The Daily Journal, Monday, August 26

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Announcement: Priorities and Time Management
* Daily Diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

Quote of the Day

“Writing advice? Put your writerly faith in Heinlein’s Rules, in yourself, and most importantly, in your characters. The characters, not you, are living the story. Instead of attempting to control them from an authorial ivory tower, roll off the parapet into the trenches of the story and run through it with them. Have fun! Record what happens and what the characters say and do. They will lead you through to the end, and you will enjoy the journey.” Harvey Stanbrough

UPDATE: A QUICK ADDITION: Chris Ridge forwarded me a fun short story challenge, so I popped back in here and added it. See for information. (Thanks, Chris.)

Announcement: Priorities and Time Management

I kind of foreshadowed this announcement on August 12 and 13.

As I mentioned back then, I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed for awhile now. You know, like if you stand on the beach at Santa Monica in the direct path of a tidal wave, you might feel a ‘little moisture’. (grin)

So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been considering options. Yesterday, I decided to cut back in some areas and reset some of my priorities.

As part of this change,

* I’ll be posting to the Journal less often (more on this later), and

* I’ll be taking on fewer mentoring students. (Arrangements with current mentoring students won’t be affected at all.) If anyone else wants in before I shutter the doors, visit for details, then email me at

This change is partly because my health is looking up. In early October I’ll receive an injection that will enable me to hike and walk long distances again, which will put me in even better health.

Some things will remain the same:

* I’ll get back to writing fiction every day when I’m home (see below), and

* I’ll continue to design my own covers and publish as necessary.

But there are other professional considerations that have taken a back seat, mostly to publishing the Journal every day:

* Three licensing ideas I want to put together for Wes Crowley (the IP that is the character, not the series).

* Two licensing ideas (so far) for my Blackwell Ops series, plus finishing my WIP.

* Get at least a few issues of the Stanbrough Monthly Reader put together and available for prepublication ordering of single issues and/or a subscription. After all, the SMR won’t help find me any new readers if it’s languishing in the Someday section of my mind. With this new focus, I hope to launch the first issue on December 1 or sooner.

* I want to get back to writing short stories, and I already have ideas for at least three new novels. I still have to work out details on what to write next, but I’m not complaining. I just need eight arms and three more writing ‘puters. (grin)

* And I’m very much a student of licensing, about which I know almost nothing beyond the basics and how excited I am about it. So that learning process will be ongoing.

And there are personal considerations:

* I’ll add walking back into my daily routine. The health thing.

* I’m a pretty good photographer. I want to create photos for art, my own book covers and other licensing needs. That will require some travel.

* I also enjoy camping and fishing, so now and then maybe I’ll spend a day doing nothing writerly at all.

Earlier, I mentioned I’ll be posting to the Journal less often.

On average, writing and posting the Journal takes two to three hours. Per day. Every day. With everything else I want to do, that’s become too much.

I’ll still post here when I have an important topic to share. For example as I make headway on some of the former back-burner items above, or as I learn new things I’m able to pass along. And I’ll still report my journey as a writer when I do post here (both successes and failures).

No need to continue my daily word-count report. (I’ll still keep that on my spreadsheet.) I’ll leave my current WIP and my monthly and annual counts below and update them when I post here.

Obviously the “Of Interest” section will largely (if not completely) go away, but I’ll probably still check the same sites for myself every day or so. I encourage you to check them as well or sign up for them if they have that option.

Here’s a handy list for you. I didn’t want to add so many links. You can copy/paste these into your browser. Note: When you visit some of these sites, take along a salt shaker. Some of these folks are still strongly mired in the writing myths.

Konrath and Gaiman come and go. They’re probably busy writing at the moment (grin), but it takes only a second or two to check every day just in case they’re back.

Finally, if you haven’t, I also urge you to sign up for Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Patreon page. You can find it. You’ll get a vast amount of knowledge for only $5 per month. Failing that, at least check her Business Musings blog regularly at (or you can subscribe).

Okay, that’s all for now. Thank you for being along on this journey. I’ll talk with you again before too long.

Of Interest

See “How to Write a Page Turner: Master the 7 Rules of the Cliffhanger” at This is an excellent and very important post.

See “How to Set a Scene” at

See “Just Hit 100 Backers!” at

See “A Real-Life Monster Will Soon Walk Free” at Warning: Not for the squeamish.

Writing of Blackwell Ops 7: Glynn Marco (novel)

Day 8…… 1253 words. Total words to date…… 15916

Total fiction words for the month……… 15916
Total fiction words for the year………… 374653
Total nonfiction words for the month… 25650
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 243720
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 618373

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 2
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 43
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 195
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

12 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Monday, August 26”

  1. Will miss your daily “visit,” Harvey, but this is completely understandable. I’ve had to cut back on quite a bit myself (hence no blog updates lately). Focus is important. It’s all about doing the right things at the right times. I know you’ll have some amazing things to share with us as you make progress on your licensing journey and all of the other items you listed.

  2. I’m not really a writer when it comes to fiction. I’m just a recorder of events… fascinating and very unecspected delightful events.

    No fried okra, but I haven’t given up. Much goings on of writerly interest this week. Details over the next campathon.

  3. I understand where you’re coming from on this. I’ve found that the more blogging I’m doing, even when it’s about writing or my day, the less writing of fiction I tend to do. It’s not intentional, it’s just that I seem to use up a good bit of my writing energy or something. I honestly haven’t figured out if the blog writing is a symptom or a cause of my lack of focus on my writing some days. 🙂

    I hope your change works well for you. 🙂

    • Thanks, Lynn. I started the Journal for two reasons: to help keep myself accountable (the selfish reason) and to pay it forward by helping others along the path. I no longer need the former, and I’ll still be around for the latter, just not quite so often. (grin). Anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask.

  4. Harvey ~ of course you must do what is best for you but I’m going to miss you and your Daily Journal soooo much! (I eagerly check my email every day at 5 pm just to read it. Sorry to be such a groupie!!!!) I just want you to know how much I appreciate you and all your generous sharing. I’ve enjoyed all the writing help (especially with kicking that Critical Voice to the curb) but I’ve also really enjoyed reading about you and your animals at the Hovel. Thank you! – Maggie

    • Thanks, Maggie. Very nice to hear. I’ll still be around, and if there’s anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to email me.

  5. I’ll miss your daily blogging, but of course you have to do whatever works for you. Focusing on learning new licensing skills makes complete sense for you now, and I hope you’ll enjoy that, as well as going back to writing more fiction and short stories. And it’s great news that your health is better and you can start exercising more!

    Best wishes for your new schedule, I hope you’ll enjoy it.

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