This one's aimed at writers, but it'll also interest readers out there, since I'm going to be posting some fiction here for folks to read. Yes, soon. Maybe tonight. Definitely by tomorrow. Writers, I'm going to guess most of you are following Dean Wesley Smith's blog. If you're not, I can't recommend it strongly enough. There's very few websites I'd consider "required reading" for the modern fiction writer. That's one. Passive Voice is another. Kris Rusch's Thursday blogs on the writing business are right up there as well. Oh, just check my Links on the sidebar. Every website I have is there for a reason - they're ALL worth checking out.
But anyway, Dean. There is an enormous wealth of information on his site, from his "Sacred Cows" articles debunking the myths around writing and publishing (sort of like Mythbusters, but for writers), to his New Age of Publishing, Thinking Like a Publisher series, and tons of other assorted posts, Dean gives from decades of experience writing over a hundred books. Really not kidding - super, super stuff there.
Back in January, he announced that in addition to his other writing, he was going to write a hundred short stories this year. He'd already done one a week before, so he wanted to make it really challenging. He would post each one on the website; he'd make a cover, and publish them to the major ebook sites. And he'd tell us how long he spent doing those things. The stories would stay up on his website until he wrote the next one, then he'd take the old one down.
The year started off well, but...life happened. And Dean wrote a post recently where he mentions that he's only done 28 stories so far this year. Math wizards have already figured out that means he needed to write 72 more stories - and this was September 25th, with just 97 days left to go.
Most people would give up. Or at least, scale back expectations. No - instead, he wrote "But I still think I can do this, or give it a good run, ... So not tossing in the towel just yet."
This isn't just a challenge anymore. This is epic, epic stuff. =)
My gut wanted to say I'd match him story for story for the rest of the year.
My head said that was crazy talk. I have work, and kids, and NaNoWriMo coming up in November, and two novels to finish and get out the door. So I bit my tongue and just posted an "attaboy!" comment to his post, saying how inspirational he is.
I got to thinking about that a little.
If we back away from chances to fail, we also back away from opportunities to be great. Dean isn't a great writer because of his successes or because of his failures; he is a great writer because he is not afraid to fail.
Another writer, Bob Mayer, has a statement he believes in so strongly that he made it the name of his publishing company: "Who dares, wins."
I've paused a few times in the writing of this. Because I take this sort of thing seriously. But if Dean's going to keep going with his challenge, I will do my utmost to match him.
That's what this is about: I will match Dean story for story til the end of the year.
Sometimes with longer stories; maybe sometimes with short ones. You'll get to see them all - I'll follow the same rules he has. I'll be writing fast and streaming the work up here for you all to read, but each will be pulled down as the next is posted, available only from the major ebook retailers from then on. Some of the stories you'll probably hate. Hopefully, some of them you'll really like.
Should be an interesting time. ;) It's a lot of writing, but practice is how we get good.
Because it's crazy.
Because it's epic.
Because it supports the effort of a man I respect and admire, while at the same time pushes me to excel.
Because sometimes, you have to Dare to be Bad. ;)
And because if we do not dare, we cannot win.