The Journal, Thursday, 3/2

Hey Folks,

I almost started this with “Not much here today,” but I happened on a topic so….

Still reading today. No writing, though I was kind of jonesing to write earlier this morning. That’s okay. The feeling will just be stronger tomorrow.

I spent most of the day reading several of the Nick Carter crime/detective/mystery pulp novels of Frederic van Rensselaer Dey.

It’s obvious the guy was paid by the word (hence, a lot of unnecessary words) but otherwise it’s really some good stuff. The pacing almost takes my breath away, even with the extra verbiage.

Very spare and sometimes fragmented descriptions, but overall they’re effective.

Topic: A Matter of Attitude

In two days (on Saturday), a writers’ group in Tucson will host the first ever self-publishing (indie-publishing) expo. (See the website at

The faculty includes Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords; Robin Cutler, the Director of Ingram Spark, Ingram Content Group; and David VanDyke, a Hugo Award finalist and bestselling author.

Among the faculty, they will deliver two keynote addresses and present four workshops on the business of writing. There will also be numerous vendors in attendance.

I won’t be attending as I have other more pressing things to do.

But I was talking with a few regional writer friends about it this morning.

I explained to one of them that I have a rather odd attitude toward the business end of writing, at least beyond following Heinlein’s Rules (write, don’t rewrite, finish, publish, repeat).

I don’t worry much about promotion and I don’t worry At All about sales. So I don’t worry much about the business end of writing beyond setting up my “estate” so my copyright will pass to a descendent before it expires.


Because at my age and in my state of health, I simply don’t feel the need.

I mean seriously, barring a lightning strike in the form of some Hollywood producer optioning one of my books (or the Wes Crowley series, hint, hint) for film, I’ve already settled, frankly, on not caring whether I ever make any “real” money on the investment that is my writing.

On the other hand, I’m confident enough in my abilities to believe strongly that my grandchildren probably will make a LOT of money from what I’m doing now. In that way, my writing is my legacy.

What really matters to me in writing is the fun of being entertained by my characters, the fun of designing the best covers and sales blurbs I can, and getting it all “out there” so people can buy it.

I do continue to improve my skills as a writer and storyteller, partly because I enjoy learning and partly because I want to tell stories the best way I know how. And yes, partly to ensure the grandchildren make that money. (grin)

So for me, not worrying about the business end of things (i.e., not being tied to the result) is a very freeing attitude to have.

Because I don’t worry about how many sales I get each day or week or month or quarter, I can write whatever I want to write. So my attitude gives me Freedom.

And because I want my grandchildren to reap the benefits of all this, my attitude also provides me with a strong Catalyst.

To keep writing. To keep telling stories and putting them out there as long as I can.

Now I ask you, short of stumbling across Heilnein’s Rules when I was 20, what could be better than that?

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 4:40 and started reading almost immediately. More of Dey’s stuff, which I started yesterday.

Later in the day I also researched some other pulp authors and ordered several more pulp books that I’d like to read and then study. Mostly for my Kindle, but a few in paper.

That’s been most of the day to this point (2 p.m.).

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

If you’re interested, you can download a copy of Dey’s essay “How I Wrote A Thousand ‘Nick Carter’ Novels” at

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 670 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 670

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 151866
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1170
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 37760

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 189626