Fun Day

 

FUN DAY

Got a bunch of stuff done and moving forward. Always a fun day when that happens.

——-

THE DAY

Did errands, then made it to WMG Publishing in time to head out walking with a couple of other writers. Great discussions. Thanks, guys.

Home to nap, then dinner and dishes and laundry. I also read about twenty stories for the upcoming workshop. And I also managed to do about 2,000 words on the novel. Just puttering along on that one, since I have been distracted this week on all the new store stuff. Tomorrow is another busy construction day as well.

———–

March Online Workshops Starting Up

All of the March Online Workshops 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.

———

Topic of the Night: Kris’s Blog and A New Online Workshop Announced

On this week’s Business Musings blog, Kris did a great post about what she called “Serious Writer Voice” which is what I call dull and same. Read her post and the comments if you haven’t. Might start to wake you up on some stuff.

Business Musings: Serious Writer Voice

Well, after reading the comments on Kris’s blog and the people asking how to fix the problem Kris talks about (and it is very real, folks, very real), I went to her and we decided to bring out a workshop we had been thinking about doing for some time.

Author Voice Workshop. Details in the post above this.

Now, an author’s own voice is difficult to see for all of us, impossible unless you know exactly how to look for it. And I have always said that, even though I ghosted novels for other writers.

So how did I ghost novels for other writers so that their fans didn’t know someone else wrote it. How did I hide my own author voice and copy another author’s voice? Well, there are ways.

And by learning some of these ways, you can learn how to let your own author voice free and kill the problem that Kris was talking about in her blog. And by killing that problem, you will sell more to both editors and readers.

So Author Voice Online Workshop is now officially announced in the post above. This will be a stunner of a workshop for most people.

And it is for all levels. Even if you don’t yet have the skills in your craft to control your author voice, you need to understand and be aware it is there. So this workshop is for all levels, beginners to advanced craft people.

This is a workshop where every week of the six weeks you will be saying, “I didn’t know that was possible.” Awareness is a powerful tool in writing. And knowing techniques is powerful at any level.

So great job, those of you who commented on Kris’s blog today. You got us going on this important workshop once again. I hope it will help some of you move forward.

——

The Writing of Dead Hand: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery

(List shortened down because I have a hunch this is going to take some more days to finish. And I am fairly certain this book will not end up as long as the words I have put into it. Normal for writing a puzzle mystery into the dark.)

Day 17.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 30,250 words.
Day 18.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 32,400 words.
Day 19.. 1,700 words.  Total words so far… 34,100 words.
Day 20.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 35,200 words.
Day 21.. 1,050 words.  Total words so far… 36,250 words.
Day 22.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 38,300 words.
Day 23.. 1,850 words.  Total words so far… 40,150 words.
Day 24.. 3,950 words.  Total words so far… 44,100 words.
Day 25.. 2,000 words.  Total words so far… 46,100 words.

——

Totals For Year 3, Month 7, Day 4

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 867

— Daily Fiction: 2,000 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 2,000 words  

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

— Blog Posts: 1,300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 3,900 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails.  Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 84 e-mails. Approx. 3,300 words

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

ONE READER: New and Old World

I have been been just sort of thinking through different aspects of the new world of publishing compared to the old world. And adding in what is success in this new world and time and other factors.

It has been kind of fun and I hope to continue approaching this from different angles at times. Not all the time, just at times.

So for a moment here, I want to be clear on the summary of some of the clear differences between when I sold my first novel in 1987 (not first novel written) and the world now.

First, what was happening thirty years ago for me.

— For 13 years before 1987, I had been working on my writing and submitting my stories and a couple of novels. I knew it was going to take that long and I was fine with it most of the time.

(Note: I will be serializing my first novel sold coming up in Smith’s Monthly with only a couple of character names changed. Nothing rewritten at all. So anyone supporting me on Patreon or subscribing to Smith’s Monthly will get that novel to see how far I have come since 1987. (grin) It’s still a pretty fine book, which surprised me.)

