Thinking Differently

Thinking Differently

It’s been interesting how the long-term thinking topic has come up a lot this last week. So going to talk a little about that in the topic above.

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The Day

Made it up to WMG offices to work for a short time there before the 2 p.m. writer’s lunch. It was a good one, with a number of the writers from the romance workshop staying over.

Then after a short run to the store for cat supplies, I worked in my office with the little new cat sleeping in Allyson’s office.

Finally, around 6 p.m. I loaded all the cat stuff up in my van and then loaded the little girl kitty and headed for home. Kris and I got her settled in two large rooms with our television in them just fine.

She has a new cat bed (which she loved and took a nap in), lots of food and things. Tonight, she was on Kris’s lap watching television, then she fell asleep on my lap watching television.

She is still a long ways from healthy, still all skin and bones since just a couple days ago she was about to starve to death. But we will take care of her. It will be a slow recovery.

Also tonight I did all the workshop assignments and took a long nap. No real writing until tomorrow.

Topic of the Night: Three Types of Thinking

Above…

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The Writing of Death Takes a Partner: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel

Day 1.. 2,100 words.   Total words so far… 2,100 words.
Day 2.. 4,400 words.  Total words so far… 6,500 words.
Day 3.. 4,200 words.  Total words so far… 10,700 words.
Day 4.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 12,850 words.
Day 5.. 2,200 words.  Total words so far… 15,500 words.
Day 6.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 17,550 words.

(I have a hunch this won’t be the final image on the book or magazine cover, but works for now.)

Totals For Year 3, Month 9, Day 24

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 949

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 24,100 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,800 words 

— Blog Posts: 1,000 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,300 words

— E-mail: 38 e-mails. Approx. 3,200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 471 e-mails. Approx. 31,800 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
Oo4th_patreon_name

If you would like to leave a tip just hit Paypal.me/deanwesleysmith (Goes to WMG Publishing account, but I’ll get it just fine.)

Saturday Placeholder

Saturday Placeholder

Fun Saturday. I worked in the store, worked on workshop stuff, sat around and talked with a bunch of great professional writers who were just finishing a workshop here.

Cat update: New lost Kitty

For the moment, she’s staying with us. Or actually, still in the office right now.

But wow is she doing better. More energy, talking, wanting cuddles. Considering it is only a day since she was on the verge of death, she’s doing amazingly well.

She did have a new home, but that fell through and we were all worried about the drive to Seattle would be too hard on her anyway.

So if anyone close to the Oregon Coast is looking for a middle-aged wonderful cat, drop me a note. Otherwise, she is coming home with us to meet the gang. The office is just too dangerous a place for a cat.


Topic of the Night: Nope

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The Writing of Death Takes a Partner: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel

Day 1.. 2,100 words.   Total words so far… 2,100 words.
Day 2.. 4,400 words.  Total words so far… 6,500 words.
Day 3.. 4,200 words.  Total words so far… 10,700 words.
Day 4.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 12,850 words.
Day 5.. 2,200 words.  Total words so far… 15,500 words.
Day 6.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 17,550 words.

(I have a hunch this won’t be the final image on the book or magazine cover, but works for now.)

Totals For Year 3, Month 9, Day 23

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 948

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 24,100 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,800 words 

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,300 words

— E-mail: 17 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 433 e-mails. Approx. 28,600 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
Oo4th_patreon_name

If you would like to leave a tip just hit Paypal.me/deanwesleysmith (Goes to WMG Publishing account, but I’ll get it just fine.)

Friday Placeholder

Friday Placeholder

Fun Friday with the romance workshop going on here. But mostly this blog is because I have gone over 900 days without missing a day.

Lost Cat Update: The little kitten has found a home with one of the writers and will be heading to Seattle on Sunday, which is wonderful. She got a bath today and seemed to love it. And she’s had dozens of writers come visit her.

She loves people.

She’s still weak from starving and is having some issues, but she’s on the road to recovery, which is amazing considering she was within hours of dying.

So all good there.

We moved the last display case into the new store into the jewelry area. There are eleven display cases in the store.

