The Daily Journal, Monday, June 24

In today’s Journal

* Of particular importance
* Topic: Brief, Grouchy Thoughts on Publishing
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

In her June 22 post on PWW, Michaele Lockhart wrote about the importance of word choice. It was an excellent post, one that I thought would serve as a catalyst for dozens of comments.

It did not.

Early this morning, I realized why. Word choice is a topic about which any group of craft-wise and craft-serious writers could talk for days—or weeks—on end and never say the same thing twice.

So I left a comment on the post this morning that barely skimmed the surface of only two examples. You can read the post and the comments at

To see only a few of my other efforts to discuss this topic, see

Write. What. You. Mean.

On Specificity and Clarity in Writing and

Human Parts Do Not Have Human Traits.

Word choice matters. And if you’re a writer, both building your vocabulary (adding words) and enhancing it (exploring the connotations of those words) should matter in the extreme.

Topic: Brief, Grouchy Thoughts on Publishing

As you know, recently I’ve been vascillating. I want to get back to writing fiction, but I have publishing things to do.

I take great pleasure in writing. The only pleasure I get from publishing is that after it’s done, I get to write again.

Maybe it’s so difficult for me to stay on Heinlein’s Rule 4 (“You must put it on the market”) because publishing is not an accomplishment. Publishing is only the culmination of an accomplishment. It isn’t an end in itself. It’s the necessary means to only a possible, hoped-for end that I can neither foretell nor forsee.

Publishing is the making available of what I’ve accomplished to others, for their possible—no guarantees—edification (nonfiction) or entertainment (fiction).

Publishing ends the possibility of personal involvement and control. Whatever results occur from the act of publishing reside in the realm of dreams, not goals.

That even goes to this Journal. I enjoy writing it, sharing my thoughts and so on. But that last part—the actual publication of the Journal at the end of the day—bores me almost to tears.

Each day I spend about a half-hour moving mechanically through the publishing process:

* adding and subtracting numbers,
* updating my word-count spreadsheet,
* copying and pasting what I’ve written to the Journal website,
* copying and pasting the resulting post to a Word document for posterity, and then
* prepping the Notepad document for the next day’s entries.

Again, writing the Journal is fun. Publishing it is sheer drudgery, and if it took longer than a half-hour, the Journal might not exist at all.

Apparently I’m a pleasure-based (goal-based) life form.

I can control how many words per day I write and how many stories or novels or nonfiction books I write. So those all fall within the realm of reality (goals).

But I cannot control how many copies a nonfiction book or short story or novel sells, or even whether readers are educated by my nonfiction or entertained by my fiction. Those are dreams.

So the necessity of publishing marks the end of my control and opens the door only to possibilities. And for that reason, it ranks way up there on my personal list of unpleasant tasks.

For most of my life, I’ve approached unpleasant tasks with a question and a statement. The question is, “If I don’t do it, who will?” The statement is the less-dramatic but more-poignant old Mexican saying: “Lo que no puede remediarse debe ser tolerado.” (“What cannot be remedied must be tolerated.”)

So there you have it. Publishing is a necessary unpleasantness, merely something to be tolerated.

To maintain the status of my fiction writing as the reward it is, I’ll dedicate today and possibly tomorrow to publishing tasks.

Rolled out at 2, researched and wrote the stuff above, then checked for items of interest. Not much out there.

I created a cover for and formatted the Sam Loredo novella I just finished, now titled Change of Plans. I’ll get that out to donors later today.

The rest of the day will be spent in publishing hell as I work on other unproductive things.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See Sean Monaghan’s “Your first draft stinks, and other fallacies” at

See “How To Investigate Serial Murder” at

See “Behold! (The Power of Observation when Crafting a Mystery)” (“…on the challenges of incorporating an animal character in a mystery novel”) at

See “Mundania Has Closed” at

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 760 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 760

Writing of ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 45233
Total fiction words for the year………… 351338
Total nonfiction words for the month… 23770
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 179330
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 530668

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)…………………………………… 44
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 194
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

2 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Monday, June 24”

  1. …”flinging greasy dumplings against a wall…” Love that.
    And your grouchy thoughts & the of interest.
    Interesting about the dog characters. I never thought (think) about what Zipper could/should do in The Widow’s Circle books. She is both part of Rikki and important on her own. She is a character, but you infer her thoughts from her actions. She doesn’t have doggie thoughts… or at least she hasn’t told me them so far. 😁

Comments are closed.