Challenge,  Fun Stuff,  On Writing,  publishing

Something Fun…

Listen to Me Babble for 45 Minutes… Live…

At 10 AM West Coast time, I will be on the Draft2Digital Spotlight talking publishing and writing with super writer and editor Mark Leslie Lefebvre, who also works for D2D. It will be live and could get silly, because Mark and I tend to get silly at times.

For those of you who don’t know, for a number of years now, Mark has been our anchor at both the Master Business Class and the Anthology Workshop. His depth of knowledge of fiction and publishing and his willingness to help writers goes beyond any words I might say.

And he likes beer. And rides around for a third of the year with a skeleton in his car. And he’s Canadian.

Did I mention he’s a great editor, great writer, and likes beer?

Not a clue why I am not interviewing him, to be honest. But it’s his show, and I get the honor of being on it live tomorrow morning. Don’t miss the fun!

10 am west coast time. Catch it live on two places. YouTube or Facebook. Wish me luck.

or on Facebook.


  • E. R. Paskey

    Thanks for the heads up! I was able to catch the live stream and quite enjoyed it.

    Probably the takeaway gem for me was the reminder that I need to publish at least four major titles a year to keep things going (or get them going again, in my current case given life circumstances). I was thinking about that this week and couldn’t remember what the number was.

    I’m working towards being able to do that for the first time this year. (Despite all the virus craziness!)

  • emmiD

    Great interview. Joy to hear the banter and lots of great information, especially about the four books a year. That really struck hard.

    Long post with two questions. My apologies in advance.

    When I started into self publishing, my other career was extremely necessary. To avoid problems there, I made the decision to have three pen names: different genres, different focuses, different niche markets.

    In hindsight, I probably should have waited to publish the books for two of those pen names. But I wanted to get everything launched, and I had the manuscripts ready, so why not? I think now that was a mistake.

    About three years ago I over-plotted and killed a book 3/4 through—and discovered your writing into the dark. Thank you! That brought joy back into writing stories. Managed to save the book by ignoring the plotted plan—and it came out much more interesting.


    Sometimes the stories fly out, but then I run into one that just won’t flow until an unanticipated missing piece jumps in. And I hit one of those every year which slows down production reaching those 4 books a year (which really slows down writing at least one book per year for each pen name).

    Last year I encountered a big slow-down all through June and July, then a walk-on character demanded to have a recurring voice in the story. I *thought* the next book would be simple, but another nope. I wasn’t blocked; every time I wrote, over 1,000 new words per session. I just couldn’t bring myself to get my ass in the chair.

    So I have two questions I hope to get your insight on.

    1)How do you keep from beating yourself up over these problems? Because I think that had something to do with chair-avoidance.

    2) Is there a way to speed up the creative muse? Especially when she’s holding her arms wide, blocking the story path, screaming “wait! Wait! Something’s missing?”

    • dwsmith

      Glad you enjoyed the interview. I had fun.

      As for beating myself up, I never do because I don’t care about getting something done, I only care about the fun of the writing. So sounds to me like you are letting critical voice in. And believing a little in the “muse” myth of something having to “jump in.” So my suggestion is to just forget about how the book will end up, or if it will even be good or not, and just focus down on writing the next sentence. Anyone can figure out what sentences follows one that has been written. So write the next sentence and then repeat. Only focus on what is to happen next. That allows the creative voice to kick out all the worry coming from critical voice and just enjoy the writing and you will pick up steam.

      What you are calling a “muse” is your critical voice working and succeeding in stopping you. Nifty trick it has. And you are buying into it. Anything negative (like stop) is critical voice, anything positive (like let’s go play, let’s explore) is creative voice. You are just believing your critical voice is your positive voice. No negatives allowed and if you stop for anything, critical voice is winning.

      You can write a novel a month if you spend more time in the chair. Nothing in your creative voice stopping you. But your critical voice is clearly on strong.

      • emmiD

        Oh my! It’s the myths! I made it “important”, didn’t I? I thought I was having fun, but I was listening to critical voice— and calling it the muse. Gosh, it’s so hard to let the myths go.

        Thank you, thank you! As soon as I read your reply, it resonated. And I just need to have fun while writing instead of beating myself up.

        • dwsmith

          Exactly. If you can’t have fun making up stories and getting paid for it… Well…. (grin)