Challenge,  Fun Stuff,  On Writing

Dean Challenges… Two of them…

Both a Full and a Half Challenge…

Last night I mentioned I was thinking about doing a challenge for anyone who wanted to try to match or beat the number of consumable words I wrote from April 1st 2023 until December 31st, 2023.

Nine months.

I said what I hoped to hit, but of course that is just the plan and we all know how plans go. (grin)

But I also suggested that I would set up a challenge for anyone who wanted to try to match me. A challenge similar to the other challenges already there. And a couple people thought they could keep up or beat me, which is way cool.

But I got numbers of letters about how many of you were not to that word count yet and had day jobs and family stuff. So I talked with Kris and Allyson and we can up with a second challenge. The half challenge for half the cost. So say I managed to do the million words I hope to hit between now and December 31st, half would be 500,000 words.

Math breaks down to 56,000 per month or about 1,900 words a day.

And that is assuming I can hit the million words. Say I do 800,000 words total, meaning the half would be 400,000 or about 1,500 words a day. Most writers with day jobs can hit that pace. So that opens this up to those of you worried about making it through the time of great forgetting coming up.

So there are now two challenges posted on Teachable.

One is a full challenge, one is a half challenge. (They are both on the front page with me holding Angel.) Challenge starts April 1st but you must sign up no later than the 5th of April.

Sorry, no sales or credits will apply.

What are “consumable” words?

— Any fiction of any type (no requirement to publish during the challenge time)

— Any nonfiction that others will consume such as blogs, introductions to collections, nonfiction books, things like that.

— emails and comments on Facebook or other social media sites or comments on blogs do NOT count. 

No genre limitations.

How do you report?

Simple… Every week or two you write me with your word total so far in the challenge.

How I report?  I will post my weekly word total here on the right and also on each challenge I will do a weekly video with my challenge total, talking about what I did, and sometimes (not every week, but regularly) adding in a motivational topic. So you will get nine months of videos from me in each challenge.

So you will know exactly how I am doing every week to know where you stand in the challenge and get some motivation from me to keep going.

All you have to do is email me your total every other week or so.

Here are the details…

Full… Price is $600. I write more consumable words in the nine months, you get $600 in credit on Teachable. If you write more words, you get your choice of a lifetime subscription.

Half… Price is $300. I write more than twice your amount of words, you get $300 in credit on Teachable. If you write more than half of the words I write, you get $900 in credit to use as you like on Teachable.

This starts April 1st and I will cut off sign-ups on April 5th.

Sign up soon on Teachable… Start getting ready.

Any questions, feel free to ask.

This is going to be great fun.


  • topaz

    Those two sound fun. 🙂

    What happens, if you write significant more words? Is it an open ended race or capped off at a million words?

    • dwsmith

      Oh, no upper limit for you. If you write way beyond me and I have your permission, I will give you a boost on my blog site. Only with your permission, though. But no upper end.

      If I write way beyond that amount, it will cap at one million words for the challenge. You get close to that number, you win no matter what I am doing.

      • Connor Whiteley

        Great way to put a nuclear bomb under my writing chair, I would love to get some free promo on this blog. I think that’s the stretch goal of this challenge.

        Definitely signing up after writing payments end of the month.

        This is going to be SO much fun!!!

  • Kate Pavelle

    Wow, now I’m torn. I could back down a bit… but then, would I be as motivated? Hmmm…
    What’s my goal? It’s to get some fire under my rocket and finally get serious about a professional-level production of words.
    I’ll have to bring my husband on board for this (he’s been great with other challenges, so no issues there,) and I’ll have to plan for a few weekend trips during the mushroom foraging season. But with the Jackery and a solar panel, I could swing some words even in the woods.
    I’ll have to account for our 2nd cookbook project – still a few recipes to test, photos to shoot. The words I write for that will count though, so that’s good.
    Also, block off 2 hours a day for self-care, i.e. exercise.
    This is serious business.

    • dwsmith

      Kate, yes, and that is how you plan for it. Can’t plan for everything, of course, but I tend to get ahead at times when a project is going smoothly to account for the days down. Or at least that is what I used to do. We shall see this time around.

  • Ric

    Excellent! Thanks for setting up the half challenge, Dean.

    I’ve signed up!

    Looking forward to getting started in April.

  • Drew Strickland

    Alright, Dean, I’m in! This will give me the boost I need to not take my time between finishing and starting a new project! I’m really looking forward to it.

    Thanks for sending out the email otherwise I might have missed it!

  • Anitha Krishnan

    Hi Dean, I’m so excited to sign up for the half challenge!

    Just a couple of questions.
    (1) Do we need to match half of your wordcount on a weekly/monthly basis or will only the final total wordcount as of 31 Dec matter?
    (2) Also, will the target word count for us be capped at 500,000 even if your total exceeds 1 million?

    Thank you!

    • dwsmith


      Only the total at the end of the year. I am often a sprint writer, so sometimes I will be behind pace, other times ahead, so only the total on December 31st matters. But I will report my pace as I go along.

      And yes, if I do more, than your win is anywhere near 500,000 words for the half. Should be great fun.

      • Anitha Krishnan

        Thank you, Dean! I am definitely in! I’ll sign up on Teachable towards the end of March (just for personal budgeting reasons), but I am totally in for the half challenge! Already doing test runs this week on upping my word count and wow, so many myths are totally getting shattered! Super excited and looking forward to all the fun! 😀