Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Why Is The Strengths Workshop Hard?

A Couple People Asked That Question Today…

I will be announcing the new Strengths workshops (yes, there are more than one this time). And I said in the comment yesterday we don’t do these except once every few years because they are so difficult ON ME AND KRIS.

Kris and I have writing to do, a business to run, life to enjoy. We contain our help of other writers to our blogs and to the online workshops and only four coast workshops a year. It might seem like a lot from the outside, but actually it’s not bad from our side.

However, to do service to the writers signing up for an honest opinion about their work in a strengths workshop, we have to really focus in and look at the work and analyze it more than we do on regular workshops where the topic is contained to one topic.

Strength workshops are about a writer’s strengths and weaknesses overall and sometimes writers are so strong in one area, they cover their weaknesses very well. Hard to dig out. We often have long discussions about a writer’s work to make sure we are seeing it correctly to help the writer.

So in other words, we spend a ton of time at this and after a month it burns us out and we swear we will never do it again, then two years later it seems like a good idea again. (grin)

So that is why the different format this time, which I will explain in a few days. We’re going to focus the topic as well as allow writers to work at their own speeds, which will allow us to spread out the work on our side as well.

We shall see how it works and if anyone is interested. Stay tuned.

March Workshops Last Call!!

All March workshops have spots open. They all are started now, as of today (Wednesday).

So for information on how to sign up, go to…

Any questions at all, feel free to write me. And if you are confused as to which workshop to take first, we have a full curriculum posted on its own page.

Class #21… Mar 7th … Author Voice
Class #22… Mar 7th … Business
Class #23… Mar 7th … Endings
Class #24… Mar 7th … Ideas
Class #25… Mar 7th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #26… Mar 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #27… Mar 8th … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #28… Mar 8th … Cliffhangers
Class #29… Mar 8th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #30… Mar 8th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines


A Fantastic Bundle!!

Not only does it have a full issue of Fiction River in it, plus ten other books including my origin story for Poker Boy. Get it for a limited time at



Tracking Running… March 7th, 2017
4 miles. No running.
Weight 194.
Month to date distance: 19 miles

Tracking Word Counts… March 7th, 2017
Totals For Year 4, Month 8, Day 7 (Year started August)
Writing in Public blog streak… Day 1,265

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 00 words  
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 00 words 
— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 1,000 words
— E-mail: 49 e-mails. Approx. 4,700 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 188 e-mails. Approx. 14,400 words
— Short Fiction Goal: 120 stories (July 1st to June 30th). Stories to date: 8 stories.
— Novel Goal: 12 Novels. Novels finished to date: 5 novels.


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  • Kristi N.

    Dean, will you be posting criteria for the workshops as well? (For example: Basic Level – 0-15 books published; Advanced Level – 15+ books published.) With the intensity level of these workshops, it might help some of us figure out where we fall so we don\’t waste your and Kris\’s time by being in the wrong one. Thanks!

    • dwsmith


      Doesn’t work that way. In writing we all are strong in some areas and weak in others. No matter how many books we have published. So what we are doing is dividing the craft into Regular Craft with five areas and then “Advanced Craft” with five more complex areas. (We will detail out the areas covered.) You will have to take the Regular Craft before taking the Advanced Craft. Same with Business. Regular Business, Advanced Business. Same with Sales. Regular Sales, Advanced Sales.

      And we will be giving a discount if someone wants to take three of these, they would get the 4th one free. The reason for doing it this way is to allow us to bore down into certain areas for a writer and really help them find their strengths and where they need to work more. So one assignment you might get from us that you are fine, strong. And the very next area we might tell you that you need work and here is how to do that work. And two writers, both with 15 novels published would have different strengths and weak areas. And two writers with no novels published might have the same pattern. Nature of writing.