Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

All Focus On The New Year

Everything Kris and I Are Doing is Focused on 2020 and Beyond…

That focus on the new year seems to be taking up a ton of our time and effort over the last week. Tonight, on occasion, I heard swearing coming from Kris’s office because she was focusing on putting her calendar system for 2020 together. It is extensive.

And complex. And she has been doing it for all of the thirty-plus years I have known her.

And I really appreciate that she does the organization because, to be honest, I depend on her a lot to tell me when we are scheduled to do something here in Vegas. That leaves me free to focus on the workshop stuff.

She and I spent a lot of time working on The Decade Ahead workshop as well, making sure we had that set as much as we could going into the new year. That will be really something special to keep the year focused, even if we have only a few signed up. I want to do it for me, to be honest, for the focus it will give me.

And I am doing what I assume many of you are doing, and what I have asked (or will ask) those I am mentoring to do, and that is lay out a basic plan for the coming year with controllable goals.

I finally have Smith’s Monthly about ready to start into the production steps. Actually both Issues #45 and #46. I have also decided that in 2020 I will at least start announcing my new books out on my writing web site (that is under construction).

And yesterday, on our wedding anniversary, Kris and I went and saw an exhibit we have been meaning to see for a long time. The Titanic exhibit at the Luxor. Way cool, much better than I had expected.

And even though I never really write from ideas anymore, there were a few details in that exhibit that will figure into a series I got a hunch I will do inside my Thunder Mountain series. Kind of exciting actually. And very rare for me to even think like that. We shall see what happens.

Also, today I got two questions about the Lifetime Workshop Subscription. One surprised me because the writer really wanted to know if there really was over $17,000 in workshop in the subscription. I had to go look and the answer is yes, there is. For $3,000.

And if you have taken workshops, we give a discount off that amount. Just write me on that.

But wow, over $17,000 in workshops, many that are no longer offered anywhere but the subscription, like The Game, but are still great. I thought the new The Decade Ahead class is going to end up being our best deal, but I think the Lifetime Workshop Subscription can’t be beat. At least at the current price.

So either The Decade Ahead class or a Lifetime Workshop Subscription would be a great thing to get you learning and focused for (and through) the new year.

Picture is of Kris and I standing on the full-sized replica of the Titanic’s Grand Staircase. That staircase was as amazing as I imagined it to be. And the First Class cabin replica and third class cabin replica was pretty amazing as well. The Artifact Exhibition at the Luxor is worth the time and money.


  • Maree

    I have to disagree about what the best deal is for your workshops. The challenges are 1/5th the price and you get the support and deadlines to help you write seriously for a year (something I’ve never done so consistently before) and then at the end the prize is a lifetime subscription. It’s so much value added for far lower price.

    I’m certain I’m going to finish this challenge a much better writer than I was when I began, and in a excellent place to work on gaining more specific skills from the workshops.

    I’m very excited about it!

    • dwsmith

      Maree, you do have a great point there. They are a lot of fun and also get you inventory that will pay for decades ahead. So I think you might be right. (grin)

  • Kessie

    It’s nice to visit your blog and see optimism for the upcoming year. My other writing blogs are doom and gloom about how ebook sales are dropping, it’s hard to move audiobooks, and how you’re better off just going with a small press until you have the chops to get picked up by the Big Five. I find this kind of talk discouraging, especially at the start of a new decade. I was looking at getting back into self publishing next year after an extended hiatus, and the doom and gloom is getting me down. Glad that you and Kris don’t seem to be buying into it.

    • dwsmith


      The folks who are down on publishing set themselves up in impossible to maintain pace, goals, or got lucky with a book and don’t understand that every book is different and that things change all the time. After forty years in this crazy but fun business, Kris and I have seen the patterns. Those writers who look ahead, take the long haul, and know how to plan will be amazingly successful in the coming decade. It is the nature of the place the industry is in at the moment. There will always be the authors who come in and flash success, them complain as the world keeps moving and they can’t or won’t. Sad to watch, but been watching it for 40 years now.

      So we are very optimistic about the future and with good reason, and that’s why we are focusing this 2020 coming year on that. Plus with all the changes coming with licensing, writers who are successful in 10 years will be a certain type of writer and we are headed there and we want to help others get there.