Blog Number 2,166
Every Day for Almost Six Years…
I haven’t missed a day yet. Now ain’t that silly?
On August 1st it will be six years if I don’t miss between now and then. That will be 2,190 days of never missing a blog. Some blogs had value, some were worthless like this one.
Imagine if I had that same streak going writing a short story per day? Now that would be interesting. And some stories would have some value and others not-so-much.
It’s been an interesting six years, that’s for sure.
I am making note of this because today I started really tracking weight, walking distance, and running distance, as well as how much I ate almost exactly to the calorie, or as least as best as I can estimate. Got a nifty sheet tracking it all and also doing a bunch of it on my Fitbit home page.
So day #1 I weighed in, then walked 5.2 miles total for the day, of which a half mile of that was actual running. Had a great lunch with some friends and Kris and I saw a movie and I still stayed under 1,100 calories for the day, mostly healthy stuff with the exception of a little popcorn at the movie.
So a good first day on that health start and just another day on the long blogging streak.
Monthly Regular Workshops…
You can find them under Online Workshops to the right of this post. Sign up for July on Teachable.com. For credits or workshops beyond July, write me.
Each regular workshop is 6 weeks long.
Again, it will take you about three hours per week on your own pace to do each of these if you do the assignments. These are the starting dates of upcoming regular workshops.
All have openings at the moment.
Class #1… July 10th … Depth #3: Research
Class #2… July 10th … Author Voice
Class #3… July 10th … Dialog
Class #4… July 10th … Writing into the Dark
Class #5… July 10th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #6… July 10th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #7… July 11th … Depth in Writing
Class #8… July 11th … Business
Class #9… July 11th … Writing Fantasy
Class #10… July 11th … Information Flow
Class #11… July 11th … Magic Bakery
Class #12… July 11th … Advanced Depth
Again, if you don’t have credits, sign up direction at Teachable.
D J Mills
If I had written one short story a week during your 2166 days blogging streak, I would have 312 short stories ready to publish. Wow! Guess I had better get started writing short stories and creating covers.
This is the best example I know of the power of a streak.
Good luck with the Fitbit! My mom lost a ton of weight when she got hers, and all her depression vanished. 🙂
I took my kids to see Incredibles 2 last week, and it was the first time I had been to the movies since I started this no carb/Keto diet. The popcorn smelled incredible but I managed to avoid it. I’m too far from my goal right now to splurge on treats.
I’ve been writing a short story a week since I started the diet, so I’m finally back on the horse for the Bradbury Challenge, though I doubt I’ll hit 52 by New Years.
I’ve also ramped up my reading. I’ve been reading 2-3 books a week despite writing and working a day corporate job. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the importance of reading for improving your own writing skills.
Reading is everything as a writer. If you aren’t reading FOR ENJOYMENT while you are writing, you are stuck at some point in the past where you stopped reading novels. Also it is one way how our creative voice learns techniques. It soaks them in if you are reading for enjoyment. If you are reading critically, it gets nothing.
After your read a book, realize you loved it, couldn’t put it down, then you go back and study those.
So reading is critically important.
Linda Maye Adams
I got into the critical mode in reading at point. It seemed like everything I read really wasn’t any good. I thought writing in general had gone downhill. I was nitpicking the sentences. I attribute this to getting online and associating with other writers. This nitpicking is really common. Particular targets of “poor writing” are Dan Brown, J.K. Rowlings, and Stephanie Meyer. Someone will start a topic on one of these writers, and everyone will go to town attacking them because they don’t think the sentences are very good.
One day, I found some books at work that someone had left on the table to give away. They were Mack Bolan or Nick Carter, so they pretty old. In fact, from the time when I thought books had been good. So I read them, thinking I was going to prove my point that books had gone downhill. Instead, I realized the problem was how I was reading books.
So I decided that I was simply going to read and enjoy the books and not nitpick the sentences. Guess what the first book was that I read and enjoyed? The Da Vinci Code. I even took the time to think about why it might have turned into a blockbuster as a learning point. Meanwhile, my fellow writers complain about the sentences still. There are definitely some who see best seller status as a reason to destroy the book. That’s very poisonous.
