Challenge,  On Writing

Day Two

Book One…

The Challenge is to write four novels in one month.

General aspects of life at the moment is that Kris and I just moved and we are both exhausted, but still putting things away. All standard after a big move. We are lucky in one way with the move. We still have both of our original condos, the place we lived and also our offices. So we have the entire month to get them finished and cleaners in to clean them. That helps.

How It Went…

Second day standard blahs for me. I actually didn’t even get to my writing computer until 11 pm at night and managed about 1,400 words before deciding to take a break (about an hour). Then ended up watching a little television downstairs for a time.

Came back up around 1 am and did another 500 words and just tossed in the towel and went back to watch a little more television. It is now around 2 am and I’m doing this before staggering off to bed.

This is pretty early for me, but tired, so going to call it after 1,900 words. Progress is better than no progress.

Some Observations

If this challenge was in your first dozen or so novels, or my first dozen or so novels, I would instantly feel panicked by having a tired day and getting behind.

After two hundred novels, I now just shrug. Being behind (as many of your have noticed over the years when I do these out in public like this) is standard for me.

And sometimes I fail, sometimes it works out just fine.

For me it is a shrug.

But being behind a few thousand words is sure no big deal at all. If I’m a little less exhausted tomorrow I could find myself over 15,000 words just as easily. No idea where the novel is going, but feels so far like it might be fun and a fast read. Or it might take me ten days to do this first one and four days to do the next one. Even for someone like me, writing is not an exact science.

So honestly I expected to have a low-hour writing day a few times along the way. So tomorrow I hope to be less tired. We shall see.


  • Anitha

    Thank you for this post, Dean. I’m only on book 3 of my entire writing life and it’s stupefying, looking back now, how low- or zero-output days often kept me from coming back to the story for several days more. Missing one day was suddenly too big a ‘failure’ to move past. It’s still such an easy trap to fall into. So thank you for the ‘shrug’ solution. I’ve signed up for this month’s Killing The Critical Voice workshop and am excited for it to begin next week.

    • Joe Cleary

      Anitha, I took the Killing the Critical Voice workshop earlier this year and it has changed my life. Not just my writing life. I plan on reviewing it at least annually. I hope you get as much out of it as I have.

  • Anitha

    Joe, thank you for sharing that! Actually, I was on the fence about taking the workshop, and it was your comment on one of Dean’s earlier posts on The Last Sale that helped me decide. You mentioned how the workshop helped you really clear all the myths that was keeping you out of the writing chair (to paraphrase). So thank you too for helping me set out on this path! 🙂