Today, besides that and the workshop people coming and going and the cat downstairs needing attention and regular WMG Publishing business, the following happened.

— All the books in the bookstore section of the store are being priced by Billy, the WMG Sales Manager. (Billy used to manage a major bookstore.)

— The comics in the comic side of the store are being sorted and getting ready to price by Josh, the new store manager. (A comics expert.)

— And I’m working on the toys and ornate boxes, and the tons of other items we have. Things are slowly finding homes around the store.

We are firing at opening on May 25th, so we’ll see how that goes, but Memorial Day weekend is a big one here on the coast and it would be fun to be open by then. We still need two huge wall racks. In one room the wall will be for mint-in-package toys and in another room the rack for mint-in-package Hot Wheels.

I am also filling the dollar wall of loose Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. That’s right, we have a huge wall of just loose die-cast cars.

So this is a bookstore, a comic store, a jewelry store, and a toy store all combined. Fantastic fun.

I’ll have pictures as we get closer to opening.

——-

Topic of the Night: Nope

——–

The Writing of Death Takes a Partner: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel

Day 1.. 2,100 words.   Total words so far… 2,100 words.
Day 2.. 4,400 words.  Total words so far… 6,500 words.
Day 3.. 4,200 words.  Total words so far… 10,700 words.
Day 4.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 12,850 words.
Day 5.. 2,200 words.  Total words so far… 15,500 words.
Day 6.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 17,550 words.

(I have a hunch this won’t be the final image on the book or magazine cover, but works for now.)

Totals For Year 3, Month 9, Day 22

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 947

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 24,100 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,800 words 

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,000 words

— E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 416 e-mails. Approx. 28,300 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
Oo4th_patreon_name

If you would like to leave a tip just hit Paypal.me/deanwesleysmith (Goes to WMG Publishing account, but I’ll get it just fine.)

Two Fun Things Today

Two Fun Things Today

First off, Michael La Ronn, who does a nifty new video site called AuthorLevelUp at www.authorlevelup.com did a review of one of our online workshops he took.

Now normally I pay no attention to reviews, good or bad, and Michael knows that, but the youtube video he did was so professional and positive, I thought I would share it here for those of you wondering if these online workshops I talk about are worth it. Michael took some and thinks so, and we didn’t even know he was going to do this.

Also, some of his other videos to help writers look pretty interesting and looks like he’s going to be doing more as time goes on. Thanks, Michael.

The other fun thing today started out as an interesting stressful way to wake up.

I was in the shower when Kris came in and said she needed my help at once. (Well, not possible, so I made her take a deep breath and just wait for me to get out, dry off, get dressed and so on.)

Seems a stray cat we had seen for a few weeks sort of slinking around the yard trying to avoid our feral outdoor cat named Toughie was now on the porch.

And so was Toughie and both of them were shouting at the top of their lungs for food. Seems she had managed to get Toughie to work for her.

Seems the little girl kitty was on the edge of dying of hunger. Seriously. And she had just given up and came up for help. She was a mess.

So we got her some food and she started eating. After a minute, I just carefully wrapped her in a towel and got her into a carrier, put more food in with her, and headed for the vet.

She talked to me the entire way.

They got her a lot more food, some fluids through tubes, and tested her for everything. Clearly a former indoor cat, middle-aged, and near death from hunger and dehydration. And no chip.

Clearly she had been loved by someone for a very long time. And she loves people.

So around five I headed back to the vet to get her. Four hundred bucks later I got her in our offices at WMG with lots of food, cat box, and water. Allyson took a picture of her for Facebook to see if she was lost and someone would see it. The vet searched all the data bases in the area for a reported lost cat without luck.

So unless one of the writers at the romance workshop that is going on right now at WMG takes her home, or if we happen to find her owners, looks like WMG for the moment has an office cat. Not the best place for a cat, but better than her starving.

And yes, she is as tiny as she looks in the picture. About four pounds.

