Posts by dwsmith

A Holiday Weekend

A Holiday Weekend

Here in the States this is a major holiday weekend, runs through Monday. However, only one of our employees took any time away, the rest are all working through the weekend. So it feels normal except there are a lot of people in town.

The Day

I managed to get a lot of things priced at the new store and work on workshop stuff. But once again too tired to get to the writing. Must still be recovering from the last few months. (grin)

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Online Workshops

Still lots of room in all of them.

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 … Teams in Fiction
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

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

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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.
Day 7.. 3,200 words.  Total words so far… 20,750 words.

(Thirty days off between day six and day seven.)

——————

Totals For Year 3, Month 10, Day 28

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 983

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 3,200 words  

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

— Blog Posts: 200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,700 words

— E-mail: 7 e-mails. Approx. 200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 543 e-mails. Approx. 35,000 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 Covers

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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.)

 

Kris and Her Awards

Kris and Her Awards

Over the years, Kris has won many, many awards and been nominated so many times, I doubt she knows how many. She is the only person ever to win a Hugo Award for both her fiction and her editing work. And one night at the Edgar Award ceremony for mystery, she was nominated for best novel under one name and for best short story under another.

But this month Kris won two major awards. That’s right, two!

I think that is amazingly cool.

To me, an award voted on by readers only, without politics, is the best reward there is. Period.

The Anlab Award for Analog SF Magazine and the Reader’s Choice Award for Asimov’s Magazine are very special awards, voted on by the readers of the magazines. She won them both in the same year.

And I know Kris really, really appreciates the readers liking her work.

Congratulations, Kris! Fantastic job! I can’t begin to express how proud I am of you.

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The Day

I managed to get a lot of things priced at the new store, run a few thousand errands, and bought a new display case.

But I didn’t get to the writing. Just felt too tired. Guess I should have let myself rest a few more days before starting back up. Ahh, well, back at it tomorrow.

—————

Online Workshops

I think this June list of workshops might be the strongest list of online workshops we have ever done. Since it is the time of great forgetting, not many people signed up yet, so most of these workshops will allow me to give pretty good attention to anyone taking them.

And remember, except for the new workshop, Teams, the workshops are only limited to five writers. Even with that limitation, none are close to filling. Teams is limited to twelve writers. Still lots of room in that as well.

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 … Teams in Fiction
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

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

——–

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.
Day 7.. 3,200 words.  Total words so far… 20,750 words.

(Thirty days off between day six and day seven.)

——————

Totals For Year 3, Month 10, Day 27

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 982

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 3,200 words  

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

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,500 words

— E-mail: 6 e-mails. Approx. 200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 537 e-mails. Approx. 34,800 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 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: Restarting Your Writing

Restarting Your Writing

All of us, for one reason or another, stop writing for a time.

Sometimes it is health reasons, sometimes it is family reasons, or sometimes it is because we just forget, which happens right about now for a vast number of writers.

For me, I stopped about thirty days ago to focus on opening a new collectables store, comic book store, and book store combined. Great fun. And even though I thought about writing along the way since I was teaching and still around numbers of writers who were writing, I really flat didn’t want to write.

And I didn’t force myself.

And I had no illusion that getting restarted would be easy. Far from it, actually. I knew how hard it would be. And I was only off for about thirty days. And I had kept my mind on the writing, even though I wasn’t producing new words.

At least that focus on the writing because of the workshops made this restart easier than it would have been.

The Major Problems of Taking Time Off

Here are just a few of the major problems that come about when we take time away from our passion of writing fiction.

1… Our minds keep making stuff up.

However, what it makes up now is how important the writing is, how we want to get back to it, how stories are major and important, and so on.

The key word here is “important.” When our writing or a novel or story starts becoming important, it’s like slamming open the door to the critical voice we all fight. The critical voice won’t let “important” writing get finished because it’s too hard to do and besides, you would never get it right anyhow. So don’t start.

Without actually typing out stories, our minds make up how important the stories we aren’t writing will be when we get back to them.

Oh, oh…

2… We lose the time habits.

Writing consistently is something we all carve out of our days to do in one form or another. And when writing consistently, that seems normal and easy. It is a daily habit you give so much time to.

When you take time away from the writing, the world fills in that empty time like water flowing from a full area to an empty area. And it fills up very, very quickly.

There were many days over the last month I would drag myself to bed wondering how I ever found the time to write. I actually had that thought. Not kidding.

