Remember My Last Challenge?

Writing At Pulp Speed Five…

Doing 10 novels in 100 days. Plus a book blogging about it. That challenge?


Well, it started on September 9th and got off to a very rocky start, to say the least. (That is such a huge understatement it makes me giggle.)

So what happened? Simple, actually. I ended up trying to do far, far too many things at once.

— I switched my sleeping schedule five hours, from writing late and going to bed late to getting up early and writing during the day. That switch has worked, but weeks and weeks of time to get used to.

— I increased my exercise, which for some reason made this old guy tired more than usual. Go figure. (grin) Since the challenge started I have dropped 12 pounds.

— I had not cleared the decks of a ton of business stuff and am still working on a bunch of it to be honest. And I had a trip in the middle plus this next week is the master class.

Far, far, far too many distractions that all needed to be done.

So a false start would be a nice way of putting what happened.

But I really, really want to do the challenge…

So I am going to RESET.

That’s right, on November 1st I hit the reset button and fire up 100 days of writing. (The September 9th start was an artificial start time anyway.)

I will finish the novel I have started this month in the challenge, plus do ten more in the 100 days. And I will get back to blogging about the writing process here as well.

So the fine folks who jumped onto the follow-along challenge and have been getting letters from me will start getting letters again on November 1st nightly until Feb 8th, plus they will get to read 11 of my novels in uncorrected proof copies, literally within a week or so after I finish it.

And my Patreon supporters will start getting Smith’s Monthly issues again, plus a copy of the nonfiction book about the challenge in January or so.

And in the non-fiction writing book about this challenge, I will talk about this reset as part of the process and all the factors that played into me not being ready to actually spend 100 days having fun and writing.

So if you were wondering what happened to that challenge, it will start up for real on November 1st after a test start (that’s what I am calling it, so there…)

Always fun with these challenges.

But the real lesson from all this about any challenge is to know when to adjust, not be angry at yourself for missing, and keep learning. And that’s what I have just illustrated right here in the open.

Stay tuned.



  • Isabo Kelly

    I love watching these challenges you do, Dean. Succeed, fail, or restart, I always learn something. Thanks for continuing to do them in public. It provides a wonderfully realistic view of a writing life to offset the myths.

  • Cora

    Thanks for the eye opener Dean. I started my own short story challenge at the beginning of October and life happened and got in the way. So thanks for the reminder that I don’t need to wait until the beginning of next month to start again. By mid next week I should be clear and there’s no reason I can’t begin again as soon as I’m ready. I’ve got a calendar after all and can keep track no matter when I start.

  • David Anthony Brown

    I always enjoy watching you do these challenges. So easy when a challenge blows up to simply give up. So inspiring to watch a pro get back up when he falls down.