— I sold my first novel to one reader in 1987. At that point Kris was the only other person who had read it. So on the day I got to go out and party after the editor called, it was because two people had read the book. No one else read the book for 14 months.

— In 1987 I gave no thought to readers. Not one thought. And I didn’t know until 1990 or so how many copies the first book had actually sold. And they were copies sold, not readers. Never occurred to me, not once, to think of those books sold as readers three years later. They were just copies sold on a royalty report. Just as I never think about the 17 million copies of my books I have in print as 17 million readers buying my books. I clearly have a disconnect that still comes from that old world.

— Over the years of the one hundred plus novels I sold in traditional publishing, I had, in my mind, 14 readers, meaning editors who bought those one hundred plus novels. That’s right, I sold and focused all my attention on 14 readers. Period. Over an entire twenty year period. (Sounds too strange to believe in this modern world, doesn’t it? But it was true.)

— We mostly all had agents back then, but they mostly never sold books for us. We sold our own books to editors, agents just got the coffee. And they were bill collectors when we were owed money. In other words, agents were nothing more than an employee we used when we needed something. Now, in this new world, agents are completely worthless and have god complexes that are head-shaking.

— It never once occurred to me to promote my books to readers or anywhere else for that matter. That was the publisher’s job. I’ll bet many of my long-term writer friends remember me saying that in the mid-nineties as the writer promotion phase started to kick in. I hated that, and clearly from the lack of book listings on this site, still have trouble with it. (grin) My job was to sell to my few editor readers and nothing else really mattered.

— Self-publishing back then was called “Vanity Publishing” and it was never considered by anyone who was serious. Now writers of all levels start their own presses and indie publish some if not all of their work.

— Reviews, unless in a major trade magazine, were to be ignored. No writer cared and no writer paid much attention to reviews. And readers gave reviews by asking a writer to sign a book at a convention. Or in a fanzine if they were dedicated inside a genre.

— Since I liked to write and wrote too much for one genre or one publisher, I used a lot of pen names and wrote a lot of media and some ghost novels. I had no choice if I wanted to write more than one book a year. I didn’t care about getting any recognition as long as the check cleared and I got to have fun writing. (Granted, writing Trek, Spider-Man, X-Men, Men in Black, and other fun stuff wasn’t the hardest job on the planet. (grin)) I often call myself one of the most read unknown writer around.

NOW THE SHIFT TO THE NEW WORLD

— One reader is great, but now we all focus on lots of readers and how to get readers to pick up our books and give them a chance. That’s all most of us ask, is that a reader give our book a few paragraphs of a chance and let us do the rest with our stories. But the focus is on the people who spend money for the book, not some editor. Success is having lots of fans and readers.

—Focus of Success in Old World… Selling to one person.
—Focus of Success in New World… Selling to lots of readers.

— Promotion to readers in some form or another is required of the writer. Newsletters, blogs, Facebook, and on and on. Some of us don’t do much, but try to do more. Others take it too far and let it get in the way of the writing. The modern world is all a balance on promotion.

—Focus of Promotion in Old World… Publisher does all promotion. Writers might do a tour if asked and it was paid for by the publisher.
—Focus of Promotion in New World… Writer does everything, even when traditionally published. And pays for everything. 

— Learning and expectations of success had time buffers. No one I knew coming into writing when I did thought it would be a one year thing. Or even five years. We all wanted to hit big, but even after selling a novel, we knew it would be years before it came out and we knew sales numbers. And making a living with your fiction writing was a dream in the far future.

—Focus of Time in Old World… Measured in decades.
—Focus of Time in New World… Measured by the latest book and the daily sales reports.

There are so many smeller differences as well now, some of which I have tried to go over. For example, in 1987 money came in large chunks six months or longer apart. Now money flows to writers like a paycheck every month. I am still not used to that change, but am not complaining.

Reviews matter in the strangest ways now, often to the ability to get into some promotion sites. And readers are doing the reviewing for the most part. At least the reviews that matter to other readers.

