70 Book Challenge,  Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

70 Publishing Challenge

Half Way There…

I turned 70 back in the middle of November of 2020 and set up a challenge for myself. Actually a number of challenges. One was to complete a marathon and I did that in late November. I plan on one or two more marathons this coming fall.

But I also sat up a publishing challenge for myself. I wanted to publish 70 major books (not counting individual short stories) with my name on the front cover.

I did an update back in January when I said I was way behind. Well, I am now caught up.

Granted, I only have twenty books published in five months, but as of this moment I have another 15 books done, turned in, and ready for publication on WMG Publishing schedule.

That’s 35 books, half of my challenge, in just five months. In other words, I am caught up and actually ahead. I needed to be at 35 published or turned in by the middle of May, which is six months. I made it in five. Actually a week ahead of five months.

And by my own deadlines, by the middle of May, I will have turned in two more Smith’s Monthly volumes, two more novels, two more collections, and another issue of Pulphouse Magazine. In fact, the novel and one volume of Smith’s Monthly will be turned in by Monday. That’s seven more and I am sure I am forgetting something I want to write or put together or already have.

And over the next month a lot of stuff will be published.

This just makes me happy for a bunch of reasons.

So many writers later in life slow down their writing and publishing. So many like Algis Budrys and Damon Knight, two of my mentors, wrote nothing in their later years, instead spending all their time teaching. I am going to write or edit, and publish over seventy books between the middle of November 2020 and the middle of November 2021.


That means I need to average right about 6 books per month.

And I am teaching to help new writers.

And I am exercising.

So when you think you can’t do something, just read this blog and ask yourself why not?

Think of it this way. If some 70-year-old guy can do it, so can you.

Or maybe half or a quarter of what I am doing. After all, you are younger.

Just saying.



    Congrats on this, Dean!

    The specter of age is where critical voice attacks me and pulls out all the dirty tricks.
    “You’re too old for this.” I hear it in my head every day. That’s why I make sure to start a new story IMMEDIATELY after typing “The End” on the one I just finished. Even if it’s late at night. Even if I just type out the first 300 words of a character in a setting with a problem.

    • dwsmith

      Too old for what? Writing is sitting alone in a room and moving your fingers. What is there to be too old for?

  • Mark Kuhn

    What I meant to say was that as I get older, and rotate back into the working world after my vaccines kick in, that I’m feeling too old for the work I used to do. So that’s why it’s important for me to continue writing.
    I obviously did not explain my sentiments very clearly at all.

  • Cheryl

    Summary: “So when you think you can’t do something, just read this blog and ask yourself why not?”

    You said it all right there.

    So thanks.

    Big thanks for that.

    Also, in postscript: Your DEPTH IN WRITING class is a knock-out that every writer should take. Was recommended to me by a writing group partner. Yeah. Thanks, Donna.

    Keep on, DWS. You’re kinda lighting the world on fire.

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Cheryl. When most read that statement they had one clear thought… “Well, he can do it but I can’t because… (fill in excuse).”

      I even heard one that basically said I could do it because I’m seventy and they are still young and a new writer. I loved that one. The person didn’t really understand what they had said.

      And thanks for the kind comments on the Depth in Writing class. That’s why we offer it every month because it tends to help writers jump ahead in their writing craft and fairly quickly sales. So thanks!