Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

My Two New Challenges

Yes… Two, Not One, but Two…

In a couple weeks I turn 67 years old. I do not want birthday wishes please. Thanks anyway.

But the point of telling you that I start into my 67th year is the challenges.

First Challenge is a Health Challenge.

Last year my walking/running plans did not pan out as I had hoped, so time to reset.

I did lose more weight last year, so that was a success. And I figured out what stopped me, another success.

So the challenge is this… I am going to run my age. 

In varied races I will run 67 miles of races. They might be a number of 5K (3 miles) races, some 10K (5 miles), half marathons (13 miles) or if I get in shape as hoped, a marathon or two (26 miles).

The total miles run in official races will be over 67 miles. I will run my age. None of the daily runs will count. Just official races.

Fun challenge and one I can wrap my mind around. I will post ribbons or pictures from finish lines as the year goes on. I hope to place in my age category a few times as I get faster and in better shape. You get to my age there are fewer and fewer people running in my age group for some reason. (grin)

Second Challenge is a Writing/Publishing Challenge

I will write/publish my age.

In my 67th year I will publish at least 67 book titles. (The challenge will not count short story stand alone tiles. If I counted them, I could go so far past 100 it wouldn’t be a challenge)

I will count only major books with my name on the cover that I wrote or had a hand in editing. This is how Isaac Asimov counted his seven hundred books it was said he did. He counted anything he helped edit as well as what he wrote.

So here is how it will go I hope…

To get Smith’s Monthly caught up before #60, I need to do 16 of them in the next 12 months. That means 16 novels and at least 70 short stories. I can do that. It will keep me focused, but I can do that.

The novels will be published as stand-alone novels either right after or before the Smith’s Monthly volumes, depending on promotions.

All will be published before my 68th birthday or they won’t count.

So 16 Smiths Monthly issues and 16 novels stand-alone is 32.

Not even halfway there.

I am the co-executive editor on Fiction River, so I will count the seven of those scheduled to be published in my 67th year. And I will count the five issues of Pulphouse that come out as well. Another 12 bringing the count to 44.

Still a ways short of 67.

I have five books in the publishing pipeline right now that will publish after my birthday. Four novels and one Smith’s Monthly. So that brings me to 49.

So what projects that I have wanted to do that I haven’t gotten to just yet??

I will do the massive collection Stories from April using the stories I wrote last April. That will be the second in that massive collection series.

Then another with the Stories from November I am starting to write on the first.

Then next spring, more than likely May (or March), I will do another short story challenge called Stories from May(March?) to keep that series going.

I will also do a book where I put the four novels I did in July together called the Novels of July.

That’s four more plus one of the Pulphouse Kickstarter books scheduled for next fall.

So add 5 to the total for a running total now of 54 books.

I will also do 3 nonfiction books, some from blogs here, during the year.

So 57 books.

Still ten short. So during the year I will be doing one new 5-story collection every month for a total of 12 more books, bringing my total of books to 69 if all goes well.

So I am going to write/publish my age.

At least 67 titles in one year into the indie world, not counting stand-alone short stories.

Running in races for 67 miles and publishing 67 new titles.

I think this new year I will have a blast. I know I am excited about this challenge because it is just crazy enough to keep me really interested.

And I have never heard of anyone before publishing their age.

So I will have a running tally here for both challenges as I go along starting after my birthday in November. Stay tuned.

First-things-first, thirty short stories in November.


  • Kate Pavelle

    I am impressed by your staunch adherence to imperial units, Dean! If it were me, I’d run my age in kilometers. It’s more… modern. More sci-fi. Also, a lot more efficient 🙂 This being said, I’m inspired, AND I’m going to join you in my own fashion. For my 52nd birthday in November, I’m going to traverse 52 miles in races (swim, bike, and/or “run”) and I’m going to publish 52 new titles. In my case, I have no shame and I will count my short stories!

    Because goals are important. Have fun with yours, and I’ll certainly have fun with mine!

  • Harvey

    Dang, Dean, it’ll be a challenge just keeping track of all the little bits and pieces of the publishing challenge. So good luck with that on both counts.

      • dwsmith

        Doable if you write some short stories and count those out there as stand-alone, which they are. Fantastic discovery stuff, but realize even if you go for it and only hit 50, realize I said “Only 50.” (Grin) Total success.