And pen names now are just damn silly unless you already have an established name or a personal reason for the pen name. All readers and sales look for author names. So now writers like me who don’t much care about recognition but want readers to find their work no matter what name is on the cover are forced to learn promotion, at least the basics, and move everything to just one or two names.

WHY TALK ABOUT THIS IN DIFFERENT WAYS???

Simply because so much of this new world is governed by silly crap from the old world. And almost all the myths of writing come from that old world. (New myths are building, like the idea that every book must be in a series, but another topic.)

And also, the younger writers coming in now and thinking they can make a living at fiction writing in a year or two just don’t know any history or have respect for an international profession. (Granted, sometimes not knowing something is better, but in a major industry, not so much.)

And now different aspects of being a small business are important. All writers were always good at business if they lasted for a few decades, but now it is critical for even beginners.

And the myth of going to traditional publishing is better is still very, very strong. And agents still go out there trolling for the uniformed young writers, hoping to strike gold.

So to try to be clear here is why I revisit this topic regularly.

Honestly, I am trying to clear out my old thinking as well, and to do that, I ramble here.

I make more money than I ever did in traditional publishing, I get to write what I want when I want and not worry about one person liking it or not, but instead letting readers decide, as it should be.

And I am constantly learning and am constantly excited about learning. Both craft and business.

So now the thought of going back to the “good old days” of 1987 publishing makes me just shudder. I love this new world and want my thinking to be completely in this new world.

And to do that, there are a lot of myths, bad hangovers, and stupidity left from that old world that I need to clear out.

One more night of trying to clear it. (grin) Thanks for listening to me ramble.

Big Move Day

 

BIG MOVE DAY

Spent all day, from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. working up at WMG publishing offices moving stuff with the movers and Josh to get the new store into place. Still months away, but we made huge progress this week.

——-

THE DAY

All moving, then e-mail when I got home and a nap. Kris did dinner and I watched a ton of television tonight to just rest.

———–

Marh Online Workshops Starting Up

All of the March Online Workshops 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.

———

Topic of the Night: One Reader

Above this, me rambling about the differences in the two cultures of writing from when i started to now. I’ll get this out of my system pretty soon.

——

The Writing of Dead Hand: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery

(List shortened down because I have a hunch this is going to take some more days to finish. And I am fairly certain this book will not end up as long as the words I have put into it. Normal for writing a puzzle mystery into the dark.)

Day 17.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 30,250 words.
Day 18.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 32,400 words.
Day 19.. 1,700 words.  Total words so far… 34,100 words.
Day 20.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 35,200 words.
Day 21.. 1,050 words.  Total words so far… 36,250 words.
Day 22.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 38,300 words.
Day 23.. 1,850 words.  Total words so far… 40,150 words.
Day 24.. 3,950 words.  Total words so far… 44,100 words.

——

Totals For Year 3, Month 7, Day 3

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 866

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

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

— Blog Posts: 1,700 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 2,600 words

— E-mail: 13 e-mails.  Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 73 e-mails. Approx. 2,900 words

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

Last Day on February Online Workshops

 

LAST DAY FOR FEBRUARY WORKSHOPS

Still time to jump into the workshops. One more day.

——-

THE DAY

Put it this way, lots of things went screwy today, but still got some work done and some steps and some manuscripts read.

And I got all the workshop assignments done and out.

So not the day I had planned, but still forward progress. I have to be up early tomorrow, so with luck I’ll get to writing tomorrow night.

———–

February Online Workshops Starting Now!!

All of the February 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 have openings.

Class #11… Feb 1st … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Feb 1st … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Feb 1st … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #14… Feb 1st … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Feb 2nd … Character Development
Class #16… Feb 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Feb 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Feb 3rd … Designing Covers
Class #19… Feb 3rd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Feb 3rd … How to Write Science Fiction

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

———

Topic of the Night: Had Two Good Ones

They will be tomorrow and the next day. Too late in the evening tonight to do either of them justice considering when I have to get up.