Carving out time to write is like setting up dams around yourself to the time pressures of the real world. Those dams are holding and maintained as long as we write, but the moment we stop for any length of time, the outside demands of time flood in and the writing time seems to just vanish under the waves of the real world.

3… We think we forget how to write.

Yeah, as silly as that sounds, when you lose the time, and you lose the habit, and you make your writing “important” while not doing it, what happens is the mind starts believing we have forgotten how to write.

I have seen this happen to more writers than I want to admit, and sadly, it happens to me every time I stop for a long period of time, longer than what I just did. When my friend Bill died and I stopped writing for about eight months to deal with all of that, I really, really believed I had forgotten how to write.

Again, we are fiction writers. Our jobs are to make shit up and when we don’t have the creative outlet of putting that made-up stuff into stories, we direct it at other things. And one place that made-up stuff gets directed is into fear that we won’t be able to remember how to write ever again.

4… We become afraid.

Fear makes us stay away longer than we actually need to. And the fear is based on numbers of things. Thinking we can’t write any more, thinking we can’t control or find the time anymore, and so on, all critical voice working to stop us.

But the largest fear is an amazing fear I have felt numbers of time over the years. It is the fear that because we stopped, we have “ruined our career.”

And in this modern world of regular production needed to maintain income streams at higher levels, stopping can really impact the money. It doesn’t ruin a career, but it can sure make it feel like it has.

Fear has many, many heads. And wow do they poke up like a bad game of Whack-a-Mole when trying to restart your writing.

5… Why Bother syndrome hits.

I see this the most often with those coming back from the time of great forgetting. It’s August, new patterns in time have set in, the writing feels impossible and important. So the response is like this: Why should I bother now? I got too many things to do. I’ll just wait and restart with the November writing challenge.

So the writer is off for two or three more months, with all the problems building and building with each week that goes by.

That “why bother” thinking can really delay the restarting. It is a great critical voice ploy to keep you from starting again.

And it also comes up when sales are still low early on in careers. You are off for a few months, then look at your sales numbers when you come back and think, “Why should I go through the pain and effort to restart? Why should I bother? No one is buying my work anyway.”

Deadly, just deadly.

But when you are writing regularly and having fun, those thoughts seldom hit hard, if at all.

What Can You Do?

The five things above are just general categories  that lots and lots of problems with stopping and then restarting fall into.

So what can we do when we decide or are forced to stop for a time?

Some simple suggestions:

1… Stay partially focused on the writing, even though you are not actually producing new words. Workshops, conferences, writers books, or writer’s blogs. All will help if you do them regularly.

2… Look forward to the fun and play of writing again. Notice I said fun and play, not the “important” aspects of doing your “art.”  You have to watch out for making the writing important, but instead make sure it stays play and fun in your mind.

This is critically important when it is a nasty life event that has caused the stoppage. Don’t drag the writing into the life event. Let it be the escape place, the fun place when the life event eases.

Also, if you keep the focus of play and fun with the writing, you won’t think you have forgotten. No one forgets how to play.

3… Don’t watch your numbers fall. If you stop writing, stop looking at numbers at the same time. Watching numbers any more than once every three months is a fool’s game anyway, but if you are a number watcher, make sure the watching the numbers is shut off when the writing shuts off.

Then use the lower numbers when you come back as a positive incentive to write. This is all a game inside your head. Play it.

4… Plan ahead for your restart. Clear the time decks, make sure your family knows you are restarting. Plan the restart days and days ahead, and make sure it will be fun. Don’t make it important, make it something you want to do.

We all wanted to go out and play as kids. The “important” stuff was no fun. So make your writing play and look forward to it.

Things You Can Do On the Actual Restart Day

There are ways to really mess with your mind when trying to restart. One of which is thinking foolishly that you are going to dive right back into the middle of book four of that huge series you are writing.

Uhhh…. no.

Memory sucks after time away, and that makes the writing too important.

So on the day of restarting, do the following:

1… Pick something to write that is fun and that takes little or no preparation time.

For example, tonight I dove back into a novel I was working on. It took me all of forty minutes to read through what I had done quickly, getting the characters and structure back in my head and check my notes.

Easy. And quick.

2… Just write the next sentence.

After looking over the early part off the book quickly, I took a quick break, sat down and said simply, “What’s the next sentence?”

And I wrote it.

