ideation / writing

Writing Wednesday: Forming Habits and Keeping Them

I’ve been THINKING about writing since 2004, started WRITING in 2006, have been SERIOUSLY PRODUCTIVE since 2011, and TREATING IT AS A BUSINESS since 2012. Throughout all of this, I continue to follow Heinlein’s rules:
1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put your work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.
#’s 4 and 5 are from a time when there were no eBooks, and Indie publishing was not as easy to do. Nowadays, it could be said that it isn’t necessary to try to sell your work to traditional publishers anymore. Yet I still do.
Why? Well, there are multiple reasons. If a traditional publisher buys one of my stories, the immediate payoff is faster than the dribs and drabs of indie. A sale to a traditional market also cross-feeds traffic into my other works. And yes, there is even the STATUS we all imagine is conferred on us by appearing in a REAL publication, even if we pretend it doesn’t matter.
For these reasons, I continue to send my works to market, and – when I receive a rejection – lick my wounds and submit to the next one on the list. It would be so much less work (and pain) to just ePublish each story once I’m done with it. If a story is going to be rejected anyway, why lose the time and delay indie royalties? And why incur the rejection in the first place?
Well, how do I KNOW when a story is going to be rejected? I don’t.
In Bridge of Spies, the Russian that Donaldson defends relates a story to him – of a man that was repeatedly beaten, but who kept standing back up. They eventually stopped beating the man, even calling him “Standing Man”, a monicker the Russian then uses to honor Donaldson for getting up and brushing himself off when he’s knocked down, and always pushing forward.
This is a valuable characteristic in any walk of life. I pride myself on being someone who never gives up – who never tips his king. Why is this important? Isn’t there a point where it’s obvious that you can’t win – that you’re wasting your time (and treasure) and need to stop?
Perhaps. But how much is too much?
Life is not and was never intended (Eden aside) to be easy, and we rely on developing habits – good habits – to help keep us going when the going gets tough. Sure, if you give yourself an out and decide that THIS LINE is where I stop, you’ll save yourself some pain at first. But lines of this sort aren’t stationary – they tend to creep closer. You notice that you’re starting to experience some pain again, and even if it isn’t quite as much as before, might as well stop now before it gets worse. And next time, well, you’re not in pain yet, but you can see it coming. Eventually, STOPPING BECOMES NEVER STARTING.
You CAN get back on that horse when you’ve fallen off, but it’s easier if you stay on it to begin with. Keep that as your habit.
Just saying…


MixedSignalsCoverPubItThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for “Mixed Signals”:

Nothing is going Jimmy’s way. Jill had moved to Portland and filed for divorce. Sure, Jimmy should have never gotten that illegal jack, but how was he to know that the Yons would use it to make him kill Eddie?
The prosecutor made a deal with the woman responsible, and the whole city thinks he’s dirty. Things couldn’t get any worse. Or could they?

“Mixed Signals” is the second story of my Detective Jimmy Delaney series (don’t worry if you haven’t read the others – it stands alone just fine.) It has Jimmy’s usual bad luck, with football, hookers, and murder thrown into the mix; GIVE IT A TRY! Use coupon code RT68V to get 72% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!). Here’s the link:
This coupon will be good until March 12th.


PipesCoverThe preorder campaign is winding down for my speculative short story “The Pipes”:

Sometimes it’s the little things… An unexpected extraterrestrial visitation has an adverse effect on a Texas farmer’s well.
Think twice before you drink the water – there’s something in the pipes.

Release date is March 11th (this Friday!), but you can preorder now at a reduced promotional price at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):


William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “Ultimate Awareness”, can be found in many places, including:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Smashwords:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri


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