The Journal: Don’t Be Dismayed. Have Fun.

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Topic: Don’t Be Dismayed, Be Determined. And Have Fun.
* Yesterday by 9 a.m.
* Today
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quotes of the Day

“Every day is another chance to make it happen. That’s why I don’t wait until Monday.” a United Parcel Service (UPS) ad

“Execution beats luck.” from the newsletter

“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.” Don Miguel Ruiz

Topic: Don’t Be Dismayed, Be Determined. And Have Fun.

Owing in part to a recent conversation with another writer, one who had made the conscious decision to take a break from writing, I experienced another revelation.

More than once over the years, when Dean Wesley Smith hit a minor writing slump, so did I. I’m honestly not sure, but that might even have been part of the reason for my own recent major slump. I hasten to add, I’m not blaming anyone but the guy in the mirror. It’s certainly no fault of Dean’s. As far as I know, Dean only barely knows I exist, if he knows at all. But I had tied myself to him so completely, especially in execution, meaning hitting daily goals and so on, that when he expressed in his blog that something had slowed him down, I allowed it to slow me down as well.

The most recent example I can think of, I signed up for both the ongoing Licensing Transition course and the Shared Worlds course. I don’t regret having signed up for either one and I’ve already learned a great deal.

But the last lesson in the Licensing Transition course went up in February 2020, and the last lesson in Shared Worlds went up back in March. Both of those courses were originally intended to run for a year. Then the virus hit and they both went off the tracks. In fact, he still hasn’t finished the initial novel he was writing as part of the Shared Worlds class.

And soon after he apparently hit a wall, my own writing fell apart. But I only wrote all that to lead to this: As narcissistic as this might sound (it isn’t, I promise), I want to say it anyway. If any of you have tied your own production to mine in that way, please PLEASE snap out of it.

I’m competitive, meaning I’m always trying to improve over who I was yesterday. On the other hand, I would absolutely love it if all of you had a better, more productive writing year than I’ve had this year. For one thing, if you let me know about it, I would use that to drive my own productivity. I wouldn’t be trying to “beat” you, but your winning attitude would drive me to strive harder to beat my own personal best.

In fact, other than providing me with a kind of personal diary, that’s the whole reason for this Journal. My own daily word counts are not to say “Haha, look what I did.” I record them partly to celebrate with fellow writers. But more than that, I record them to provide a stimulus, to urge you to know you can do the same or better yourself within the constraints of your own life.

Following Dean’s blog and his daily word counts is a large part of why this Journal exists. Without even knowing it, he encouraged me by the example he set. In addition to teaching me it was all right to trust myself and my creative subconscious, Dean taught me if he could do it, there was no reason I couldn’t do it too.

And that’s what I hope you take away from reading this Journal.

Yesterday by 9 a.m. I had applied the wonderful input of my first readers to The Ark (Russ, Robert, Karen, Tony and Mike, take a bow); written up a promo doc (I forgot earlier); found a great piece of cover art and designed a cover; and published the thing to D2D and Amazon. Feels good to be back in the game.

When I finally broke down and went to Deposit photos to look for art, I was prepared to shell out $8 to $12 per photo for a few cover pics. But when I clicked to download one, it just downloaded. And I realized I’d already paid for a subscription there earlier (!) and forgot about it.

So instead of $8 to $12, my cover photo cost less than a dollar for a standard license. Not too shabby. And I can still download a bunch more before my subscription runs out. (grin) It was a little like an early Christmas. And the cover turned out well, I thought. That’s it on the left.

Anyway, if you shop with Amazon and would like to buy The Ark, you can find it live at

If you shop at Apple or B&N or Kobo or other places, click

And I’ve decided to launch The Journey Home: Part 1 on December 15 if I have things ready by then.

Still not doing paperbacks yet. (Not a recommendation, just me.) Too busy writing. I might just wait and let whichever of my heirs take over my IP do all that after I’m gone.

Today I’ll put myself back on The Ark as my friends there soar out into the galaxy. I’ll wander among them, unseen, until I stumble upon the idea for the next story. Then I’ll write it.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “What it’s like inside…” at Invaluable info if you have a character who’s on a long flight.

See “Try Writing Sprints to Overcome Writing Setbacks” at

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 990 words

Writing of The Journey Home: Part 2 (novel)

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

Total fiction words for November……… 79230
Total fiction words for the year………… 442508
Total nonfiction words for November… 18540
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 184380
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 626885

Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 13
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 52
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 214
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31