The Journal: Welcome and the Archives

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Topic: Welcome and the Archives
* Of Interest

Quotes of the Day

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” ― Stuart Chase

The above works just as well for writing into the dark as it does for religion of any other stripe.

“Her head was small and round and it held small round convictions.” John Steinbeck in East of Eden

Topic: Welcome and the Archives

Welcome to new subscribers. There have been a few over the past week or so, and one only yesterday. I’m currently on a semi-hiatus, so not posting as much as usual. But I encourage you to visit the Journal archives. Of course, I also encourage those of you who’ve been here awhile to revisit the archives as well.

The easiest way to visit is to enter a word or two — any writing-related thing you want — into the search engine in the sidebar of the Journal website at

At one time or another I’ve written about pretty much every writing-related topic in fiction, and many in nonfiction and poetry. There are even several posts on publishing and a few on marketing and promotion.

On fiction writing, you might key-in terms like “setting” and “characters” and “suspense” and “writing into the dark.” (Trust me, if you believe in yourself at all, you’ll enjoy that last one.) You should also try “creative subconscious” and “critical conscious mind.”

On publishing, key-in “traditional publishing” and “indie publishing.” On marketing and promotion, either key-in “promotion” or all three words.

And you can also key-in any of those terms or others into the search box in the sidebar over at my author website at

Here are a few notes for you. Consider these background for your exploration of the archives:

1. I recommend self-publishing (AKA indie publishing) vs. traditional publishing. Because why settle for earning around 10% of each sale instead of indie publishing and earning 60% to 70% or more of each sale? However, indie publishing means either doing everything yourself or paying for certain services, such as copyediting and cover design. And no, traditional publishers will NOT publish your book more widely than you can as an indie publisher. In fact, the reverse is true.

2. Self- or indie-publishing is NOT the same thing as subsidy publishing. I strongly recommend AGAINST using ANY subsidy publisher. Every one of them, from Booklocker to AuthorHouse to Wheatmark to any others you care to name, is designed only to feed on your ego and separate you from your money. Do not pay anyone to publish your books.

a. If you are an indie publisher and if you publish to paper as well as ebooks, you will eventually pay a PRINTER to print your book either in a “run” (you pay for the whole run up front, so it usually costs under a dollar for each book) or with a print-on-demand (POD) printer (you pay a few dollars for each book). Most people go with POD, but either way is fine. You’re paying to have your physical books printed, but you aren’t paying to have your intellectual property published.

3. I recommend against seeking out a literary agent for the same reason I object to signing over 15% of your home to the kid who mows your lawn.

4. I advocate that you go with your creative subconscious and Just Write. By that I mean trust your own abilities. (Again, key “writing into the dark” into the search box on either website.) You’ve been absorbing Story all your life and you’ve learned a great deal more than you realize. So  trust your characters to tell the story that they (not you) are living. Writing should not be work. Writing should be the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

5. I also recommend you do NOT buy into all the negative BS they taught us all in school:

a. That you CAN’T write a novel without plotting and planning and outlining it first. (Of course you can.)

b. That you can’t write a novel by yourself (of course you can), but that you need to avail yourself of other people’s opinions of your work. (Umm, NO, you don’t.)

c. That you should second-guess your characters (and yourself) and revise and rewrite, seeking “perfection.” No, you should not. One person’s perfection is another person’s garbage., etc. etc. ad nauseam. Which takes us back to why we don’t seek or accept critiques: what one person hates, another loves. And two more things:

1. the more you rewrite, the farther you’ll get from your characters’ unique, original story, and

2. each time you rewrite, you send a message to your creative subconscious that you don’t trust it. If you keep doing that, it will shut down and stop giving you stories.

And finally,

6. Learn copyright — copyright is the law that governs licensing, which is how you make money from your intellectual property, which consists of your stories, novels, poems, etc. The best way I’ve found to learn copyright is to purchase a copy of NOLO’s The Copyright Handbook. You can find it on Amazon in paperback for around $32. (If you go to the NOLO website it will actually cost you more.) You don’t have to read it straight through, but as a topic interests you, look it up and read about it.

Okay, I hope all of this helps. With any luck at all, I’ll soon be able to exit my semi-hiatus and return full-force. Either way, I’ll try to talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Do What You Love” at

See “Copyright Fun Part One” at

See “Copyright Fun Part 2” at See PG’s notes and then click through.

See “Fictional Florida: a look at 80-some writers with state roots, settings” at

See “Watched Bridgerton” at A rare craft post.

See “Up Front Money” at Read the article, but afterward read at least the first comment to deflect some misinformation.

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.