——

The Writing of Dead Hand: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery

(List shortened down because I have a hunch this is going to take some more days to finish. And I am fairly certain this book will not end up as long as the words I have put into it. Normal for writing a puzzle mystery into the dark.)

Day 17.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 30,250 words.
Day 18.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 32,400 words.
Day 19.. 1,700 words.  Total words so far… 34,100 words.
Day 20.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 35,200 words.
Day 21.. 1,050 words.  Total words so far… 36,250 words.
Day 22.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 38,300 words.
Day 23.. 1,850 words.  Total words so far… 40,150 words.
Day 24.. 3,950 words.  Total words so far… 44,100 words.

——

Totals For Year 3, Month 7, Day 2

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 866

— 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:900 words

— E-mail: 28 e-mails.  Approx. 1,100 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 60 e-mails. Approx. 2,500 words

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

Monday Fun And Same Topic

 

MONDAY FUN AND SAME TOPIC

First day of the month is also a Monday. Nothing good can come of that when you are the CFO of a business. (grin)

——-

THE DAY

Made it to the WMG offices by 4 p.m. after more errands than I care to think about or try to remember now. Monday errands.

Worked mostly on new store stuff. Got movers coming on Wednesday afternoon, so today and tomorrow will be getting ready for the movers to come in and shift things around one more time.

Building a new store from scratch in the middle of all the inventory is a real puzzle, and actually a lot of fun and work. We are still a couple of months away, but it feels like things are coming together.

Then home to cook dinner around 7 p.m., do e-mail, watch news for a while, then workshop assignments.

Got all that done around midnight, then went to get ready to start reading stories for the anthology workshop. Somewhere north of 250 stories to read this month, all by professional writers.  Going to be great fun.

By the time I got all that worked around (Kris has been printing them all off slowly), I went to watch some television, then back to reading. Finally got the number I wanted to read done about 2:30 a.m. Decided to call it a day and get some sleep.

———–

February Online Workshops Starting Now!!

All of the February 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 have openings.

Class #11… Feb 1st … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Feb 1st … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Feb 1st … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #14… Feb 1st … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Feb 2nd … Character Development
Class #16… Feb 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Feb 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Feb 3rd … Designing Covers
Class #19… Feb 3rd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Feb 3rd … How to Write Science Fiction

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

———

Topic of the Night: Still On Same Topic

On and off over the last few months, I have talked here in these topics about the difficulty in perception of success in this new world compared to the old world.

What I have been struggling with is the very definition of success now in writing fiction and publishing. And how to even measure it in any real way.

For example: In the old world, success was measured in the early years of a career by winning the game with the gatekeepers. You wrote something and pounded on the doors enough that eventually some editor said, “Yes, your story is good enough and it fits what I was looking for.”

That was a success. And for the writers in the coming anthology workshop, I am sure that will still be a success when one of the editors wants to buy a story. Or if I want to buy one for the book I am editing. (I am a gatekeeper, yes.)

For years and years in the old days of building a career, the celebrations were based on the “selling” of a book. Success was the sale to one person. Readers in those days were just assumed. (Weird, but true.)

Then, after becoming a freelance writer, the success became staying a freelancer. That wasn’t as defined as a sale, but it had a real feeling about it that was measured by the year.

I was never one for measuring success by awards since I seldom was nominated for one and always lost them (with rare exceptions). The kinds of stuff I wrote didn’t get awards. Nature of media and ghost books. (grin)

Now here we are in this new world where writers are in a vast hurry and are measuring success (and more often failure) on a few sales to readers of just a few books. And how much money they can make from Amazon. But lacking any other measuring point, that’s logical I suppose. There are no gatekeepers to push against to feel the success of that win.

So money seems to be a logical way to measure things in this new world.

But there is where I also run into a problem from my past.

I wrote one book for $20,000 and it sold 1.7 million copies. I wrote another book for $30,000 and it sold just under 700 copies. And I got paid over $45,000 for writing yet another book that has never seen the light of day.

So which book was the most successful by using money as a measuring stick???

