My Own Getting Ready

Charts, Graphs, Planning…

So much to do to get ready for this coming new year. And I am honestly having a blast.

For example, tonight I did a 20 week chart to track my steps, my running, my weight loss, calories in, that sort of thing. (Basically a spread sheet.) But I printed it out by the week and every day I write down exactly what I managed the day before.

For each week I have a goal for weight, a goal for total steps, a goal for total running miles. Going to build running slowly until May, steps stay the same at 12,000 a day, seven days a week. (42 miles of walking per week for me.)

Weight I am going to lose one pound per week, which is easy. Not going to push that part too hard. I could do two, if I focused, but one pound a week loss is almost an afterthought to me.

I also got a rough publication planning chart from WMG which allowed me to make a turn-in chart for any project I want to turn into them.

Right now I am going introduction crazy, since each of the three books I showed covers to in last night’s blog needs an introduction (I have one done and turned in for the First Thirty-Three Stories for copyediting.) And I just did an introduction to Pulphouse #9 and the intros to all the authors in the issue and got it in and am working on Pulphouse #10 same things.

And I have two introductions to Smith’s Monthly to get done as well so I can get those issues proofed so I can start laying them out.

As I said, introduction crazy.

And getting set on the writing as well, with some word-count goals set and ways to track it all. Some point down the road I’ll talk about that, but just say my plan is way past a million words this year.

On the workshop side of things, I will be recording the third myth bundle of lectures (five different myths) in the next week or so, plus Kris and I are working on the first week of the Romance Workshop starting on January 7th online.

She taught the Romance craft intense workshop here in Vegas, but we want this one online to be very different, yet help writers learn how to write romance. It is really amazing how different she and I come at the same basic topic at times.

Plus got most of the opening videos recorded for The Decade Ahead class. Wow am I excited about that one. So much planned for the year to not only help those taking it to get through the year, but to do so with a solid plan for the decade ahead.

And on the topic of fear in publishing that I have talked about over the last few days, I got a number of people talking to me today in letters about how they are looking at the challenge, not with fear, but with planning. Now that’s smart. And I answered a couple great questions about that kind of publication planning.

And I will talk about that in videos in the challenge itself next week.

And interestingly enough, the questions really fit with what I was doing earlier with the Licensing Transition new videos.

Oops, almost forgot. The Licensing Transition Class and Shared World Class will close up for new sign-ups on the 1st.

Write me if you have a question about that. I let them stay open a lot longer than I had planned to.

Great planning weekend and a couple more days to go in this year to get ready for a smooth transition into the new year. Great fun!


  • Harvey Stanbrough

    Thanks, Dean. I found it very interesting (and pleasantly surprising) that both you and Kris still use word-count goals. As I learned from you back in early 2014, a daily word-count goal is indispensible for several reasons:

    1. Whether you fall short or go way over on a particular day, the next morning the goal resets to zero and it’s a new day. That’s refreshing.

    2. Having a daily word-count goal drives you to the computer every day, including some days when you might not write if you didn’t have that goal.

    3. It reminds you to keep coming back during the day until you’ve reached your daily goal.

    4. It’s a great way to get a streak started, which will also drive your writing.

    Back then I set a goal of 3,000 words per day. And I maintained that through the first few year, writing almost every day. In many months, I wrote well over 100,000 words of publishable fiction per month. (Today I have over 50 novels and novellas and just shy of 200 short stories.)

    Then, at the beginning of 2018, I let go of the daily word-count goal. I was in the habit of writing fiction almost every day, so I felt like I probably didn’t need the daily goal anymore. Huge mistake. As you might imagine, my production fell off.

    So as I said above, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that both you and Kris use word-count goals. If someone with your experience and accomplishments needs them, who am I to argue? (grin)

    So in 2020, I will re-establish my own daily word-count goal again, bearing in mind the average over time is what matters. It feels really good to put up a 100,000 word month.

    All of which, of course, is my long-winded way of saying thanks.

    Honestly, I started using a word-count goal

    • dwsmith

      Learned that early on from Grandmaster of Science Fiction, Fred Pohl. One day a number of us were waiting for Fred and someone said, “Words must be going slow this morning.” Turns out Fred wrote 1,000 words a day minimum, first thing, before doing anything else, no matter what, and did that for decades. Maybe one reason why he was a grandmaster. (grin)

  • Michèle Laframboise

    I was leaning towards a 180k words for the year last July. Once I started with a spreadsheet and daily minimal word count in August, I could see the words building up ( or not!)
    Yesterday I reached 300 k words for 2019, up from 200 k last year, feeling as proud as when I finished my marathon this fall.

    • dwsmith

      Fantastic, Michele. Great year!! Really does add up. Just like running, one foot in front of the other, one page after another.