And after asking that question a few more times, off I went.

The key to this is not try to keep the entire book or story in your head. Just writing the next sentence takes away all the fear of not being able to handle something so big.

3… Remember your old writing schedule and time and imitate it. 

I normally, on good writing nights, liked to do a session before going to watch some television, then come back and write until I got too tired. So on the first night of restart, I just imitated the old pattern.

Took almost nothing for my body and mind memory to drop into the routine again.

4… Make sure your environment isn’t new if possible.

Some people think that starting in a new place or on a new computer will help with a restart. It won’t.

Go back to old writing habits when the writing was fun and moving quickly. The mind and creative voice will remember that. You can change to some place new or a new computer when you are up to speed.

5… Keep all negative thoughts out of the writing time.

Nothing critical about your writing. Really watch your thinking. The writing will feel clunky and not good. Of course it will. Duh. You haven’t been doing it for a while, remember?

Go ahead, sit without moving for five or six hours and see how walking feels when you stand up. Writing is no different, so keep the negative thoughts out, just laugh and have fun and the feeling of unease and clunky typing will quickly be forgotten.

Summary

I sure hope these suggestions will help some of you get restarted with your writing. I only intended to cover the basics. I got a hunch there is an entire book here of how writers slow themselves down in restarting.

And I imagine I will reprint this column in late July as writers come back from the time of great forgetting and are wondering what happened and how to restart.

The key to all of this is keep having fun. Make the writing fun and a focus. Even though I never produced new words for the last thirty days until tonight, writing was still there for me every day.

And that made tonight fairly painless and a lot of fun. I don’t think I even whined to Kris once about this restart. I was actually not dreading it, but looking forward to it.

Amazing.

Have fun.

The Battle of the Restart

Great bundle with two of my books in it. And a wonderful book by Lawrence Block and a great book by Kris.  Don’t miss it. http:/storybundle.com/writing

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The Battle of the Restart

Back writing.

So easy to say, so difficult to do for almost all of us after a layoff.

I am no different. Annoyingly so.

More in the Topic of the Night post above.

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The Day

Managed to get to the WMG offices and the new store around 2 p.m., after nine hours of sleep. I think I needed that.

Ran a bunch of errands, including my third trip to the sign shop to pick up more signs. The old guy who runs the sign shop is really liking me, considering the money I’m spending with him. And since the sign shop is in the back of an old bowling alley he owns, he gave me a tour. It’s still open, but I hadn’t been inside in a couple of decades.

It’s eight lanes, wooden lanes, and has a 1950s look, right down to the pool tables and old wooden benches. He has the place for sale, plus a building with three apartments in it behind it, for $680,000. (Considering the three apartments and the Highway 101 footage it’s a steal.

It was built in the 1930s and is one of the last surviving bowling alleys on the Oregon Coast. I felt like I had stepped back in time to when I used to bowl a lot with friends, or go with my dad to the bowling alley.

It was wonderful, just wonderful. A great investment for someone, that’s for sure. I penciled out the numbers for the investment and at that price it works.

So off I went running more errands. Then I worked at the store hanging signs and pricing things until right before 8 p.m. when I shut things down and headed home to stay for the first time in weeks.

Actually got started writing after dinner and a nap around 10:30 p.m. Managed 3,200 new words by 3:30 a.m.

More about restarting above in the topic.

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Online Workshops

I think this June list of workshops might be the strongest list of online workshops we have ever done. Since it is the time of great forgetting, not many people signed up yet, so most of these workshops will allow me to give pretty good attention to anyone taking them.

And remember, except for the new workshop, Teams, the workshops are only limited to five writers. Even with that limitation, none are close to filling. Teams is limited to twelve writers. Still lots of room in that as well.

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 … Teams in Fiction
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

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

——–

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.
Day 7.. 3,200 words.  Total words so far… 20,750 words.

(Thirty days off between day six and day seven.)

——————

Totals For Year 3, Month 10, Day 26

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 981

— Daily Fiction: 3,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 3,200 words  

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

— Blog Posts: 2,100 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,200 words

— E-mail: 16 e-mails. Approx. 500 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 531 e-mails. Approx. 34,600 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 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.)

 

Store Pictures

The New WMG Publishing Store

Pop Culture Collectables #2

Professional writer J. Steven York stopped by the new store and took some photos. He has all of them on his Facebook page, but he generously gave me permission to show some of them here. He’s such a great photographer I couldn’t pass up the chance. Thanks, Steve!

