The Daily Journal, Thursday, June 20

In today’s Journal

* From Kris Rusch’s blog
* Topic: Poking Fun at Horrible Advice
* Sort-of Topic: Old Dogs, New Tricks, Nope
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

At the end of Kris Rusch’s blog post on the Las Vegas Licensing Expo (see “Of Interest”) was this:

Dean did a Learn-Along which has over 50 videos (so far) as he analyzed what he learned, so that it would stick in his head.

The Learn Along is $200 and includes a classic workshop about copyright which retails for $150. He’ll only offer it for another two weeks or so, but if you want to deep dive into this, that’s the way to go.

If you do, visit

Topic: Poking Fun at Horrible Advice

I cleaned up my desktop this morning. I do that every week or so. I review Notepad docs that hold topics I’ve written, then check to make sure I’ve posted them, then move them to the trash.

I also review things I’ve downloaded over the past couple of weeks. I look them over, decide whether they might be helpful, are inert, or are harmful.

Occasionally (maybe one in ten items, and I’m being generous) are helpful. The rest, I drag to the trash.

This morning I found a PDF document that was both harmful and helpful. It was helpful in that it was so inane, it sparked this topic.

I won’t mention the name of the author or the title of the PDF. My intention isn’t to embarrass or even trash talk the guy, but a couple of titles, one from the “Other Books By” section and one from the “Free Books” section caught my attention.

When I say they caught my attention, I mean in the same way, if I was lying on a roof catching some rays when a guy in the alley below tossed up a grappling hook and two prongs ripped into my abdomen, that would catch my attention.

Part of the first title was “15 Days to Write and Submit a Short Story.”

Seriously? Who takes 15 days to write a short story? It’s never taken me longer than five or six hours, tops. At times that’s been spread over two days, but fifteen? As a friend used to say in the Marine Corps, “I don’t ******* think so.”

I admit I was tempted to buy the book though, strictly as a humorous exercise. I’d really like to see what the author advises.

Does he spend XX number of hours writing character sketches and then refining them? How long does he advise spending on outlining the story? And when he finally puts his fingers on the keyboard, how does he overcome the boredom of writing something he already knows intimately?

But I’m not being fair. After all, I haven’t read the book. Maybe he advocates writing a typical 3000 to 6000 word short story in spurts of only 200 or 400 very carefully considered words per day. Shrug. I don’t know.

The other title that caught my attention was “10 Steps to Becoming a Writer.”

Again, seriously?

There’s only one step, folks. Ready?

1. Write.

Sort-of Topic: Old Dogs, New Tricks, Nope

Ugh. Live and (re)learn.

Yesterday, after I left the Hovel with the intention of doing some publishing stuff, I didn’t.

Instead, I took the day off. Well, a few hours off. Meaning I puttered around doing unimportant little things or watched TV. It was refreshing. My only regret was that I didn’t stick with the WIP and keep writing.

As I’ve said many, many times, writing is fun for me. It’s an escape. Nothing is more fun for me than writing. Nothing.

Doing publishing stuff is work. It directly engages the conscious, critical mind. But yesterday, after I abandoned the WIP early, I realized I was tired. So I did nothing.

And I re-learned a lesson. Different strokes.

I’m always intrigued by the way others can intentionally split their day between writing and writing-related tasks, so occasionally I try it. But it never works out.

Maybe this time I’ll remember for a longer period of time that just isn’t who I am.

I can and do split my day every day between writing and NONwriting tasks (chores, etc.). But writing fiction comes first. A very close second is writing nonfiction and publishing this Journal every day. Third is everything else I have to do.

But writing-related tasks are sheer drudgery for me. Someday, I’ll hire someone to format what I’ve written and do all the other things that are necessary for publication. But in the meantime, I’ll continue to slog through it.

So a new resolution: When I’m actively engaged with a WIP, I’ll Just Write. When I’m through writing fiction for the day (or during breaks as I write), I’ll attend to all the little necessary nonwriting things I have to do.

When I’ve reached the end of a WIP, I’ll run the spell check, send it off to my first readers, and turn my hand (probably the next day) to the boring, time-consuming drudgery of writing-related things that lead to making my work available to others.

Then I’ll begin another WIP.

Well, unless I begin a WIP the same day or the day after I finish the current one. If that happens, so be it. The WIP takes priority. I can always slide the “work” of writing-related stuff out another week or two.

I won’t fall off Heinlein’s Rule 4 (my least favorite), but I’ll push it back a little when necessary.

I don’t recommend this for others, but for me it works. And I think maybe it’s finally time to stick to what works.

Rolled out at 2. Today, once I get to the WIP, I’ll keep writing until the story ends or until I’m through writing for the day. That’s the plan. Then we’ll see what’s next.

Well, a short day today, and I got sidetracked watching UPS “live” as it got to within two blocks of my house, then went off on a tour of southeast Arizona. I am annoyed. (UPS has delivered here many times before.)

I put up with a lot, but if one driver’s incompetence causes me to have to drive 45 miles one way to retrieve my package, I’m going to be annoyed.

Anyway, unless my characters throw me a major curve I’ll finish the WIP tomorrow. It’ll come in as a novella.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Business Musings: Licensing Expo Recap” at

See Dan Baldwin’s “Don’t Let Openings Close You Down” at

Fiction Words: 1591
Nonfiction Words: 1110 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 2701

Writing of Sam Loredo and the Point of No Return (novel? novella? we’ll see)

Day 1…… 2803 words. Total words to date…… 2803
Day 2…… 1035 words. Total words to date…… 3838
Day 3…… 4247 words. Total words to date…… 8085
Day 4…… 2540 words. Total words to date…… 10625
Day 5…… 2495 words. Total words to date…… 13120
Day 6…… 1591 words. Total words to date…… 14719

Total fiction words for the month……… 42055
Total fiction words for the year………… 348160
Total nonfiction words for the month… 21050
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 176610
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 524770

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

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