Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Forgotten Writers

Amazing How Many There Are…

Today Kris and I spent almost the entire day putting books on shelves in our offices and in other areas of our new condo. And we both kept noticing how many writer’s books we had from writers no longer working in fiction.

Now, there are a ton of reasons for a writer to vanish. Death, of course, sickness, family, and so on. Most of those you hear about in one form or another at one point or another. Especially if you are a fan of the writer.

But so many of the writers had just vanished. This business does that to writers. Talked last week about how agents kill careers in a dozen different ways. Or the writer was traditionally published, sales dropped, writer was dropped, and never made the transition to indie.

Or the writer got tired of the grind of rewriting and all that kind of myth stuff, lost the joy in writing, and just walked away. That happens so often I hate to think about it.

And a hundred more reasons. I just wanted to note that so many writers, with clearly one form or another of successful careers, had vanished. And putting thousands of books on bookshelves will make that amazingly clear how many there are.

Clear and sad.

As Harlan once said, anyone can become a writer. The trick is staying a writer.



Both of the new workshops, The Indie Game and Fear have started on Sunday.

The first week’s webinars will be a week from Sunday for both.

We did both workshops originally as the weekend workshops. We are not changing out the videos because other than a mention of a day instead of a week, the teaching is fine in them. And the live webinars will really add to the learning.

Sign up on Teachable at


Also starting on Tuesday and Wednesday… Still time to sign up.

June Regular Workshops

All twelve June Regular six-week workshops are now available on Teachable for sign-ups. The few of you who have signed up through me using credits please write me again if you haven’t gotten a code to get into the workshop.

Class #61… June 5th … Think Like a Publisher
Class #62… June 5th … Endings
Class #63… June 5th … Point of View
Class #64… June 5th … Writing Mysteries
Class #65… June 5th … Speed
Class #66… June 5th … Teams in Fiction
Class #67… June 6th … Depth in Writing
Class #68… June 6th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #69… June 6th … Character Development
Class #70… June 6th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #71… June 6th … Advanced Depth
Class #72… June 6th … Novel Structure

July-October Schedule coming shortly.


  • Kenny

    Not being able to stay a writer is one of my fears, Dean. I’m adding it to this week’s assignment right now. 🙂

  • JM

    I saw Harlan Ellison at a convention tell folks he was TRYING to scare us away from being writers, then proceed to tell us all the myths of the day (early 1990s) to tell us how hard it was to be a writer.

    He also told us lots of stories about his life and I never could tell how many of them (if any) were true.

    • dwsmith

      Harlan was a friend of mine and actually, most of the stuff he tells is true. Might be expanded for entertainment-sake, but based in facts.

  • Balázs

    It’s sad, how many promising career ends up forgotten totally. Last weeks topics scare me to death. Is staying a writer really that difficult? Not as if I would’ve started my yet… LoL
    Just thinking about to print these posts to myself to remember how to stay alive when I start my books putting out. Is it OK to do?
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the topic.

    • dwsmith

      Feel free to print or share these in any way you want. Thanks and the key is to have fun and not worry about too much, just keep learning.