Challenge,  On Writing

One More Vague Post…

Breakthrough Today On the New Challenge…

Poor Kris and Allyson. I think I have officially driven them both crazy with trying to figure out all the details on this coming challenge and working the details all through. Of course, Kris and Allyson both know me well enough to know that I just go over and over and over the same thing until I have thought about every detail. Then once I make up my mind, I just do it and stop talking about it.

Got a hunch they both are praying that day is almost here. (grin) Tonight alone, after Allyson had gone home, I called her to talk about some details on the challenge and 40 minutes later Kris and Allyson were still pitching ideas on a few things at me. So I think finally the three of us found the route tonight, the missing pieces, which is why I am doing this vague post. I’m excited.

Well, this new challenge is a writing challenge. The 70@70 challenge was a publishing challenge. And I had it worked out ahead of time as well, just like I am doing this.

In fact, before I started I looked at the books I knew about that were scheduled to be published in the year ahead. I figured I would end up doing 10 collections (I ended up doing 11 because the November Smith’s Monthly wouldn’t come out until after the deadline this month. My fault, late for the novel in it.) In other words, I had it pretty much figured out as much as I could with publishing a year ahead and had it all detailed out. So thankfully it worked. Very proud of making that challenge.

So with this new writing challenge starting on January 1st, I am really checking in with myself to see what will motivate me to keep going when I am exhausted, lost the will to live, and no longer care about anything, and it is four hours past my normal time to go to bed. That will happen.

I am also making sure I am not setting up some “to-the-minute” deadline for anything. I will miss that for certain during a full year.

Now look at the challenges we have set up on Teachable on WMG for writers who want a formal structure. All are still there and available. One is to publish one major book a month for 12 months. Not a lot of people have tried that. Only a couple made it over the last few years.

Another one is to write one short story per week for 52 weeks. A number of people have tried this one and a bunch have made it.

The third challenge is to write a novel and send it to me every two months for a year. More miss on this one than you might expect, but everyone says they learn a lot from it.

I think everyone learns from any of those challenges.

Now I am not going to do any of those. I average over 50 new short stories every year anyway, publish a ton more as the 70@70 challenge showed, and write far more books than six. In fact, I have written 5 full novels in 5 weeks on a challenge once. So those challenges are good and I did them all at one point or another to build up to the level I am at now.

So as soon as I nail down all the moving parts on this new challenge and believe deep down that I can do it no matter how ugly things get, I will announce it here. Succeed or fail, if nothing else, it will be a learning experience for me and anyone who is watching.

To be honest, as I said, I am getting excited, which is a very good sign.

So this will be the last vague post on this. I hope all of you are starting to look at 2022 and start preparing your writing and publishing. Now is the time to start getting ready. It will be a fun year. And it will be here faster than we can imagine.


  • Britt Malka

    My boss, before I quit a job for good in 1995, was a Scorpio like me, so he knew my weaknesses.

    He would often tease me with half a story and then say, “Nevermind,” and leave my office.

    Why am I thinking of that now?

    • dwsmith

      Judy, LOL… Not important, just trying to not set up failure. I seldom these days run into the “important” problem, thankfully. My problem is that I have so many factors involved. And my biggest factor is that if I don’t see a return, I just stop on things. Always have. And that’s the problem with this challenge. If I hit it, what am I going to do with it all?

      Thanks, good reminder, but so far I’m good. Just my normal process so far. (grin)

  • Philip

    I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to hear your 2022 challenge. For me, I’d like to do a challenge along side you. Once again, on January 1st, I’m attempting the short-story-a-week challenge. I’ve always failed but I know I have what it takes to do it because way back in October 2015 I wrote a story a day that month. I wound up with 32 stories, actually, and bunled them into 6 separate bundles, so I wound up going from 0 published books in September to 38 books on November 1st while the rest of the “writers” were just starting NanoWriMo that day.

    The key to me is genre hopping. Gotta wipe out the myths of “I’m just a mystery writer” or “I’m just a ‘literary’ writer.” Just put a character in a setting and see what the hell happens.

    Writing Into the Dark for the Win!

  • Vincent Zandri

    Okay, I’m in on the one novel per month challenge. More than likely I will do at least a short story every two weeks also. Not you’re Pulp Speed Dean, but I’m erring on the side of conservative!!! I’ll make it public on my blog and YouTube channel, The Writer’s Life for the sake of transparency! 🙂

  • Mihnea+Manduteanu

    So curious about this. I mean if you, a master of challenges, are so meticulous about this one, must be a doosy. Can’t wait. Curious if someone like me could pick it up, maybe 50%, or 60 or whatever. I am thinking that if it’s a writing challenge, it won’t matter that you have the WMG machine behind, so that’s why. To each his own.