The Journal, Sunday, 12/11

Hey Folks,

Well, there is a very good chance this will be a nonwriting day. I’m working through a memoir for a long-time friend, and it’s fascinating. I hope to have it published for him as an ebook by the end of the day, so I’m going to stick with it for awhile and see what happens.

Started the entry above (and working through the eformat and cover for my friend) around 4. By around 11:30, it was published and distributed through Amazon, D2D and Smashwords. Feels very good to have been allowed to help.

By the way, the book is excerpted from his diary over several years while he struggled with COPD. If that’s something with which you or a loved one are affliced, check it out. The title is BREATHE: Living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It’s both personable and informative.

Anyway, then to lunch in Benson with my wife, then the grocery and back here. It’s almost 2 p.m. now. No writing today.

I’ll start in again tomorrow.

Of Interest

Oof. Not a lot around the web that I could find.

Today’s Writing

Nada today. Planned nonwriting day.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 200 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 200

Writing of Jill Montgomery (working title)

Day 1…… 2536 words. Total words to date…… 2536
Day 2…… 1301 words. Total words to date…… 3837
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 17674
Total fiction words for the year………… 697368
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6280
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 264180

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 961548

The Journal, Sunday, 12/4

Hey Folks,

Another slow start this morning. But different. More relaxed. I could easily make this a day off, but I’d really like to resolve my current story. Either to finish it or ride along as it takes off in an exciting new direction that will turn it into a budding novel.

I’m such a dork. Remember all that crying and whimpering I did here a few days ago? I wrote that I had recorded my nonfiction books in a spreadsheet, then promptly lost it. For awhile, I thought maybe I hadn’t created that spreadsheet at all, that I’d merely thought about doing it.

Well, this morning I found it. I was doing a little research for the topic below when I found my nonfiction titles, all of them, listed among my fiction titles (by publication date) in the same spreadsheet. Sigh.

Well, at least I found it.

Topic: Goals Revisited

Seems everybody likes to set goals on January 1. That’s a great idea.

Setting a goal anytime is a great idea as long as it’s something you really want to do. Something you’re serious about. And most of us prefer to set goals on a “turning point” day. A day that feels like a new beginning. Hence the popularity of January 1.

I won’t get into common sense philosophy here: that every day (trite as it sounds) is the first day of the rest of your life. Or even that every day is the first day of a new calendar year.

Instead, I want to talk again about recurring goals, those that automatically re-set. Those that automatically and regularly give you a First to work with:

The first hour of the new day.
The first day of the new week or month.
The first day of a new year.

That’s how I look at goals when I’m establishing what I want to accomplish. When I finally go off-planet (or into the planet, depending on your point of view), I want to leave a massive body of literary work. Relative, of course, to the time I had to write.

Of course, that’s an open-ended proposition. We don’t know when we’ll be making that trip. Consequently, we need to do what we can Now.

Recurring goals help with that. They provide us with the Firsts we need:

If I set a goal to write a certain number of words per day, that goal resets in the first hour of every morning.

If I set a goal to write a short story every week, that goal resets on the first day of that week.

If I set a goal to write a novel every thirty days, that goal resets on the day after I finish the latest novel.

I don’t always attain my goals, but I always get close. I always achieve more than I would have if I hadn’t set a goal to begin with. In other words, I “fail to success.”

So when you set your goals, consider making some of them recurring.

As a related aside, this year on January 1, one of my recurring goals was to write one novel per month, so 12 during the year. (I later revised that, upping it to 15 for the year.) I won’t hit that goal. I missed too many months. However, thus far, even with the bad months, I’ve written 8 novels. I’ll take it.

But again, a “calendar year” can begin anytime. I started my first novel on October 19, 2014. So October 19 is the first day of my literary new year. From here on out, that will serve as my annual goal-setting date.

Of course, I’m a little behind in that endeavor. But that’s all right. Toward the end of this topic I’ll set my own new annual goals, here in public for everyone to see.

