In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* Topic: One Way to beat the critical mind
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quotes of the Day
“Most critical writing is drivel and half of it is dishonest. It is a short cut to oblivion, anyway. Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the power to think in terms of emotions and sensations.” Raymond Chandler
“Preoccupation with style will not produce it. No amount of editing and polishing will have any appreciable effect on the flavor of how a man writes. It is a product of the quality of his emotion and perception; it is the ability to transfer these to paper which makes him a writer, in contrast to the great number of people who have just as good emotions and just as keen perceptions, but cannot come within a googol of miles of putting them on paper.” Raymond Chandler
I thought yesterday was going to be another fairly slow day on the novel. But honestly, I think it’s because I’m getting close to the end. It’s not in sight yet, but I think that’s what’s going on.
Long-time readers of the Journal probably will recognize this. As I get closer to the end of a novel, my daily word count tends to drop. Even in the face of an approaching deadline. It’s like pulling teeth.
I also do a lot of cycling as I get closer to the end of a novel. New things come up that I have to go back and plant earlier in the story, etc.
It’s as if my creative subconscious is giving me the story in smaller bits because it doesn’t want to get to the end and have the story be over. (grin) Happens often with my writing.
Then when the end actually comes into view, I race ahead to get finished and put the story behind me so I can move on to the next bright, shiny object. (grin)
So even though I can’t see the ending yet, I’m already looking forward to it and plugging away. I keep coming back in sessions through the day even though in some sessions I get only a few hundred words.
Yesterday at 1 p.m. I looked up and had written only 1400 words in four sessions. How sad is that for a guy who ususally gets 1000–1200 words per session?
So I took yet another short break, then came back and set down for at least one more session, and maybe two in an attempt to make my word count for the day. (I usually quit around 2 or 3 each day.)
Great last session from 1 to 2:20, and I ended the day with just under 3400 words (see Day 19 below). Good enough.
Topic: One Way to Beat the Critical Mind
In a nutshell, remember why you write stories. Really. That’s all there is to it. But let me ‘splain.
Recently a former mentoring student emailed to tell me his critical mind climbed up on him for awhile. This time it took the form of “…no one reads/buys my stories, so why bother?”
I’m very familiar with that feeling. You just have to push it down, as I do and as my student did.
His email continued with “Today I’m going to write because I need to.” Bingo.
As I told him in my response, that is EXACTLY the reason to write. Because you want/need to and because for you, telling stories is fun.
Then he gave himself (and me, and you) a bonus: “I’ll publish because Saint Heinlein says I must, but what happens after that isn’t really up to me, other than to write the next story.”
Exactly. Spot on. It’s so good to know some are listening.
As an aside, “Saint Heinlein” says you must publish and then leave what you publish on the market (Rules 4 and 5) because you never know when a reader will be attracted to your story, pick it up, and enjoy it.
As my friend says above, whether and when that will happen isn’t up to you, beyond you publishing your work in the first place.
I literally shudder to think of all the manuscripts hidden away in drawers because the writer was afraid it wasn’t his or her “best work,” which of course it was at that time.
Almost every day, I still get sales and kudos on stories and novels I published years ago, long before my storytelling skills were what they are now.
I just realized, although I’ve received all the input back from my first readers and created the cover, etc. I haven’t yet published the last novel I wrote, the one for February. (grin)
So that will be first up when I get some spare time or when I finish my current novel, whichever comes first.
Today I rolled out right on time and shuffled out to the Hovel, coffee mug in one hand and my Thermos in the other.
I wrote all the stuff above (some of it I wrote yesterday), then wrote a short essay titled “Thoughts on Writing in the Time of CoVID-19” (350 words), but I took it out and saved it separately. Still, I wrote it so I’m counting it in today’s nonfiction numbers. And I finally turned to the novel at 5.
I got a few hundred words, then took a break for breakfast, then back out here to post this. Then I’ll head back to the novel. I hope it will be a good day, for me and for all of you. As always, I’ll report today’s fiction numbers tomorrow.
Talk with you again soon.
See “Discipline (A Coronavirus Stay-At-Home Special Reprint #3)” at https://kriswrites.com/2020/03/28/discipline-a-coronavirus-stay-at-home-special-reprint-3/.
See “Card Sharp Silver… Day 10” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/card-sharp-silver-day-10/.
See “WWYWTR – Layers” at https://prowriterswriting.com/wwywtr-layers/.
See “Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #114” at https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2020/03/self-publishing-carnival-of-the-indies-issue-114/. FWIW.
Fiction words today…………………… XXXX
Nonfiction words today…………… 1290 (Journal)
Writing of The Othgygnrkthers (tentative title, novel)
Day 10… 1622 words. Total words to date…… 28128
Day 11… 1263 words. Total words to date…… 29391
Day 12… 0992 words. Total words to date…… 30383
Day 13… 1897 words. Total words to date…… 32280
Day 14… 1199 words. Total words to date…… 33479
Day 15… 1444 words. Total words to date…… 34923
Day 16… 1284 words. Total words to date…… 36207
Day 17… 4765 words. Total words to date…… 40972
Day 18… 1151 words. Total words to date…… 42123
Day 19… 3399 words. Total words to date…… 45522
Total fiction words for the month……… 61191
Total fiction words for the year………… 197886
Total nonfiction words for the month… 25720
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 80200
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 278086
Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 3
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 12
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 48
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 208
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
2 thoughts on “The Journal: One Way to Beat the Critical Mind”
>“whether and when that will happen isn’t up to you, beyond you publishing your work in the first place”
Thank you very much for this important reminder. I never really came to appreciate this wisdom until I started writing (and publishing) everyday. lol
Thanks, Yuko. Glad it helped.
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