  • Victoria Goddard

    Even with my age–35 in December–it was a challenge to come up with enough titles, let alone do the actual work of writing and publishing them all.

    After figuring out which were the planned novels and which would be short stories or novellas, I worked out that to write said titles would be Pulp Speed 0.5–about 500,000 words in the year.

    Well. Failing to hit that target is still very much failing to success, no?

    • dwsmith

      Totally success. And short stories and novels totally count, even though I am not counting them this year. I might next year. The key is to make the challenge fun.

  • Andrew MacDonald

    You guys! I got to get me some of that. I just turned 70 and am very healthy so if I went for seven in the next year I could do that. Several have good drafts out there already.

  • USAF

    you can reset your health, but Dean, work your way up in running if you’ve not been running every day. Eat clean is as important, and 64 oz MINIMUM of water daily. MINIMUM for when one is older one doesnt always feel thirst. So you have to plan it out beforehand. You can do this.

    As for 67 books in 365 days, I know you can do this too. How many days might that be aprx per book?

    Now, as I am seven years older than you… you little brother, you…. and going strong: I’m a weight lifter and dance for aerobics: I can say that the secret to strength and mobility is MOVING even if for ten minutes a day, not just between den and kitchen… purposeful stretches are surprisingly effective .

    Doesnt hurt to cut out wheat/gluten, often one’s joints will stop aching, feeling ‘thick’ within a week.

    I will always be happy to cheer you on Dean.

    • dwsmith

      Oh, yeah, I was a runner when younger and working up slowly as the weight comes off. And I drink massive amounts of water and Kris and I cook very healthy. I stopped gluten and felt a thousand times better in my old hands and knees. That was a stunning miracle that I am stunned more people don’t know about. And I walk and move and lift all the time, so no issue on that either. But thanks for the great suggestions. Folks, listen to this one if you are working on health.

      As for the books, just over one new book a week on average. Between all the normal schedules of Fiction River and Pulphouse and Smith’s Monthly getting caught up, I am only adding in one collection a month to the mix and three more nonfiction books from blogs. Should be completely doable.

      Thanks again.

      • USAF

        WOw, dean! OK THEN, LET’S GO.

        I CANT DO a book a week, but maybe? How long are these books? are they all fiction?
        I hope you will write about this more, like you write the book, who formats and uploads? who does cover, writes blurb for amz? Will these books be also avail pod or create space?

        Ive been reading alot about batching and mega batching. I think its a real possibility that this can work esp for people who are idea fire hoses like you.

        Keep going. And I am glad to hear you quit gluten. Im with you, its AMAZING taht more people dont know you dont have to be all crippled up and feel like sh because your body cant recog this modern form of hybrydized ‘wheat’ as food. Keep doin what yer doin, and keep us updated…

    • Peggy

      Thanks for this advice, USAF! It’s really encouraging to get good news from healthy people who are older than me. 🙂

      Exciting challenge, Dean!

  • Amy Laurens

    Go team gluten-makes-my-joints-hurt! *sigh*

    Anyway, you’ve got me seriously considering doing a scaled-down version of this challenge. I’ve just released three books this year, which is a SIGNIFICANT increase in my output, so shooting for much more than that is dreaming at this point…. but I could do my age x 10,000 words… That would be 320,000 words in the year, which is only 900 words/day, 6 days/week, which… that’s doable. I… could actually do that. The most I’ve ever written in a year is 200,000, but… 900 words/day, 6 days/week? These days… yeah, I could *probably* do that.

    Hmm. I am thinking, that’s for sure. Thanks for that. *cookies*

  • Sheila G

    Better to have birthday wishes than sympathy cards, right? 😀

    Your challenges always amaze me, Dean. I’m feeling a little inspired by this one, as well. While I can’t run (even without gluten, my knees are shot), I can lose my years in pounds. I will be sixty in February, which is a ways down the road, but I think I’ll do it. Sixty pounds and sixty titles, beginning on my sixtieth birthday. I’ve got so many ideas and so many starts to things in various stages, it’s not like there won’t be ample fuel for the writing. And the darned ideas keep coming!

    Anyway, I’ll be looking forward to updates on the various challenges.