The Daily Journal, Thursday, March 14

In today’s Journal

▪ Quote of the day
▪ Update on admin stuff
▪ Topic: Four Harsh Truths
▪ Daily diary
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

“You only fail if you stop writing.” Ray Bradbury

Well, I got my main author website up to date yesterday. And I got Blackwell Ops 4: Melanie Sloan uploaded for advance orders. It will release officially on April 15.

The universal link is, but it’s currently available only in a few stores. (It takes a few days to get into all the stores.)

The publisher website is going to take a lot more doing. I’ll probably have to devote a full day to that, so i’ll either wait for one of my “bank” days or until after the challenge is over.

For anyone keeping track, that will mean one more novel by March 28, then two in each of April, May, June and July, and the final one out by August 10.

Topic: Four Harsh Truths About Being a Professional Fiction Writer

This is a direct take-off on Sue Coletta’s post in today’s Killzone blog (see “Of Interest”). This is also one of the comments I left on Sue’s post.

1. There will come days off, or Life Happens.

At times, no matter how much you long (jones) to write, there will be life rolls that keep you from writing. These might be good (visiting family or friends) or they might be bad (turmoil, illness, etc.).

I’m often seen staring at visitors with a stupid grin on my face as I pretend to listen. In actuality, I’m with my characters romping through a field of clover or scraping grit off my lips as I burrow deeper into a mud pit while avoiding incoming gunfire.

2. There is a necessary but evil business side.

a. You have to take out time to publish your work or submit it for publication.

b. You have to take out time to create covers, a promo document (title, description, internet search words, categories, etc.) and blurbs or have those things created for you or discuss those things with your publisher.

c. You have to take out time to market your work in whatever way you choose to do that (social media, physical appearances, etc.) and

d. Just as you learn what works for one book or series, you also learn the same thing doesn’t work for another book or series. (grin)

As an aside, I often wish Heinlein’s Rules stopped with Rule 3. (grin) The first three rules are easy for me and a sheer joy. Rule 4 (“You must put it on the market”), not so much.
Get your free annotated version of Heinlein’s Rules HERE.

3. Things break.

Redundancy is your friend. Save (and auto-save) your work often. Back it up to the cloud, your other computer or external hard drive, and a thumb drive at least at the end of every day if not every time you hit Save.

4. There will be naysayers.

Years ago, when I mentioned to a writer friend that I’d written a novel in 20 days and was about to begin writing my second, he said (and I quote), “Don’t do it. If you keep up that pace, you’ll burn out.”

Yeah. I’ll burn out if I keep working at my “job” on average three hours a day. I admit I also “work” on weekends. Still, devoting 21 hours per week to a day job that brings me sheer joy isn’t such a bad gig. (grin)

I’m pleased to report I’m still here, still writing, and (thus far) still barely able to keep up with my characters as they bring me ideas and invite me along as their recorder.

I think that’s about it. (grin) And wow, am I glad.

Rolled out at 2, anxious to see which character will pop into my head as the POV for Blackwell Ops 5. FIVE already! Gawd I love this new world of publishing! And challenges! If it weren’t for my challenge driving me to the computer every day, I might not have written BO 2-4 yet.

Anyway, I checked out the internet and wrote the stuff above, then took a brief break up at the house at a little before 4.

At 4:05 back to the Hovel and the first WIP of the new challenge.

The beginning of a novel (for me) is always slow. This one will feature Georgette Tilden (nee, O’Shaughnessy), who was a secondary character in BO1. So I pulled up BO1’s “notes” to research and refresh my memory on Georgette, her husband Jack, and a few other characters who might reappear.

While there, I noticed I’d given her dad two different first names. And I published it that way. (It even escaped my first reader’s attention.)

So I pulled up BO1, made the changes, and uploaded a new document to D2D, Amazon, Smashwords and BundleRabbit. (grin) Despite our best efforts, there will be glitches in books, but thanks to this new world of publishing, they don’t have to remain.

While I was doing that, I decided to update the cover too, to bring it more in line with the ones that came later in the series. (grin)

Still, the whole operation took only a half-hour. See what I mean about this wonderful new world?

Now to the house for another break.

Back to the Hovel and finally to the novel at 7:30.

A pretty good first day despite the early interruptions. I’ve also agreed to meet my wife for lunch a little after 1 so I’m posting this early.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “7 Hard Truths of Working as a Professional Writer” at Be sure to check the comments too. (grin)

See “Firefox Send Is an Easy Way to Share Large Files Securely” at

See “When Drug Abuse Pays Off…” at

See “Business Musings: Comparisons” at

If you like writing gear (cups, etc.) see and enter “writer” in the search block.

Fiction Words: 2494
Nonfiction Words: 1010 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 3504

Writing of Blackwell Ops 5: Georgette Tilden (novel)

Day 1…… 2494 words. Total words to date…… 2494

Total fiction words for the month……… 25574
Total fiction words for the year………… 184632
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11450
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 62670
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 247302

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 4
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 41
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 193
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31