New lost Kitty

_________________________________

Topic of the Night: Nothing again tonight

——–

The Writing of Death Takes a Partner: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel

Day 1.. 2,100 words.   Total words so far… 2,100 words.
Day 2.. 4,400 words.  Total words so far… 6,500 words.
Day 3.. 4,200 words.  Total words so far… 10,700 words.
Day 4.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 12,850 words.
Day 5.. 2,200 words.  Total words so far… 15,500 words.
Day 6.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 17,550 words.

(I have a hunch this won’t be the final image on the book or magazine cover, but works for now.)

Totals For Year 3, Month 9, Day 21

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 945

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 24,100 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,800 words 

— Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 12,700 words

— E-mail: 10 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 404 e-mails. Approx. 28,000 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
Oo4th_patreon_name

If you would like to leave a tip just hit Paypal.me/deanwesleysmith (Goes to WMG Publishing account, but I’ll get it just fine.)

Day and Night in the Store, But Still Wrote Some

Day and Night in the Store, But Still Wrote Some

First off, thanks for the kind comments on the jury duty essay. It wasn’t a short story, it was an essay, in essay form. Kris is brilliant at writing essays, I seldom commit one, but they are fun to write when I do. So thanks.

Today I was up at the WMG offices around 12:30 ahead of the workshop start, then worked there all day outside of a few errands. The store is at the point of being put together where it is real fun.

Then home to nap, cook dinner, and back to the store. I worked there from 7:30 until around 11 p.m. Then home to do e-mail and watch a little television.

Then finally back to the book. Two sessions, a total of 2,050 words. It’s moving along fine when I give it the time.

——–

Topic of the Night: Nothing tonight

——–

The Writing of Death Takes a Partner: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel

Day 1.. 2,100 words.   Total words so far… 2,100 words.
Day 2.. 4,400 words.  Total words so far… 6,500 words.
Day 3.. 4,200 words.  Total words so far… 10,700 words.
Day 4.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 12,850 words.
Day 5.. 2,200 words.  Total words so far… 15,500 words.
Day 6.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 17,550 words.

(I have a hunch this won’t be the final image on the book or magazine cover, but works for now.)

Totals For Year 3, Month 9, Day 20

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 944

— Daily Fiction: 2,050 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 24,100 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,800 words 

— Blog Posts: 200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 12,200 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 394 e-mails. Approx. 27,700 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
Oo4th_patreon_name

If you would like to leave a tip just hit Paypal.me/deanwesleysmith (Goes to WMG Publishing account, but I’ll get it just fine.)

Topic of the Night: Words from Stephen King

Words from Stephen King

Glen Leibowitz in an Inc.com article summerized Stephen King’s major ways that King succeeded from King’s book On Writing.

I find I say all of these things in different ways in workshop after workshop and sometimes here in articles and comments. So I figured why not just put them here for the night.

You don’t believe me at times, might listen to someone who has sold more books than just about anyone alive.

Have fun. (Oh, wait, King says that below.)

(All the quotes are Stephen King’s from his book. The structure is from the Inc.com article.)

1. Tell the truth.

“Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want. Anything at all… as long as you tell the truth… Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work… What you know makes you unique in some other way. Be brave.”

2. Don’t use big words when small ones work.

“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up your household pet in evening clothes.”

3. Use single-sentence paragraphs.

“The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story… to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all.

The single-sentence paragraph more closely resembles talk than writing, and that’s good. Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction. If not so, why do so many couples who start the evening at dinner wind up in bed?”

4. Write for your Ideal Reader.

“Someone – I can’t remember who, for the life of me – once wrote that all novels are really letters aimed at one person. As it happens, I believe this.

I think that every novelist has a single ideal reader; that at various points during the composition of a story, the writer is thinking, ‘I wonder what he/she will think when he/she reads this part?’ For me that first reader is my wife, Tabitha… Call that one person you write for Ideal Reader.”

5. Read a lot.

“Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life. I take a book with me everywhere I go, and find there are all sorts of opportunities to dip in. The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as in long swallows. Waiting rooms were made for books – of course! But so are theater lobbies before the show, long and boring checkout lines, and everyone’s favorite, the john.”

