Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

If You Want To Watch My Talk

It Seems It Has Been Posted to YouTube…

Kris’s talk is not there yet that we could find, but a friend sent me the link to my 45 minute talk for the 20Books Conference.

Seems being under the bright lights had a reason.

So if you want to actually spend 45 minutes watching or listening to it, here it is. It is about attitude and those nine points I posted yesterday. Start at the beginning. For some reason this link starts in the middle.




  • Mark Kuhn

    Hey Dean, I haven’t posted anything here in a very long time. 2019 has been a horrendous year for me, and my writing went out the window about March. Health issues, friends passing away suddenly, just horrible.
    But thanks for posting this video. Something about it, can’t put my finger on it, started reaching out to me. When I think about it as I’m typing now, this video was like a hug and an encouraging pat on the back. Encouraging enough for me to block off a couple hours tomorrow, close the door, see what happens.
    Thanks for all you do.

    • dwsmith

      Mark, just go have fun with it. Don’t make the writing important. You have dealt with enough important and life stuff, so keep the writing fun and playful. An escape that it sounds like you need. Hang in there.

  • Sam

    This was so great to watch. I appreciate all your classes and how you consistently offer the same advice with such a willingness to show writers how to succeed. You have an unwavering devotion to facts!

  • Jason M

    Dean, that shirt looks great and you seem much younger than 69. In fact, you seem younger than when I attended your master class in 2015.
    No marathon needed to achieve good health.
    Anyways, keep it up. It was good hearing the advice that you regularly dispense here on the blog.

    BTW, I can’t wait until the day when direct sales via website are made easy, we can sidestep all middlemen, sell directly to readers … and then shake our heads at the writers who continued selling their rights to tradpub.

    • dwsmith

      They are easy now, Jason. Bookfunnel links to all of the major DIY stores and if you get the right store, they handle all the taxes and Bookfunnel automatically delivers the sold book. Scary simple compared to just two years ago.

      • Robin Brande

        Dean, what do you mean “if you get the right store”? I was grateful to learn about BookFunnel at the master class, and now plan to sell directly off my website, and I know we can do sales pages on BF that list the other stores, but it seems like you’re talking about something else here. Please elaborate! Thanks.

        • dwsmith

          There are a bunch of e-commerce sites to set up your own store on your own web site. Check on Bookfunnel to see the ones they support, or look at your notes from Damon’s talk at the Master Class. He mentioned a few. There are a few sites that list like the top ten stores and how they rank as well. Google.

  • Kate Pavelle

    That was a really great talk, Dean. It sums up why I tune in to your blog every day before I start writing. It was positive and kind and helpful, had its funny moments, and it showed a direction of hope backed up by both success and experience.
    I call it “getting Deanified.”
    Do I try the things you say don’t work?
    Sometimes, with enough other people promoting this or that, I will decide to “try and see.” In the end it does come to WIBBOW, though, and to being wide and jolly and productive, and I can’t be writing unless I make an affirmative effort to always have fun. Thank you for this.

  • Jeff

    Hi Dean,

    I’ve only listened to half the talk, but plan to listen from beginning to end later today. I’m one of those failed writers you have so often talked about over the years — those writers who dismiss your advice and buy into the myths.

    I made 2010 The Year I Would Get Serious About Writing — and I did. I wrote daily, about 400,000 words that year, with lots and lots of finished short fiction and one novel. I attended workshops — even one in Lincoln City — and thought I was on my way, so to speak. But I quit in January 2015 because I got hung up on marketing and rewriting and outlining and reading books to learn how to do it instead just for fun. Nearly every decision I made failed the WIBBOW test.

    But listening to the first half of your talk I realized the ultimate problem. I was so eager to make it that I wasn’t having any fun — not nearly the kind of fun I had that first year of writing.

    I wanted the glory — NOW, TODAY, at THIS VERY MOMENT! And, therefore, what I was doing wasn’t sustainable. It got to the point where I hated both writing and reading because it was my job to do so. I still remember, a few months after I quit, curing the whole damn endeavor because it had robbed me of my joy of reading — and I LOVED to read.

    But now, nearly five years later, I wonder if it’s time to return to writing. The point about sustainability has really got me thinking. I remember it was the beginning of 2013 and I joined an accountability group. Simply stated: we announced our goal and checked in every week. I had recently read BREAK WRITER’S BLOCK NOW by Jerry Mundis, and he advocated writing to the clock instead of to the page. In the waning months of 2012, I played around with his suggestion. I set a timer and just wrote, not caring one bit about how much I wrote. It was a joy! It was as I had given my creative voice the freedom to create at its own speed. But when I signed up for the accountability group, I was told it was wrong to write to the clock. Too easy to sit and do nothing. And guess what?? Well, you probably already guessed it. Instead of trusting myself, I listened to The Committee, and looking back, I think that was the fateful decision that ultimately led to me quitting.

    At any rate, I felt the need to comment — if for no other reason than to talk a little about my experience. But perhaps someone will read this comment and say, “Oh, man, I don’t want that to happen to me!” If you don’t, then LISTEN TO DEAN!


  • Zoe

    I’ve come to a similar philosophy of writing over the past year. For years I happily wrote without publishing anything, sometimes without showing a single soul. Then I started publishing and suddenly writing wasn’t fun anymore, and it was taking me a year to finish a book where it used to take me a month – not because I wasn’t putting in the work, but because I was sitting there agonizing over every word. It took seven brutal years to find my center again. I love the process of writing, and I love playing with themes I’m interested in, and I love geeking out about story structure (it’s all about having fun with patterns). That’s what my writing is about these days – the stuff that makes my creative brain jump up and down in excitement. Publication? Audience? I don’t care. I did fine without that stuff for years, better than I did after readers got into my head. I’m still publishing my stuff – the trunk novel loses its allure once you discover that people are willing to pay real money for your stories – but it’s not my focus. My focus is my stories and my process.