To start off with, the store is three very large rooms, over three thousand square feet. A large part of it is books, and yes, a large section is just WMG books.

So impossible to capture everything in every nook and cranny. But here is a general tour.

Store 2

The first picture is looking back toward the one of the two main entrances at me and Josh standing at the main front counter. We have 11 display cases in this store.  Josh is the fantastic store manager we were very lucky to find.

Store 3

Then looking from the main counter over the card display case and toward the bookstore part of the store.

Store 3b

Another image looking from the main counter toward the bookstore room.

Store 5

Headed along one toy shelf into the bookstore area.

Store 4

Books. Just one small part of the hardback area of the bookstore.

Store 6

More books.

Store 7a

A wall of MIP toys, one of many walls.

Store 7b

Looking into the comic and car room from the main counter. (Yes, that is a large Howdy Doody puppet.)

Store 8

Hotwheels, Matchbox, and others, all loose.

Store 9

Hotwheels and a huge wall of comics above them.

Store 10

A nifty model of a Saturn Five Rocket that Steve built that we have up on the top of one shelf in the comic book room. Again, thanks, Steve, for letting us keep that for display.

Store 11

Some misc cars looking back at the main counter.

Thanks again, Steve, for the great photos.

And that’s a rough tour. It’s been fun, still lots of work to do, but tonight I get back to writing.

The store is open and had a good first day yesterday. Great fun.

And one last picture of me after fighting an “Open” banner (to put down on the highway) into existence with two stops at Ace Hardware, three stops at a kite shop, and an hour of fighting and taping. I am signaling touchdown! Meaning success. (grin)

Store 1

June Online Workshops

JUNE ONLINE WORKSHOPS

All of the June Online Workshops marked below have openings. Click the workshop tab above for description and sign-up or go to www.wmgpublishingworkshops.com.

Each regular workshop is six weeks long and takes about 3-4 hours per week to do at your own pace and your own time. All workshops except Teams in Fiction are limited to just five writers. Teams in Fiction is a brand new craft workshop.

All workshops have openings.

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 … Teams in Fiction
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

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

Up Too Early

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Up Too Early

Went to bed at 5:30 a.m. and was back up at 8:30 a.m.

Now that is just silly, but we got the new store open. Somebody asked me why I was up so early and I said “It’s not often you open a store.”

Pictures soon.

————-

The Day

At the new store at 9 a.m. and worked there until I went off for a lunch meeting at 2 p.m.  Then back to the store until Kris and I walked to dinner to meet another professional writer.

Then home for a nap that felt like it almost killed me after only three hours of sleep, then back to the store, then home to veg in front of the television.

Wanted to get back to writing tonight, but alas, one more day.

—————

Online Workshops

June online workshops all have openings, even the new Teams in Fiction workshop.

——————

Totals For Year 3, Month 10, Day 25

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 980

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

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

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

— E-mail: 8 e-mails. Approx. 600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 515 e-mails. Approx. 34,100 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 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.)

 

Some Fantastic Writing Books!

Writing Bundle

Folks, there is a new writing bundle that just started with ten writing books. Two are mine. Another by Kris, another by Lawrence Block, another by Gerald Weinberg, another by JoAnna Penn, and so on.

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Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one. I’ve read all but two of these books and trust me, they are worth a lot more than what you would pay in this bundle. Those of you who want to learn, this is the cheapest education you can get from people who know what they are talking about.

The Write Stuff 2016 Bundle

Here is Kris’s blog about the bundle:

The Write Stuff 2016

(by Kristine Kathryn Rusch)

 Hundreds of writing books get published every year, and most of those books are written by people who have written…a book on writing. I kid you not. These people have a method or a scheme or they teach a writing class—even though I have no idea how they get those gigs. (Okay, I do. They get an MFA, which universities seem to think is more important than actual writing experience.)

Those writing books have nothing in common with the writing books in this bundle. Together, the authors of the books in The Write Stuff Bundle 2016 have more than two-hundred years of writing experience, and have contributed more than five hundred award-winning and bestselling books (fiction and nonfiction) to the world of literature.

We know writing, the writing life, and what makes a writing career. And we want to share it all with you.

Even though the books in this bundle discuss craft, including one of the classic writing books of all time, most of the books you’ll find here explore the career killers, things like how to put butt in chair on a regular basis, how to organize your business career, and the all-important (at least to me) how to make a living as a writer.

