Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

False Start on Challenge

Strangest Almost-Start I Have Ever Experienced…

I was all set to fire up on the short story challenge for November. No issues at all.

And then nope. Just nope.

I was even planning on starting early because it had been a while, so got to my writing computer at 10 p.m.

Nope. Not blocked. Just nope, it didn’t feel right. Something was off.

So I went to do my normal solution to figuring out stuff I can’t put my finger on… a nap.

And when I woke up I realized my focus was on the 67 published books in my 67th year. And my 67th birthday isn’t for another week or so. Well, damn…

I was starting early and I didn’t want to do that. Starting early felt wrong, even though I was ready to go.

So I spent an hour trying to figure out if I was just making excuses, then worked on Pulphouse for a time, then went back and decided I wasn’t making excuses. I wanted to do it all inside my 67th year.

This challenge will be difficult enough. I want to give it a real run, not start early.

So I had set up two challenges and the big one overwhelmed the smaller one. Not an excuse because I really wanted to be writing tonight and I was ready. I just got a little ahead of myself. (Catching a clue that challenges are important to me?)

So slight reset. I will still do Stories from November, only it will only have about 20 stories in it. (Unless I have some days I write more than one… (grin)) I will start writing on the 11th, at least a short story a day until the end of November.

I will have books coming out in the last half of November to start the count on the challenge as well. Got some fun things planned for every release. All 67 of them.

So until the 11th, I will be working hard on Pulphouse and on reading challenge stories that have come in.

So now both challenges start on November 11th (that is not my birthday). But it is the day both will start. Writing Stories from November and starting the 67 book challenge inside my 67th year. Now that feels good.

Feels right.

The lesson… If you aren’t making excuses and are not afraid of something, then listening to your creative voice is pretty easy. That is what happened to me tonight. I listened to the voice that will make this challenge a ton of fun.

The creative voice.

So hang on until the 11th. Then the craziness begins.


All have openings at the moment. Information at

Yes, even the new Novel Structure workshop has openings. And those of you with Kickstarter credits can take a November workshop if you want. We will be sending out the surveys as soon as Kickstarter releases everything to us. Any day now.

Class #49… Nov 7th … Depth #3: Research
Class #50… Nov 7th … Author Voice
Class #51… Nov 7th … Business
Class #52… Nov 7th … Writing into the Dark
Class #53… Nov 7th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #54… Nov 7th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #55… Nov 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #56… Nov 8th … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #57… Nov 8th … Cliffhangers
Class #58… Nov 8th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #59… Nov 8th … Novel Structure
Class #60… Nov 8th … Writing Fantasy

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  • Philip Smith

    I just finished reading Stories From July a few weeks ago and it was double the fun. On one hand, you get inspired by the challenge itself. On the other, it includes some enjoyable stories to read.