The Journal, Wednesday, 11/25

Well, I’m back. Finally. And I won’t leave again unless it’s feet first. I promise.

Listen, if you’d rather not receive this, please don’t just unsubscribe. Please email me at and I’ll remove your name from this list myself. It makes a difference over at MailChimp. Thanks.

When I wrote here last, I was writing fiction pretty much every day, in addition to writing this (daily) blog as well as my main Pro Writers blog, creating the publisher website, creating book covers, promo docs, and everything else.

Then I decided to cut this Journal to save some time. But in so doing, I cut my accountability. And apparently that’s something I still need.

I thought recording my numbers on a spreadsheet would suffice. In fact, I recorded my numbers on that spreadsheet from the first day of September straight through until November 23.

But the numbers were dismal. Not surprisingly (in hindsight), I fell off Heinlein’s Rules, specifically Rules 1 and 2. Not good for a guy who boasts he is an adherent to those rules.

In September, I wrote 65,135 words, a decent month, though nothing to brag about. In October, I wrote pretty regularly right up until I cleared the 750,000 word mark that began on October 19, 2014. Then, no longer having a “place to report” (this Journal), I stopped.

For October, up until I hit 750,466 words for that one-year period, I wrote 35,073 words. For the rest of October (from Oct 15 through Oct 31) I wrote on only two days for a total of 8624 words. (For comparison, had I met my daily goal of 3,000 per day, that would have been 51,000 words.)

And the self-imposed slump wasn’t over. During the month of November, I wrote fiction only on the 2nd (3330 words) and the 23rd (5142 words) for a monthly total thus far of 8472 words. Ugh.

So since October 14th, when I reached the 750,466 word mark, I have written a grand total of 17,096 words. And yes, that’s better than nothing. But the potential during those 41 days (at my goal of 3,000 per day) was 123,000 words.

Okay, so the point of all this is that I need the public accountability. So The Journal is back.

Probably I won’t write as many “topic” things here as I did before. Probably I’ll just record the daily round, any changes in goals, and my numbers.


  • My daily goal is to write 4,000 new publishable words of fiction per day. (On the few days that I did write during my self-imposed slump, the totals were well over 4,000 words on four of the five days.)
  • The weekly goal is to write one new short story per week. However, I’m no longer posting the newest story live every week. When I finish a new one, it goes into the queue to be posted.
  • My goal for 2015 is to hit 148,000 words in the next 37 days (taking off December 25). If I hit that it will bring me to 721873 words for the year. That’s considerably less than I wrote from October 19, 2014 through October 18, 2015, but I’ll take it.
  • My goal for 2016 is to hit one million words of original fiction. That’s easily doable even if I miss my goal of writing 4,000 words per day every day. So we’ll see.

Okay, onward and upward.

The Day

So today I rolled out at 3, messed around for a half-hour or so with email and Spider solitaire (the devil’s own temptation, that game).

Then I added 10 photos from my Saved file at Bigstock into my cart for downloading when my download day resets at about 11 a.m. (I’m currently in a subscription plan in which I can download ten images per day for a month. Not easy to keep up with it, but doing so means my cover images cost only 33 cents each.) Only two days left on that.

Then, between trips to let cats in or out, I did a little website work on the two websites and then came here to write this. It’s currently 7 a.m.

Going now to restart this “campaign” at MailChimp, so this will go out at 6 p.m. Arizona time.

Today’s Writing

Well, I set out to write a short story based on Wes’ travels in Mexico. About 1200 words in, I realized it didn’t want to be a short story. It was the new opening for the ninth novel in the Wes Crowley saga. So first, as painful as it was, I found my old files regarding the ninth book and deleted them. Period.

Ugh. Then I went back to the opening and wrote a couple more sessions, ending up with the word count that you see below for today. I didn’t get quite as many new words done today as I wanted to, but I did get reinvigorated. To be sure I’m firing on all cylinders from the start tomorrow morning, I cut off the writing and read back through a few of the other novels in the saga to get some names and a timeline right.

This is going to be a painful book to write (emotional, not difficult) but I know it’s right. So part of me dreads it and part of me can’t wait. Okay, that’s more than I expected to write on this post, so I’ll put up the numbers and talk with you again tomorrow.

By the way, thanks for being there.

Fiction Words: 3887

Writing of The Scent of Acacia (Book 9 in the Wes Crowley saga)

Day 1…… 3887 words. Total words to date…… 3887 words

Total fiction words for the month……… 12359
Total fiction words for the year………… 586232


6 thoughts on “The Journal, Wednesday, 11/25”

  1. You’re such an inspiration! As you know, I’ve just started blogging again and your posts set a great example for what can be accomplished. Makes me feel like I should have no excuses about doing my little bi-weekly blog posts. I’ll be cheering you on for meeting your 148,000 words in the next 37 days!!!

    • Thanks Sara. Actually, if you got this post this morning, it was a mistake. If you want to subscribe to the Daily Journal, visit the website at and click The Daily Journal link in the right side of the header. 🙂

  2. Hi Harvey and Sara…yes. You are BOTH inspirations to me. I do have a website, but it hasn’t been updated for about a year.
    I have a NAME for the blog, as Sara knows, Maytag®Moments, but that’s all. I soak your stuff up, Harvey – Sara. Glad to b e able to tag along. I’m just slower than you guys.. It will happen, eventually.

  3. AND…I’m not a robot, but I forgot about the code for that…Maybe this time, I’ll get it. The pumpkin pie is almost finished (baking).
    May you be filled with good food and spirits this day.

  4. Harvey,
    You said you deleted your former #9 in the Wes Crowley. I hope not. You should just redefine the file as Wes Crowley #X or some such.

    You may use it later, but not as #9.

    Glad you are back and getting closer to on track.


    • Thanks Chris. No, on this one I just deleted it. I wanted a fresh start, and if I’d kept that one around the temptation would have been too great to go back and mess with it or pull from it. I try to remember that words for me are like nails or a bit of glue for a carpenter. If they don’t work, I chunk ’em and get better ones. In fact, there’s a little bit about conscious mind stuff in the 11/28 entry. (grin)

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