrupted week to build momentum. Right? Are any of you tweaked in that particular way too?
Anyway, there’s just a lot going on at the moment, so it’s difficult to focus on anything as unimportant as writing fiction. I’ll restart after all the smoke clears.
My New Webcam
I did receive my new webcam, but I’m even putting off messing with that until all the other stuff’s over and things have calmed down again. I removed the shrink-wrap from the box, opened it to make sure it was what I had ordered, then closed the box and set it aside. Time enough for all of that later.
Okay, here’s wishing all of you a safe, enjoyable what’s left of the weekend plus Independence Day. Enjoy the brats and burgers and ‘dogs and sodas and suds, but maybe make time to reflect for a moment on the freedoms we still enjoy.
Oh, and for you Bradbury Challenge participants, there is no rest for the weary. Remember to get your story titles, word counts and genres in to be before the Journal goes live on Monday. K.C. Riggs has the right idea. She turns in her story on Monday, then has the rest of the week to writes on other projects. (grin)
Talk with you later.
See “If the Moon Were Only One Pixel (a tediously accurate scale model of the solar system)” at https://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html. One of the coolest things I’ve seen. Frankly, it reminded me of driving across the breadth of Texas, where a friend once joked, “Ain’t nothin’ but miles and miles of miles and miles.”
See “Light Speed – fast, but slow” at https://www.youtube[dot]com/watch?v=nQUwHdSAhmw. Another really cool lesson for SF writers.
See “I Feel Bad For New Writers… Part 11” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/i-feel-bad-for-new-writers-part-11/. Especially look at those for Indie Focused Writers.
See “European Publishers See Audiobooks…” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/european-publishers-see-audiobooks-ai-as-inevitabilities/. See PG’s take.
The Journal…………………………………… 1030
Writing of “A Midnight Sketch”
Day 1…… 1341 words. Total words to date…… 1341
Writing of Rose Padilla (WCG10SF5)
Day 1…… 4283 words. Total words to date…… 4283
Day 2…… 3963 words. Total words to date…… 8246
Day 3…… 1463 words. Total words to date…… 9709
Day 4…… 2445 words. Total words to date……12154
Total fiction words for July……… 1341
Total fiction words for 2023………… 111363
Total nonfiction words for July… 1510
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 133060
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 244423
Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date………… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 73
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark, adherence to Heinlein’s Rules, and that following the myths of fiction writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.