So if you are a writer, or are simply dreaming of becoming a writer, this bundle is for you.

The bundle has two tiers. If you spend a minimum of five dollars, you get a great writer’s toolkit composed of The Fieldstone Method: Weinberg on Writing, Stages of a Fiction Writer, The Rational Writer, Business For Breakfast, and How To Negotiate Anything.

But I’d recommend that you spend a minimum of fifteen dollars, so that you can get those books plus these invaluable books: Writing The Novel From Plot To Print To Pixel, Heinlein’s Rules, Creating an Online Presence, The Writer’s Business Plan, and How To Make a Living From Your Writing.

With these ten books, you’re set. Your writing career will move up a notch, and you’ll find answers to questions you didn’t even know you had.

And since we’re discussing learning here, share some of that spirit of education by donating a few dollars to The Pearl Foundation. The Pearl Foundation, promotes education by endowing scholarships. The scholarships focus on returning students, who have been away from school for more than five years. Those students need a lot of financial assistance because they often have families, mortgages, and all those other expenses of adulthood.

So…get an education while giving an education. Pick up The Write Stuff 2016—and have fun!

Lawrence Block:

As Lawrence Block tells you in this classic writing book, you don’t need to read writing books to become a successful author. But books like Writing The Novel From Plot To Print To Pixel certainly help. I read the 1980s version of this book, before pixels, and this year had the opportunity to read the volume again, with the revised material. I’ve been writing for 30-some years, and I still learned new things from this book. If you only have time to read one book in this bundle this summer, this is the book to read.

Dean Wesley Smith, Heinlein’s Rules

Dean Wesley Smith’s writing books usually start from a statement on his daily writing blog or from a question from his readers. Dean first quoted Robert Heinlein’s Rules For Writers a few years ago, and most of his readers shuddered. Because Heinlein’s rules seem so simple, and yet they’re incredibly hard to achieve. Dean explores how to make these rules, first published in 1947, work for the modern writer. If you follow these rules—as I have for my entire career—you will find success. Use Dean’s tricks to stay the path, and your success will multiply.

Dean Wesley Smith, Stages of a Fiction Writer

I love this book, partly for its back story. Dean first explored the stages of a fiction writer back in the 1990s, at an informal writing workshop that met at a local restaurant. His exploration of the stages angered half the writers in the room. Those writers booted him out of the workshop because he dared challenge their cozy little writing worlds. Where are those writers now, you might ask? You got me. Because none of them are professional writers. For all I know, they’re still meeting in that same restaurant on Tuesday nights, talking about stories they’ll never publish.

If you want to know where you stand in the stages of a fiction writer’s career, read this book. If a bit of controversy bothers you, skip this one. Because it’ll make you question everything you’ve ever known about writing.

Gerald Weinberg

Gerald Weinberg self-published before self-publishing was cool. He’s been supporting himself on his writing since the 1960s, and with only a few exceptions, he’s been his own publisher. Jerry isn’t just a writer. He’s also one of the foremost experts in computer science. He was inducted into the Computer Hall of Fame the same year Bill Gates was. Jerry’s also consulted for Fortune 500 companies. Explaining complicated tasks is one of Jerry’s great skills. So when he turned his attention on explaining how writers work, he came up with one of the best guides for writing I’ve seen. For fiction and nonfiction writers alike, Weinberg on Writing works on every level.

Leah Cutter

Leah Cutter excels at finding the right question to ask at the right time. Her Business For Breakfast series explores all sorts of questions in a short essay format that you can read, say, at breakfast. If you’re thinking of publishing your own work, then this book will lead you in the right direction. If you’ve already published your own work, this little book will help you tweak your process. It’s a little gem that you can return to over and over again, as your publishing career expands.

Cat Rambo

I’ve recommended Cat Rambo’s Creating An Online Presence for years now. Writers hear all the time that they need to promote, promote, promote, and they need to do so online. Cat makes online promotion not only understandable, but easy—something a writer can do while writing, instead of giving up writing time to be a social media butterfly. Updated just in time for this bundle, Creating An Online Presence contains the latest in everything online that writers need to know.

