The Journal: It’s All About Learning

In today’s Journal

* Notice the new format
* Quote of the Day
* Lee Child
* Topic: Investing in Your Own Future
* Today
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Notice the new format. The date of each post is already automatically added to the post (duh). So from now on I’ll endeavor to give each new edition of the Journal a title that indicates what you’ll find inside. Enjoy!

Quote of the Day

“Yeah. Importance is the worst thing you can put on any kind of creativity. As soon as you think it’s important, you’re dead.” Jerry Seinfeld during an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

This was Seinfeld’s response to another comedian who commented on the early mistake of lending a comedic bit too much importance.

Last night I watched a few episodes of Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. He made the comment to either Larry David or Lewis Black.

I almost fell out of my chair. Here was Jerry Seinfeld, an extremely successful comedian and writer, verifying exactly what I’ve been telling other writers for years. THAT you write is important; WHAT you write is not.

Lending any level of importance to a short story or novel or series (or comedic bit) is a sure way to invoke the conscious, critical mind and shut down your creative subconscious.

Write only for your own entertainment, publish what you write so others can enjoy it, and move on to the next story. It’s called practice.

If you don’t believe me, believe Jerry Seinfeld, Dean Smith, Kris Rusch, Stephen King, Lee Child, Jack Higgins, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov….

Lee Child has a new nonfiction book available for pre-order. This Stage 5 writer has written The Hero, a nonfiction look at the importance of heroes in storytelling.

The hardcover book will be released on November 26 and is currently available for the pre-order price of $12.40 (including tax). That’s a very inexpensive addition to a writer’s education. You can read about the book at

Topic: Investing in Your Own Future

Soon after I started writing seriously (April 2014) I decided I more than likely wouldn’t make much money at it.

That was all right. All that mattered to me was writing. That I wrote, not what I wrote. Over time, I’ve invested a few thousand dollars in little leaps forward in my knowledge of the craft.

Each time I bought a new lecture or a new workshop and invested the time and Practice to make it my own, my storytelling improved dramatically.

But always I clung to the notion that, although it’s fun seeing money trickle into my bank account from so many sources from my writing, probably my heirs would reap the real monetary benefits. And that was fine.

Like most indie writers/publishers, I learned (on my own) to design covers and format my ebooks and set up my own publishing company (StoneThread Publishing).

Like most indie writers/publishers, I knew nothing about licensing beyond going to ebooks and print with my stories.

Then I started to learn more. Then my wife (she of the sharp business mind) got excited about possibilities. Which in turn got me excited about possibilities.

I enrolled in Dean’s year-long Licensing Transition course so we could follow along as he and Kris transition WMG from strictly a publishing business to a licensing platform.

And I got more excited. More possibilities are opening up and more money is trickling in.

Recently, for the first time, I realized there’s a real possibility that Mona and I can benefit from our business instead of simply doing all the prep work and then passing it along to my heirs.

So yesterday we talked about the Master Business Class upcoming in Las Vegas in October 2020. We finally decided the $750 tuition would be an excellent, worthwhile and necessary investment in the future of our business.

So we made the leap. Mona and I will both attend the Master Business Class on writing, publishing and licensing in October 2020. I reserved our spot and received confirmation from Dean this morning.

We expect this will give our publishing and
licensing business (StoneThread Publishing) a massive leap forward.

By the way, I had to buy only one tuition. Spouses/significant others attend free.

Oh, and FYI — If you think I’ll now be assigning any level of importance whatsoever to what I write, you’d be wrong. I’m still in it for the sheer, unbridled joy of being the first person to hear the stories my characters tell.

And somehow, although even the word “business” pretty much puts me in a coma, business stuff is fun for Mona. Go figure. I don’t understand it, but I’m smart enough to know I’m a very lucky guy.

And that, my friends, is investing in your own future. Keep learning, and have fun.

This morning I added only around 350 words to the short story “The Rain Carts.” It’s done except for cycling back over it, which I will do later today or tomorrow.

Then I’ll either continue on the longer version (novella or novel) or begin something new.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Stretch Your Style” at Note: Style/authorial voice is what happens when you write. It’s personal to each writer and evolves over time as you learn, absorb and apply new techniques that work for you. Like anything else in writing, style isn’t something that can or should be consciously manipulated.

And one proviso: A “run-on” sentence is not simply a sentence that is long. You can write a page-long sentence that is not a run-on sentence. I’m amazed James Bell doesn’t know this.

If any of you know of any valid writing-advice websites I’m missing, please point them out to me. By “valid” I mean places that don’t simply regurgitate the same old myths.

The Numbers

Fiction words today…………………… 352
Nonfiction words today…………… 970

Total fiction words for the month……… 5695
Total fiction words for the year………… 390788
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2210
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 283290
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 674078

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 43
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 196
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31