As I was writing this, I became curious. Just for grins, I glanced back over my Fiction spreadsheet this morning and isolated what I’d written from October 19, 2014 forward.

I was surprised to find that within my first calendar year as a professional fiction writer, I wrote 10 novels and a novella.

In the next calendar year (Oct 19 2015 – Oct 1 2016) I wrote 8 novels.

And in the current (for me) calendar year that began on October 19, 2016, thus far I’ve written one novel. Not a bad start on a new set of goals. (grin)

So my goals for the year, retroactive to October 19, 2016, are

to write a novel every thirty days. (This shifts my goal-reset from a fixed date to the first day after I finish a novel.)

to write at least one short story per week. (I’m already behind in this one, having written only 4 short stories since Oct 19, the past 6 weeks. But that’s all right. I’ll get back on track starting with my midnight Friday deadline this week.)

to write at least 3000 words of new publishable fiction every day. I’ve done this easily before. Probably I could push it to 4,000 words per day, but the lower number is still attainable when I take necessary days off.

Just an additional note on writing at least one short story every week. The purpose of that goal isn’t so much to write more short stories as it is to practice writing openings.

The more openings I write, the more will become short stories and the more will turn into novels. So writing at least one short story per week will help feed my goal of writing a novel every thirty days too. (grin)

Of Interest

Over at Dean’s, 22 comments now (good ones) on his An Interesting Assumption (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/an-interesting-assumption/#comments)

Today’s Writing

Other than all the nonfiction above, I didn’t get started writing until almost 10 a.m. I seem to be relaxing my way through the day today. Things were very intermittent after that.

I added a little to the story (not quite 500 words) but I’m not going to count this as a writing day. I’ll look at the story tomorrow with fresh eyes.

Interestingly, I’ve never had one quite like this before. If it’s a novelette, it’s finished. But just as I was about to write The End (figuratively), a notion flitted through my mind that these two characters want to continue, and they want me to go with them.

Thus far, it’s still about One Event. So maybe the characters have other events in mind? It’s becoming a boy-meets-girl thing, albeit in an apocalyptic setting.

And don’t get me wrong. All characters continue. But the invitation to continue running with them through the story doesn’t always come. This time, maybe, it did.

I’ll know tomorrow. Then I’ll either publish this as-is (a novelette) or I’ll climb back down into the story with them.

See you then.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1070 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1070

Writing of Ray Acuna (tentative title)

Day 1…… 2058 words. Total words to date…… 2058
Day 2…… 3752 words. Total words to date…… 5810
Day 3…… 1934 words. Total words to date…… 7744
Day 4…… 1587 words. Total words to date…… 9331
Day 5…… 2158 words. Total words to date…… 11489
Day 6…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 5679
Total fiction words for the year………… 685373
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3050
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 260950

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 946323

The Journal, Monday, 11/28

Hey Folks,

Rolled out a little late at 3:30. Checked email and Facebook stuff. Then I went to work on a huge Christmas Sale for StoneThread Publishing. We’re practically giving them away (grin).

This sale went “live” on Facebook this morning (Monday, 11/28). But we wanted to give you guys a little better pricing.

Note that all prices are valid only through StoneThread Publishing. Even if we decide to run a sale through various vendors, those prices will not be this low.

Shameless Promotion

From now through December 24, ALL ebook novels, 10-story collections, 5-story collections and poetry collections, are on sale for $2.50 each. The complete Wes Crowley Saga (10 novels in one massive book) is only $13.

All ebooks are DRM-free. Share with your whole family! And No Shipping! 🙂

Of course, these prices are valid only through StoneThread Publishing. To order or for more information, please email orders@stonethreadpublishing.com.

Print Addict?

Additionally, from now through December 21, ALL PRINT BOOKS are on sale for $7.50 each. Free standard shipping! These are not stocking stuffers. These are quality trade paperbacks.

Many print titles are available signed by the author. That would be moi. (grin) For a complete list or to order, email orders@StoneThreadPublishing.com.

