The Journal: Feeling Overwhelmed

In today’s Journal

* Topic: Feeling Overwhelmed: A Process Post
* In light of Dean’s post today
* Today
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Topic: Feeling Overwhelmed: A Process Post

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Well, actually, not a little. Actually a lot.

I have a pretty big goal, writing a short story every week and a novel every month. And I’m aiming at a streak, but I don’t really care about that. Even if I miss, I intend to pick back up and keep the same goals just as if I hadn’t missed. So my weekly and monthly goals are just like my daily word-count goal. If I miss, they simply reset and I keep going.

So none of that has me feeling overwhelmed.

But I’m also in the Licensing Transition class and the Shared Worlds class, and every few new videos Dean posts remind me of how much I don’t know and how few hours there are in the day.

The length of day is a fixed given. We all have 24 hours in each day. What is flexible is how we prioritize our lives and use those hours. We’re fortunate that we can revisit and adjust those priorities whenever we want.

I’m a writer first and foremost, so for me, WIBBOW (would I be better off writing) hovers over everything else. And at the moment, the answer is always yes. So my writing goals come first.

On the other hand, as a professional independent fiction writer, I’m also a publisher. So I have to get my publishing under control. That means putting my work into every English-speaking market around the world in ebooks (check), paperbacks (partial check) and hardbacks for books for which hardbacks are appropriate.

No check at all on that last one. I have to figure out which of my books, if any, would be appropriate for hardback. At the moment, I’m leaning hard toward sticking with trade paperbacks and not publishing hardbacks at all.

Then there’s audio.

I have to look into Findaway Voices, ACX, Audible and any others out there. I’ll also look into the cost of good recording equipment and consider reading my books into audio myself, especially my shorter novels in series (and with my voice, especially my Wes Crowley series) and my short stories and short story collections.

The only thing about audio is that it can be expensive (Still, at all times I safeguard my copyright, so I have to research and find the best prices for audio vs. the price of good recording equipment).

What’s worse, audio is also time consuming:

1. If you do it yourself, you still have to do the recording. (Some consumers would rather have a book actually read by the author.)

2. If you don’t do it yourself, you still have to spend the time necessary to find the right narrator (interviews, readings, etc.), then go back and forth with revisions of how the book is read, etc.

Setting priorities in the writing and publishing business is all about focus. My new business manager and I decided she will focus on marketing for the time being. That leaves me with the other two major aspects: writing and publishing.

So here are my personal new current priorities:

1. Keep writing novels and short stories to keep meeting my goals. That’s of primary importance.

2. Get my publishing back under control. That realization forced me to further revise my priorities. I had to ask what’s more important to me as an indie publisher at the moment:

a. Publishing in traditional magazine markets might make me a few hundred dollars and help with marketing. The downside is that identifying markets, submitting to them, and waiting for rights to clear after publication takes up a lot of time. More than a few hundred dollars worth.

b. I’m 67 years old, so the long-term (5, 10, 20 years) health of my publishing company shares primary importance with my writing. That health will suffer while I’m waiting for responses to submissions and/or for rights to clear.

c. So I’ve decided to hold off on submitting short stories to traditional markets for now, probably until after the time-frame of my current goals. Those stories have more value to me at the moment out there in my body of work.

3. So back to bringing my publishing house under control, beginning today,

a. I’ll create covers and promo docs and publish my unpublished “back” short stories. (Thank God I have only 5 or 6 at the moment.) I’ll do this only after I’ve written fiction for the day (remember WIBBOW?) and/or on any nonwriting days.

b. As I move forward with my goals, I’ll publish novels and short stories as I finish them so I don’t have to play catch-up again.

c. I’ll (begrudgingly) begin doing the research and work necessary to put my remaining novels (first) and short story collections (second) into trade paperbacks. For maximum exposure, I’ll do that through both Amazon Print and Ingram/Spark. (I’ll also look into D2D’s POD feature.)

4. I’ll find a good accountant and turn StoneThread Publishing into a full C corporation. (It’s currently an LLC. That or an “S” corp means all monies and the resulting tax bills drop straight down into my personal life. Ugh.)

5. I’m continuing to brainstorm and watch for licensing opportunities outside of publishing (merchandise, etc.).

6. We plan to attend the Licensing Expo in Vegas this coming May, just to learn and see what’s out there.

If you’re serious about making money off your writing, I suggest you think about licenses beyond publishing for your work too. Think about specific things (beyond writing and publishing more stories and novels) that you can do now or within the next several months with not only your IP but what I call your “inner IP” (characters, settings, situations and worlds you’ve already created).

So that’s my thinking and my new priorities at the moment. But setting them doesn’t do any good if you don’t then work toward them.

So how about you? Do you have your priorities set? Are you steadily moving forward in your writing and publishing business?

In light of Dean’s post today (see “Of Interest”) as a gentle reminder I thought I’d mention that even with all of the above I still offer mentorships on everything from clearing out the myths (and what they are and why you should), to setting and attaining goals, to specific writing techniques, licensing and much more. If you’re interested, email me at

Today, again, I wrote. Not much else to say about that. Despite an early start on the day, I spent the first five hours on this and some other things, so I got a late start on the actual fiction writing. Which made me even more determined to reach my daily word-count goal. (grin)

I made my goal, but I didn’t get a cover done for any of the short stories. Back at it tomorrow.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Last Week of Mentorship…” at

See “Business Musings: Then And Now” at Wow is this a great post!

See “Serial Killers and Bull Castrators” at Much better than it sounds. Basically a rundown on aspects of serial killers and how they’re caught.

See “The intelligence coup of the century” at Possible story ideas.

See “Book Promotion: Do This Not That – February 2020” at

The Numbers

Fiction words today…………………… 3191
Nonfiction words today…………… 1210 (Journal)

Writing of The Three-Year Turn (novel)

Day 1…… 3570 words. Total words to date…… 3570
Day 2…… 4026 words. Total words to date…… 7596
Day 3…… 4251 words. Total words to date…… 11847
Day 4…… 2117 words. Total words to date…… 13964
Day 5…… 3139 words. Total words to date…… 17103
Day 6…… 3191 words. Total words to date…… 20294

Total fiction words for the month……… 29883
Total fiction words for the year………… 95427
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8600
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 39860
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 135787

Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 5
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 47
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 201
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31