Yup, I personally find it amazingly funny that beginning writers think bestsellers can’t write. All that does is show the beginner’s ignorance. I call them stage one writers, who only worry about sentences and perfect grammar, things that kill fiction and make it flat and dull. School teaching.
I suggest to everyone that the only time a writer can actually tear apart another writer’s work is if the writer has sold a lot more books and written a lot more books than the writer they are tearing apart has. You notice here I never criticize any other writer. In the workshops I use good examples to teach. Keeps all the negative out, since this business is tough enough without all that crap.
And I do understand I am the target of a bunch of beginners and rewriters who will be gone in a few years, mostly because of my teaching. I laugh at that as well and keep on surviving and writing selling more books and making more money than they do. Survival is always the best revenge in this business as well. (grin)
Linda Maye Adams
And it kind of says the writers think the readers are stupid for not noticing the flaws.
Yeah. One thing beginning writers don’t understand is that there is no such thing as a perfect book and readers seldom notice mistakes or care unless the mistakes are large in number. Only beginning writers read books looking for mistakes.
Congratulations on that streak, Dean. I decided over a year ago that I myself would blog every day for a good number of years and now I am at post 578 – one for each day, almost, since early Dec 2016. I haven’t done it in a perfect streak, though, because some days I simply have not had the time and energy or something else got in the way. I became a father in May last year so that has, of course, been part of the explanation, but also the usual yadayada etc. etc. I’ve always caught up, though, and I am to continue to do so.
What I really have learned from this so far is that it was flat impossible for me to write a ‘useful’ blog post for so many days in a row (even with the aforementioned breaks and catch-ups). So some days I just made a very short one or used some of my favorite quotes as fillers. But in the process I also feel I got some really long, substantial and great posts done – a lot, in fact. And that would not have happened, had I not kept going. I was sorely tempted to stop many times because I felt that the quality I delivered was not good enough that day or that week. But I did not. And produced some stuff I am now very proud of.
Reminds me a helluva lot of the process of writing fiction, ya know 🙂
I never look for “mistakes” or typos or any of that when I’m reading. But there are a few bestselling writers out there who I swear are only bestsellers because they know marketing.
When I’m reading along for pleasure, down in the story, and I’m suddenly jerked out of the story by something stupid (usually the writer talking about something he obviously knows nothing about) I put the book down and move on to another author.
When some idiotic formatting choice jumps out at me, like ALL BOLD ALL CAPS, I put the book down and move on to another one, often by the same author if I usually like him or her.
The formatting is usually a choice that’s out of the writer’s hands, but the former causes me to mark that writer off my list for future purchases.
It’s the writer’s responsibility to hold the reader in the story, to not shove the reader out.
It is, Harvey. And most of what you mentioned was your taste, which is also fine. Each reader has tastes. But you are a writer and things like formatting will not bother readers. And writers writing about what they don’t know IN YOUR OPINION means you are not the reader for that book, but it might be fine for hundreds of thousands of other readers. Writers don’t write for the experts, we write good stories for readers.
And there are no stage four writers who made it with promotion. They made it with top storytelling, no matter what you think of their craft. There might be a few splash bestsellers who did it with promotion, in the last year or two, but they will be gone shortly.
Speaking of mistakes. Is offering your writer’s advice to everyone, everywhere on the internet a mistake?
(Dean here… I edited this down to the important question above…)
Yes, it is a mistake. Wait until you have a hundred novels, have a couple decades of experience, been a major bestseller on numbers of books, then I would say never offer it even then.
Folks, you will lose friends, make enemies for no reason, and hit people in their dreams and myths and belief systems. So just learn what works for you to make a long term career and have fun with your writing and I’m afraid watch sadly as the others drop by the wayside. After 40 years, hundreds of novels, and no longer have a reason to care, then help some of the younger writers who want to learn.
Congratulations! You might even set a Guinness record. On the fitness end of things, I’m pretty happy on a paleo/almost-keto regime, with a weekly slice of real bread. My pants fit again 🙂 Also, I’ll be a camp cook for the next 4 weeks, camping in a cabin and helping cook 3 meals a day, and I’m looking for my quiet writing time before bed. The camp routine will be a lot more physical than my current lifestyle, even with regular exercise, so I’m curious what happens when I step on the scale in early August. (And I have to drive out to McDonalds for Wi-Fi! 🙂 Yes, writing goals abound.