In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* Cycling Redux
* Bradbury Challenge Report, and Going Back to Monday
* The Writing
* Of Interest
Quotes of the Day
“Stop worrying about your lack of sales of your five novels, take a deep breath, and go write. And remember to have fun.” Dean Wesley Smith
“The question is not what you look at but what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
“I experimented by turning off all my device notifications and staying in the groove for hours. The experience was like being deep in prayer at the altar of the keyboard.” Robert M. Thorson in a review of Thoreau’s Axe by Caleb Smith
Welcome to Jason and Alex and any other new subscribers to the Journal. If I can help in any way with your writing, feel free to let me know. I’m always available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meanwhile, I hope you will enjoy the Journal and that it will help in some way.
Cycling is an extremely important concept, second only to believing in yourself enough to write off into the dark in the first place. Therefore, if anyone didn’t quite “get” what cycling is from yesterday’s post, please, please, please avail yourselves of the numerous other posts available on the topic by keying “cycling” into the search box in the sidebar.
It’s free, folks, and WITD + Cycling will advance your writing so fast that your head will swim. You’ll get tons more practice because you’ll have tons more time to practice (put new words on the page) and therefore your level of craft will rapidly improve too.
This is strictly a win-win situation for you, and again, it’s free. It costs no money and only a small investment of your time. And that’s an investment in YOURSELF, not me. All you have to do is put forth the effort to key “cycling” into the search box, and then read the posts that pop up.
If you’re serious about writing fiction—if you’d like to become a long-term profession fiction writer—then you owe it to yourself to honestly try writing into the dark and cycling. You have absolutely nothing to lose but the myths in which you’re currently mired.
If WITD works for you—and if you shove the fear down and really try it, it WILL work—you will be flatly amazed at how much better you write and at how much more you write. Both the quality and quantity of your writing will improve almost exponentially. I guarantee it.
How can I guarantee it? Because if you try WITD and it doesn’t work, you can always go back to outlining, revising, seeking critical input, rewriting and all that. No harm, no foul. You will have lost nothing but a few (possibly very scary) moments as you draw near to your own unique, original authorial voice.
Of course, only you can possibly know whether you believed in yourself enough to really try WITD, or whether you only made a stab at it for appearances. It really doesn’t matter to me. I’m just paying forward the most freeing non-process I’ve ever encountered. I only wish I’d found it thirty or forty years earlier.
Bradbury Challenge Report
Current Bradbury Challenge participants include TonyDeCastro, Balázs Jámbor, Loyd Jenkins, Chynna Pace, Christopher Ridge, KC Riggs, Bill Sinclair, Frank Theodat, Alexander Teut, and Robert J. Sadler.
Yesterday, Robert reported his stories for the first four weeks of the challenge:
- “The Emerald” [1379 words] Friday 24 March 2023
- “Hard Freeze in Arroyo Seco” [758 words] Friday 31 March 2023
- “April Fools” [1334 words] Saturday 1 April 2023
- “The Pink Bikini Snapshot” [585 words] Thursday 6 April 2023
Going Back to Monday
I’m happy for Robert and the others, but I don’t like this segmented way of reporting stories as they come in. It’s a weekly challenge, so from now on I’ll go back to reporting new stories on Monday, as I originally planned.
That said, today is Saturday. (grin) Get your stories for this week in to me before Monday morning. C’mon guys and gals. I’m pulling for you.
I started a short story (or something, maybe much longer) yesterday, then was distracted and got busy with some other things and didn’t finish it. Rather than returning to what I started yesterday (just over 400 words) I will write a completely different story today.
I have a framed watercolor I’ve been wanting to use as a basis for a story for some time, so maybe I’ll do that. (The painting is of a stylized peasant or bandito or other weary traveler approaching a casita somewhere in the Sonoran Desert on a donkey or burro.) Either that or I’ll go back to the old story-starter formula: a character with a problem (doesn’t have to be ‘the’ problem of the story) in a setting.
Talk with you again soon.
See “Memory and Perspective” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/memory-and-perspective/.
See “Thoreau’s Axe” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/thoreaus-axe/.
The Journal…………………………………… 820
Writing of Wes Crowley: Deputy US Marshal 2 (WCG9SF4)
Day 11… 0323 words. Total words to date…… 19819
Day 12… 2445 words. Total words to date…… 22264
Day 13… 3184 words. Total words to date…… 25448
Total fiction words for April……… 12641
Total fiction words since April 1… 12641
Total fiction words for 2023………… 78829
Total nonfiction words for April… 11550
Total nonfiction words since April 1… 11550
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 73810
Total words (fiction and this blog) since April 1…… 24190 (to shadow Dean’s challenge)
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 152639
Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 1
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 72
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark, adherence to Heinlein’s Rules, and that following the myths of fiction writing will slow your progresss as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.