Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  Topic of the Night,  Writing in Public

Time and Writing



I have noticed this in the past, but just remembered it once again. When planning on returning from writing after a vacation or a sickness, or both in my case at the moment, the time you think you will return is never the actual time it takes you to manage to return.

As I have always said, starting writing is far, far harder than just writing every day.



Made it to the WMG offices around 1 p.m. and worked there until five p.m. I got all kinds of things moving, such as Smith’s Monthly, moved some shelves, and had great conversations on different things.

Groceries, then home to cook dinner. I tried to hold off taking a nap, but failed after dinner, not really getting recovered from a long nap and television until midnight. Very slow.

Then worked on workshop assignments until almost 2 a.m.

Then I once again, for the second day, dug into the Cold Poker Gang novel I had worked on in December. I started from the beginning last night, sort of putting the book back in my head. And tonight I continued with that.

No new words of any amount, so nothing to report on that. Tomorrow I should reach that blank page and move onward with new words. We shall see.


February Online Workshops Start on February 1st!

That’s Only One Week Away!!!

All of the February Online Workshops marked below have openings. Click the workshop tab above for description and sign-up or go to

Each regular workshop is six weeks long and takes about 3-4 hours per week to do at your own pace and your own time.

All workshops have openings.

Class #11… Feb 1st … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Feb 1st … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Feb 1st … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #14… Feb 1st … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Feb 2nd … Character Development
Class #16… Feb 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Feb 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Feb 3rd … Designing Covers
Class #19… Feb 3rd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Feb 3rd … How to Write Science Fiction

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.


Topic of the Night: Starting

I hate starting up writing. Hate it, find it difficult for no real reason, and sometimes just flat painful.

But I love writing, and when writing regularly, such as on a novel or a series of stories, I find it no problem at all. I get excited to get to my writing every night.

I am fairly certain the reason for the pain of starting up is that writing has become “Important” with the word important echoing like a bad sound effect in a B movie. Nothing important is easy to start or continue.

Of course, I am also certain this is only one of many reasons.

So I’ve been sort of sneaking up on getting back to writing, working back through the book I have a ton done on. And I am keeping my enjoyment of writing clear in my mind, not letting it get overwhelmed by the starting process.

I used to be a writer who started and stopped all the time. Now I seldom stop. And now I remember why I seldom stop.

Too damn painful to start back up.


Totals For Year 3, Month 6, Day 24

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 857

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 11,200 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,200 words 

— Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 12,100 words

— E-mail: 26 e-mails.  Approx. 1,400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 493 e-mails. Approx. 20,900 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 Covers


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  • Harvey

    GREAT mini-topic, Dean. I recently finished my 13th novel (since Oct 2014). The next day, I felt lost. So I put a character with a problem in a setting and wrote a short story. Then the next day, I did next to nothing. The day after that I wrote two chapters of a nonfiction book I’m working on (3250 words) but felt as if I had done nothing again. Today I’ll either start my next novel or write another short story. And I hope it’s a novel. I love the flow and continuity of a novel. I’ve gotten to the point where, when I stall, I even enjoy the little “all right… do I write the next sentence or do I write the next scene? aw hell, just write something” argument I have with myself a few times during the process. When I’m not writing fiction, it’s as if I’m away from a very close friend.

  • Dane Tyler

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying it’s hard for you to start back up too. I’ve had the worst time getting going again, but I realize now it’s the same thing. I shot myself in the foot after I finished my last story because I stopped writing. Like you’ve said before, best way to celebrate finishing one is to start the next.

    Lesson learned. Once I get my legs under me, and finally get running again, I’m not going to stop. It really is too painful to start up again.

    And above all, I have to keep the writing fun, not “Important.”

    Thanks Dean. Great reminders.

  • Christina Ochs

    Glad you’re feeling better again, Dean.

    Reading this post was a huge relief. I didn’t get much writing done this past month between a crazy stressful holiday season, the launch of my second book, and a flu that knocked me down last week. I had a terrible time getting started again and wondered if I was doing something wrong. I started obsessing about a character I’m planning to kill off about 60,000 words from now (that’ll teach me to deviate from writing into the dark!), which led to several days of procrastination. I got a lot of stuff done, but none of it writing.

    Once I forced myself to start again though, it was fine. I’m on a five-day streak now and having a blast again. Whew! It’s good to know, though, so I can just scale back if necessary, rather than stop altogether.

  • Diane Darcy

    I’ve been in the same boat. Way to articulate this. Very helpful. When I finish this story, I’m going to spend the first hour of the day writing new words so stalling out doesn’t happen again. Thanks, Dean! =)