6. Write one word at a time.

“In an early interview (this was to promote Carrie, I think), a radio talk-show host asked me how I wrote. My reply – ’One word at a time’– seemingly left him without a reply. I think he was trying to decide whether or not I was joking. I wasn’t. In the end, it’s always that simple.”

7. Write every day.

“The truth is that when I’m writing, I write every day, workaholic dweeb or not. That includes Christmas, the Fourth, and my birthday (at my age you try to ignore your goddam birthday anyway)… When I’m writing, it’s all the playground, and the worst three hours I ever spent there were still pretty damned good.”

8. Write for the joy of it.

“Yes, I’ve made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it… Maybe it paid off the mortgage on the house and got the kids through college, but those things were on the side – I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.”

The Day on Jury Duty

The Day on Jury Duty

Up this morning at 7 a.m., only a couple hours after going to bed. That doesn’t mess with your brain and body, nothing will. And who knew there were that many people up at that ungodly hour. And driving! Yikes.(grin)

So I made it to Newport south of here about 40 minutes on time. It was a cold, foggy drive. Or the fog might have been over my eyes, but I am claiming it was real fog.

I got through the courthouse security and got my jury badge.

8:25 a.m. Big old clock on the wall told me. The thing had to be five feet in diameter. Dominated the main part of the lobby.

The lobby and hallway of the old courthouse is old, meaning 1940s or so, and I ended up standing against a wall (all seats were gone). Big trial I guess since there were 63 of us, the clerk told us later. A lot of bodies packed into a small area.

Lots of public notice posters everywhere on the walls along with a dozen ways to get an attorney. I figured that if you were in that lobby and needed to read a sign to get an attorney, you were screwed something awful.

Most of the people there were heavier than I am by a ways (I feared for a few of the tiny plastic chairs), but I was one of the oldest. Maybe the oldest. I made a note to myself to see if there was an age limit on getting out of jury trials.

And almost everyone, including me at times, stared blankly at our phones. Two people had paper books. No tablets to be seen or ebook devices.

Just phones and two lonely paperbacks. I had brought along a blank notebook. Blank fit my brain at that time of the night for me.

So we all waited.

And then waited some more, even though the promise was to start at 9 a.m.

One hour later they called fourteen jurors by name into the courtroom and then had the rest of us follow in who weren’t called.

Not enough room, so twenty of us were left in the lobby.

I went back to standing near the big clock and staring blankly at my phone.

It still wasn’t technically the middle of my night yet. I have no idea if it was foggy outside, still, but it was in the lobby.

Thirty minutes later a bunch left from inside the courtroom, all looking pleased, clearly excused by the judge because they couldn’t stay for a multiple-day trial.

Amazing how a dismissed juror can smile like they just won a lot of money in some lottery.

The clerk of the court called the rest of us in. Four of us ended up standing against the wall in the back. Judge didn’t like that, so back out into the hall the four of us went.

Banished.

I figured I could write the saga of the unwanted juror. But as Kris said, Christie wrote that story about ten indians or something. That’s what it felt like. Four of us left behind, the big clock on the wall ticking.

I went to pacing. My phone was too boring.

I was 10 a.m.

I tried to keep myself from looking at the big clock as I paced past, but always failed.

One hour later a clerk came out, called us by name, and dismissed us because the judge felt bad we had been waiting in the hall the entire time and clearly we were not needed.

Ahh, the fun of jury duty. I had been sequestered in that hall for two-and-a-half hours.

I made it home exactly 4.5 hours after I had left the house. I would still not have been up yet on a normal day.

I get $10 for that.

————–

MAY ONLINE WORKSHOPS

There are two new online workshops starting in May. The Business of Fiction Writing and Writing Fiction Sales Copy. 

And yes, Writing Fiction Sales Copy is very, very, very different from the old pitches and blurbs workshop, which we offered for the last time in March. It will be deleted at the beginning of May.

All regular workshops are now limited only to 5 writers each class except for the two new workshops. Those are limited to 12 writers for May.

