Today’s Journal, My Writing, and Subscriptions

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Today’s Journal
* My Writing
* Subscriptions
* Of Interest

Quote of the Day

“Ehh, good enough.” Mediocretes (from a meme a friend sent me)

Today’s Journal

First, a personal note: Happy Birthday to my youngest son, Roy, who turns 37 years old today. I’m shaking my head, wondering where the time’s gone.

The first three items in “Of Interest” are all from Jane Friedman’s blog digest. The first two repeat some things I’ve been teaching for years. But they say those things in a different way, and in the first article, actually back up the advice with hard science. I found that fascinating.

Because Jane and many of her guest bloggers propagate the myths of writing (like most writers) and continue to see traditional publishing as an important pathway, I seldom share posts from her site. That said, if you know what to keep and what to toss aside, you can learn good things from almost any source.

To sign up for Jane’s weely digest yourself, visit Hover over Resources for Writers, and click Free Email Newsletters. Then select which one(s) you want.

My Fiction Writing

From a thought-experiment perspective, there are some strange, interesting things going on with my own writing . Remember my short-term goal to have written 70 novels before my 70th birthday? Ain’t gonna happen.

It looks as if The Stirchians is going to be a lot longer than I originally thought it might be, which of course means it will take more time to write. And even if it was only going to be around 50,000 to 70,000 words, it will take longer than usual to finish. As you can tell from the numbers, I’ve been stammering along with it, burdened at times with critical voice popping in. Strange, the damage a year without practice can do.

Anyway, the slow writing might just be me feeling the pressure of the short-term goal.

But that’s ridiculous, really. There should be no sense of pressure at all because what possible difference can it make whether I’ve finished 68, 69, or 70 novels by a particular date? None.

It might also be one of those Life Happens things or a conspiracy of the universe (Wow, how important am I that the whole universe would conspire against me? Snort) or whatever. Or maybe my characters are just being mischievious: The old man’s getting too full of himself. Hold my beer and watch this.

But I suspect it’s because I’m still “coming back” from a long time down. So my intention now is to stop worrying about when I’ll be fully back and just write. Then one day I’ll glance at the stream of words in the rear-view mirror and notice I’ve been back for awhile. However it all happens, I don’t really care. I just want to tell stories.


I’m working to get this Journal on an aggregator site again so each new edition is emailed to you. Recently, most of the email/subscription aggregators stopped offering RSS integration with their free plan. At its most basic, that means the aggregator won’t pick posts up from the website and broadcast them automatically.

I suspect this happened because, as is most often the case with American businesses, money means a great deal more than customer relations or even providing services as advertised.

I suspect some ingenious 20-something business-major brain trust at whichever company started the trend—as part of his master plan to leave his mark on the company—thought Slashing Services to those on its “forever free” (ahem) plan would cause those folks to leap at the chance to cough up some dough. Then most of the other similar service providers, chirping and chattering like lemmings, leapt into line, scared to death they might be left behind. And here we are.

A few of the more timid customers who have grown used to being bullied, probably did actually switch to a paid service even though they couldn’t afford it. But what I suspect (and hope) actually ensued is a stampede and a frenzied search for another service provider.

Well, that and a thorougly puzzled executive (with any luck at all) being summarily fired.

But that’s probably too much to hope for. Probably what actually happened is something akin to a “launch” party at which the young executive was the center of attention and received warm accolades for cutting away the chaff.

AnNeeWay, I personally would rather pay another provider up front than be forced into paying by a provider who has a record of unilaterally changing the rules. So we’ll see. Frankly, I’m not wild about the idea of paying a monthly fee to provide free content to other folks. I don’t mind being altruistic (or very nearly so) but I don’t want to pay some corporation for the privelege.

Today, from what I can tell, there is Revue (which is owned by Twitter so who knows how long it will be around), Bulletin (which is owned by Zuckerburg so who knows anything at all), and Substack. Hmm.

Anyway, thank you all for being here. I hope some of what I post helps with your own writing.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “3 Key Strategies for Effective Fiction—Derived from Neuroscience” at

See “How to Write Your First Paragraph” at

See “A Primer on TV & Film Adaptation for Writers (Where the Rules Change Often)” at

See “I Don’t Care” at

See “The Problem With Canon” at

See “The weird way language affects our sense of time and space” at

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 910 words

Writing of The Stirchians (novel, tentative title)

Day 10… 1330 words. Total words to date…… 28459
Day 11… 2337 words. Total words to date…… 30836
Day 12… 2115 words. Total words to date…… 32951
Day 13… 2242 words. Total words to date…… 35193
Day 14… 1325 words. Total words to date…… 36518

Total fiction words for November……… 3567
Total fiction words for the year………… 165092
Total nonfiction words for November… 3360
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 178990
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 341847

Calendar Year 2022 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2022 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2022 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 68
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: In this Journal I promote Writing Into the Dark, a Zen-like letting go and trusting yourself and your characters. I have never said that WITD is the “only” way to write, but it greatly increases both your productivity and the amount of practice you get as a writer, and it provides a rapid ascension along the learning curve of Craft. This is not opinion. It is all numbers and facts.