Challenge,  News

If I Can Make It

I Have A Blog Anniversay…

In August, 2011, I lost one of my best friends, book dealer Bill Trojan. I was the executor on his massive estate and I lost almost a year of my writing and one of my eyes to that experience.

So to get back writing, I came up with Smith’s Monthly for my fiction and started blogging daily on August 1st, 2012. Smith’s Monthly lasted 44 issues before going on hiatus for another emergency, but somehow, through it all this last year plus, my blog has continued.

Not a clue how.

(And Smith’s Monthly is about to return. Go figure.)

So on August 1st, if I don’t miss between now and then, it will be seven full years, every day, saying something here. Sometimes what I say has some value, other times it is about workshops, other times it is nothing more than “I am alive, here’s some typing, I’m going to bed.”

But it all counts in the streak.

And wow are streaks powerful once you get them up and running.

So as I do every year about this point, I start asking myself if I should continue. So far the answer has been yes. And got a hunch it will be yes this year as well. That’s how I am leaning at the moment. We’ll see how the wind blows in the next few weeks. (Grin)

Now if I can just get the free short story a week streak going like Kris has, I will be a happy camper. (Grin)


  • Cynthia Lee

    Your blog has made a world of difference in the lives of so many writers, Dean. Thanks so much!

  • Gunnar

    Dean, reading your blog has meant a lot to me, sometimes I learn something, sometimes I get some inspiration, sometimes I just smile at one of your anecdotes.
    Thanks for doing it, and if we readers get a vote regarding whether you continue, my vote is YES

  • Harvey Stanbrough

    Dean, my admittedly selfish and unsolicited vote is Yes, please keep this daily blog going. I can’t enumerate all the ways you’ve helped me as a writer and, frankly, as a human being. I know I can never repay it all, so I endeavor to pay it forward. Which is another thing you’ve taught me, not by repeating that clichéd phrase, but by you actually practicing it.

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Harvey, for all the support. Means a great deal. And that letter about that guy you sent me this morning, that I haven’t responded to yet, just ignore it. Every person has what works for them. I just shrug when someone goes out into the crazy because I know from long-held beliefs gained from decades of observation, that person will be gone shortly. Crazy, just like massive rewriting, does not sustain in fiction writing. Besides, not worth your time to try to set an idiot straight. (Grin)

  • Philip

    Your blog streak has tremendous value. Readers like me, who have day jobs and write on the side, know that as soon as we hit our desk in the morning and start drinking our coffee, we can 100% count on something new appearing on your blog. That consistency is huge. There are a handful of other blogs I follow and, frankly, I often skip checking in on them for weeks because I’ve been disappointed too frequently with no content. I have no doubt that I enrolled in your lectures and courses because I’ve been on a steady diet of your daily wisdom. So, in short, the blog has concrete monetary value for you. I’m sure I’m not alone.

    • dwsmith

      Philip, weirdly enough, I have outlasted so many other bloggers about this new world of writing, and if you count all the years I wrote regularly on the Star Trek forum helping writers there before this, it has been an amazingly long time. The key with this for me is that just like I tell writers who try to write perfect stories every time, I let myself just say what is on my mind, never copy edit this, and often don’t care if anything I am saying is meaningful or just typing. The key with a streak like this, and with any writing, is just get it done and out. Same with a streak writing fiction.

  • Mike N

    Dean – to be totally selfish, I sure hope you continue. Over the years I’ve been following along, this site has been invaluable, if for nothing else (and there is a heck of a lot else) than to see how a real pro think about, executes on, and plans the work of being a writer.

    Thank you wouldn’t even begin to cut it. Lot of knowledge on these pages. Here’s hoping for another seven!

    • dwsmith

      Not sure about the “real” part of that pro thing, but been making a living at this business for thirty-plus years. The key to remember is that my way is not the only way, and for some, not the best way. Just suggestions.

  • Mary Jo Rabe

    Please continue your blog if at all possible. It is so valuable on so many levels; I can’t even begin to list them. Thank you for all the writing help!

    • dwsmith

      Mary Jo, thanks. And the writing help has two goals. To pay forward with things both Kris and I wish someone would have told us when we were never. And second, to figure out stuff for myself. I often don’t know exactly what I think on some topic or another until I write it down. (Grin)

  • D J Mills

    I agree with all the other commentators. I start my day with your words of wisdom, then get some writing done. However, your time and your decision, as to whether you continue daily or once a week blogging, or whenever. I also read Kris’ blog every Friday morning, soaking up her words of wisdom, too.

  • Phillip McCollum

    Seconding the rest of the comments here.

    No lie: if you were not posting once a day, I don’t know if you would have had as much impact as you have on my just-getting-started writing career. I doubt that I would have ever started the 52 stories in 52 weeks challenge, let alone finished it.

    I’m sure you’ve had, and will continue to have, a similar impact on other would-be writers steered here for words of wisdom and encouragement. Even if it’s just an exclamation point, just knowing that you’ve posted something here every night is encouraging on its own.

    Obviously, it’s your choice in the end, but I wanted to add my voice to the choir.

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Phillip, looking to keep going. After almost seven years it would seem odd to not write something right before heading to sleep. And as the writing ramps back up, I hope to do another month of a challenge and blog here every day about it, plus the Trademark book and other projects I have gotten started but that fell away this last year. So onward.

  • Aniket Gore

    Your’s website is the one of the first site I open on my computer every morning. Keep going and thanks for doing this!

  • Carolyn Ivy Stein

    I read your blog each morning with my tea before I write. It is the one thing that has helped me avoid the news, which is actively harmful to my emotional being when I read it in the morning. Often your blog informs me, but mostly I read it because it is just good for my spirit to see you there each morning. I love the photos of the cats and the races as much as I love the writing stuff. Please do continue writing it.