Class #41… May 2nd … Author Voice
Class #42… May 2nd … How to Write Thrillers
Class #43… May 2nd … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #44… May 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #45… May 3rd … Character Development
Class #46… May 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… May 3rd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #48… May 4th … Cliffhangers
Class #49… May 4th … The Business of Writing (New!)
Class #50… May 4th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy (New!)

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

Full descriptions of the workshops and how to sign up under the Online Workshop tab above.

——–

Topic of the Night: Some nifty comments from King from his book

See above.

——–

The Writing of Death Takes a Partner: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel

Day 1.. 2,100 words.   Total words so far… 2,100 words.
Day 2.. 4,400 words.  Total words so far… 6,500 words.
Day 3.. 4,200 words.  Total words so far… 10,700 words.
Day 4.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 12,850 words.
Day 5.. 2,200 words.  Total words so far… 15,500 words.

(I have a hunch this won’t be the final image on the book or magazine cover, but works for now.)

Totals For Year 3, Month 9, Day 18

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 942

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 22,050 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,800 words 

— Blog Posts: 600 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 12,000 words

— E-mail: 16 e-mails. Approx. 1,200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 383 e-mails. Approx. 27,100 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
Oo4th_patreon_name

If you would like to leave a tip just hit Paypal.me/deanwesleysmith (Goes to WMG Publishing account, but I’ll get it just fine.)

Jury Duty

Jury Duty

I’ve been on jury duty all month, but it has very little impact on my life, other than at times having to get up early. I mean real early, like 7 a.m., (like a normal person going to bed at 11 p.m. and getting up at midnight to stay up) so the impact is on my writing the night before.

I doubt I’ll be on a jury this time around. Never have been, and I honestly don’t try to get off of them, I just am not the kind of person any sane person wants on a jury. The three years of law school has a lot to do with that in the past. Also, the years of tending bar in any kind of case with drunk driving or things like that tend to get me sent down the road away from the jury box.

And being a mystery writer doesn’t help either.

So big criminal trial tomorrow. We shall see, but no sane lawyer would want me on the jury. But I can always hope for a really stupid lawyer, which there are a number of, especially in small towns like this one.

————–

MAY ONLINE WORKSHOPS

There are two new online workshops starting in May. The Business of Fiction Writing and Writing Fiction Sales Copy. 

And yes, Writing Fiction Sales Copy is very, very, very different from the old pitches and blurbs workshop, which we offered for the last time in March. It will be deleted at the beginning of May.

All regular workshops are now limited only to 5 writers each class except for the two new workshops. Those are limited to 12 writers for May.

Class #41… May 2nd … Author Voice
Class #42… May 2nd … How to Write Thrillers
Class #43… May 2nd … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #44… May 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #45… May 3rd … Character Development
Class #46… May 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… May 3rd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #48… May 4th … Cliffhangers
Class #49… May 4th … The Business of Writing (New!)
Class #50… May 4th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy (New!)

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

Full descriptions of the workshops and how to sign up under the Online Workshop tab above.

——–

Topic of the Night: Some hints on keeping the writing alive…

The comments on the topic yesterday have been great and I really love how numbers of people are using the small word count per day to stay focused in rough times. That’s way cool. Thanks for the comments, everyone.

——–

The Writing of Death Takes a Partner: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel

Day 1.. 2,100 words.   Total words so far… 2,100 words.
Day 2.. 4,400 words.  Total words so far… 6,500 words.
Day 3.. 4,200 words.  Total words so far… 10,700 words.
Day 4.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 12,850 words.
Day 5.. 2,200 words.  Total words so far… 15,500 words.

(I have a hunch this won’t be the final image on the book or magazine cover, but works for now.)

Totals For Year 3, Month 9, Day 18

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 942

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 22,050 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,800 words 

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 11,400 words

— E-mail:24 e-mails. Approx. 1,500 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 367 e-mails. Approx. 25,900 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
Oo4th_patreon_name

If you would like to leave a tip just hit Paypal.me/deanwesleysmith (Goes to WMG Publishing account, but I’ll get it just fine.)

