Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Another Crazy Challenge For Myself

I Love Challenges…

I tend to push myself with my writing at times. Anyone following this blog knows that, from writing 30 short stories in thirty days to writing a novel in five days while traveling. And that’s just in the last six months.

I have a lot of things I like to do in this crazy life I lead, so challenges get me focused for short bursts of time on writing.

So I’m thinking of a new challenge for July, one I’ve been thinking about for some time. And as many of my challenges do, it harks back to the old pulp writer days. And it sounds difficult if not impossible on the surface.

So the challenge on the burner?

Four novels in July.

Just start each book fresh and write them one right after another. One novel every seven days.

I went back and tried to count and I think I have written ten novels in around ten days. I have written another eight-to-ten novels in seven days. And I have written three novels in five days. So this is nothing new, just the back-to-back aspect is new.

Basically writing a novel in seven days is just math and making sure time is carved out to write. Very simple, actually.

I tend to write about 1,200 words per hour (which includes a short break), so to write a 50,000 word novel in seven days I would need to be at my writing computer for about 42 hours. (About 7,000 words a day on average.)

I am planning all four novels to run between 40,000 and 60,000. More than likely these days closer to the 40,000, but better to figure high when planning.

So I’m thinking the challenge would be fun. And it would be challenge. So many things could go wrong and with only 3 extra days in July, there would be little room to miss. And that puts me in that place where I would feel focused and pushed.

For me, that’s a good stress. A fun stress. (I have said before I love roller coasters.)

I would also blog here about it every day, the ups and down, the word count, how it went, what got in the way, and so on. I’ve done that in the past as well, including when I was writing that novel in five days while traveling.

I would also include the walking/running time each day and the work time at WMG each day so you can see what I do.

So if this worked, and I hit the four novels, of course it would end up being another nonfiction book called How to Write Four Novels in One Month.

Most writers would consider that fiction of course, so I doubt it would sell many copies. But it would be a fun bundle with the four novels and the nonfiction book all together.

And, of course, my Patreon supporters would get all the books with issues of Smith’s Monthly. And the nonfiction book.

So I’m giving this some thought. I’m not sure I’m this crazy or not. Most certainly is the craziest challenge I have thought about.

I’ll decide to push or not push the trigger next week. I will need to really look at July and what is happening for me that month. And I have another novel to finish this week before July, something I did about three thousand words on tonight.

Also, I want to look at August because if I am powering at a novel a week at the end of July, I might just keep going through August and write four more.

Did I say I love challenges?


  • Harvey

    If you find your personal July decks clear enough, I hope you’ll go for it, Dean. As you’ve reminded me several times, at worst you’ll fail to success. And I really, really want to watch your progress on this one.

    • dwsmith

      Actually, Harvey, I’m kind of curious to watch it myself. If nothing else, it will dig out any slight issues I have with old myths and amplify them because you can’t do this if you have any myths about writing at all.

      • Harvey

        That’s the most fun of all, suddenly realizing you want to watch the progress yourself. I can hardly wait to get into my next challenge. Anyway, good luck with it.

  • Felicia Fredlund

    Sounds like you are planing a lot of fun for yourself! I’ve noticed how excited I feel about different series and novel starts now that I am writing every day. It is like I’ve shown the three year old inside that I’ll give it the room it needs to create, so now it is excitedly ready to pick a new project when I finish the current one.

  • Gnondpom

    As usual, your challenge sounds absolutely crazy, but after following you though several very crazy challenges, I know that if one person is able to pull it off, that would be you. At least you already know that you’re able to write one novel in 5-7 days, so mathematically it should be possible, but as you said, writing four back to back sure makes it exponentially more difficult.

    At the very least, it would be great fun to watch, and I’m sure you would have a lot of fun

    Still, that got me thinking that many people wouldn’t imagine being able to just *read* 4 novels in one month, so *writing* them sounds like pure science fiction.

    • dwsmith

      Chances are at least two of them will be science fiction, since half my work tends to be there and the other half mystery. (grin) Not a clue what books I would do, however. I’ll figure that out as I go.

      But sadly, you are correct, most people don’t read four novels in a month.

  • Robert J. McCarter

    This sounds amazing, Dean. I hope you do it. And looking forward to this stuff showing up on Patreon.

    From the middle of my own 30 story writing marathon (should come in under 40 days), it’s the consistency that’s hard. Not doing one story in a day, but doing it over and over. Creating the time day after day and not burning out. Keeping it fun even when your rushed and tired. But then again, that just describes the path of the professional righter, huh? 🙂

    Sounds like crazy fun. Good luck!