JoAnna Penn

When JoAnna Penn’s How To Make a Living With Your Writing came out, it became one of the most talked about writing books of the year. She explores how she went from “cubicle slave” to making six-figures annually on her writing, and she does so in ways that any writer who wants to can replicate. No guarantee, of course, that you’ll earn as much as she does, but your days in the cubicle mines will end if you put fingers to the keys the way that JoAnna did.

Rusch, How To Negotiate Anything

I’m a shy person who dislikes confrontation, yet I’ve negotiated my own contracts since college. Why? Because no one cares about my business as much as I do. I’ve learned how to leverage my shyness into a method that will work for anyone who says they can’t negotiate. This little book has outsold almost every nonfiction book I’ve written, and people use it a lot, not just for publishing matters, but for other parts of their life such as buying cars. If you believe you can’t negotiate anything, try this little book and see if it changes your mind.

Mindy Klasky

The description of this book uses a phrase that makes my little creative brain tremble. She tells writers how to “project manage” their careers. I approached this book with great fear and came away feeling empowered. I don’t like spreadsheets or time management cards, and yet this book taught me how to use them all to improve my writing business. Those of you with engineering brains will love this book. Those of you who hide when someone mentions data and numbers will help you improve your writing business without making your head hurt.

Tonya D. Price

I’ve known Tonya Price for a long time. When she told me in February that she wanted to write a book on business plans for writers, I asked her if she could have it done by May. Of course she could, she said, and she did.

I jumped on this book because Tonya has consulted with small business startups for decades. I’ve wanted to know her secrets since she first told me what she did, years ago, at a writing workshop, when she was just starting out as a writer. She combines all her skills here, taking tricks that have worked in the business world and applying them to writing. You won’t want to miss this book. Period.

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The Day

Lots and lots of running around. Store opens in about five hours and I’m going to be there.

Also, the little cat survived the surgery and is now home. I’m going to give her some food shortly before going to get a few hours sleep.

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Online Workshops

June online workshops all have openings, even the new Teams in Fiction workshop.

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Patreon Supporters and Smith’s Monthly Subscribers

You all should have gotten issue #30 of Smith’s Monthly. If not, let me know.

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Totals For Year 3, Month 10, Day 24

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 979

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

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

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 11,000 words

— E-mail: 31 e-mails. Approx. 2,900 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 507 e-mails. Approx. 33,500 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 Covers

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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.)

 

The Voice

The Voice

If you did not watch the finals on The Voice tonight, you missed not only some amazing, stunning music, but some good writing moments. And I’m not talking about the original songs they wrote. More below in the topic of the night.

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The Day

Lots and lots of running around, took the stray cat to the vet, left her for surgery tomorrow. She might not make it through, but it’s the best choice we and two vets think she has in making it. I’ll let you know.

Spent a lot of time today fighting glass shelves over three windows into place in the new store. Also a ton of work on workshop stuff. A fun day except for the vet stuff.

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Online Workshops

June online workshops all have openings, even the new Teams in Fiction workshop.

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Patreon Supporters and Smith’s Monthly Subscribers

You all should have gotten issue #30 of Smith’s Monthly today. If not, let me know.

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Topic of the Night: The Voice

Tonight one of the best music programs on television happened. The four finalists on The Voice are all top talents. Any of them would have won any other season. Just stunning. All full professionals.

And watching them all sing with their coaches was something special as well.

But two things happened that just had me laughing because I have said the same things so many times here. So many, many, many times.

First off, one of the contestants sang a song about taking control. It was an original that she and her coach did and it was because all the way through the season she and her coach had been working on her taking control of her own music, her own career, everything.

That sound familiar here? I am constantly pushing writers to take control, not give away control because of fear.

But the best moment for writers was when Adam told how his contestant is flat enjoying doing what he is doing. And that’ clear listening and watching the contestant play and sing. He’s having fun. And Adam was having fun watching him and everyone was having fun as well.

But the very last pitch Adam gave was how it was so refreshing to have a musician just having a blast on the show, enjoying every moment of it. The contestant is in his 40s and has been playing gigs over 200 times a year for twenty plus years.

And now, after all that time, he finds himself singing and playing for millions and millions. Any wonder he’s having fun? He knows where he has been and now where he is going, even if he doesn’t win.

But the key is the fun. You will understand completely what I have been saying over and over if you watch the finals of The Voice. Lots of great writing learning comes from that show, but tonight was even more.

Take control and have fun. It really is the key to so many things in this art of writing and the business of publishing.

Watch the finals of The Voice and you’ll understand even more what I mean.

