Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  Writing in Public

A Week of Different Posts: Day Three


Post Three of Seven Days

The week of hanging around with friends from a previous life and focusing only on short fiction is going on and I’m enjoying the time in a different routine. Always a good idea to break out at times. So for one week I’m not going to do the daily details. I will return to that in a week.

Story and Words Done This Week

I managed, after two naps (resting is hard work) to actually get 1,100 words done on the story I started yesterday. I think I am getting rested so might finish the story tomorrow. No idea where it’s going but I think I can do the words it will take tomorrow.


February Online Workshops

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

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.

Story #1… A Long Way Down… 2,100 words
Story #2… The Case of the Man Who Saw… 3,200 words


Topic of the Night

Short one… about how fanastically lucky fiction writers are.

Because of my friends, I got to do something tonight I almost never do. I sat in a bar and listened to a band.

This band was stunningly good, touring-level good, and yet last year when I was with these same friends and we went to this same bar, that same band was there.  No idea their name or who the members are. (They clearly really suck as self-promotion.)

About fifty people in the bar were sort of paying attention. I was one. Another fifty weren’t even noticing the fantastic quality of music flowing around them.

The band had a five hour stint, with 10 minute breaks every hour.

God only knows how much time and practice they spent outside the bar. But they clearly did. They were that good.

All I kept thinking as I watched them play to an audience of fifty was how lucky writers were to be able to do what we do and how we do it.

And then the thought occurred to me that writers are basically lazy and spoiled and most writers I know would quit in a minute if they were forced to work as hard on their art as that bar band did five nights a week.

And then my thoughts switched to the numbers. They were basically playing to 50 people. A very small niche audience. And many were clearly regulars.

The five members of that band worked hard and sweated and did their best to entertain for five hours just fifty people.

Wow are writers lucky.

This was a great perspective night for me. Got a hunch I’m going to hit the ground running on the writing when life returns to my normal schedule. Because the least I can do is work as hard as a bar band that has been stuck in the same bar for at least a year.

If I can’t work that hard to write and sell my work on an international stage to an international audience, something is really wrong in my perspective.


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  • Dane Tyler

    Good insights, Dean. It also speaks to what you’ve mentioned before – writers need to practice just like any other artist. If you don’t you’ll stagnate. That band may not be moving around the country, but they’ve progressed musically, and that’s the benefit they get.

    I have to remind myself of this all the time. Writing is practice, even if it’s nothing else, and I’ve seen it make a difference in my own work when I did it diligently. Trouble is, I don’t know if I recognized that until I saw you mention practice a couple of times.

    Now I’m determined to write because of how much I benefit. With Heinlein’s Rules in play, I see only growth in the next year. 🙂

  • Elise M. Stone

    Another parallel between musicians and writers is that those bar band musicians got paid for the past year. They didn’t wait until they were ready for Carnegie Hall (okay, not a good example, but it’s still early), just like writers shouldn’t wait to publish until they’re going to make the NYT bestseller list or win the Pulitzer prize. I always use the example of my brother, the musician, playing in bars while he was still in high school and getting paid to learn his craft when writers hold back from publishing or settle for giving their work away for exposure.

  • Gael

    Hi Dean, Happy New Year! Haven’t visited in a while, but stopped by to see what you’re up to and you’ve inspired me once again. Spot on! We are really lucky. Happy writing, Gael 🙂