 

Topic of the Night: Help Getting Through the Time of Great Forgetting

Help Getting Through the Time of Great Forgetting

Every year now for the last three or four years I have talked about something I notice with beginning and early-career writers. It happens like this:

Writers are all excited at the first of the year, make resolutions, plans, challenges. All great with great intentions for their coming year of writing and production. And for months, things are working great.

Somewhere around the last of April to the first of June, life from the outside starts to intrude and the writing takes a back seat, slowly, over weeks or a month.

And then the writing is forgotten for the most part, or at least lowered so far down the priority scale as to be a distant cousin to what it was at the start of the year.

Somewhere around the middle of July to the middle of August, the great awakening happens as writers realize they have stopped or things have gone slow for three months and all the beginning year excitement has been lost.

Most writers at this point have no idea what went wrong and search for anything to blame, including family, travel, job, too hot, and so on and so on…

Some early-stage writers never regain any kind of speed until the big writing challenge in November.

The time of May, June, and July is what I call The Time of Great Forgetting.

I have watched it over and over and over for years, and then when we started the online workshops, it became really clear. I studied it more, talking with other writers and watching all kinds of places for how this played out.

It’s real.

It does not really bother full-time fiction writers who have been at the writing for a time. Writing is what we do all the time. It pays our bills and is something we enjoy. We often have our own personal down cycles, but they do not match this spring forgetting.

Two Major Problems That Result

— The biggest problem is restarting. Once writing is stopped, or drained down, the restart process is painful for some reason. And on the indie side, missing publishing new work along the way can also drain down the income as money (for most) is new-work dependent.

— Brings in massive self-doubt because dropping off challenges and other things started at the beginning of the year feels like failure. And makes starting again even more painful. Also, because of the self-doubt, the critical voice has a ripe feeding ground and anything you were working on now looks like crap. More books get tossed out unfinished around August than I want to think about.

Some Help Getting Your Writing Through the Next Three Months

 1… Plan a writing schedule now for the next three months.

This sounds simple but is not. Look at all the events, the vacations, the graduations, the yard work, the sports events, and so on, and then talk to your family about how you are going to keep writing through this time.

Be reasonable on the amount. Don’t try to match what you were doing in January and February, but do enough to keep your writing active. Imagine how good you will feel in August if you hit this?

Make sure the time is away from events. Get up early, stay up an hour later, whatever to keep the time with your family there, but also keep your writing.

And focus on making writing a play time, a fun time for you to go invent new worlds and stories. Attitude is critical on this. Writing can’t be work or you will forget it. Make writing play.

Then write the proposed schedule down, share it with your family, get their help.

2… Set a project deadline.

This won’t work at all, since you will forget, unless you are sharing it with other writers, and have some real weight to the deadline.

Somehow make the deadline as if you are turning in a book to a New York editor. Can’t miss deadline.

Again, be reasonable. Look at your schedule, look at all the stuff that will get in the way. Last thing you want to do is set up a deadline that will fail because of your family and events. Don’t do that to your writing.

The key is the weight to the deadline and sharing it with writers who are also trying not to forget. Set up an e-mail list between three or four of you and just share page count twice a week. Be accountable.

That helps the focus remain on the writing enough to keep most of the forgetting away. Not all, but most.

If you have a group of four writers doing this, expect two of them to vanish along the way and emerge in August feeling sheepish and discouraged. Just saying. You don’t want to be one of the two that vanishes.

3… Set Outside Schedules

The summer is heavy with numbers of things concerning writing.

First off, there are genre conventions everywhere. And some writer’s conferences. If you plan on attending a couple of those during the months of forgetting, you won’t forget the writing. The outside schedule will keep you focused enough to keep writing. Strange how it works, but it does work.

Set things like online workshops. You know we do them here at WMG right through the summer on both craft and business. Those have set deadlines every week for six weeks. Also David Farland (  https://mystorydoctor.com  ) does workshops. And professional writer Leah Cutter is doing both interior design and covers workshops this summer as well. ( http://krpworkshops.com/)

And there are others out there, but just make sure they are taught by long-term professional writers. But workshops normally have deadlines and those deadlines, imposed from the outside, will keep you focused.

