The Journal, Monday, 6/26

Hey Folks,

Wow. I could post this right now and chances are you’d find value in it. Just check out today’s “Of Interest” to see what I mean. There’s a lot there.


By the way, I requested and received a “free website critique” of my main website from Nate Hoffelder.

In a word, the guy’s legit. He’s also super helpful. My website doesn’t suck, but (to continue the analogy) he pointed out a few places where vacuum leaks exist or are forming. So I’ll take care of those over the next week or so.

So once again I encourage you to visit The Digital Reader at Not only for his usually useful notes on the publishing industry, but for his services.


For those following the Saga of Grandson Bryan, he’s safely ensconsed at my house again. I’ll drive him to Tucson early on Tuesday morning and he’ll begin his training with Job Corps and then his new life. The older I get (seemingly day by day) the more I envy the excitement of young people experiencing new discoveries.

But new discoveries are neither limited to the young, nor are we more-mature folks banned from them. With this chapter of his and my life closing, two new doors also are opening.

Bryan will set off in wide-eyed wonder on his life’s journey, and I’ll begin the new challenge I’ve been hawking here for awhile.

Topic: Goals, Life Rolls and Establishing Routines

Stealing a bit of thunder from the “Today, and Writing” section, there’s something to be said for the interaction of goals, life rolls and establishing routines.

For example, now that my current life roll has almost come to a close, I’m clearing the decks to prep for the upcoming challenge.

If I can finish that prep work today, the current plan is to begin the challenge tomorrow. If this effort carries through Tuesday, I’ll begin the challenge on Wednesday.

But the disruption of this life roll has also brought a new insight. Why not use the current challenge not only to reach a desired goal, but to establish a new routine?

So no matter when I begin the challenge, I’ve decided not to limit it to a set timeframe.

I still have to write a novel for July, but I also want to write a complete short story every day through at least July 31. No matter when I start.

I once logged a 26-hour workday in the oilfields of New Mexico in a single 24-hour day. So why can’t I expand “Stories from July” to span June 27 or 28 through July 31?

And by July 31, if I have a routine down, I see no reason to voluntarily stop at that point, to voluntarily end the streak.

Think about it: It’s all well and good to write 31 stories in 31 calendar days from July 1 through July 31 and then publish Stories from July.

But why not continue through August 31? Or September 30? You see where I’m going.

And I’ve come to realize that’s the real purpose behind this goal and this challenge: to continue in my training (or retraining) as a writer by establishing a routine.

Certainly the short stories and collections and novels will be a pleasing by-product (to some readers) of that training, but nothing more than that.

Carving out time to write is important. Writing is important. But the stories themselves are not important in the slightest. They’re something to enjoy and let go.

So what’s the importance of establishing a routine?

The best, most deeply imbedded routines are those that can be interrupted by life rolls but to which you return automatically when the life roll ends. You know, instead of erratically “starting over” each time.

If I can do that, maybe I’ll emerge feeling like a “real” writer. We’ll see. (grin)

Today, and Writing

Today, and probably the balance of tomorrow, I’m continuing to clear the decks for my challenge. The websites are done, all but minor tweaks. So I’ll finally design the covers and other promo materials for my 10 unpublished short stories, a novel and a novella.

Then I’ll publish them, then upload covers to the website, create new pages on the website for the novel and novella, etc.

UPDATE: As of 11:30, I finished formatting the documents and writing promo documents for them. Now I only have to find the cover pics, create the covers, and distribute them. Piece’a cake, amIright? (grin)

By 1:30, I identified pics for the novel, novella, and 7 of the short stories. I have a feeling the last three will have to wait awhile.

It’s almost 3 so I’m gonna post this. I have 4 covers done. I’ll do at least one more today.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Check out “Why Indie Authors’ Websites Need to Evolve Over Time” at

More importantly, see “US Copyright Office recommends sweeping, welcome changes to America’s DRM laws” at (I personally NEVER use DRM and recommend strongly against it.)

And see “Hoopla Digital and HarperCollins Disrupt Library E-Lending” at

From Linda Adams via email, if you’re a veteran and you’d like to start your own business (publishing, anyone?) check out “VetToCEO – Veterans Entrepreneurship Training Program” at

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 880 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 880

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14710
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 104690
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 442647

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 578 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 176