The Journal, Wednesday, July 18

Hey Folks,

Today’s post is long. It’s all about professional resources…

I went through my links yesterday, deleted any authors’ websites that are about nothing but the author, new releases, etc. I’m keeping only those that offer some insight for other writers. And I’ll be rearranging those today to make them easier to find.

One person responded to my call for resources yesterday. (Thanks, Gnondpom.) The ones that were already listed in my Writers Resources or that I’ve added are preceded below by an asterisk (to let you know you can find them on my site later). The others are not, for the reasons indicated. Here they are:

*Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn posts podcasts, but she usually posts a transcript too:

*David Farland drops a gem now and then at

*Ron Collins at (He gets a little political but he recently finished posting a series on a workshop he took from Dean and Kris.) For the record, I don’t like snowflakes of either variety, human or cloud-produced, and I do very much like Mr. Rogers.

*Jefferson Smith posts what not to do on his “Immerse or Die” challenge at He invites indie writers/publishers to send him books, then hopes he can remain immersed in the story while he’s walking on his treadmill. If he isn’t, he stops walking and posts about what pulled him from the story. Interesting concept.

I no longer list Chuck Wendig on my site because the guy uses so much purple language (and so gratuitously) that even I can’t handle it. But if you aren’t bothered by that and can handle his occasionally deep forays into populist, politically correct politics, you can find his site at

David Gaughran posts Amazon marketing advice at

*Some, like J.A. Konrath, post very sporadically. Still, what he post usually contains a gem or two (or several).

*Some, like Mark Rubinstein, post interesting, gem-filled interviews with other major writers.

Both of those guys are featured in today’s “Of Interest” section. I encourage you to check them out.

And again, if any of you know of any other accomplished resources who regularly post information of value to other writers, please let me know so I can check them out and share them.


With that in mind, a few months ago I was offered a free membership (enrollment) in a new, all-encompassing writing course called The Novel Blueprint. The course is presented by Christian author Jerry Jenkins.

They wanted me to look over the course materials and decide whether or not to become an affiliate and a pitch-man for them.

I decided against it. As I told the guy who contacted me for a final answer, the course looks like a good value for a beginning writer. And it’s made more valuable that enrollees have lifetime access to the videos and other course materials.

That being said, I had some reservations in that the course teaches many of the perpetual myths that good writing can come from the conscious, critical mind. For example, although the presenter nods to “pantsers” (I hate that term [grin]) a few times, much of the emphasis is on outlining, planning, and several editing and rewriting passes.

As I skimmed through the course, I found some gems for more advanced (practiced) writers too. But honestly, I saw nothing they couldn’t get from less-expensive courses, or free by reading in their chosen genre for pleasure and then going back to study what blows their socks off.

Still, for the all-encompassing range of the course alone, the Novel Blueprint price (just under $2000) seemed about right to me. As an affiliate, I stood to “earn” a 50% commission. I would get $998 per sign-up through my affiliate link.

Of course, the notion of being a highly paid affiliate was attractive. Who wouldn’t want to make a thousand bucks just because some guy somewhere clicked a link and signed up?

But as all of you know, given a basic knowledge of sentence structure, punctuation, and the touchstones of the writer’s selected genre(s), my own best advice to any would-be writer is to alternate Practice (keep writing) with Keep Learning.

And in my opinion, anything that actually invites the critical mind (outlining, plotting, planning, rewriting) into the writing process is harmful to that process.

For that reason, I told them I’d have to pass on their offer to be an affiliate.

Still, I DO believe this is a great course for beginning writers IF they beware the conscious-mind pitfalls against which I’ve always preached so stringently.

I mention all of this to show you how strongly I believe in what I tell you on this and my other blog. Kind of putting my money where my mouth is.

I will add that if Mr. Jenkins put this course in a book so I could pick and choose what to read and what to ignore, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

See you soon. ​

Of Interest

See J.A. Konrath’s “Amazon Ranking and Bestseller Lists – What’s the Deal?” at

See J.A. Konrath’s “Konrath’s New Year’s Resolutions for Writers 2018” at

See Mark Rubinstein’s blog at (Click the Blog tab.)

See “Being Behind Is Normal” at I really needed this one right now. I’ll add this specific post to my Writers Resources list too. It’s just that important.

See John Gilstrap’s “But Does It Sell Books?” at

See “Website News” at

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 900 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 900

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 2946
Total fiction words for the year………… 237162
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10960
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 90136
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 327048

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 5
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 11
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 31
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 6
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………………… 193