Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Time Management and Free Lecture

First Some Thoughts on Time Management…

Over the next few days I will be  doing two blogs that will, in essence be the introduction chapters to the book Living at Pulp Speed Five. But before I got to that (which will have some basic time management stuff in them and more in the blogs as the challenge goes along) I wanted to talk here about time management and give you something that might help some of you.

Many of you will be following the Pulp Speed Five Challenge here (or closer in the daily letters) wondering how I will be able to be consistent and carve out the time from my busy days for 100 days. And to be honest, that is one thing I am the most worried about as well, because I have only been living her in Vegas four weeks now.

So this will be new to me completely as I go and I will be making adjustments on the fly and will talk about them here in the blogs that will turn into chapters of the non-fiction writing book. (And in more detail in the daily letters.) Not a clue what adjustments I will need to make, but I know they will happen.

On top of that, this challenge has a length of time that crosses over a lot of life stuff for me as well. A major workshop (Master Business Workshop), a marathon I hope to run (so a lot of exercise), my birthday, Thanksgiving, the starting of the anthology workshop, and who knows what else.

Plus as the CFO of WMG Publishing Inc, we are still working out a ton of new systems with me here and the businesses still on the Oregon Coast.

So writing at Pulp Speed Five for 100 days is going to push my talents at carving out time for writing from a crazy busy life.

But I want to try it, so here we go. Starts on Sunday. (So three days left to sign up for the Follow Along. Still a few spots left.)

Now I could write a ton of words here about how to carve out time, but I did an 8 video lecture back in 2013 about this very topic.

So here is the lecture for free for all of you to listen to. First off, remember, there are no passwords anymore. Old system. Lecture will just remain on your Teachable dashboard for you to review over and over if you want.

And that was my business office three offices ago. Also keep in mind I recorded this five years ago, when the lectures and workshops were just getting started.

Here is how to get to the free lecture called Carving Out Time for Your Writing. (It normally coasts $50.00. Over the next few months, as well as doing new workshops and this challenge, I will also be recording new lectures.)

First go to

And set up an account if you don’t have one. It’s free.

Then hit the “all courses” at the top and find the Carving Out Time lecture and hit “Enroll in Course” which will take you to the next page.

On the next page, right under the first panel, is a link that says “Add Coupon.” Hit that and put the code in the coupon area and you should be in without charge. It will remain then on your dashboard for you to return to at any point.

Any problems, or questions, feel free to write me.

Carving Out Time Lecture code:


Feel free to pass this on to anyone you think might need it.



  • Jason M

    Hey Dean, was John D MacDonald a pulp writer? I’m enjoying one of his books right now. It’s intelligent but it feels like it was written quickly.

    • dwsmith

      Nope, he was a New York Times bestseller. He started in the middle 1940s and became a bestseller twenty years later or so. And not sure how you can tell how a book was written by reading it? Especially from a Stage Four writer like MacDonald. Might want to clear that kind of thinking out of your mind. How a book was written has nothing to do with how it reads or the quality, good or bad. That is beginning writer think, nothing to do with reality.

      • Raymund Eich

        At the start of his career, MacDonald spent four months writing 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, producing 800,000 words of short stories. That averages out to 480 words/hour of finished product.

        If someone thinks MacDonald only wrote fast at the beginning of his career writing short stories for the pulps, he wrote about 40 novels during 1950-1962. And at least three Travis McGee novels in 1963.

        • Jason M

          Thanks, Raymund. I love his style and was curious about his process. He seems like a highly educated pulp writer.

      • Jason M

        It’s not beginner writer think, Dean — as a professional writer and editor, who gets paid to not only write but to fix other people’s writing, I sometimes can tell if a manuscript was phoned in. Or if it was labored over and rewritten to death. Or, if I suspect about Macdonald, that he was a super bright guy who wrote fast first drafts that were very entertaining.

        That’s all I was asking. Thanks for the useless finger-wag.

        • dwsmith

          Jason, if you enjoyed the story, what was the point of even asking that question? If you didn’t enjoy the story, it wasn’t to your taste. No big deal.

          Why fall back into the old “it’s thin, it must have been written quickly” garbage?? Some writers, many writers, actually, as in Koontz to name just one, purposely try for clear and invisible writing. MacDonald was one of those.

          AND HE WASN’T A PULP WRITER by any definition. He sold a bunch of short stories and then got into the paperback original world.

          So sorry if I insulted you, but that question comes mostly from beginning writers who have no understanding of the process and how the experience of writing a novel isn’t relevant at all to the experience of of a reader reading the book. So sorry. The question was so full of myths, I have to say something, since here I make it a point to knock down myths.

  • Nathan Haines

    I got a chance to view your Heinlein’s Rules lecture via a StoryBundle, and was quite happy with it, so seeing a lecture up for free was a very nice surprise!

    Now the question is whether to start it now or do that writing I really should do and watch the lectures tomorrow… ?

  • Dave Raines

    My situation is actually the opposite of the one you’re addressing, but I still found the lecture pointed right at me. I’ve just retired and have lots of time on my hands! I do have a whole list of possibilities for useful things to do. I am giving myself three months “shakedown cruise” to choose and sort and organize them–just have a smorgasbord of experience–and allocate time accordingly. But I have so many interests that it’s hard to focus. Family’s at the top, but writing is right behind. I can see that “Carve Out Time” is exactly what’s needed, even or especially because I have time;. Because the temptation is to fill it with things that don’t “move forward,” I need to carve time out of an amorphous blob rather than a busy day, but still need to carve out time. (I also struggle with “give your writing value” so that’s another issue.)

  • Alexandra

    Omg Dean that is so awesome, thank you!!! I just started my first full time job, and while I‘ve been pretty good with getting up an hour early to write, I‘m looking forward to learning more about,aking time for it from your videos!

    Also super excited to watch you do the challenge!

  • Rick Grant

    Can I just thank you very much for being so generous and making this video available to all. I am not being passive aggressive when I say that nothing here is new, on the contrary, the way you make the whole process a story imbued with what Terry Pratchett called “narrativium” elevates it to sound and sage advice that should be considered deeply and well.

    Although I run a consulting business that takes me to such lovely spots as Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria etc, and as a result a life fractured with constant change, I was able to complete and publish a thriller last year, inspired greatly by your daily blog entries.

    But somehow, the techniques I used to write and publish the first novel, (in the span of two months), died with the approach of winter. Having watched the first half of the video I see that I need to go back to first principles and look at my days with a sharpened carving chisel in hand. I had not realized, until you talked about it at length, that one must be ready to chop and change time management techniques, which are closely ties to motivation levels, as life and circumstances around us swirl. If you try too hard to hang on to what worked before, it seems to me, then the whole creative process can grind to a halt .

    You speak with clear common sense and I thank you for the help.

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Rick, and sounds to me like you have it under control completely. And control often is change to suit the time. So thanks and keep the writing fun.

  • Tina

    Between the new day job and the 4 h commute, I needed the reminder that small chunks of time and small words counts still do add up. Thank you.

  • emmiD

    Thank you for the gift of Carving Time. The methods seem so simple, but they are also so hard to implement and keep in practice. I enjoyed the videos.