4… Read writing books

You are going to be doing a lot of sitting around, resting, and other summer-like things. Instead of taking that latest novel by your favorite author, take along some writing books. Lawrence Block has some great ones, one just updated and reissued. Or read the Stephen King book on writing.

If you focus on reading writing books over the next three months, it will keep your mind focused on producing words as well and keep you from forgetting the writing.

I Am Sure There Are Other Ways

Each writer will find his or her way to deal with this problem. Feel free to suggest ways here in the comments if you have found a way that worked for you in the past.

One thing that might help some of you is the attitude of being a professional writer. No professional besides teaching (that I know of) takes off three or four months in the middle of the year.

But I honestly don’t want to take time away from the writing. For me, the writing is the fun, the joy, the scary part, the exciting part.

So attitude is everything in this time. But attitude alone won’t get you through the power of the time of great forgetting.

And until the day comes that your writing is just who you are, figure out a way to help yourself through the next three months and stay productive and having fun.

You will be very happy in August that you do so.

Store Fun

Store Fun

The romance workshop is going on up at WMG offices, so I spent the day there. But I am not teaching it, Kris is, so I’m just sort of support.

So today I spent a bunch of time in my office working on workshop stuff, and then this evening I spent the entire night just working with collectables.

Then home to do workshop stuff and write the topic of the night above. No fiction today.

————–

MAY ONLINE WORKSHOPS

There are two new online workshops starting in May. The Business of Fiction Writing and Writing Fiction Sales Copy. 

And yes, Writing Fiction Sales Copy is very, very, very different from the old pitches and blurbs workshop, which we offered for the last time in March. It will be deleted at the beginning of May.

All regular workshops are now limited only to 5 writers each class except for the two new workshops. Those are limited to 12 writers for May.

Class #41… May 2nd … Author Voice
Class #42… May 2nd … How to Write Thrillers
Class #43… May 2nd … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #44… May 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #45… May 3rd … Character Development
Class #46… May 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… May 3rd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #48… May 4th … Cliffhangers
Class #49… May 4th … The Business of Writing (New!)
Class #50… May 4th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy (New!)

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

Full descriptions of the workshops and how to sign up under the Online Workshop tab above.

——–

Topic of the Night: Some Help…

Above this post.

——–

The Writing of Death Takes a Partner: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel

Day 1.. 2,100 words.   Total words so far… 2,100 words.
Day 2.. 4,400 words.  Total words so far… 6,500 words.
Day 3.. 4,200 words.  Total words so far… 10,700 words.
Day 4.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 12,850 words.
Day 5.. 2,200 words.  Total words so far… 15,500 words.

(I have a hunch this won’t be the final image on the book or magazine cover, but works for now.)

Totals For Year 3, Month 9, Day 17

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 941

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 22,050 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,800 words 

— Blog Posts: 1,300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 11,100 words

— E-mail: 34 e-mails. Approx. 2,600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 343 e-mails. Approx. 24,400 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
Oo4th_patreon_name

If you would like to leave a tip just hit Paypal.me/deanwesleysmith (Goes to WMG Publishing account, but I’ll get it just fine.)

 

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Bundles: A great way to discover new writers and read some of my novels at the same time.

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And twenty-six of them now exist... Amazing, huh? And hard to hold. Here I am holding the first five...

$6.99 electronic and $12.99 trade paper editions are available at your local bookseller. All paper subscription copies are signed. For more information, just click on the cover.

ISSUES IN ORDER

Online Workshop Schedule

These are the starting dates of upcoming online workshops. Limited to twelve writers. All have openings unless I say closed below. For sign-up and more information about each workshop, click the Online Workshop tab at the top of the page.

