The Journal: More Quotes and On Teasing a Piranha Tank

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* If you read James Scott Bell’s
* As seems to be becoming my habit
* Today
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quotes of the Day

“When you’re all alone out there, on the end of the typewriter, with each new story a new appraisal by the world of whether you can still get it up or not, arrogance and self-esteem and deep breathing are all you have. It often looks like egomania. I assure you it’s the bold coverup of the absolutely terrified.” Harlan Ellison

“It is not my job to lull you with a false sense of the rightness of the universe. This wonderful and terrible occupation of recreating the world in a different way, each time fresh and strange, is an act of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. I stir the soup. I inconvenience you. I make your nose run and your eyeballs water.” Harlan Ellison

“Fear not your enemies, for they can only kill you; fear not your friends, for they can only betray you. Fear only the indifferent, who permit the killers and betrayers to walk safely on the earth.” Polish poet Edward Yashinsky

If you read James Scott Bell’s post on the Kill Zone blog yesterday, and if you read the comments, you’ll see why I very seldom mention WITD to those who are still steeped in the myths. I want so badly to help, but as Twain said, it’s much easier to fool folks than it is to convince them they’ve been fooled. I tried. Someday, knowing me, I’ll try again. In the meantime, it’s nice to be home among those of you who at least put up wtih me. (grin)

Our former PWW blogger Terry Odell even said in a comment that she had “never been exposed [in school] to anything like the ‘you musts'” I listed: outlining, revising, critique groups, and rewriting. She must be truly unique. Did anyone else out there not hear those things in Jr. High or Middle School, High School or college?

Which line of reasoning left me wondering where she learned them. But no, I didn’t bother saying anything.

The whole experience was not unlike being lowered into a tank of piranha while wearing meatloaf underwear. Of course, it was my own fault. It was still fun though. (grin) I also left the URL for the Journal. It will be interesting to see how many TKZers actually visit. (I’m betting on none, but I hope some do.) I did pick up one new subscriber today.

For the record, more than one person said they had “tried both ways,” which I assume meant the myths and WITD. If that is indeed what they meant, to correct the record I’ll just leave this right here:

Nobody who has ever really tried WITD and learned to trust their creative subconscious has ever gone back to outlining, revising, rewriting etc. To those of us who write off into the dark, all of that just seems a massive waste of time.

Anyway, as seems to be becoming my habit, I didn’t write fiction yesterday. (I didn’t write the first three days of February either, but that worked out all right. [grin]) That isn’t to say I take the writing for granted. I don’t. But like all other things in WITD, it’s a matter of trust. My creative subconscious is aware of my goals, and it will provide.

I did get the yard mowed yesterday though, mostly mustard grass and dandelions. My little girl cat will be annoyed with me; it was her jungle. (grin)

Today I started what might be my next novel, a they-come-here future-Earth SF story.

Still, not all that good of a day. Only 3000 words when I should have hit at least 4000 easily. The only really good news is, if this one’s going to stall, it will stall early. If it does, I’ll discard it and start something else.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “IngramSpark introduces new quality rules for self-published authors” at

See “Time Management For Unruly Writers” at

See “New Videos Are Up” at

See “24 Themed Calls for Submissions” at Always read guidelines/terms of service.

The Numbers

Fiction words today…………………… 3010
Nonfiction words today…………… 700 (Journal)

Writing of The Others (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 3010 words. Total words to date…… 3010

Total fiction words for the month……… 3010
Total fiction words for the year………… 139705
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2370
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 56850
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 196555

Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 3
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 6
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 48
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 202
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

4 thoughts on “The Journal: More Quotes and On Teasing a Piranha Tank”

  1. Hi Harvey! I most definitely have experienced all the myths. I spent 10 years on one novel. Good grief. I belonged to a critique group for years and we called ourselves Easy Writers (snicker,snort). 🤪

    I truly blame you and Dean for all the fun I’m having now! 🥰 I’m writing my 3rd teen rom-com now and am having a blast–although I will say my Critical Voice tries to butt in daily. 🙄 I recently released my 2nd story around 30 days after my 1st one and a writer friend of mine said, “Wow. That was fast. You must write all day long!” I didn’t really respond. I knew if I told her the truth, that I’m writing only about an hour and a half a day, she’d freak and think my story (a 20k novella) isn’t any good because I wrote it so fast. P.S. She’s really gonna freak when I release my next one later this month (since I’m doing Dean’s Great Publishing Challenge).🤯

    Thanks again for all you do, Harvey! I could never go back and write the old way. I love WITD!!!! 😎

    • Wow, maggie, that’s fantastic! Congratulations! 🙂 I have a feeling you’re gonna do great on the challenge.

  2. > Polish poet Edward Yashinsky

    His name is not Edward, but Bruno Jasieński. It’s epigraph to his last unfinished novel “The conspiracy of indifferent ones” (1937, published 1956). In book it’s attributed to one of characters, anthropologist Robert Eberhard, from his book “King Pithecanthropus the Last”

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