This will be an extra blog post. On 1 September I’ll be back to posting nuts and bolts how-to information for writing.
I’ve come to see my daily journal, the other major blog post from this site, as eminently more important than this one.
In it, I outline my day (the day of a professional writer) and write a Topic of the Night on most nights. I also generally pass along whatever important tidbits I can about the writing life and the publishing business in this wonderful new world of opportunity for indie publishers.
And then toward the end of the daily journal, I let you see exactly what I’ve accomplished (or not) in writing that day.
I wanted to give everyone a sample of that blog. So below is my post from a few days ago. If you like what you see, I hope you’ll sign up for that blog. To do so, click The Daily Journal, either here or in the link on the right side of the header on the website. Then follow the directions.
You can still keep your subscription to this blog too, but if one or the other goes away eventually, it will be this one.
Here’s the sample. This is actually from the daily journal on Saturday, August 22. Enjoy.
Rolled out at 3 this morning. Checked email, got my coffee and had to go run off a bunch of coyotes. Ugh.
No walk again today. Just writing again today.
Listen, if you’re publishing your own stuff through your own publishing company, check out https://draft2digital.com/.
I wrote a new short story today. When I went to publish it to Smashwords, for the first time EVER (153 books) my story didn’t convert to any format at Smashwords. I nuked it, tried again, and it still didn’t convert, which tells me it pretty much has to be their problem. So I sent them an email to that effect.
Then I popped over to D2D. I’d heard about it before, but hadn’t tried it. All within about a half-hour, I signed up for an account, uploaded my book and cover, and it was published in PDF, .mobi (Kindle) and .epub (everything else). It was just that quick.
And the quality is incredible.
In my opinion, you still need to do some basic formatting (or have it done) but the service itself is great.
D2D does not have their own online store, but they do distribute to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Inktera, Scribd, Tolino, and Oyster. I’m going with them from now on for those venues.
I’ll also continue to publish with Amazon KDP (but not Select, not exclusively) and with Smashwords mostly for their online store.
Now for a break, then back to writing.
Topic of the Night: Write What Scares You
Stephen King advises writers to “write what scares you.” Sounds right to me.
Now I don’t mean like “they’re only zombies so I know it isn’t real” scary. I mean you’re tied up so you can’t intervene, your eyelids are sliced off so you can’t close your eyes, and you’re forced to watch as an intruder uses garden shears to lop off the leg, just above the ankle, of a two year old child.
(See? I almost wrote “your” two year old child, but somehow that was even worse.)
The intruder looks at you, sneers, then turns back to the baby again.
The child, wide eyed, screaming, automatically reaches down to grab the stump and— Oh no! No! Snip! Her little hand and arm are gone halfway to the elbow.
Wider eyes. Wider mouth. Louder screams. Just when you thought louder screams weren’t possible.
You don’t have to imagine the child’s eyes stretched wide in disbelieving horror. You can see them, can’t you? And you don’t have to imagine the screams either, do you?
Y’know those coyotes I mentioned before? I have nightmares sometimes about a song dog carrying off my baby girl. Ugh. Following King’s advice, I wrote a very similar scene in a short story called “A Natural Study of the Scream.”
Now I’m just enough of a scientist that I noticed, writing that scene in that story created an odd, almost paradoxical sensation. First, it was easy to write. I would have thought it would be difficult to put on paper, but it wasn’t. It was easy. The writing almost raced away without me.
But it also left me trembling, physically. I was upset to the point that I had to pour a couple fingers of Jameson’s to sooth it away. That was the first drink of alcohol I’d had in a very long time.
It was an experience. One I both dread and will most definitely repeat.
Because that’s good writing.
Wrote for a while on Book 9, still struggling with tight stuff and otherwise getting started. Then I wrote the first new story of my challenge. It will publish under the Free Short Story of the Week tab on Monday morning. Felt good to create a new story and a new cover. And the story was FUN. Read it. You’ll like it. (grin)
Fiction Words: XXXX
Writing of “Pete and Repeat” (short story of the week)
Day 1…… 1662 words. Total words to date….. 1662 words (done)
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…… XXXX words. Total words to date….. XXXX words
Total fiction words for the month…………… 15686
Total fiction words for the year……………… 458086
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.)