The Daily Journal, Friday, July 26

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Someone unsubscribed (not a bad thing)
* Topic: A Proposed Inventory for Short Fiction
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

Quotes of the Day

“I like to hope that because stuff’s surprising me along the way, maybe it has the same surprise and spontaneity for readers. … It’s all about following it wherever it may lead.” Tana French (Thanks to Phillip McCollum for pointing me to this quote)

“Is there a lesson here for self-pubbers? … to be a success, you have to publish well and often.” Kristy Montee in a comment on “Don’t Miss Your Deadlines….”

Someone unsubscribed from my main blog post. This is not a bad thing. I mention it only because it caused me to go to MailChimp to see whether the person left a reason. (He or she didn’t.) But that further caused me to look at my “audience.” There were 700 contacts, ony 382 of which were subscribers. Wow.

MailChimp has started a policy of counting even unsubscribed contacts against your total, so I took a little time to go through and delete those unsubscribed contacts permanently.

Then I moved over and looked at my other “audiences” and the accompanying stats.

For this Journal, we have 70 hearty souls subscribed. The stats are as follows:

* 62% (43 subscribers) open frequently — Thank you. I assume you’re getting something of value from the blog or at least enjoying the daily chat. I’m glad.

* 3% (2 subscribers) open sometimes — Again, thank you. I kind’a sort’a think these are my weekly readers. (grin)

* 34% (24 subscribers) open rarely — That’s all right. If you’re one of those (and if you’re by chance even reading this), I hope you’ll pop in more often. I try to vary the topics and make them interesting and beneficial for you.

* 1% (1 subscriber) — shrug. Who knows? MailChimp didn’t even mention that one. I assume he or she has a rifle and is hunting me. Which is fine. There are days when I want to paint a target on both sides of my t-shirt and stand on my roof. (grin)

You who are in the 65%, if you do find something helpful in these Journal entries, please tell other writers.

Topic: A Proposed Inventory for Short Fiction

A couple of days ago, I outlined a spreadsheet by which you might keep an invetory of your novels.

Yesterday morning after I filed the Journal, I spent a few hours setting up a similar spreadsheet to keep track of my inventory of short stories.

This is just as important as keeping track of your novels, folks. Short stories have been made into movies. In fact, one of my own flash fiction stories (“At Confession”) was made into a short film on three separate occasions.

Of course, I knew absolutely nothing about IP or licensing back then. I graciously gave the producers my permission to make the film. I can only hope someone else approaches me to make yet another film. It will be a different story.

Anyway, I thought I’d share the headings for my short story spreadsheet:


Series (even if your stories aren’t currently in series, that doesn’t mean you won’t write some in series later)


Pen Name (I added this column because around half of my current short stories are available under a pen name)

Sales Copy

Pub (your publisher name and/or imprint)

Words (word count)

BISAC 1 (BISAC categories, such as SF, action-adventure, etc.)




Sold To (this is filled in if you license your story to the TradPub magazines before indie publishing it. I put it in this position because in the future all of my short stories will be offered to TradPubMags first)

Sold Date

Pub Date

Rights Revert (date)

Indie Pub Date



Universal Link

ISBN Smashwords

Smashwords Link

ISBN Amazon

Amazon Link (contains Amazon ASIN)

ISBN Other (PublishDrive, StreetLib, etc.)

Other Link

ISBN Other

Other Link

Collection (Name of collection/collections including this short story. One story might be in a 5-story collection/10-story collection)

Pub Date (for the collection/s)

Notes (if you want or need it. My Notes column currently only says “For specific collection pub details, see Collections spreadsheet.”

That’s it for now.

If you can think of other fields that I should add, please email me or (preferably) leave a comment. Thanks!

Rolled out at 3 this morning. I continued working to refine my inventory.

My current plan is to push through and have it whipped into some semblance of shape by the end of the month. Then I need to get back to writing. I’m really jonesing to write some fiction.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See the comments on “Pulp Speed Back Once Again” at

See “A brand new course on Amazon algorithms” (free) at

See “Keeping a Writing Career On Track With Query Tracker” at If you’re looking for an agent….

See “Flame Tree Press: Now Seeking Manuscript Submissions” at The actual website for the publisher is

See “Writing About Crossing The Line, et al.” at Something to think about, let sink in, then use via your subconscious while writing.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 820 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 820

Writing of ()

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 7399
Total fiction words for the year………… 358737
Total nonfiction words for the month… 29330
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 213430
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 572167

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 43
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 194
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

6 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Friday, July 26”

  1. Hello Harvey.

    Thank you for sharing the layout of your two inventory spreadsheets (today and a few days back). This is valuable for me, because I am pondering how to change / optimize mine.
    So far, I have one spreadsheet for all my inventory together.
    I started my third or fourth different version to keep track submissions. Not working perfectly yet, thus I don’t share it today.

