The Journal: Weird and Weirder

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Weird and Weirder
* The monsoons are here
* Topic: Deciding Who You Are
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“If you could go on a no-return trip into the future, say hundreds of years, would you? And why would you do that?” story prompt from Dean Wesley Smmith

Weird. I couldn’t help but notice the novel wrapped on Writing Day 14. That seems to happen a lot. Talk about an active creative subconscious! It even crossed my mind that maybe my creative subconscious was jerking me around a little, withholding what I needed to really wrap the novel until Writing Day 14. Routine, you know.

Anyway, I was intrigued, so I went back and counted (yes, I’m that anal) and found that thus far this year, 24 full weeks have passed.

Then I scrolled down on the Journal and saw that I’ve written 10 novels this year. That’s not a bad average for what will undoubtedly be my most prolific year yet, not withstanding the negative, niggling little voice that says I should have written 12.

I assume what appears to be those non-productive four weeks were absorbed into necessary or unavoidable days off, the few short stories I’ve written this year, or novels that took a day or two longer to write.

Still, not too shabby at the almost-midpoint of 2021. And yes, this could as easily be you.

Weirder. When I scrolled down to check the novel count for the year, I also realized this novel wrote more slowly than usual. There were several days (8) when I didn’t even hit the 3000 word mark, a few (3) when I didn’t hit the 2000 word mark, and only one when I wrote more than my daily goal of 4000 words.

It’s as if the creative subconscious did some division on its own and spread this short novel thin so it would span exactly 14 writing days.

Guess I’ll go with it. (grin) Come on in. The water’s fine.

The monsoons are here apparently. Yesterday I awoke at 4 a.m. to 81° Fahrenheit. Which meant I would step outside to find the sky at least overcast. Which it was. And it was raining, sort of.

I didn’t get wet (at all), but there was a light, patterned drumming of rainy little fingertips on the roof of my aluminum carport. All the way to the Hovel (around 150 feet) I think one minuscule raindrop hit my right arm.

Topic: Deciding Who You Are

I’m almost ready to put up the actual craft mentorships again, renamed the Advanced Writing mentorships. I expect to announce that here soon.

I’m also still in the process of deciding what to do with the old “non-writing” or “pre-writing” mentorships, but I’ve expanded them a little and renamed them the Becoming A Writer mentorships.

In those mentorships I won’t teach you to write like I do. I’ll teach you to write like YOU do, but more so.

I decided to write a topic on “Deciding Who You Are” as a prelude and because it doesn’t really belong in a craft mentorship on writing fiction or even in my new Becoming A Writer mentorships.

This is something that should be decided BEFORE undertaking any such mentorship. Most people either are writers or are not, though there is a pretty narrow middle ground of “hobby” writers. I’ll get to that in a minute.

But for now, a definition. When I say “fiction writer,” I mean a person who writes fiction or who WANTS to write fiction on a regular basis. A “fiction writer” is all but consumed with the desire to have fun telling stories. It’s just what you do.

As I wrote a day or two ago in the Journal, “When the subconscious calls and you’re a writer, you pretty much have to respond.” Life is short. We should spend as much time as we can doing something we enjoy. If you’re a writer, that will be telling stories.

So I’m talking primarily to three main groups:

1. If you’re an aspiring writer or just starting out, my Becoming A Writer mentorship topics will set you on a solid foundation and a firm path to success. You’ll see some of those tomorrow.

2. If you’re already writing but aren’t yet prolific or if you seriously want to improve in one or more craft areas, then my Advanced Writing mentorships will help you advance (a lot, and rapidly) in your storytelling ability.

3. But if you really just aren’t a fiction writer, then my mentorships are not for you. And that’s perfectly fine. If you aren’t a writer, spend your time doing something you enjoy.

Now to address that middle ground I mentioned earlier. If you are are a hobbyist writer, meaning you enjoy writing a story or novel now and then or you write only to mark something off your bucket list, there’s nothing wrong with that either.

But you might or might not find something of value in my mentorships. Feel free to look them over when I open them again and cherry-pick ’til your heart’s content.

But if you’re a hobbyist, you should know up front I won’t be able to tone-down my own passion for fiction writing as I mentor you. It isn’t something I can turn off.

I am eager to pass along what I know. So naturally, my ideal student in any mentorship will be as eager and enthusiastic about writing as I am, or at least will be leaning hard in that direction.

For that reason, these mentorships are intended for those who are or want to be prolific professional fiction writers. They are intended for those who are eager to begin learning or to vastly improve in the craft of writing.

So in me, you will find an eager, enthusiastic teacher, one who will lead, tug, pull and push you to greater heights in your storytelling ability. If you are a hobbyist and want to remain a hobbyist, that’s fine. But if storytelling takes over your life, don’t be surprised. Just sayin’.

Finally, if you want to give your life over to writing, if you would like to be a prolific professional fiction writer, then frankly my mentorships should make you salivate.

Tomorrow, I’ll lift the veil on my notes on the Becoming A Writer mentorships thus far. Trust me, you don’t want to miss those notes. I hope you’ll consider them food for thought.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Father’s Day With Mother Nature On The Billy Goat Trail” at (No politics, and some great pictures).

See “First Page Critique: Lethal Impulse” at I wasn’t grounded by the opening page either, but for several more (and more concrete) reasons.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 1120 words

Writing of (novel)

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

Total fiction words for June……… 48494
Total fiction words for the year………… 502983
Total nonfiction words for June… 13960
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 120190
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 623173

Calendar Year 2021 Novels to Date…………………… 10
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 63
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.