70 Book Challenge,  Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Time to Look Ahead…

And We Can!!!

Finally, the end of this year is in site, a vaccine is in sight, and here in the States a new government is in site. So it is the 7th of December and time to slowly start making plans for the new year. Writing plans, business plans, exercise plans that were almost impossible to make four months (or even two months) ago.

On exercise, since I finished the marathon, I overate and gave my feet time to heal, so gained five pounds. Winter/holiday weight I am sure, but going to drop it back off plus more after the holiday. So I am in the process of setting new exercise goals, not driven by an end result like a marathon. Streaks are a good thing in exercise.

Business plans I have already set. I am working to publish 70 different major books with my name on the cover in my 70th year of living on the planet. My restrictions on books is either a novel, a stand-alone novella (over 20,000 words), a collection, or an anthology or issue of a magazine I edited with my name on the cover. Going to be a push, but I think I can make it. Getting Smith’s Monthly back up and running on pace is critical to that, so that is where my first focus is to start this winter.

Writing, I will talk about later. I might play a bunch this year with some challenges and some goals and maybe a streak or two. We shall see as I get closer to the first of the year. But even for me it will be a great amount. And will take some ramp up here in December to get up to speed.

So no need to post your goals to comments here. But if you have questions on setting goals, challenges, streaks, feel free to write in the comments. But for your own goals, do post them to your web site, to your Facebook page. Writing them down and talking about things like goals really helps.

2021 is coming. It will have its issues, its challenges, it’s changes, and we all will lose friends and family before this pandemic is past. But at least now we writers can do some planning again. And give writing and publishing a little more focus.

Stay safe out there.




  • Philip

    When it comes to goal setting, I feel like Critical Voice is waiting to pounce when you fail to meet a goal. How do you contend with that when you slip up in challenges?

    • dwsmith

      Set a goal, fail, but get stuff done, which means you fail forward. Any goal that drives you forward is a win.

      One thing that most writers never think of is that setting a goal and hitting it is a rare thing in publishing and writing. Very rare, actually.

      You want to understand writing, play golf. Golf is a series of missed shots. Sometimes you miss it three feet sideways and everyone applauds because only missing by three feet looks great. Other times, the ball goes clear off the course. But EVERY shot in golf is a miss of one form or another. The person who misses the least wins. Writing is the same way. Perfection does not exist in writing. Just string your misses together for a career.

      Dealing with critical voice is another matter based in fear. Nothing to do with challenges, other than for some people a challenge brings up the fear. But you have to deal with the fear. Fear of what, I have no idea, since nothing in publishing or writing can hurt you. But the fear seems to be real for some people.

      • Scott

        I have been thinking a year spent chasing Heinleins Rules would be the best option for me. I’ve spent too long not finishing stories and I think setting a years goals around his rules would help me get over that. I’m not sure what that means in terms of a production schedule yet. I need to figure that out. Maybe start with some conservative math of how much I can write everyday and work out the novel/short story count from there? I know I will need some kind of goal/tactic around stopping me from turning my ears towards all the noise out there that goes against the rules.

      • Balázs

        O.o Fail forward! It’s for me. I did nano this year, didn’t finish but wrote some words. I have a story taking shape while I continue writing. It’s a win, isn’t it? Like when I started write short story every week. Couldn’t do it for long, but I managed to do some story and develop some idea. I always “fail” for challenges. It’s a win? And that analogy with golf is nice! I never played golf but for writing I can understand the thing. Thanks for the post and the comments. Have a nice day!

  • Margaret

    Really glad to know that Smith’s Monthly will be back soon.
    Has WMG started taking subscriptions for it?