The Journal, Monday, 7/6

The Day
Rolled out at 2:30.

Had a good walk this morning up an arroyo. Four wheeler ATVs hadn’t torn it up too badly, but neither was the sandy bottom quite as packed as I hoped it would be from the rain. Back on roads for awhile I guess.

Been just doing little or nothing most of the morning.

Topic of the Night: Quick, Somebody Stop Me

I hate misunderstandings. I despise them. I screwed up the challenge thing I was trying to do, so I’m withdrawing it, period.

I allowed myself to be turned sideways on the challenge I issued, so I’m pretty much calling it off. I didn’t have any outright takers anyway, so not like it’s a big deal.

One respondent whom I respect as a writer didn’t want to post stories to a website because she’d rather publish them to Amazon and Smashwords.

I don’t blame her. That’s what I do with mine, but I do that PLUS posting them online. I leave the “free” one up on the site for a couple of weeks, and then I take it down. But it’s also up (for sale) at Amazon and Smashwords, and it’s there forever. (If you want to read some of my fiction free, visit and click the Free Story of the Week tab.)

That’s what I would have recommended to anyone who took me up on the challenge. Once a week you write a new short story. You post it to the site, but you also create a cover for it and publish it to Amazon and Smashwords. And then you take it down from the site a week later. Simple.

But this whole idea is just silly, really, from my point of view. To make it happen, I have to set up a new website (I don’t mind) and tweak it. I have to teach any participants how to use it. I have to keep a list on hand of user accounts and passwords and take time to help users with various and sundry glitches. And really, I don’t have time.

So I’m withdrawing the offer. Dumb idea in the first place.

But hey, if you’re a writer, unless you routinely write 3,000 to 5,000 words per day without needing to resort to any kind of motivational “tricks” like challenging yourself,  I strongly recommend you challenge yourself.

  • Challenge yourself to write XXXX publishable words per day.
  • Challenge yourself to write a new short story (or essay or chapter or whatever) every week.
  • Challenge yourself, create a streak, and then keep the streak going. You don’t have to believe me, but I’m telling you, it’s magic if you want to become a prolific professional writer.

If you want to show off your work on a website (in addition to publishing it to Amazon and Smashwords) and if you already have a website, you’re all set. I you’d like to do that but you don’t have a website, maybe I can help you with that. Let me know.

So forget the original challenge, and forget the ridiculous “revised” challenge.

I get so fired up about what’s working for me that sometimes I forget: what works for me isn’t necessarily what will work for everyone else or what everyone else will want to try.

Okay, now I’m gonna write for awhile, finally. (grin)

The Writing

I dawdled. When I try to do something to help someone but I don’t explain it so they can understand it I feel compelled to make it all better. My “challenge” fiasco apparently helped no one and let me rope myself into explaining it. And that’s what I did, off and on, most of the afternoon. So I allowed my writing time to slip away.

Mea culpa.

The good thing about daily goals is they reset every day. Tomorrow, I have to write 3000 publishable words of fiction. I don’t have to make up for what I messed up today. Woohoo!

Today’s Writing

Fiction words: 1585

Writing of Book 8 in the Wes Crowley saga
Day 1…… 4125 words. Total words to date…… 4125
Day 2…… 2624 words. Total words to date…… 6749
Day 3…… 2766 words. Total words to date…… 9515
Day 4…… 1412 words. Total words to date…… 10927
Day 5…… 3441 words. Total words to date…… 14368
Day 6…… 1052 words. Total words to date…… 15420
Day 7…… 2486 words. Total words to date…… 17906
Day 8…… 3201 words. Total words to date…… 21107
Day 9…… 3186 words. Total words to date…… 24293
Day 10… 1585 words. Total words to date…… 25878

Total fiction words for the month…………… 14374
Total fiction words for the year……………… 420057

2 thoughts on “The Journal, Monday, 7/6”

  1. How ironic. I decided that I would take the challenge and started on yesterdays page and sure enough today you withdrew it. Well I’m still gonna hang on to my goal. Sorry, you have the right to do whatever with your challenges…but it did get me to thinking that it was about time I tried the goal orientation thing…and so I will. I’m not really the master of short stories but…well that’s another conversation. So here I am a day and a dollar short…but moving along on books two and three simultaneously and happy to do so. 🙂 after all it is myself I’m challenging not anyone else.

    • Bonnie, there was too much confusion. The challenge was simply a way to help others get to writing, but it just became a big ol’ hairy-legged knuckle-draggin’ hassle.

      First, only a few people (like three or four out of 600) even thought about taking the challenge, and all of them were extremely tentative. I guess they thought if they started and then missed, something terrible would happen. Shrug.

      Second, a few people even thought the challenge might be a scam, that either I or someone else might steal their work. Psha. Nobody’s gonna steal anything.

      So that’s why I withdrew the challenge. Too much indecision, too much confusion, too many wrong facts. From the response I received I felt like a lot of people’s heads were about to explode. Just no need for all that.

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