Challenge,  On Writing

Old Dog New Tricks

That Is What I Called This…

I’m the “old dog.” I am moving from writing late at night for the first 40 years of my fiction writing career to now writing in the morning (with some sessions later in the day or evening) for the next forty years.

My goal now is to walk out of the condo every morning, go to a buffet about a mile away (to get steps), and write at least a thousand words before leaving.

I started a Cold Poker Gang novel with new characters and I have been managing (except for one morning) to get out and set the routine. Yesterday I got out, but I was too late and ended up in a lunch crowd and not writing. (Got some words done last night. Learned the lesson on timing.)

But today worked as I hope it will work regularly as I am now comfortable with the routine.

I stayed up last night until about 2 am, getting a short 500 word session in after burning out my brain on email. Then I got up at 10 am this morning, and after a shower and a piece of banana, I walked the mile to the buffet. Was there just slightly after 11 am and got a great table.

In the next two hours I wrote just over 2,100 words and tonight I got another 300.  And I hit 13,000 steps (6.5 miles)

So the new schedule is working. So far. I have to get it solidly in my habits, which will take time, but I am excited that it is actually working. And it feels like I am celebrating the advantage of living here in Las Vegas as well.

So just under 9,000 words so far on the book and gaining speed. I’d like to get this finished ahead of my deadline, so stay tuned.



  • Michael W Lucas

    I’m confused. No, the writing makes perfect sense.

    But how do you manage to lose weight by going to the buffet every day? I mean, Main Street Station has a freaking *pie bar.*

  • Gai

    So glad to hear you’re establishing a new routine!
    Go Dean Go!

    Perhaps when you get your routine set we could get some “Writing in Public”-type stats again?

    • dwsmith

      Wasn’t that sort of what I did? I tend to only do those daily writing in public stats when on an extreme challenge, like writing 30 stories in thirty days. Maybe I’ll do them while doing the last 10 books in 100 days. That might be interesting considering those 100 days fall right over all the holidays and workshops and such. We shall see. Got to cement in this new schedule first.

      • DS Butler

        If I remember correctly, you used to set out you word count per novel like this:

        Day…. word count…total words.
        Day…. word count…total words.

        That was really interesting.

  • Maree

    I was reading a blog post of Kris’s from a few years ago where she compares running to writing, and i had to laugh when she said she’d probably never run races because it would require getting up too early in the morning.

    And now I see pictures of her running races all the time posted here.

    I guess it’s proof we should never say never, and instead adapt and enjoy changing life circumstances.

    • dwsmith

      Kevin Anderson does that very well. And very successfully. And so do others. Only Kevin has to mess with it again and again after he is done “writing” it. I type it once and am done.

      I’m too damn lazy to do this any other way.

      • DS Butler

        I’ve started to do my words in the morning too. I dictate straight to the computer while walking slowly on my lifespan treadmill desk.
        Words and 10,000 steps done by lunchtime ?