Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  workshops

Recorded Yet Another New Pop-Up

I Should Have Both Posted by Wednesday…

The one I recorded a few days ago is called #21… Fear of Success, maybe the largest trigger of the critical voice there is outside of making a book important, and also a major reason many writers stop writing.

The Pop-Up I just finished recording is called #22… Dealing with Toxic People. Sort of a how to recognize them, how to fix the problem, or how to get away from the problem. Sadly, often the most toxic people are friends or family who have your best intentions in mind. So I figured people needed some help on that.

Now Kris and I have a few more Pop-Up ideas that might or might not be done.

I already said a few times I would add in Making a Living with Novels as a Pop-Up. At some point when the mood strikes me, I will do that.

Other ideas for Pop-Ups are:

No One Will Buy My Book Fear... And How to Get Past It.

Writer’s Deadly Delusions

Can I Make Money Without Promotion?

Things Get Worse… Ramping Tension in Your Story

So that’s some fun ideas. Anything else you would like to see, let me know. I won’t hold you to signing up if it gets done, I promise. (grin)



  • Philip

    The “no one will read your work anyway” line from my Critical Voice is a big one. I constantly use it as an excuse not to finish a project. CV tells me no one will read it because it’s not the right genre or it’s self published without millions of ads, etc. That leads to a thought of my stories being “not worth it” to finish. Absolutely my top problem.

    For me, it manifests as a point where not only do I not finish a project but I fail to start new one sometimes because I do navel-gazing of what the “right” story will be. Horrible.

    • Mark Kuhn

      Philip, my Creative Voice only spits out cool stuff while I’m at the keyboard. I’m not worried about who will read my stories. My first reader gave me great feedback on a couple of recent stories I had finished.
      So i sent one over to F & SF. We’ll see what happens.
      Dean always says we are the worst judge of our own writing, so i make sure to keep that in mind.
      Even if you can’t seem to finish anything, just write the next sentence.
      Critical Voice, for me, doesn’t want me to sit at the keyboard because it knows once I get there I’m in control.

    • E. R. Paskey

      I would really like “Making A Living with Novels” (I suspect it would dovetail nicely with what I learned in “The Indie Game”) , but all the rest of those sound good too!

      The toxic people pop-up immediately brings a couple of people to mind…

      Thanks also for including “Fear of Success” in the Decade Ahead class. And while I’m on that subject, thank you very much for extending that class another year so that you and Kris can (hopefully) talk about more normal 2nd/3rd quarter issues in 2021. Very much appreciated!

    • ceeteefeebs

      Philip, I have the opposite problem! It would be liberating if only I could get myself into the mindset that no one will ever read my work. For me, the Critical Voice stems from a need to please (ingrained in me as a child), so I am terrified of the negative feedback and bad reviews. I’ve only ever posted fanfiction, but after a few years of being relentlessly bullied and picked apart by a group of other writers, I find myself paralyzed with the fear of being torn apart by readers. (I hate that they have done that to me, but there’s no point pretending otherwise). It doesn’t matter if I’m trying to write original fiction or fanfiction: I get stuck in the endless cycle of editing, editing, editing. Trying to make something perfect and above reproach. As it that were even possible.

      I can definitely see, though, how the fear of writing in a vacuum would take the wind out of many people’s sails. You begin to question the point of the endeavor if the work isn’t to be shared with anyone else. I suppose I’m just so desperate to be free of negative feedback that the vacuum (or illusion of one) has become a utopia/safe harbor.

      • dwsmith

        Holy smokes, Ceeteefeebs. Wow. But one important thing is that you see it and understand what happened, and you can climb out of that and fix that problem. It is not permanent unless you believe it is.

        First off, take the Killing the Critical Voice. Then take Writing with Depth workshop followed by Writing into the Dark workshop. Those three regular workshops will have a lot of that put away and done by the fall, and workshops are on sale right now.

        Hang in there, knowing the problem is halfway to fixing it.

  • Cora

    All of those Pop-Ups sound great Dean. My first priorities would be “Can I Make Money Without Promotion” and “Things Get Worse”. Both of those really hit me. Looking forward to them.

  • allynh

    Build into your “Making a Living with Novels” on how to deal with the money once it starts coming in.

    I am amazed at how many stories are out there about people suddenly making big bucks with Indy writing and literally blowing it all, and getting in to deep debt when the money dries up during a downturn in the business.

    It’s not just being a writer. A few years ago the PBS Newshour had a series of reports where people making over 100k a year were still living paycheck to paycheck because they did not understand how to handle money. That went along with the study showing that most people would have problems dealing with a sudden $400 bill.

    Decades ago experts recommended having six months income in the bank, just in case. I haven’t heard people recommending that since the last crash in 2009.

  • Tracy

    Uhm. Is it me/my browser, or are the names of the Pop-up courses not hyperlinked to the Pop-up courses?

    • dwsmith

      They are not because when I wrote that they were not live yet. They are now, #21 and #22.

  • Thomas Bennett

    A pop up about the 1/3 point in a novel might be good. I don’t know if there’s anything you can do besides having an awareness of the one-third problem.

    I know you were going to do a workshop about the middle and nobody signed up. Curse you past potential masses…not really. (grin)