The Daily Journal, Thursday, June 13

In today’s Journal

* I’m back
* A solid recommendation
* Quotes of the day
* Possibly a New Endeavor
* Topic: On Taking Time Off
* Daily diary
* Of Interest (a ton of good stuff)
* The numbers

I’m back. I actually got back late yesterday morning, but I had a lot of email etc. to catch up on, so I let yesterday’s post go as it was. (grin)

At least you got a topic, eh? Eh? (grin) Good to be back around you folks. Thanks for hanging around.

The break was good. My buddy said he came away with a new commitment concerning taking his writing in a particular direction. I came away jonesing to write and annoyed with myself for taking so much time off.

I also came away with one new notion: that when I finish one fiction project, I should start something new, that same day if possible, even if it’s only a few hundred words. Something to keep the forward momentum going.

And why shouldn’t it be possible? I’ll institute that new habit once I begin writing again, which should be in a day or two.

In other words, for me, ‘that’ I write truly is more important than ‘what’ I write. Isaac Asimov, in his quote below, sums up my own feelings perfectly.

Time to rededicate myself to writing fiction.

Want a short but great nonfiction book that 1) will motivate you to write, 2) show you what is required to be considered “prolific,” or 3) both?

If so—and I can’t recommend this strongly enough—buy and read Writing Secrets of the World’s Most Prolific Authors by Sean McLachlan. Great, great book.

Quotes of the Day

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost in “The Road Not Taken”

“Whenever I have endured or accomplished some difficult task—such as watching television, going out socially, or sleeping—I always look forward to rewarding myself with the small pleasure of getting back to my typewriter and writing something. This enables me to store up enough strength to endure the next interruption….” Isaac Asimov

“We are in the new pulp era of publishing.” Dean Wesley Smith

“Write it once, write it clean, turn it in [or publish it] and move on to the next story.” Dean Wesley Smith

Possibly a New Endeavor

In addition to all the other stuff I do, I’m thinking of starting a monthly magazine. One that contains only my own work.

It would be called Stanbrough Writes, it would be one more way of getting my work out there, and it would provide one more small stream of revenue for everything it contained.

I’ve been thinking off and on for a couple of years about doing this, but now the thoughts are beginning to gel.

Each issue would contain a complete novel and/or novella, at least one short story in a different genre, plus poems and essays and maybe a memoir. All from my own little warped mind.

I am very aware of the work involved. At one time I was the editor and publisher of three literary magazines simultaneously: The Roswell Literary Review, The Raintown Review: Poetry Edition, and The Raintown Review: Essay Edition. None of those ever contained any of my work. I was the editor, after all.

At the time (mid-1990s) we enjoyed a subscriber base of around 500 souls for each of those. Each was a quarterly journal. That means I had one magazine coming out every month for which I read and selected stories, poems, articles and essays. Some of you who are reading this had your work published in one or more of those journals.

I also did the layout and design, printed every issue myself with a desktop printer, carried the finished publications to a printer to have the edges trimmed, and then mailed them all out.

Saying it was a lot of work is a massive understatement.

The difference is that this new magazine would be filled only with my own novels, short stories, poems, essays and memoir, so there would be no editing involved. Another major difference is that this one would be electronic only.

Each issue would be available to subscribers early, and then available at the regular cover price two weeks to a month later via all the regular ebook channels.

I wonder whether anyone out there might be interested in subscribing to such a magazine. But either way, whether you would or wouldn’t, I would very much appreciate any input.

Please leave your thoughts, questions or comments on the site at via the comment form, or email me at


Topic: On Taking Time Off

Y’know, it’s funny. Pretty much every time I hear a writer talk about “needing” to take time off (implying that they’re tired) after finishing a novel, I wonder why.

When a novel ends, it ends abruptly, at least for me.

I experience a feeling of being slightly adrift after having been grounded with a particular set of characters for awhile. There’s even a sense of grief and mourning that those characters are “gone,” at least for the time being.

But I never get tired of writing. Never.

Sometimes, after a particularly long (meaning successful) day, when I’ve written 5000 or 6000 words of fiction plus another 1000 or so in the Journal, I’m tired. I’m used to writing only around 3000 words of fiction per day.

But even then I’m not tired of writing. Mostly I’m eye-tired and maybe even a little mentally fatigued. But I’m not tired of writing or tired of the story or tired of the characters.

That being said, I’m tired at the moment. I’ll need a day or two to recuperate from the “time off” I took from writing. Go figure.

