The Daily Journal, Thursday, May 9

In today’s Journal

▪ Kristine Kathryn Rusch (again)
▪ Kristine Kathryn Rusch (yet again)
▪ Topic: Yesterday, I Shared
▪ Daily diary
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

Too important to be buried in “Of Interest.” If you read nothing else today, read “Business Musings: Patreon, Copyright, And Personal Choice” at

Kris’ Kickstarter has already funded and is well on its way to the first stretch goal (see Dean’s post in “Of Interest”).

Frankly, I hesitated yesterday. I was going to fund it at the $50 level because I wanted the notes (in paper, so I could easily study them) on what she ommitted and why.

But when the $50 pledge automatically turned into $62 because of shipping, that annoyed me. If the situation were reversed, I would absorb the $12 shipping and pay it out of the $50 pledge. But everyone’s different, I guess.

Anyway, I went ahead and jumped aboard this morning. I figure the essays alone are worth $62 (to me), and of course you can get them for only $15 if you don’t have to have paper.

Topic: Yesterday, I Shared

that I’m having trouble with my WIP. It’s annoying (and a little embarrassing), especially because when I shared that info, I had no idea why I was having trouble.

Now I do. It hit me like a heavily clichéd ton of bricks this morning.

As an aside, why does it have to be a ton of bricks? Doesn’t a ton of anything still weigh a ton and carry a distinct life risk should it land on you?

But I digress.

A kind comment from fellow pro-writer Karen Riggs encouraged me to share a little more. In fact, her comment removed the veil and enabled me to clearly and immediately identify the problem.

Critical voice.

I’m not immune. Usually my critical voice costs me a few minutes or maybe an hour or two. This time around, it cost me two precious DAYS of writing time.

And it was a very LOUD, obnoxious critical voice. So loud and obnoxious and in-your-face that I didn’t recognize it at first.

In fact, if you were paying attention over the past couple of days to what I wrote in the Journal, you probably saw it too. If you did, you saw it before I did:

CV: “Wouldn’t first-person POV be better for telling this story?”

Me: “You know, maybe it would.”

CV a day later: “Well, you tried that. But maybe third-person limited-omniscient POV would be better after all. That IS how you wrote the other installments of the saga, isn’t it?”

Me: “You know, maybe it would at that.”

All conscious, critical mind crap. And yes, I do mean “crap.” To paraphrase Ray Bradbury, “Nothing good in literature ever came from the conscious, critical mind.”

As you know, I’m a firm believer in that paraphrased quote, and I’m an old, experienced hand at guarding against my own critical voice.

And yet I let it in.

So the “lesson” here is this: If it can happen to me, it can happen to you. Be wary.

You probably won’t always catch your own critical voice when it creeps in (or when it shoves the door open and stomps in, as mind did to me in this case), but you CAN catch it, relegate it back to its assigned corner of your mind, and make it shut up for awhile.

How? By putting your fingers on the keyboard, opening yourself to letting the story simply happen, and writing the next sentence.

When you’ve reached that point (as I now have yet again), repeat after me:

Just write the next sentence. Then write the next sentence. Then write the next sentence.

Don’t worry about where the story’s going or how it’s “presented” or anything else. Those concerns are none of your business. They belong to the reader.

Just write the next sentence. Then write the next sentence. Then write the next sentence.

That’s what I’ll be doing for much of the day today.

Before my wife leaves for work this morning, I’ll ask her to make supper tonight (one of my usual chores). I have some catching up to do.

A side note about numbers: From today through the end of this WIP, the numbers below will reflect words that I “cut.”

In other words, I’ll keep the numbers since I did write the words, but starting today I’ll be doing a redraft. Just to be clear, that means I’ll toss out the whole thing and start over.

(I was going to toss out only everything after the 1900-word segment currently labeled “Prologue,” but Wes says the story is going to start in a different place.)

So here we go. (grin)

Rolled out a little after 3, checked for items for “Of Interest” and wrote much of the “Kris” stuff above.

Then I checked email, encountered Karen’s comment (Thanks, Karen!) and wrote the topic. And just like that, after two horrible days, I’m back on track.

To the new WIP at 5:30. By 8:20 (with three very short breaks), I’d written just over 3000 new words. As I said, I’m back.

A brief break at 8:20 to see my wife off. At 8:40, back to the WIP. By 10:40, another 2000 words. Now for a longer break.

Took a short walk (a little over a mile) in the desert east of my house. Came back to add to “Of Interest” and answer email.

At noon I started cycling back through what I’ve written today.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “That Went Well!” at

See “Road Work” at And not just “road work” but ANY detailed description should enable your reader to see, hear, feel, etc. the scene, and for a reason.

See “The 25+ Best Writing Tools in 2019” at Grain of salt. For example, I recommend against ANY “editing tools” (your brain is better).

See “Point of View: First, Second, and Third Person POV” at I recommend focusing on first person and third-person limited.

See “The Real Lives of Private Investigators” at

As an experiment, see the latest version of Kevin Tumlinson’s newsletter at

Fiction Words: 5807
Nonfiction Words: 1050 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 6857

Writing of In the Cantina at Noon (novel)

Day 1…… 1538 words. Total words to date…… 1538
Day 2…… 2456 words. Total words to date…… 3994
Day 3…… 1876 words. Total words to date…… 5870
Day 4…… 1038 words. Total words to date…… 6908
Day 5…… 5807 words. Total words to date…… 12715

Total fiction words for the month……… 12715
Total fiction words for the year………… 274185
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9840
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 121700
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 395885

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 6
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 43
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 193
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

2 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Thursday, May 9”

  1. All right! Glad you’re back (knew you would be). Also glad to return just a tiny bit of what I’ve learned (& keep learning) from you.

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