The Journal, Wednesday, 4/19

Hey Folks,

Laundry day and a novel to write. Except for the “laundry day” part, could anything get better than that? (grin)

I’m gonna try to work on the novel up at the house today (since it’s laundry day). We’ll see how that works out.

Same old routine for the first few hours this morning. Not sure where it all went except for chatting on FB for a little while with my new friend Scott Gordon.

As you know, I love meeting new writing friends who are serious about learning and practicing the craft. I only wish we could all live close enough together to meet and talk writing once a month or so. Sigh.

As some of you know, I’m from the school of “If I’ve Done It Before, I Can Do It Again.” Well, you know, within limitations. For example, I’ve completed a 3-mile run in under 18 minutes. That’s never gonna happen again.

But the overall principle is valid, and it comes in handy when I’m retraining myself.

This morning, during one two-hour period, I alternately tended to laundry and wrote about 1000 words. Significantly, the writing was all on my business computer, at my outside desk and then at my office desk.

That isn’t a lot of words, but at least I’m showing my subconscious we can write on this computer and away from my usual writing space.

That’s important as I retrain myself to write in the early morning before I move out to the Hovel.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out way late at 4, but I guess I needed to sleep-in a bit.

Involved myself in the routine I mentioned above until around 7:30. That and started doing laundry.

7:30, to the novel at my desk in my office, then outside, then back inside.

9:20, a break to finish tending to laundry and some other small chores.

Finally to the Hovel around 10:30.

I wrote off and on most of the day while tending to a lot of little things around the house.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Some great comments on Dean’s “Story Seventeen” at

More good stuff in his “Story Eighteen and Half-Title Pages Explained” at

And finally, if you’d like DWS to be your first reader, see “I Opened My Mouth… So Here Is How It Could Work” at Given all the gems he lets slip at times, this might be a really great deal.

His deal boils down to $10 per story if you finish 30 stories in 60 days. Not too shabby at all.

And his first reader service is FREE if you finish 30 stories in 30 days.

Seriously, if you write short stories and you can handle it, give this some thought.

Fiction Words: 2579
Nonfiction Words: 460 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3039

Writing of The Platinum Blond Perturbance

Day 1…… 1381 words. Total words to date…… 1381
Day 2…… 1864 words. Total words to date…… 3245
Day 3…… 2136 words. Total words to date…… 5381
Day 4…… 2201 words. Total words to date…… 7582
Day 5…… 2579 words. Total words to date…… 10161

Total fiction words for the month……… 22070
Total fiction words for the year………… 230626
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9970
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 67310

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 297936

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………… 512 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)… 4 novels

5 thoughts on “The Journal, Wednesday, 4/19”

  1. 3,000+ words is great! If you could write an average of 3,014 words for all 365 days, you’d hit 1.1 million words. Not bad. Basically, as long as you break 3,000 words for the day, you’re golden. I realize this metric may not mean much to you, but I’m in awe of those who can do it consistently, year after year.

    For me, I have a breakthrough at around 2,500 – 3,000 words. It seems that once I get over that initial hump, it’s easy to keep adding to it. 5,000 words isn’t all that much harder than 3,000. Just more butt-in-chair. I believe itis physiological, and once certain muscles get their exercise, 3,000 words is easier to break through.

    I suspect that once I become a full time author again, I’d aim for 5,500 words per day, or 2,000,000+ words annually. That’s about 5.5 hours at my current pace, but with enough training (ok, discipline), I suspect I could trim down that number quite a bit, perhaps even to 4 hours. 1,000 words/hour is only about 17 words per minute. You’d only need to be able to hit 23 words per minute to write 5,500 words in 4 hours, a goal achievable by the most average of typists. (If only it were just about typing speed…)

    What’s holding back those higher word counts? Practice, practice, practice…

    • Thanks, Scott. But for my productivity word count I only use words of publishable fiction. For a long time I set a daily word count goal. I finally stopped that when I began writing novels predomminantly. On my writing days, I routinely hit 3,000 words per day. The last couple of days I’ve been below that, but not a big deal.

      • I also believe that only publishable word counts matters. That’s why I don’t do things like Nano. Most people write stuff that they never intend on publishing. Or write sloppy with the intention of doing major surgery later. To participate, I have to actively publish or I’ll just produce useless bytes on my hard drive.

        These days, when I write something, it’s written into the dark. It should be publishable after a couple read-throughs and minor changes. Tonight’s story, at 1,800ish words would be good enough to count towards a daily word count goal.

        Now, I’m a firm believer in word count goals. They make a writer honest, and ensure that a certain amount of production is performed. I’m also ok with a story-a-day goal, but I still have minimums that I expect to hit. If a story is short, no problem. I just have to write more than one of them to reach my goal.

        And when the next day starts, the challenge starts all over again. It doesn’t matter if I wrote 10,000 words the previous day, I still need to produce X number of new words the following day.

        For me, and it’s just me, if a writer is serious about getting more productive, they have to put in the keystrokes. Physiologically the body and mind will adapt to the burden being placed on it, form all the new connections it needs, and basically “get in shape” so that what was once hard is now effortless.

        • It’s like you read my book. That’s exactly why I used to use a daily word count goal. But unless you write EVERY day, period, that can also set you up for failure. Which is fine, but have a good handle on the “fail to success” way of looking at things.

          Another idea is to differentiate between writing days and nonwriting days. For example, you have a daily word count goal only on writing days. Also remember that what counts is the mean average. More on all this in the topic on Thursday.

  2. Ok, just for fun I took up the short story challenge for the evening and produced an 1,800-word children’s book called Peter Pig and the Golden Egg. It’s a complete story, though I suspect it will grow slightly when I read back over it. I did not cycle for anymore than a sentence or two and wrote straight through to the end. It’s 1,791 words to be exact. I’d love for it to be 2,000+ words, but I’m not going to pad it. It’s about the right length for the type of story I wanted to tell.

    In writing this, I started with a title that I’d come up with previously (but never did anything with) and a piece of stock art that I had in mind. All told, I spent less than 2 hours writing it. (About my standard pace, though I am out of practice at the moment.) I also got up and moved around for a few minutes twice during the writing session, which helped enormously. (I was actually tired after the first 600 words and was wondering whether or not I was going to make it to 1,000 words. The silly things we tell ourselves to talk ourselves out of writing. Just ridiculous!)

    All in all, not a bad way to end the day…

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