See why I am looking for more than just money to measure success in this new world.

So I have no answers yet, but this topic keeps coming up and I have a hunch I’m going to be doing more articles on it as this spring goes by, mulling this over, thinking of how to wrap an old mind around a new world.

But I can say this without a doubt. I am making more money now than I ever made in traditional publishing and I am happier by a long, long ways. But the happiness isn’t coming from the money, but from my ability to write what I want. The money is just following.

So more to come on this topic.

——

The Writing of Dead Hand: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery

(List shortened down because I have a hunch this is going to take some more days to finish. And I am fairly certain this book will not end up as long as the words I have put into it. Normal for writing a puzzle mystery into the dark.)

Day 17.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 30,250 words.
Day 18.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 32,400 words.
Day 19.. 1,700 words.  Total words so far… 34,100 words.
Day 20.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 35,200 words.
Day 21.. 1,050 words.  Total words so far… 36,250 words.
Day 22.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 38,300 words.
Day 23.. 1,850 words.  Total words so far… 40,150 words.
Day 24.. 3,950 words.  Total words so far… 44,100 words.

——

Totals For Year 3, Month 7, Day 1 (Month totals reset)

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 865

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

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

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

— E-mail: 32 e-mails.  Approx. 1,400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 32 e-mails. Approx. 1,400 words

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

March Online Workshops Now Available

March Online Workshops Available

All of the March 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 have openings.

Class #21… Mar 7th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #22… Mar 7th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #23… Mar 7th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #24… Mar 7th … Plotting With Depth
Class #25… Mar 8th … Character Development
Class #26… Mar 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #27… Mar 8th … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #28… Mar 9th … Cliffhangers
Class #29… Mar 9th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #30… Mar 9th … Advanced Depth

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

New Month Starting

 

NEW MONTH STARTING

Last night of January and I finally got the novel going again.

——-

THE DAY

Made it to the WMG store around 1 p.m., and worked there until the Sunday writer lunch at 2 p.m. Great conversations. Then back to work until around 6 p.m. on the new store when I headed to the grocery store and home to cook dinner.

Then got in here and got the assignments done by around 9 p.m.  Way early. So over to the writing chair I went and managed by 10 p.m. exactly 1,050 words.

Took a break, then by 11 p.m. I had another 1,100 words.

Some television on a break, then back in here a little after midnight to send off the anthology stories to all the editors and get all the writers coming to the coast anthology workshop their reading instructions.

Done with that around 1:30 a.m. and headed after a break back to my writing chair. One more session of 1,100 words by 2:30 a.m., took a break then one more session of 700 words before calling it a night.

3,950 words. Novel is back moving again. Feels great.

———–

February Online Workshops Starting Now!!

All of the February 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 have openings.

Class #11… Feb 1st … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Feb 1st … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Feb 1st … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #14… Feb 1st … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Feb 2nd … Character Development
Class #16… Feb 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Feb 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Feb 3rd … Designing Covers
Class #19… Feb 3rd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Feb 3rd … How to Write Science Fiction

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

———

Topic of the Night: The Last Few Months

For those who just drop by and pay little attention except for topics of the night, I started Dead Hand back in November. That’s right, and it’s now February.

And that seems to be pretty standard for me in the dead of winter. By keeping track over the last few years of all this, the pattern is very clear. I don’t get much done in December and January.

And over the last three years I have come to hate December. Not because of the Christmas stuff, but because December just seems to be when everything jumps off the rails.

Now, am I really upset that a novel I started back in November is taking this long? Nope.

Folks, last year I wrote 15 books. I think I’m doing all right, and I expect this year to be about the same, maybe better.

So what about the short story challenge I started in January? Well, that is put on hold until July 1st. I was going to try to fight upstream on that in January to see if the challenge would motivate me enough to break the issues of the month, but nope, didn’t get a good start with only two stories and a couple other partial stories, then vacation, then got sick.

So tomorrow is another month.

I love how months just click along giving us all a day to restart. The problem most writers have is that they don’t use the first of the months to restart or recharge. I do.

