Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Looking at Gaining Energy

I Actually Have Two Challenges That Will Help…

As I have detailed out before here, my two challenges are to lose about 25 more pounds and write ten novels. All in 100 days.

I was talking with Kris about the two elephants, working on how to carve three hours for writing and three hours for exercise out of every day for 100 days. I have done as we teach, looked and written down my schedule, and if I remain focused, the six hours are there, no issue.

But just thinking about it made me tired. (You know, elephants.)

Then I found myself saying that once I got the writing going a 3,000 plus words per day, it would be easy to maintain and I would draw energy from the writing every day. (I called it ground affect in a couple of posts.) And that is so true. Once you get writing, it is a ton easier and more fun to stay writing.

And then I also realized that once I get the exercise routine going solidly with the running and so many steps per day, and started losing weight, I will feel better and more energized as well. Annoying, but losing weight and exercising always makes me feel a ton better and gives me more energy.

So, it dawned on me that my only real issue is the first 10-14 days of the challenge. The start-up. After that I will gain energy from both the exercise and weight loss and the writing and the last 90 days or so will be much easier and get easier with each passing day.

And for some reason that really helped. I can easily deal with a week or two of tough. Not an issue. And it got me excited that I would gain energy since I have been slugging around this holiday season just resting and when I do that, I always feel tired. I suck at resting.

So now I feel ready to tackle eating these two elephants. I look forward to having a ton more energy and being a lot lighter and healthier at the same time.

And I look forward to having fun writing.

Stay tuned. Me with more energy could get really interesting. (grin)



  • Harvey Stanbrough

    I am SO looking forward to following this challenge, Dean. And thanks (again) for letting us see that those elephants rear up and frighten you a little too, until you remember it’s all about taking one bite at a time.

    As I wrote in my Journal (followed by 60 or so avid writers), “If this stuff (elephants) still bothers Dean, isn’t it all right that it still bothers you and me?” So of course, it helps that you share. In so many ways.

  • Phillip McCollum

    Love the idea of building up that energy, Dean. I stretched myself last year with 52 stories in 52 weeks and now I’m aiming to write and publish 4 fiction novels and 1 nonfiction book in 2019. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about finding the time with a family and full time job, but I’m going for it anyway. I’m not going to let a little silly fear keep me from trying.

  • allynh


    The mistake you are making is looking at two elephants that you need to eat, when the reality is you are working through a vast herd of elephants. Eating one or two, now and then, here and there, won’t even be noticed by the herd. More are being born every day, so dine away, dig in with gusto. HA!

    Look at it another way:

    In the Sandman comics, by Neil Gaiman, Dream had a library filled with all the books that authors saw, but never wrote. There are dozens of books that J.K. Rowling never wrote because the success of Harry Potter made it hard to publish anything else. She had to do some of her other books under pen names, the rest sit unread in Dream’s library.

    Both you and Kris have thousands of books sitting on those shelves.

    — Don’t let your books only exist in Dream’s library.

    I look at things the way I did when I would swim:

    That initial dive into the pool was always brutal, a shock of cold. Then I would stabilize and not want to get out of the pool because I knew that I’d start shivering out of the water. It was the price of swimming. HA!

    You are looking at doing 10 books in 100 days. Think of what follows:

    – 100 books in 1000 days.

    – 1001 short stories in a 1001 days, as in, Arabian Nights.

    I know, I know, you will say, “Squirrel” and shrug it off, but the way to do that is how Scheherazade did. She would end the night halfway through a story, saying, “If you kill me now, you won’t know the end of the story.” She would finish the story as the next night began, then start another story right away, continuing the sequence.

    So start each story then stop halfway. Finish it the next day, and immediately start the next and stop halfway through. That way you can make a stab a doing 1001 stories in 1001 days.

    And that’s only the beginning. Cycle after cycle follows. More elephants to be consumed.

    After all:

    At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work – as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for – the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” — Marcus Aurelius

  • Caryl Giles

    Thank you, Dean. You are so right about that ground effect–just get off the ground and it’s so much easier to keep flying. And also about feeling so much better with proper diet and exercise. It’s like it magically frees up time. Although in reality it takes more time, in the end it allows you to make better use of the time you have left over and you feel so much more productive. I needed this reminder as the new year rolls around and it’s time to put aside the holiday revelry and slacking off and get back to working more effectively. I really appreciate your sharing your insights and helping me get back on track.