The Daily Journal, Friday, February 15

In today’s Journal

▪ Update on Pro Writers Writing
▪ Topic: On Being “In the Zone”
▪ The daily diary
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

Update on Pro Writers Writing

Last night I got started setting up the website for Pro Writers Writing. There isn’t much to see yet, beyond Robert Sadler’s excellent design for the logo that stretches across the top. I anticipate launching the new site in mid-March or a little later.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, Pro Writers Writing will be a blog similar to the Kill Zone blog.

However, whereas TKZ authors are all traditionally published, our group will focus on successful independent writing and publishing. TKZ is also focused pretty tightly on the thriller and mystery genres. Pro Writers Writing will address topics of interest to all literary and commercial genres, writing in general, and so on.

The site is coming together nicely (mostly behind the scenes at this point), and I’m almost as excited about it as I am about my current WIP.

If you’re interested in following the creation of such things, you can find the website at I’ll provide updates here in the Daily Journal as I go along.

I’m not sure yet what the menu bar will hold beyond About Us. Probably categories of posts, so that if a writer wants to find posts about writing in a certain genre or a certain writing technique (process) or publishing, she can simply click that menu item. Of course, I’ll add new menu items as those who post talk about the different topics.

In order to establish a regular schedule, Pro Writers Writing will have seven regular contributors (one for each day of the week) plus a few others who will pop in from time to time with a guest post to give the regular contributors a day off. (grin)

Guest contributors will appear regularly too, but much less frequently. I anticipate there will be one guest post from a different contributor every three or four weeks. As the primary admin for the site, I’ll attempt to manage that.

Each contributor (regular and guest) will have his or her own bio page, but those will all be linked from the About Us page, on which there will be a smaller photo and an excerpt of that writer’s bio.

Unless a few contributors drop out, I probably will be one of the occasional guest contributors. (If you would like to be a guest contributor as well, please email me. Don’t discount what you might have to share.)

Once I have the website fully operational and the schedule set, I anticipate that we’ll all be able to sit back and glean a ton of useful information on independent writing, publishing, marketing and so on.

It should be a great reference for indie writers (and all writers) and indie publishers, and a great ride. (grin)

Topic: On Being “In the Zone”

This is what I’ve often heard writers and aspiring writers say when they’re deep in the story and their fingers are all but flying across the keys, barely able to get their thoughts down before they slip away.

Or as I like to say, barely able to keep up with the characters as they race through the story. But I used to use that term too, that “in the zone” thing.

But being in the zone was something that happened only every now and then. It wasn’t a regular occurrence. It happened infrequently enough that it deserved its own special appellation.

This morning (while I was “in the zone” on my WIP), I realized we can control when we’re in the zone and when we aren’t. How? By simply writing the next sentence. Then the next sentence. Then the next one.

That’s what jumpstarts being in the zone.

Writing the next sentence when one doesn’t seem willing to come is like tying a pull cord to your subconscious creative mind. Like an old lawnmower that has plenty of gas and the throttle tied back, when you tug on the pull cord a few times, it sputters a little, coughs, spits, and then runs at full speed.

It’s as if tugging on the pull cord tells the lawn mower you’re serious, that you really want it to let go of itself and just run.

Same thing with your subconscious, creative mind. You bait it, the push it a time or two or three by writing the next sentence that occurs to you, and the next thing you know you have to stop to dip your fingertips in icewater to cool them down. (grin)

So the next time your story “grinds to a halt” (another metaphor that sounds ike that old, rusty lawn mower), wrap a pull cord around it. Sit down at the keyboard, write the next sentence, then the next and the next. Show your subconscious you’re serious about writing that scene and watch what happens.

You will like the result.

Rolled out closer to my usual time of 3 a.m. this morning, wrote the stuff above, browsed the internet for awhile, and posted the above over on the Pro Writer blog on my main website.

With all the prep work done yesterday (refreshing my memory of the sister part of the WIP and updating my reverse outline), I’m excited to return to the WIP full-force today. Which I did at a little after 6 a.m.

Wrote for a slightly long session (hour and a half), then up to the house for a break to see my wife off to work.

I’ve decided while I’m trying to build the Pro Writers Writing website, I’ll write in the morning then turn my attention to the website in the afternoon.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Your Likes Have Nothing To Do With It” at For a brief personal story, read my comment.

See “Terms and Conditions, people” at Not sure why I didn’t link to this the other day when I was first introduced to Sean’s site. Read it. Heed it.

Fiction Words: 3747
Nonfiction Words: 1030 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4777

Writing of Blackwell Ops 3: Marie Arceneaux (novel)

Day 10… 5757 words. Total words to date…… 31706
Day 11… 0775 words. Total words to date…… 32481
Day 12… 3747 words. Total words to date…… 36228

Total fiction words for the month……… 39350
Total fiction words for the year………… 122753
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14090
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 39500
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 162253

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date………………………… 2
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date…………………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date……… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 39
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 193
Short story collections…………………………………………………… 31

4 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Friday, February 15”

  1. “Writing the next sentence when one doesn’t seem willing to come is like tying a pull cord to your subconscious creative mind. Like an old lawnmower that has plenty of gas and the throttle tied back, when you tug on the pull cord a few times, it sputters a little, coughs, spits, and then runs at full speed.”
    This really spoke to me. Thanks.

    What time do you generally go to sleep?

    • Thanks, Gai. Glad it helped. I had to laugh at your question. I get that a lot. I tend to take by 6 or 7 hours at a different time than most people. I usually sack out at 7 or 8, then get up at 2 or 3. But then, I’m an old guy so that’s kind of normal. (grin)

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