The Journal, Monday, 7/3

Hey Folks,

Happy July 4th tomorrow. More importantly, happy Independence Day.

Well, I’m officially in a slump right now. (I know. Duh!)

I wrote four openings today, and I wasn’t excited about any of them from the first word to the last. Every one of them dwindled and died, and what’s worse, I didn’t care. I’m not counting the words.

I know better than to think I don’t want to write anymore or I don’t have anymore stories to tell or any silliness like that.

But I am definitely in a slump. Maybe this is the “writer’s crash” Dean talks about now and then. Maybe I’ll email and ask him. (grin)

I suppose there’s a chance some of it is due to my miserable attempt at a challenge last month. But I’d like to think it isn’t.

I suspect partly it’s all the changes in the past six months. That’s when they started, with me going to pick up my grandson on Christmas Eve.

But in the past couple of months the difficulties have snowballed, stacking one atop the other, and there have been a lot of them.

Not that I’m complaining or making excuses. After all, I either implemented or was the direct catalyst for them:

  • the onset of really hot weather, which keeps me from writing outside most of the time;
  • swapping out the desk and writing surfaces in my office;
  • losing (temporarily) my writing space in the Hovel (GAWD I put a lot of words through the ‘puter out there);
  • all the stuff going on with my vehicles;
  • and then major changes like having Bryan with me for 6 months and him being gone to Job Corps now;
  • my youngest son starting over again up in Flagstaff;
  • some family turmoil in New Mexico; and so on.

Just a lot of life stuff stacked up on my mind and time.

So the upshot is this: I’ll write fiction again when I’m ready to write fiction again. At the moment, I’m just not.

My subconscious has its stupid little arms crossed over its chest. A few minutes ago it did that thing where it pinched its forefinger and its thumb together, drew them across its tightly sealed lips, and made like it was tossing away the key.

In the interim, I’ll keep this Journal going and I’ll keep coming up with Topics that I hope will help in your own writing. I’ll also continue copyediting at a special rate for anyone who’s reading this.

First readers are wonderful, and everyone should have a good one. But the first reader’s job is to look for consistency issues, places where they’re confused, wrong words and misspellings. That’s it.

A good copyeditor does all that plus addresses punctuation, tense shifts, pacing and paragraphing issues, story flow, etc. All without changing your authorial voice or the story itself.

If anyone’s interested, check the Copyediting tab on my main website. Your price will be lower than the price stated on the website.

Topic: 750 Words

Anyone who’s interested in writing challenges or productivity might look into the website

If you’re interested in learning what really goes on time-wise when you sit down to write, it will be good for that too.

You all know I’m a big believer in keeping track of numbers because it helps in my productivity. This innovative little site measures all sorts of stuff. It even keeps track of all the time you are NOT writing when you think you’re writing. (grin)

But I mentioned writing challenges specifically because this site encourages you to write 750 words.

That’s important for several reasons. That number of words is about three pages, about an hour of work and — in some fast-paced genres — about one scene (or chapter). How cool is that?

Especially if you’re considering writing short stories or novels “in public” and posting a scene per day or per week or per hour, this might be a real boon. They have a 30-day free trial. After that, if I remember right, it costs you $5 per month to subscribe.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3 after a LOT of sleep. Apparently catching up.

As I mentioned above, I’m in a slump. At a time when most writers are coming out of a summertime slump, I seem to have entered into one.

I’ll be back, maybe in a big way. For now, perhaps I’m in chrysallis stage or something. Not that I wanna be a butterfly. I don’t. Unless I’m a butterfly with, like, a machinegun and a few grenades. I’m lining up targets as we speak.

Anyway, I might snap out of it tomorrow, or it might be a week from now, or a month. Shrug. I dunno. But I will snap out of it.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Not a lot around the web today.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 780 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 780

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1380
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 109210
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 447167

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 585 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

2 thoughts on “The Journal, Monday, 7/3”

  1. Hang in there Harvey. Maybe your muse is just taking a nap. Meanwhile why not teach a class…your teaching, your ability to inspire was the beginning of my four epic crime novels…well really only myself and a few others consider them epic…but its been a blast. I often think with my creative brain I hope…Hey Bon are you down on the field running with them or are you getting back to the omnipotent author…are you showing or telling/kay maybe its not my creative brain…maybe its my critical self…sometimes they seem to overlap… at any rate you live in my mind and in my writing. So give yourself a break…gather us together and teach us some more or just help us remember all the good thoughts you’ve already planted in these (often not so young) minds. I know you don’t even like praise and pep talks…but it’s one way of showing gratitude. So go on doing what you want when you want to…including writing
    but if you are getting a little bored…remember we’re out here ready to hear more. 🙂

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