The (Resurrected) Journal, Wednesday, 8/19

The Day
Well I’m back. I decided to fire up this journal again.

When I shut down this blog 11 days ago, I wrote, “over half of the subscribers aren’t interested, so why bother detailing my daily journey as a writer?”

What a stupid question. And the answer is “Um, well, because I was doing it more to hold myself accountable than for any other reason. And the half who ARE interested make it worthwhile.” So my apologies to those of you who were/are interested.

When I shut it down I even wrote that I could “keep the numbers myself.”

Yeah, well, I could, maybe, but I didn’t. And I won’t. I know me, and that’s something I won’t do.

Anyway, since then I realized that stopping this journal was stopping part of my writing ritual, and that’s just insane. More on that in the Topic of the Night below.

Recent History
I haven’t written any new fiction to speak of since August 8 when I finished The Battle of Tres Caballos. I piddled around, wrote about 2500 words on Book 9, then tossed it. I also started two short stories, then tossed both of those openings as well.

Of course, today is only August 19. That’s a break of only 11 days, inclusive. But that 11 days seems like a world-ending eternity. Especially coming, as it does, so soon after ANOTHER break of 11 days that spanned my trip to Indiana. What is it with me and 11-day breaks? Ugh.

So here we go. I’ll read back over a few of my journal posts and absorb some of my own advice. Then I’ll read back over some other stuff to get the feeling of writing again. Then I’ll set a few goals (at least a couple of those will automatically re-set) and start writing again.

Okay, so I rolled out a little after 3 this morning. Did little or nothing the first few hours of the day, except thinking. I did a lot of that.

No walk today. Ate a good breakfast, then came here to put down a few of those thoughts.

Topic of the Night: Enduring the Perfect Storm
I just endured (and barely survived) my own personal perfect storm. All within a fairly short time period,

  • For some inane reason I intentionally ended a streak of writing a short story every week. That streak had lasted for 66 weeks and 71 short stories; then
  • I finished the eighth novel in a saga; and then
  • I stopped publishing this journal, which was holding me accountable to others and myself.

Each of those is an inertia killer.

Each of those sends the wrong message to the subconscious. And as you know, the care and feeding of the subconscious is all-important to a guy who writes off into the dark.

By ending the short story streak, I effectively discarded a goal that re-set itself every week. No goal = no incentive. Discarding that goal also helped dilute the importance of meeting my daily goal of writing 3000 new publishable words of fiction per day.

By finishing the novel and not immediately starting the next one (or even a short story since I no longer “have” to write a story every week) I also at least dampened any inertia I had built up.

And by ceasing publication of this journal I was no longer holding myself accountable.

So no real goals, no writing inertia and no accountability— Seriously? No wonder my subconscious decided to take a vacation for awhile. It was probably out looking for a real writer. (grin)

Gotta change all of that. I’ve already fired up the journal again. Now I’ll set new goals and get back to having fun telling stories.

Okay, I almost forgot I had to drive into Benson to do routine blood tests for my doctor. I’m back, so I’ll finish this now. It’s just after 10:30 in the morning at this point.

So here are my new goals:

At least 3000 words of new publishable fiction per day— Same goal, reestablished, reaffirmed.

At least one new story every week— I’m taking up the story a week personal challenge again. Besides helping with discipline, it’s a great deal of fun. As I mentioned earlier, if anyone would care to join me, just email me to let me know. Either way, I look forward to it. I’ll post the new story (or one of them) each week on the website under the Free Short Story of the Week tab.

Finish two more novels before October 25— I’m only setting this as a goal because October 24th will be one year from the date I started writing my very first novel. If I can pull this off, I will have written 11 novels and a novella during that twelve months. This is NOT a major goal. Just something interesting to keep me on track, and there’s absolutely no reason I can’t do it.

I’m (re)starting Book 9 of the Wes Crowley saga today. I won’t be using anything I wrote from the earlier opening. I was gonna start tomorrow morning, but that’s just my old conscious mind trying to drop a cloud over everything.

Okay, so on to the writing. I’ll fill in the blanks below later.

Today’s Writing
Finally got my priorities straight as I detailed above.

Before I began writing I did some preliminary stuff. Came up with twenty-two new character names (all Mexican males and one newlywed female) and assigned six new jobs. All of that took a little over an hour.

Then between noon(ish) and about 3:40 (as I write this) I had three good writing sessions during which I knocked out the word count you see below. Can’t tell you how good it feels to be back on track. Is there a better job in the entire universe? I don’t think so.

Fiction Words: 3213

Writing of Book 9 of the Wes Crowley saga
Day 1…… 3213 words. Total words to date….. 3213 words

Total fiction words for the month…………… 12782
Total fiction words for the year……………… 455182

8 thoughts on “The (Resurrected) Journal, Wednesday, 8/19”

  1. Glad to see your journal show up in my email. You are a lover of writing, and a motivator of a lazy writer.(sigh)

  2. Heh-heh. I knew it! You built up all that momentum and tried to stop suddenly, but objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Now I can go back to playing a hovering ET observing the serious writer walking, working, and coping with the real world. I’m firing up the spaceship again.

    • You are a true PITA, Gary. Wouldn’t have it any other way. And you’re right. It was either get out of the way of the momentum or have my head blown off. And nobody wants that. Well… only a few people want that. (grin)

  3. Ditto what Susan said- I don’t let you know often enough what a great motivator you are (at least for me but I suspect many, many others)
    I too was glad to see your journal resurrected.

    • Thanks Duke. That means a great deal to me. I’m just doin’ what I do and hopin’ somebody gets somethin’ out of it.

  4. Glad you’re back. Reading your journal helps motivate me to get up a little earlier and write before going to the office or whatever else I have to do. Thanks.

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