Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

I Seem To Have Fallen Off

Heinlein’s Rule #4…

As I am moving into my new office here in Las Vegas, I am organizing as well, as would be normal.

Making lists of things to do, where I need to be caught up and where it can wait a week or so to get solidly in place again.

And as I am sorting papers and other stuff I am finding things I had forgotten about. And in the papers I am uncovering unpublished short stories. And not just a few short stories. Nope.

A ton of short fiction, meaning a very large stack.

In fact, I have found more short stories unpublished from this year than most writers write in an entire year. Or a decade.

Fifty-three. And counting…

If you wrote a story a week for a year you wouldn’t write that many, and yet I have found that many here unpublished (or even mailed out) that I wrote in the last six months or so.

Yup, I fell face first off of Heinlein’s Rule #4. Face down into the mud.

Over the decades this is always the rule I have had the most problems with. But to my memory never this many stories. Not published, not in the mail, all new stories. Just sitting in a pile.

Amazing how all those stories didn’t make me a nickel over the last six months or so.

Damn, those rules seen so simple, and I have Rules #1-3 completely under control. I never miss those anymore. But Rule #4 just sort of creeps up and gets me and knocks me to the ground.

So time to climb back on the horse. As the next few months go along, I will let you all know here where all the stories are going as I get this mess around Rule #4 cleaned up.

And one thing I will do is get Stories from April together, which is thirty stories plus all the blogs in one book, and out way, way early to my Patreon folks. Stay tuned for that as I also fire back up Smith’s Monthly after a moving vacation.

Heinlein’s Five Rules. So simple, so fantastically hard to follow 100% of the time. When you fall off, all you can do is what I am doing… realize it and climb back on.

Monthly Regular Workshops…

You can find them under Online Workshops to the right of this post. Sign up for July on For credits or workshops beyond July, write me and pay through Paypal.

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


  • Céline Malgen

    Wow, when you fall off of a rule, you don’t do it halfway! I get it that it’s better to be process-focused and enjoying the writing like you are, instead of product-focused. But I guess you could indeed do with a tiny bit more focus on the product (grin)

    Anyway, as a reader, I’m looking forward to discovering those stories, thanks for getting them out.

  • Harvey

    That one’s my personal curse too. The older I get and the more my physical limitations rear their angry little heads the less I can about publishing. In fact, when I’m designing a cover or formatting or preparing the promo doc (all told only 2 hours or less per book) I’m acutely aware that I should be writing instead. Sigh. Good problem to have, I guess.

  • Alexandra

    There is a concept in meditation I‘ve seen called „the magic moment“ – the moment that you notice you got distracted and get back to your meditation 🙂 as long as you get yourself back on the path, all should be well.

  • Kessie

    I’ve got three books in the hopper that just need editing and covers. And have I done it? Nope, I’m off writing a new one. I have lots of very plausible excuses, but in the end, it’s just fear. They’re a new genre for me, and I’m haunted by all of those “what if these flop and people hate them” kind of fears. So … they’re sitting on my hard drive.