A Time for Challenges

Hey Folks,

Well, I’m leaving this post up for another week. Not because I don’t have plenty else to write about, but because…

It’s that time of year again.

The new year is rapidly approaching, and with it comes new opportunities and new resolutions. A time to reset writing goals and maybe jumpstart our writing.

What better way to start than with a personal challenge?

We use challenges to stretch ourselves just a bit beyond what we’ve accomplished before. We use them to increase our average daily output. We use them to increase the number of publications we have available to the public.

USA Today bestselling writer Dean Wesley Smith will begin a challenge on January 1.

His challenge—to write ten 50,000 word novels in 100 days—is intriguing to say the least. It will stretch him, will be a challenge, because it will test his ability to average 5,000 words per day for 100 days straight, something he’s never done.

The intrigue of that challenge drew me in.

How cool would it be if, 100 days into 2019, I had written 47 novels total?

So I’m considering joining him in that challenge, but with a twist. I also would write 10 novels in 100 days, but in a particular world, so a series.

By “world,” of course I mean “overall setting.”

I recently received some great kudos on my detective/PI mystery fiction. The “world” surrounding that fiction is somewhat dark and seething with seedy characters and unseen danger. I love it.

Another world in which I enjoy writing is the military/paramilitary (mercenary) war environment. Nothing says love like a bombed-out building. (grin)

Yet another is the period western (or the period SF), in which the world is huge, new, and riddled with possibilies for conflict.

And there are other worlds on the edge of my mind, like the “future-Earth” world in which In the Siberian Fields and The Claim are situated. Still a lot to write there, and some of the possibilities overlap with the war stuff above.

So my own challenge will be to write 10 novels, each of about 40,000 words, in that 100 days that ends on April 10.

Can I do that? Of course. There’s no question I can write 4,000 words per day.

But my average daily production for the past few years has hovered around 3,000 words per day. So for me, the stretch—the challenge—will be to write, on average, 4,000 words per day for 100 consecutive days.

I also fully expect to turn out one more novel BEFORE January 1. (grin) No reason to waste the 18 days left between now and the new year.

And really, it’s only 16 days. I’ll probably want to take Christmas and New Year’s Eve off. The former for obvious reasons, and the latter to give me a day of rest before I begin the challenge.

We’ll see how it goes. I’m very excited to realize I could have 37 novels by year-end (10 this calendar year) and 47 novels 100 days later, on April 10.

For those of you who are into numbers, if I can pull off my challenge, in the first 100 days of 2019, I will have written 400,000 words of fiction. And I write about 17 words per minute.

By comparison, from January 1 through December 13 in 2018, I wrote just over 480,000 words of fiction.

I encourage you to consider jumping into this (or a similar) challenge yourself. Especially if you need to jumpstart your writing or increase your production or just add to the titles you have out there.

More titles means more discoverability, an increased possibility of sales and greater success as a writer.

‘Til next time, happy writing!


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