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Totals For Year 3, Month 10, Day 23

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 978

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

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

— Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 10,700 words

— E-mail: 29 e-mails. Approx. 1,800 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 476 e-mails. Approx. 30,600 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 Covers

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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.)

Three New Smith’s Monthly Titles

Three New Smith’s Monthly Titles

Monday, the third issue in one week of Smith’s Monthly will go out. It won’t get me completely caught up yet, but getting closer. Issue #28 went out last Monday to subscribers and Patreon supporters. Issue #29 went out Friday. Issue #30 will go out  today (Monday).

The reason for the delay was me, and not on the writing side. So the wonderful folks at WMG convinced me to give up where I was getting delayed slowly over the winter and just let me focus on the new store and then writing.

Thanks, Allyson, Judy, and Dayle for making these three issues possible so quickly.

Now it’s up to me and the writing. I like that.(grin)

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The Day

Great writer’s meeting up at the WMG offices and then worked at the store both before and after dinner and then did the assignments for the workshops. A fun day, actually.

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Online Workshops

June online workshops all have openings, including the new Teams in Fiction workshop. We are halfway though the month. The list in June is a good one and so is the list in July. And note the July workshops don’t start until well after the 4th.

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Topic of the Night: 30th Issue

Tomorrow (later today) the 30th issue of Smith’s Monthly will come out. Now I thought that completely filling my own 70,000 word magazine every month was flat crazy. That’s about the size of a normal Asimov’s or Analog Magazine. Never expected it to go thirty issues and still be going strong.

But I managed it, and will soon have #31 put together. Every issue has had a novel in it. Every issue had parts of one or two serial novels in it. And every issue had at least four or more short stories in it. Plus other stuff.

There is no limitation to genre, although I haven’t put in any of my real horror stories yet. I might layer them through later on. And I haven’t put in any of the erotica I wrote for a time way back, although I did fix one story and one novel to take out the graphic sex and just leave the story. I doubt I will ever put in stories like “The Sexual Voyage of the Starship Shirley.”

So it has been thirty issues.

Over the next fall, I’ll be putting together some bundles with numbers of issues, like all the issues with the Thunder Mountain books, and so on. And I will offer a set discount price for anyone who wants to get all of them at once. Stay tuned for all of that.

And, of course, all back issues are for sale at any point both in paper and electronic.

The first of August three years ago was when I announced this crazy project and the first issue came out in October, 2013. I have, in just the pages of my own magazine, written more than most authors do in entire careers. Thirty novels, over 130 short stories, and so on.

The reason I could even think of doing this project was the new world of publishing. Could you imagine a mid-list pulp writer like me offering this project to a traditional publisher? Snort.  I might have killed an editor from laughing.

But yet the project has been very successful. Maybe not New York accountant-level of successful, but I’m damn happy with it.

So over this next week I will get the magazine web site updated and get back to finishing the next novel. Two novels in June and the second coming of Stories from July in July. (Or as I like to call it, “Tempting Fate.”)

And I will, once again, blog about the stories as I do them every day.

31 stories in July. And it will be right about then that Issue #31 of Smith’s Monthly will come out.

I like how that has worked out.

So I hope some of you will either subscribe or be a Patreon supporter. There is no shortage of my stuff to read and now a lot of it is under one title: Smith’s Monthly.

And for those of you who have subscribed or been a supporter on Patreon, I want to say thanks! It has made the ride really fun for me.

Thirty issues… Who knew?

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Totals For Year 3, Month 10, Day 22

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 977

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

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

— Blog Posts: 200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 10,300 words

— E-mail: 14 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 447 e-mails. Approx. 28,800 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 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.)

My Newsletter Sign-Up



Current Bundle

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

So if you want to read two of my books about the business of writing, you can get it in a bundle with eight other great books from other writers from Storybundle. Click on image to go to the bundle.

Smith’s Monthly Subscriptions

Smith's Monthly, an original fiction magazine featuring every month a full novel, short fiction, serial adventures, and nonfiction now available for subscriptions.

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 #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 … Teams in Fiction
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 … Teams in Fiction

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 … Teams in Fiction
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

My Publisher

WMG Publishing Inc. is now my major publisher of all my coming novels, collections, and short stories.

Support This Blog On Patreon

I now have a Patreon page with some nifty rewards for your monthly support.

Just click on the image to go to my new Patreon page.