* * *

Finished up all of that and the topic below around 6:30, then realized I hadn’t added my latest novel, The Consensus, to my website yet. Doh! So I raced over and did that.

Then my wife mentioned it might be a good idea to prepare a flyer for her to pass out where she works. So I did that.

* * *

I started on the novel again, then remembered I have to download 10 pics from CanStock. sigh. First I have to select them.

Every now and then I sign up for a subscription to a stock photo agency so I can download pics on the cheap to use for covers.

My current subscription allows me to download up to 10 pics per day for a week. All that for $30. So around $0.42 per picture, as opposed to around $7 per picture if I bought them one at a time. It’s a great deal if you use a lot of cover pics and know what you’re looking for generally.

But that ate up a couple hours.

Topic: Selling Books to Writers

I’m talking about fiction books and fiction writers here.

If you’ve written a really good book FOR writers (for example, Punctuation for Writers or Writing Realistic Dialogue & Flash Fiction or Writing the Character-Driven Story), knock yourself out.

But leave your novels and short stories at home.

When I was presenting regularly at writers’ conferences around the nation, I saw a host of fiction writers trying to sell their books to attendees. For a very short while, I was one of them. Generally, this is a bad idea.

Why? Because those who attend writers’ conferences are writers. They don’t want to buy your books. They want You to buy Their books. (grin)

Even “name” authors (think Stephen King) have a difficult time selling fiction to other fiction writers.

So why am I making an exception to this general rule?

Because I DO buy novels and stories written by Stephen King. I also buy (some) novels and stories from Dean Wesley Smith, Isabel Allende, Lawrence Block and others who meet three requirements:

they are farther along the road than I as writers;
something about their work blows me out of my socks; and
I aspire to learn from them.

When I see myself as a student of another writer, what better way to learn from them than to read their work for pleasure, and then go back and study the passages that blew me away?

And that’s why I’m making an exception in Shameless Promotion above. As I told another writer recently, if you think maybe the stuff I’m teaching you is good, I appreciate that. But years of (sometimes repeated) lessons have taught me that we generally get what we INspect, not what we EXpect.

So in the promo above, I’m offering you an opportunity to see first-hand whether I know what I’m doing. (grin) Naturally, I hope you will take advantage of it.

Of Interest

A new topic over at Dean’s place in Courage in a World of Artistic Freedom (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/courage-in-a-world-of-artistic-freedom/). This is a really great post. I hope you will read it.

There should also be a new story of the week over at Kristine Kathyrn Rush’s site for her Free Fiction Monday thing. (http://kriswrites.com/2016/11/28/free-fiction-monday-fate-2/)

Today’s Writing

Finally, I moved to the novel at 9:30. Wrote for about a half-hour and realized I’m writing two novels at one time. How can I tell? Maybe the story’s just getting convoluted. They do that sometimes.

But this one isn’t just taking odd twists. It took a hard turn and wandered off into a whole new story. And the two main stories are far too divergent to ever get back together. Even the main character is different. Same name, same guy, but he acts different and even talks different than he did in the “other” story.

That happened to me once before, though I don’t recall which novel (or novels) came out of it. Anyway, I didn’t get enough writing done to record it, so I’ll count this as a nonwriting day.

For any new subscribers out there, don’t worry about it (if you were). When I started this Journal I made a pact with myself to record the bad as well as the good, the rough times as well as the smooth. This is one of the rough times. (grin)

I’ll spend the balance of the day finding where these stories are conjoined. Then I’ll do a little surgery. I suspect I’m gonna have to chunk a few thousand words and start fresh a ways back.

Anyway, see you tomorrow.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 930 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 930

Writing of Snubbing the Gods (tentative title)

Day 10… 2829 words. Total words to date…… 22264
Day 11… 2493 words. Total words to date…… 24757
Day 12… 2099 words. Total words to date…… 26856
Day 13… 0670 words. Total words to date…… 27526
Day 14… 1061 words. Total words to date…… 28587
Day 15… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 18729
Total fiction words for the year………… 673884
Total nonfiction words for the month… 17500
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 256340

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 930224