    My inventory spreadsheets has the following columns. Maybe it’s helpful for any of your readers:
    – Title
    – Title, sorting (e.g. “Dancer, the”)
    – old Title (sometimes I change them later, and here I can keep track)
    – Genre
    – Circa page count
    – Word count
    – keywords
    – Belongs to Series
    – Story number x written in said series (according to time)
    – Reading order in Series
    – Category (short story, novel, nonfiction, book,…)
    – Language (I write in two languages)
    – Date finished writing
    – When last touched
    – Pen name
    – Translated to … (there for future use, thinking big here)
    – Target group age (adult, teen, child)
    – Blurb written? (this and the next two are due to the fact that I have to make publishing work in 15 minute segments, so I keep track of steps accomplished)
    – Cover designed?
    – Next Steps / Where‘s the story trapped?
    – Date first published
    – Publication mentioned on my website? (Date)
    – reading sample (Which other stories reading sample is at the end of the book, to make sure I don’t always use the same one)

    Then come many columns with the header “pieces of the magic pie”. Here are the aggregators and distributors with links and ISBN/ASIN/ID where I upload my stories. Including eBook, print (soft / hardcover), collection, other rights and the such.
    Thinking big again. So far those columns are all empty and only there as a reminder what’s possible.
    Come to think of it. Movie, merchandise, postcards, … everything licensing I heard from Dean and Kris recently is still not there.
    Probably I should add some more columns to reflect those options as well. At least on a basic level.

    Thank you again for sharing your columns. 🙂

    Best regards,

    • Thanks for sharing this with us, Topaz. Isn’t the whole licensing thing exciting? Even if it is “business.” (grin)

      For the past almost six years I’ve kept a running tally of everything I published (novels, shorts, collections and nonfiction books) on a single spreadheet too. I won’t share the heads of the columns on that one, because frankly they show my then-naivete. (grin) But I was glad I had at least that much when I had to start creating a real inventory.

      Great idea for listing headings for Film, etc. Positive, forward thinking is always a good idea. For one thing, it tells your subconscious (and the universe) you’re serious. Well done.

  2. Hello Harvey!

    I just want you to know, that I am glad to have found another guy who writes into the dark. I haven’t finished a novel yet, cuz I still haven’t figured it out completly. The problem comes when I begin to cycle: you and Dean are talking about picking up momentum/speed while doing it, but I loose it and don’t know why. Hope you can help me out with this — I really want to be as prolific as you!

    For example:
    When I read, what I’ve written I immidiatly get thoughts like: “Hey, a bit more of description would rly help to flesh out this character.”


    “You need to add something here, to make the motivation of the guy more clear.”

    It doesn’t “feel” lile it is coming from the critical voice. But when I begin to add, the stuff that follows isn’t working anymore. So I have to make it adapt to the added changes. And it goes on and on, and I end up spending more time cycling then writing. And when I finish I have lost my momentum completly. All I get done this way is usally 500 clean words in 1 1/2 hour. Hate it!
    So I don’t know exactly when the “advice” while cycling is coming from the creative voice or the critical one. Do you have any tips?

    Thanks in advance and greetings from germany,

    (Sorry for the bad english)

    • Finn, your English is fine. I perfectly understood what you wrote, and that’s a lot more than I can say about some native speakers. (grin)

      Yep, I have a tip. And thank you for asking.

      When you cycle, JUST READ. Lay your fingertips on the keyboard, and if they move, let them. If they don’t, that’s even better.

      If you get “thoughts” about the story or the characters or any of that, they’re from the critical voice. Every time.

      The critical voice is trying to stop you, and so far it’s doing a good job, isn’t it?

      So ignore it. Just read, and when you get back to the blank space (where you stopped writing), keep writing.

      How long does it take you to read 1000 words? Not long. It should take you that long to cycle. Just read. Don’t entertain ANY “thoughts” or “self-advice.” All of that comes from the critical voice.

  3. Harvey,

    thanks for the quick reply!

    Turned out your advice was gooold!
    I didn’t think while reading and the cycling lasted about 5 minutes.
    I freakin’ wrote 1200 clean words in 1 hour! Holy cow!
    Thank you so much, man!
    I keep on reading your Blog Posts and your Daily Journal to fill my head with the stuff I need for a lasting writing career. Yesterday you showed me how enjoyable writing can be. So glad to have stumbled across your website.

    Thanks for all the great stuff you put out to the world and thanks for taking the time to reply to all the questions you have been asked.


    • Finn, that’s absolutely excellent! Congratulations!

      The critical voice will still seep in from time to time as you’re cycling or writing. Just remember to tell it to shut up and leave you alone. When my critical voice pops up, it strikes me as funny. I grin or laugh and say something like, “Are you kidding me? Go away. My friends and I have a story to write.” (grin)

      Remember that you don’t have to “figure out” anything. You only have to watch and listen as your characters reveal the story they’re living at the moment.

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