In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* The first quote of the day
* I used to teach
* Just for Fun
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quotes of the Day
“Two to three years writing one novel. What the hell? What is she doing the rest of the time? Actually playing the harp? Because real writers write.” Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Stephen King
The first quote of the day is from the first post listed in “Of Interest.” I also recommend reading Kris’s other posts on “Fear-Based Decision Making” at https://kriswrites.com/?s=Fear-Based+Decision-Making&submit=.
I used to teach live writing seminars. Loved it. And I want to say thanks to Matt for his comment on yesterday’s post. With that comment, he reminded me of something I used to tell my students (and my editing clients, actually). “If you want fawning praise, talk to your mother. That’s her department. If you want to learn how to write, attend my classes.” (grin)
My point was that I wasn’t teaching fluff. I taught real nuts and bolts techniques the students could actually put to use in their writing—if they practiced.
The same is true of my nonfiction books today. They aren’t simply the regurgitated “everyone says” stuff you find in many nonfiction books on writing. They contain hard-core, down to Earth, no-fluff information, including specific techniques and examples.
When I mentor someone, it’s the same, except it’s personally tailored to the student’s actual writing. And I tend to go all-in. Kind of the same way I used to do with my classes. Except my time with the students was much more limited with my classes.
Since I’m not teaching in-person writing classes anymore, I kind of lost sight of my love for teaching enthusiastic students. I mean, if you’re willing to drop $100 for a one-day class, you have to be at least a little enthusiastic.
So I moved on to writing this Journal and offering personalized mentoring. But when I started mentoring, I lost sight of the effort it takes, what it costs me in time, effort and even emotion.
My nonfiction books on writing sell well, adding another trickle to the revenue stream. So that’s good. But I still miss the rush of excitement I get from teaching writers who believe in themselves and who really want to learn the craft and become better storytellers.
So for the time being, I’ve taken down my mentoring offers. The mentorships are too fragmented. I don’t like that. The Mentorships page is still there but with an explanatory note. The links below that note won’t work at present.
When I’ve revised the mentorships so they appeal to the kind of student I’m searching for, I’ll reactivate the pages and then sit back and wait for that enthusiastic student. One who wants to learn from me as much as I wanted to learn from my mentors.
Of course, I’ll announce that here in the Journal when the offers are live again.
I won’t be able to take on a lot of students at the same time. I’m not Dave Farland with his staff or a Masters Class participant like James Patterson. I’m one guy who knows what he’s doing and wants to pass it along.
Just for Fun
I don’t usually do this—in fact, I think this is the first time I’ve ever done it—but here’s the body of a forward I received via email in its entirety. I’ve seen lists similar to this one before, but never this particular list.
This illustrates how difficult English can be in translation for folks in other countries. I assume these are all signs in various locations:
In a Bangkok Temple: IT IS FORBIDDEN TO ENTER A WOMAN, EVEN A FOREIGNER, IF DRESSED AS A MAN.
Cocktail lounge, Norway: LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR
Doctor’s office, Rome: SPECIALIST IN WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.
Dry cleaners, Bangkok: DROP YOUR TROUSERS HERE FOR THE BEST RESULTS.
In a Nairobi restaurant: CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE, OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.
On the main road to Mombasa, leaving Nairobi:
PLEASE TO TAKE NOTICE: WHEN THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER, THIS ROAD IS IMPASSABLE.
On a poster at Kencom: ARE YOU AN ADULT THAT CANNOT READ? IF SO WE CAN HELP.
In a City restaurant: OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK AND WEEKENDS.
In a Cemetery: PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS, FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES.
Tokyo hotel’s rules and regulations: GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE, OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIOURS IN BED.
In a Tokyo Bar: SPECIAL COCKTAILS FOR THE LADIES WITH NUTS.
Hotel, Yugoslavia: THE FLATTENING OF UNDERWEAR WITH PLEASURE, IS THE JOB OF THE CHAMBERMAID.
Hotel, Japan: YOU ARE INVITED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE CHAMBERMAID.
In the lobby of a Moscow Hotel, across from a Russian Orthodox Monastery: YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT THE CEMETERY, WHERE FAMOUS RUSSIAN AND SOVIET COMPOSERS, ARTISTS AND WRITERS ARE BURIED DAILY, EXCEPT THURSDAY.
A sign posted in Germany’s Black Forest: IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN ON OUR BLACK FOREST CAMPING SITE, THAT PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SEX, FOR INSTANCE, MEN AND WOMEN, LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE TENT, UNLESS THEY ARE MARRIED WITH EACH OTHER FOR THIS PURPOSE.
Hotel, Zurich: BECAUSE OF THE IMPROPRIETY OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX IN THE BEDROOM, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE LOBBY BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE.
A Laundry in Rome: LADIES, LEAVE YOUR CLOTHES HERE AND THEN SPEND THE AFTERNOON HAVING A GOOD TIME.
Talk with you again soon.
See “Business Musings: Traditional Writers” at https://kriswrites.com/2021/06/09/business-musings-traditional-writers-fear-based-decision-making-part-5/.
See “Fairfax Board Members Rails Against The Dangers Of ‘Excessive Individualism'” at https://jonathanturley.org/2021/06/14/174458/. Posted only because it may give you some chilling story ideas.
See “28 Flash Fiction Markets That Pay” at https://authorspublish.com/28-flash-fiction-markets-that-pay/. To me, a short-short is not flash fiction. Two separate short forms. I suspect this melded definition came about because it’s easier to redefine something than to study and learn it. Still, maybe a helpful article.
See “Collecting Moments of Pleasure, Thanks To A Favorite Author” at https://killzoneblog.com/2021/06/collecting-moments-of-pleasurethanks-to-a-favorite-author.html.
See “Author Complaints at City Limit Publishing” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/author-complaints-at-city-limit-publishing/.
See “Where Is Our Spotify for Books?” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/where-is-our-spotify-for-books/. See PG’s take.
The Journal…………………………………… 1040 words
Writing of WCGN: Assignment: Brownsville (novel)
Day 1…… 2890 words. Total words to date…… 2890
Day 2…… 3178 words. Total words to date…… 6068
Day 3…… 3124 words. Total words to date…… 9192
Day 4…… 2977 words. Total words to date…… 12169
Day 5…… 1001 words. Total words to date…… 13170
Day 6…… 3791 words. Total words to date…… 16961
Day 7…… 3569 words. Total words to date…… 20530
Day 8…… 1607 words. Total words to date…… 22137
Day 9…… 1744 words. Total words to date…… 23881
Day 10… 3491 words. Total words to date…… 27372
Total fiction words for June……… 36955
Total fiction words for the year………… 491444
Total nonfiction words for June… 10180
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 116410
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 607854
Calendar Year 2021 Novels to Date…………………… 9
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 62
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.
4 thoughts on “The Journal: Mentorships, and Just for Fun”
Loved the translations, Harvey.
I was wise enough not to drink coffee as I read them. 😉
Yep, a couple of ’em nailed me.
Hi Harvey, I recently finished reading your book ‘Quiet the Critical Voice and Write Fiction’. It’s such a gem. Thank you for explaining in detail on how critical voice shows up and what it actually means in practical terms to let the subconscious voice out and express itself. The gun in the housecoat example is one I’ll never forget. Just wanted to mention that here, how helpful your book has been to me, especially this past week.
Thanks very much! I appreciate that, and am glad it helped. I just listened to Dean Koontz talking about writing. At the end of the podcast, about self-doubt, he said “Get over it, and just do write.” (I’m paraphrasing.)
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