The Journal, Monday, 8/24

The Day

Got up closer to 3:30 this morning. Still dragging a bit.

Checked email, got my coffee and went to check out Dean’s site. I haven’t been there for a few days. It’s almost better that way because when I go late, I read the comments too. Sometimes there’s some good stuff there.

Reading Dean’s stuff took an hour, almost exactly. Worthwhile, though. I found out in the comments section that we both use the same word counts to describe certain story types. Sort of vindication for me.

Here they are:

Mine and Dean’s: To 10,000 words is a short story, to 25,000 words is a novella, to 40,000 is a short novel, and above that is a novel.

In case you’re wondering, I also define fewer than 100 words as flash fiction, fewer than 2,000 words as a short-short story, fewer than 7,000 words as a regular short story, and up to 10,000 words as a long short story (or novellette).

Of course, those are my own definitions for my own use in categorizing and pricing my work.

No matter how you categorize your own work, it’s cool that we who are not ignorant of this wonderful new world of publishing no longer have to bow before traditional publishing and their mandatory word/page counts and price points. (grin)

I added my novella, A Little Time, to my new distributor over at Draft2Digital.

Ate lunch, and back to writing for a bit. Sort of.

Oh, by the way, I’m doing a new promo thing. I’ve set the price of Book 1 of the Wes Crowley saga at FREE on Smashwords. You can download ANY electronic format there and it costs you nothing. If you’ve been wondering about this story that’s pushed me through eight books and into the ninth, I urge you to go check it out. You can get it here.

(For Kindle, download .mobi. For other e-readers, download .epub. You can also download PDF. If you read it and like it, consider leaving a review.)

Topic of the Night: The Conscious Mind and the Fear of Rejection
I said awhile back I’d make this a topic of the night. It’s probably overdue for many of you. If so, don’t feel bad. A year ago it was overdue for me. And the thing is, even after you beat the fear back, it can show up again and again. It’s an ongoing battle.

First, the role of your conscious mind—

Your conscious mind exists to gather information and to protect you. That’s it. Nothing else.

In its role as a gatherer of information, it’s excellent. Then the information that makes sense to you and is useful to you is absorbed by your subconscious mind. After that happens, it’s yours, permanently. (This is why you don’t have to “remember” how to form a capital letter A every time you sit down to write, or to put a period at the end of a declarative sentence.)

In its role to protect you, though, your conscious mind is a pain in whatever part of the anatomy you’d care to denigrate.

Your conscious mind is what keeps you, a writer, from actually putting words on the page. It’s protecting you. If you only talk about writing but never actually put words on a page, you never have to worry about anyone rejecting your work.

I deal with this problem pretty much every day to one degree or another. Even after all the stuff I’ve written.

Many would-be writers say they’d really like to write but they can’t because

  • they don’t have time
  • they don’t have a quiet place
  • they don’t have the right equipment
  • they have to do something for someone
  • and so on.

And many more finally actually sit down to write and then, just as they put their fingers on the keyboard, they

  • have to feed the cat (dog)
  • have to make coffee
  • have to check email (Facebook, other social media)
  • have to do the dishes from the night before
  • and so on.

The thing is, it’s much easier to “intend” to write than it is to write.

It’s much easier to do research or look for cover art or take a trip to your favorite writer’s haunts to absorb his/her “spirit” than it is to sit down and actually write.

In other words, it’s easier to let the fear win.

Not everyone has the problems I listed above. Some would-be writers don’t write because they already KNOW

  • their writing won’t be any good anyway
  • they can’t possibly write as much as Harvey does (or Dean does or someone else does)
  • the story they want to write has already been done (so have ALL of them)
  • the sun came up
  • the wind’s blowing
  • and so on.

Yeah, I know those last couple were ludicrous, but so were the rest of them. Really.

Now, the best way I’ve found to get over the fear comes in two parts:

Part One: Ahere to Heinlein’s Rules. Find them here or click the new link on the Free Downloads page. I copied a three-part presentation into one document, so this is Heinlein’s Rules, annotated.

Part Two: Set realistic goals.

And that will be the topic of the night for tomorrow. Or maybe the next day.

Today’s Writing
No new writing today. The day just got away from me. That’s why the daily goal resets. (grin)
Fiction Words: XXXX

Writing of Book 9 of the Wes Crowley saga
Day 1…… 3213 words. Total words to date….. 3213 words
Day 2…… 1046 words. Total words to date….. 4259 words
Day 3…… 1858 words. Total words to date….. 6117 words
Day 4…… 1023 words. Total words to date….. 7140 words
Day 5…… 1587 words. Total words to date….. 8327 words
Day 6…… XXXX words. Total words to date….. XXXX words

Total fiction words for the month…………… 19558
Total fiction words for the year……………… 461958

2 thoughts on “The Journal, Monday, 8/24”

  1. Just read Pete and Repeat…what a kick…nice to start the day with some out loud chuckles. Thanks!

  2. Yup. Your listing got me to chuckling, as they are excuses I use regularly. Don’t know what I’d do if not for too many animals around. But I never let last night’s dishes be a reason…it’s usually last week’s dishes. 😉 Thanks for reality check, and help in my personal goal setting.

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