I finished a novel a few days ago, and I left the following day on a camping trip, which turned out to be two full days, two full nights and a tiny bit of yesterday morning.

I had originally hoped the trip might be longer by one day and one night. But I have to admit, in retrospect I’m glad it wasn’t. Relaxing is exhausting. At least once I said to my friend, “Y’know, it’s really hard for me to do nothing.”

The thing is, I didn’t go because I needed a break from writing. Maybe I went because I needed a break from my routine. Maybe. But definitely not from my writing routine.

And I went (without my computer) because the timing was convenient. One story was over, and I hadn’t yet started a new story. So if I was going to take a break, the timing was ideal.

The trip DID provide a break from my routine. But even before we arrived, I missed even the routine itself. Especially the writing part of the routine. Maybe there’s a lesson there for me.

One day into my “break,” I regretted not having taken my computer because new ideas were pouring in and (damn it), I wanted to write! (grin)

But again, no computer. So I did the second-best thing. I read.

In two days, I read two (short) nonfiction books: the one I recommended above and The Pulp Jungle by Frank Gruber.

That second one was was enjoyable for me, but not as informative as I thought it would be. It did make me wish the pulp journals were still flourishing though. Maybe that’s why I’m thinking of starting my own magazine.

I got back late yesterday morning, caught up with email etc., and then—despite even the renewed adoration of my little girl cat—I came to the Hovel, fired up the computer, and wrote a lot of this stuff.

It felt SO good to have my fingers flying over the keys again.

Still, I find myself fatigued. Not from writing, but from taking a break from writing.

I’ll write fiction again soon, but not today. I gotta rest. From resting. Anyone else see a paradox here?

I can only barely wait to write again, but for today I’ll take care of a few other irons I have in the fire. Like giving more thought to the magazine idea above. (grin) I look forward to your input.

Rolled out at 2:30, went to the Hovel to add to the stuff above. I spent the next 3.5 hours catching up on “Of Interest,” reading all of that and updating the section below, placating my little girl cat (reassuring her that Da’ isn’t leaving again), changing clothes, and feeding the horses.

Finally to sit, sip coffee and consider what I want to write next. (grin)

To the house at 7:15 for breakfast, to mull over a few ideas, and to spend some time with my wife before she heads out to work.

Back to the Hovel at 9. More thinking about new things I want to do and new ways to do them.

Short day today too, so I’m gonna publish this to the site and go rest. (grin)

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “An Email to Jack on His Birthday” at Stick with it. This is a very good lesson for writers.

See “Free VPN Services to Stay Anonymous” at

See “How To Approach a Licensee?” at I’m SO glad I’m part of the licensing expo (virtually, of course).

See “I Did Another Podcast” at (You can also listen to the podcast at

See “The Complete Guide to Attracting a Loyal Audience for Your Writing” at

See “Producing Audiobooks. Comparing ACX and Findaway Voices” at

See “Confessions of a Book Reviewer” at

See “Business Musings: Vexing Numbers” at

See (listen to) “How To Use BookBub to Sell More Books” at

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1650 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 1650

Writing of (novel)

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 27344
Total fiction words for the year………… 333449
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14730
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 170290
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 503739

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 44
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 194
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

6 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Thursday, June 13”

  1. Wow. If Asamov had to rededicate himself to writing fiction, I shouldn’t feel bad having to…
    Still working thru the happy birthday piece. A hoot.
    The magazine idea is good– a little bit of everything to pick & choose from.

    • Thanks for weighing in, Karen, but you might’ve misread the Asimov quote. (grin) Take another look. It was about writing being the one thing he always went back to and everything else being a “difficult task.”

  2. I think a monthly magazine would be really cool. Would there be an option to subscribe for an entire year all at once? Having monthly payments always drives me a little nuts, so I’m always happy when I can pay for the whole thing in advance.

    • Hi Catherine. Thanks for the comment and the question. Yes. I probably will offer at least 6-month and 1-year subscriptions, and maybe even for longer than that. 🙂

  3. Go for it sir. A monthly mag would be so cool for we aficionados of your playground. Please commit and don’t do like someone else we know and put it to the side with a comment it’s returning soon with a catch-up on missing editions, only to never happen. Shoot you can add a “retro” section and put some of your past goodies in for us as well as fresh off the keyboard escapades.
    So by my count you have two who will sign on as customers. What are ya waiting for. Hahaha

    • Gracias, Scott. It will be filled with novels, short stories and poems that I’ve already written. Still figuring out details, but I think it’ll be a go.

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