Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Novel One: Day One

A Good Start…

The goal was three-fold today, plus other stuff. I wanted to get over 11,000 steps in exercise, do some reading for the challenges, and write 6,000 words at least on the first novel of the month.

Hit them all plus some.

(As a reminder, the overall monthly challenge is to write four novels, lose eight pounds, and gain distance every week on my step count, starting the first week at 11,000 steps.)

The Day Went Like This…

Got out the door around 3 p.m. after doing and hour of e-mail and walked to our south store. Now from our house to the south store is two miles, with a nasty hill in the middle I have now named “Sob Hill.” (Coming back up it on mile four was into the wind. First day, long hill, into the wind equal Sob Hill.) I ended up with 11,900 steps for the day.

I got back to our place, got my car and made it to the north store and the WMG offices by 4:30. There I worked on finishing up the next Advanced Business lecture and also moving some videos on a classic workshop. I’ll announce when both are ready.

Off to the grocery store at 7 p.m. and home to take a quick nap and then cook dinner. After some television, I made it back into this office around 10 p.m. and read for the challenge for two hours before taking a short break.

So as planned, I made it to my writing computer just a bit after midnight.


I did one session of 900 words by 12:45 a.m. Novel started easily.

Took a short break and did 1,300 more words by 1:45 A.M.

Watched fifteen minutes of television with Kris, then by 2:45 I had another 1,350 words.

(Novel is going great and it feels good.)

By 3:30 after a short break I had added another 1,150 words.

By 4:15 I had added another 1,000 words.

Short break and by 5 a.m. I had another 900 words. I could have kept going but stopped to write this.

6,600 words of fiction total for the night.

The Day Breakdown

5 hours writing… 6,600 words
1.5 hours exercise plus normal movement… 11,600 steps
5.5 hours of work for workshops and such.

The rest television, cooking dinner, and so on. Plus 8 hours of sleep and a nap.


Days over 6,000 words… 1 of 1
Days over 11,000 steps… 1 of 1
5.5 hours of regular job work so far for the week


Tracking Word Counts… July 1st, 2017
Writing in Public blog streak… Day 1,381

— Daily Fiction: 6,600 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 6,600 words  
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 00 words
— Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 400 words
— E-mail: 38 e-mails.  Approx. 1,800 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 38 e-mails. Approx. 1,800 words



All have openings at the moment. Information at

Any questions at all, feel free to write me. And if you are confused as to which workshop to take first, we have a full curriculum posted on its own page.

Class #1… July 11th … Depth #3: Research
Class #2… July 11th … Author Voice
Class #3… July 11th … Business
Class #4… July 11th … Endings
Class #5… July 11th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #6… July 11th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #7… July 12th … Depth in Writing
Class #8… July 12th … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #9… July 12th … Cliffhangers
Class #10… July 12th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #11… July 12th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #12… July 12th … Writing Fantasy

Depth #3: Research and Writing Fantasy are both new this month and will fill quickly.


Dark Crimes Bundle

I want to remind everyone that I am in a fantastic bundle called Dark Crimes on

Dark Crimes Bundle has two anthologies and eight crime novels.

Folks, this is some great reading here.

For example, if you have never read any O’Neil De Noux, you are missing some fantastic stories set in New Orleans. O’Neil has been publishing mystery novels and stories for well over twenty years now and is one of the top writers in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

The bundle is worth it for Fiction River, Year’s Best Mystery Stories, and O’Neil’s fantastic novel alone.

And one of my favorite Kris mystery novels that has gotten very little attention is Spree. Trust me, that is one twisted mystery.


Fun little ad video is at


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  • Richard

    Love the Thunder Mountain novels and greatly respect your self-challenges. Been following the blog again since my own schedule has opened up a bit. Do you think the blog gets more hits when you’re tracking a challenge? Do you get a sense that folks are tuning in to see how you’re doing? Or do you pay any attention to those stats?

    • dwsmith

      Honestly don’t pay any attention to stats anymore. I do the challenges for me and the blog to keep my streak alive and give myself a place to vent at times. And like the Magic Bakery book, a place to sort of write nonfiction writing books slowly.

      Also, in this day of people reading off of feeds instead of directly from the site, stats don’t mean much and are hard to track.