Class #41… May 2nd … Author Voice
Class #42… May 2nd … How to Write Thrillers
Class #43… May 2nd … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #44… May 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #45… May 3rd … Character Development
Class #46… May 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… May 3rd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #48… May 4th … Cliffhangers
Class #49… May 4th … The Business of Writing
Class #50... May 4th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy

Class #51… June 6th … The Business of Writing
Class #52… June 6th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #53… June 6th … Author Voice
Class #54… June 6th … Ideas into Stories
Class #55… June 7th … Character Development
Class #56… June 7th … Depth in Writing
Class #57… June 7th … Plotting With Depth
Class #58… June 8th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #59… June 8th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #60… June 8th … Advanced Depth

Class #1… July 11th … Author Voice
Class #2… July 11th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #3… July 11th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #4… July 11th … Plotting With Depth
Class #5… July 12th … Character Development
Class #6… July 12th … Depth in Writing
Class #7… July 12th … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #8… July 13th … Cliffhangers
Class #9… July 13th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #10... July 13th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy

Class #11… Aug 8th … The Business of Writing
Class #12… Aug 8th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Aug 8th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #14… Aug 8th … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Aug 9th … Character Development
Class #16… Aug 9th … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Aug 9th … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Aug 10th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #19… Aug 10th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Aug 10th … Advanced Depth

Sign-up and more information under Online Workshops tab at the top of the page.

Classic Workshops

You can sign up for these and start at any point. They are the regular workshops, only you don't send in the homework and you can take them as fast or as slow as you would like.

They are half the price of a regular six week workshop.

Classic Workshops offered.

Making a Living... Classic
Productivity... Classic
Discoverability... Classic
Writing in Series... Classic
Genre Structure... Classic
Career... Classic

Lecture Series

More information on these lectures under the Lecture Series Tab above.

#1... Heinlein's Rules... Dean Wesley Smith 15 videos... $75.00

#2... Read Like a Writer... Kristine Kathryn Rusch... 8 videos... $50.00

#3... How to Write a Short Story: The Basics... Kristine Kathryn Rusch.... 7 videos... $50.00

#4... Writer's Block and Procrastination... Dean Wesley Smith... 8 videos... $50.00

#5... Carving Time Out for Your Writing... Dean Wesley Smith.... 8 videos... $50.00

#6... How to Research for Fiction Writers... Kristine Kathryn Rusch.... 14 videos... $75.00

#7... Pen Names: Help With the Decision... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#8... Motivation: Starting Easier and Writing More... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#9... Practice: The Attitude and Methods of Practice in Fiction... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#10... Master Plot Formula: How and Why It Works Today... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#11... Prolific Lecture: How to Become a Prolific Fiction Writer... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#12... The Stages of a Fiction Writer: How to Know Where You Are In Learning and How To Move Upward... Dean Wesley Smith.... 11 videos... $50.00

#13... Starting Writing. Or Restarting Your Writing... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#14... Endings: How to Write Them and Understand What Makes a Good Ending... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#15... Audio Narration Lecture... Jane Kennedy.... 9 audio lectures... $50.00

#16... Your Writing as an Investment Lecture... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#17... How to Get Your Books into Bookstores Lecture... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#18... How to Think Like a Science Fiction Writer Lecture... Kristine Kathryn Rusch....11 videos... $50.00

#19... Why Some Books Sell More Than Other Books... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#20... How to Write a Page Turning Novel or Story: Basics and Tricks ... Dean Wesley Smith.... 8 videos... $50.00

#21... The Basics of Designing Science Fiction Covers ... Allyson Longueira .... 8 videos... $50.00

#22... The Basics of Designing Mystery, Cozy, or Thriller Covers ... Allyson Longueira .... 8 videos... $50.00

#23... Paying the Price: A Working Writer's Mindset ... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#24... Writing into the Dark: The Tricks and Methods of Writing Without an Outline... Dean Wesley Smith... 12 videos... $50.00

#25... Reviews: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly... Dean Wesley Smith... 10 videos... $50.00

#26... Organization... Allyson Longueira... 8 videos... $50.00

#27... Confidence... Dean Wesley Smith... 10 videos... $50.00

#28... Stories to Novels... Dean Wesley Smith... 9 videos... $50.00

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