For for me, I expect February to be a decent month. Not great because of focus on building the new store and on the big workshop coming up. But decent.

And then after the workshop I hope to restart again in March, with also just another decent month expected. In fact, I don’t expect any really big months ahead until May. Just too many distractions.

So what will February bring?

The first newsletter going out in a few days with some fun stuff. Two issues of Smith’s Monthly going out to subscribers plus Patreon supporters. Also, a special gift to my Patreon supporters.

I expect to be closer on getting the final book pages done on this site. Not all the way, but closer.

And I expect to have the app closer that I am playing with.

And I expect to start the free short stories in March here on this site, after the big workshop.

So looking ahead at a reset. Kind of fun and really fun to be back up and writing strongly on the latest Cold Poker Gang twisted mystery.

I hope you all made your goals in January and are resetting for February.

Onward.

——

The Writing of Dead Hand: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery

(List shortened down because I have a hunch this is going to take some more days to finish. And I am fairly certain this book will not end up as long as the words I have put into it. Normal for writing a puzzle mystery into the dark.)

Day 17.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 30,250 words.
Day 18.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 32,400 words.
Day 19.. 1,700 words.  Total words so far… 34,100 words.
Day 20.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 35,200 words.
Day 21.. 1,050 words.  Total words so far… 36,250 words.
Day 22.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 38,300 words.
Day 23.. 1,850 words.  Total words so far… 40,150 words.
Day 24.. 3,950 words.  Total words so far… 44,100 words.

——

Totals For Year 3, Month 6, Day 31

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 864

— Daily Fiction: 3,950 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 20,100 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,200 words 

— Blog Posts: 600 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 15,400 words

— E-mail: 27 e-mails.  (not counting letters to workshop folks) Approx. 1,900 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 586 e-mails. Approx. 25,800 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 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 Night Placeholder

 

SATURDAY NIGHT PLACEHOLDER

Tired, took the night off of everything but watching television.

——-

THE DAY

Spent the afternoon and into the early evening at the WMG offices working on Smith’s Monthly and shelves for the new store. Home to cook dinner.

Then e-mail and television and more television.

———–

February Online Workshops Start on February 1st!

That’s Monday!!!

All of the February 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 have openings.

Class #11… Feb 1st … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Feb 1st … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Feb 1st … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #14… Feb 1st … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Feb 2nd … Character Development
Class #16… Feb 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Feb 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Feb 3rd … Designing Covers
Class #19… Feb 3rd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Feb 3rd … How to Write Science Fiction

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

———

Topic of the Night: Nothing Tonight

Saturday night.

——

Totals For Year 3, Month 6, Day 30

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 863

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 16,150 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,200 words 

— Blog Posts: 100 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,900 words

— E-mail: 9 e-mails.  Approx. 300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 559 e-mails. Approx. 23,900 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 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.)

What I Do Not Believe

 

WHAT I DO NOT BELIEVE

Since I listed a number of things I do believe, figured I would list one or two things I do not believe about writing.

——-

THE DAY

Made it to the WMG store around 2 p.m., then home again, then to the snail mail, grocery store, and back to WMG offices to work on Smith’s Monthly and other things until around 6 p.m.

Home to take a nap, then cooked dinner, then got in here around 9 p.m. and got out all the letters for the February online workshops. (Still time to jump in. They start on Monday.)

Then more television, then back in here to write.

Went slow, but slowly making headway as in two sessions I managed 1,850 words with one break. I have a feeling when this thing breaks, I will have some big days to the end.

———–

February Online Workshops Start on February 1st!

That’s Monday!!!

All of the February 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 have openings.

Class #11… Feb 1st … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Feb 1st … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Feb 1st … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #14… Feb 1st … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Feb 2nd … Character Development
Class #16… Feb 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Feb 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Feb 3rd … Designing Covers
Class #19… Feb 3rd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Feb 3rd … How to Write Science Fiction

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

———

Topic of the Night: What I Do Not Believe

After the nice comments on last night’s topic, I thought I would add just a few negative beliefs, if there is such a thing. (grin) They stemmed from comments about the lottery.

