Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Challenge Is On (Again)

Here Are The Rules of My Challenge…

Some of you might remember I wanted to do 10 books in 100 days. And I set that challenge in September in an effort to ramp back up my writing after finally getting moved to Las Vegas.

Total failure to even start. Reset again in late October, failure again.

Lots of talk with Kris. Lots of puzzlement as to why I couldn’t make the time to write. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. I did. Just turned out each day I didn’t for a host of reasons.

About that point in late November I realized the problem and how deep it was. For my entire fiction writing life, I had been writing late at night. I was trying to change that.

40 plus years of habits and patterns of writing late every day, at the end of all the other stuff every day.

Many of you reading this were not born when I started that writing pattern. Think about that.

So suddenly I found myself in Las Vegas in a living situation that did not allow me to stay up late at night (and honestly I didn’t want to.) So I filled the day with stuff I normally did and by the time I normally (under old pattern) would have been going to write, I was going to bed.

So I tried again to restart the challenge in January, knowing this problem, and failed again. Finally Kris came to the rescue with a simple suggestion. She reminded me that I was training to run a marathon by doing a little at a time and then building up over an entire year.

Why not do the same for writing as I worked to change these very, very old habits?

She suggested a slow pace for me of 5 novels in 100 days, then 7 novels in the next 100 days, then 10 novels in the next 100 days. Build up in other words as I set up and practiced new patterns.

So there is about 300 days left in the year and I started the first 100-day leg today. Goal: 5 novels by about June 14.

I am tired from the anthology workshop and have the crud that was spread around at the workshop as well, so no energy. But this morning I managed to get up, shower, and walk to the buffet at the Main Street Station Casino (about one mile from here one way) and get some food and start to write.

I am writing there on my iPad with a keyboard and started a Cold Poker Gang novel. (I haven’t looked at the one I started back in January. No point.)

My goal this morning was to just get out of the house and focus on the writing, start the change of the old pattern. I was going to be happy with 250 words. The key was just getting going and out of the house.

I managed a thousand words before the brain gave up in a fit of sneezing and I headed home.

But I got started.

Teaching an old dog new tricks. At least I now know what the problem was all fall. Solving it will be an adventure.

Stay tuned. I will report in regularly on the process.




  • Tony DeCastro

    Best wishes on the challenge, Dean. I’m going through some similar trials of getting back into my routine coming out of the fog following a loss in the family. So, I will be following with interest… and looking for some inspiration.

  • Leah cutter

    Yay! I’m so happy for you! Go Dean! *\o/* I’m not back to writing yet, though i will be able to blog today, as well as send out a newsletter. So today, reading blogs, etc. Tomorrow or Monday, I get back to “my words first.”

  • Bonnie

    This crud is the worst. I wasn’t great Friday morning and by noon I had the full blown thing and it was all I could do to push through. Hope you feel better soon

  • Kat

    Bravo! I commented on an earlier post that I was trying to revamp my habits (I’ve always been a night owl, too). I read a book called Atomic Habits that helped me get going and shares the same concept, I think, of what you’re saying here. Small changes. And letting those changes expand and build up to big results.

    Best of luck! I think it’s safe to say we’re all rooting for you.