1… I DO NOT believe that the writing profession is a gamble in any way or fashion. Sure, there are risks, and if you don’t treat it seriously and give it enough time, you are doomed to fail, even with early success. But that failure is not because writing is a gamble, it’s because you were stupid, unwilling to learn, or gave up.

2… I DO NOT believe you have to be naturally talented to become a professional writer in the old teacher definition of talent. I believe talent is nothing more than the measure of your skill at an exact point in time. Craft and business can be learned and when you do learn them, others will think of you as talented.

3… I DO NOT believe you have to be lucky to make it as a fiction writer. Ability to learn, ability to not give up, ability to tell stories you love to tell will be enough eventually, if you combine all that with a massive love of business. Luck is in service of the prepared. Granted, at points in time you might find yourself lucky or unlucky, but it all evens out over time as any professional poker player knows.

Just a few negative beliefs for a Friday night.

——

The Writing of Dead Hand: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery

(Shortened down because I have a hunch this is going to take some more days to finish.)

Day 11.. 3,200 words.  Total words so far… 19,000 words.
Day 12.. 2,100 words.  Total words so far… 21,100 words.
Day 13.. 1,050 words.  Total words so far… 22,150 words.
Day 14.. 2,300 words.  Total words so far… 24,450 words.
Day 15.. 1,500 words.  Total words so far… 25,950 words.
Day 16.. 3,200 words.  Total words so far… 29,150 words.
Day 17.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 30,250 words.
Day 18.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 32,400 words.
Day 19.. 1,700 words.  Total words so far… 34,100 words.
Day 20.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 35,200 words.
Day 21.. 1,050 words.  Total words so far… 36,250 words.
Day 22.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 38,300 words.
Day 23.. 1,850 words.  Total words so far… 40,150 words.

——

Totals For Year 3, Month 6, Day 29

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 862

— Daily Fiction: 1,850 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 16,150 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,200 words 

— Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,800 words

— E-mail: 18 e-mails.  (not counting letters to workshop folks) Approx. 700 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 550 e-mails. Approx. 23,600 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 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 Beliefs

 

SOME WRITING BELIEFS

Just trying to be clear on some of my beliefs. See below.

——-

THE DAY

Made it to the WMG offices around 2 p.m. for a meeting at 2:30 to work on planning the layout of the new store. Great fun.

At 4 p.m. went walking with two other professional writers. And yes, got my ten thousand steps today for the first time in over a week.

Back to WMG offices to work on moving the workshops and getting the February online workshops ready to go. First letters will go out late tomorrow night. Workshops start on Monday and still room in all of them.

Then to the grocery store, then home to cook dinner. Then a very long nap after trying to get started on the novel. Brain dead completely.

Some television, then back in here around 1 a.m. to try again. This time I finally got things moving. I wrote one section in about 40 minutes of 900 words.

Took a break, went back and wrote another 1,150 words in just under an hour.

So back up and running. Book finally returned to my head. So 2,050 words. I’ll take it.

And stopping now even though the night is early for me because for the second night in a row a storm is pounding us. The Oregon Coast is living up to its reputation this winter.

———–

February Online Workshops Start on February 1st!

That’s Less Than One Week Away!!!

All of the February 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 have openings.

Class #11… Feb 1st … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Feb 1st … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Feb 1st … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #14… Feb 1st … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Feb 2nd … Character Development
Class #16… Feb 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Feb 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Feb 3rd … Designing Covers
Class #19… Feb 3rd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Feb 3rd … How to Write Science Fiction

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

———

Topic of the Night: Writing Beliefs

After the comments and such from the last couple of days, I thought I should quickly just lay out my beliefs about writing that I hope are clear here most of the time.

1… I believe anyone with the desire and drive can learn how to write and sell professional level stories. It takes time, there are no shortcuts, but it is possible. Everything I talk about on this blog is toward long term career writers and helping writers make sane decisions in that direction.

2… I believe that education on business and craft is a continuing process that never ends for writers. Sadly, many writers get to a place where they think they don’t need to learn anymore, usually prefaced with some excuse like “it will hurt me.” I believe those writers are doomed in short order.

3… I believe writers should write what they want. If that is chasing the most recent fad, fine, if it is what the writer wants to write. But most times writing what we want is from our passion and often doesn’t match a recent trend in sales.

4… I believe that if you don’t quit, keep writing to passion, keep learning, eventually the money and career will come. The learning has to be in both the business and the craft.

5… I believe that any writer who wants to be taken care is a fool and will be taken care of eventually, but not in the way they want. If you don’t want to learn the business you want to work in, I believe you have passed from fool to pure idiot.

6… I believe a writer’s dreams are very, very important and worth time, money, and energy to help along. I believe that people around us who try to hold us back should be booted out the door, even if they are family. Sometimes a writer’s dreams, in my opinion, are worth more than family who want to hold you back.

7… I believe children are more important than anything, including your writing dreams. Pay attention to your children. You can write when they are gone. Writing will always be there, children will not be.

8… I believe in helping other writers move along the road they want to walk. I have no desire to have people walk the road I have walked. I did it my way in my time. Do it your own way in your time. That’s what I try to help you with.

9… I believe a writer should be paid for their time and skill and craft and years of learning. In the same breath, I do not think a writer should ever devalue their own work, even as a beginner. Actually, especially as a beginner.

10… I believe the saddest people on the planet are the people who have not had the courage to move toward their own dreams and have let crappy jobs and bad friends and family hold them back. Fear of learning, fear of change, fear of risk are tragic when they get in the way of chasing your dream.

All just my beliefs and opinions. For what they are worth.

——

The Writing of Dead Hand: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery

(Shortened down because I have a hunch this is going to take some more days to finish.)

Day 11.. 3,200 words.  Total words so far… 19,000 words.
Day 12.. 2,100 words.  Total words so far… 21,100 words.
Day 13.. 1,050 words.  Total words so far… 22,150 words.
Day 14.. 2,300 words.  Total words so far… 24,450 words.
Day 15.. 1,500 words.  Total words so far… 25,950 words.
Day 16.. 3,200 words.  Total words so far… 29,150 words.
Day 17.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 30,250 words.
Day 18.. 2,150 words.  Total words so far… 32,400 words.
Day 19.. 1,700 words.  Total words so far… 34,100 words.
Day 20.. 1,100 words.  Total words so far… 35,200 words.
Day 21.. 1,050 words.  Total words so far… 36,250 words.
Day 22.. 2,050 words.  Total words so far… 38,300 words.

——

Totals For Year 3, Month 6, Day 26

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 859

— Daily Fiction: 2,050 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 14,300 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,200 words 

— Blog Posts: 700 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,400 words

— E-mail: 14 e-mails.  Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 532 e-mails. Approx. 22,900 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 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



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-five 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 #21… Mar 7th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #22… Mar 7th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #23… Mar 7th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #24… Mar 7th … Plotting With Depth
Class #25… Mar 8th … Character Development
Class #26… Mar 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #27… Mar 8th … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #28… Mar 9th … Cliffhangers
Class #29… Mar 9th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #30... Mar 9th … Advanced Depth

Class #31… April 4th … Author Voice
Class #32… April 4th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #33… April 4th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #34… April 4th … Ideas into Stories
Class #35… April 5th … Character Development
Class #36… April 5th … Depth in Writing
Class #37… April 5th … Plotting With Depth
Class #38… April 6th … Designing Covers
Class #39… April 6th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #40… April 6th … Advanced Depth

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 … Pacing Your Novel
Class #50... May 4th … Advanced Depth

Class #51… June 6th …(to be announced)
Class #52… June 6th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #53… June 6th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
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 … Designing Covers
Class #59… June 8th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #60… June 8th … 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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Just click on the image to go to my new Patreon page.