The Journal: Dean Wesley Smith and Exciting News

In today’s Journal

* About Dean Wesley Smith
* New Patronage Tiers
* Today
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

I have a feeling (I hope I’m wrong) that Dean Wesley Smith is moving away from sharing writing tips in his daily blog. That’s why I haven’t linked to his posts much lately in “Of Interest.”

He’s a great teacher, which in my mind, for my way of learning, means he drops gems of information that I can glean, figure them out on my own, and learn from them. But it seems to me he isn’t doing that as much recently.

And I think I know why.

As he opens more and more “big” classes he seems to be moving more toward sharing his knowledge only in those classes. By “big” classes, I mean his Licensing Transition, Shared Worlds, and Decade Ahead classes as well as his various inclusive, participatory challenges, of which he now has four:

* Short story challenge
* Novel challenge
* Publishing challenge
* Collaboration challenge

I support him in this endeavor. You can find information on any of the above (and a lot more) at

Understand, I don’t blame Dean for shifting his focus. Over the years he’s shared tons of excellent information on both WITD and various writing techniques, and I personally have found them invaluable. If I hadn’t rediscovered Dean six years ago, I wouldn’t be where I am today as a writer. Period.

I also don’t think Dean is withholding information on writing from his blog intentionally. I think he’s doing so many videos for the classes and challenges that he simply doesn’t have anything left to post in his blog.

To my knowledge, that leaves me and this Journal as the only constant source of valid information on writing into the dark and the various specific writing techniques that feed it or stem from it (depth, pacing, setting, scene, openings and hooks, grounding the reader, etc.).

If you feel the same way, please share the URL of this Journal: And by all means, if you know of anyone else who shares knowlege regularly (at least once a week) on this wonderful technique, please let me know so I can follow that person too.

Exciting News

In light of the above, I’m redesigning the patronage tiers, adding a new level, and moving the patronage page to the Journal site.

NOTE: This change will NOT affect current patrons. ALL CURRENT PATRONS will be grandfathered-in and moved to the next higher tier while maintaining their current donation level.

For example, if you signed on earlier for $3 per month, you will receive the rewards listed under the $6 per month level (Patron Reader) while still donating only $3 per month. If you signed on earlier at the $11 level, you will now receive the rewards listed under the $12 per month level (Patron Saint). So you will continue to receive the rewards you signed up for and more.

If you are NOT yet a patron but you find this Journal of value, I’m asking for your support. If you can sign on as a patron at any level, please do so. The best way is to sign on via PayPal (see the selections at the bottom of the Become a Patron page. If you can’t, please at least share the URL of this Journal with other writers.

Today, I’m redesigning my three main websites a bit. It’s looking more and more like the story of the week will come down to me writing it on the deadline day. (grin)

I’m posting this very early. If I do happen to write fiction today, those numbers will be reflected in tomorrow’s totals. Anyone else feel like March is approaching faster than usual?

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “First Of The Month!” at

See “Out of This World: Shining Light on Black Authors in Every Genre” at

See “Give older children story time to halt fall in young readers, urge experts” at Uh, you can also donate age-appropriate books. Even your own. Just sayin’.

See “Count – Don’t Count” at

The Numbers

Fiction words today…………………… Nada
Nonfiction words today…………… 670 (Journal)

Writing of “” (short story)

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 67461
Total fiction words for the year………… 133055
Total nonfiction words for the month… 23030
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 54290
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 187295

Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 3
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 5
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 48
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 201
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

4 thoughts on “The Journal: Dean Wesley Smith and Exciting News”

  1. About DWS, I’ve also noticed that he hasn’t shared much lately. But I’ve thought the explanation to be something else.

    He’s just been through the Anthology Workshop, with a huge lot of reading beforehand (more than a million words I think), and then very long days of workshop and socializing. No wonder he doesn’t find the time to write long blogs.

    I expect him to get back quite soon to his regular type of blogging, full of gems as you say. It wouldn’t sound like him to retain information, and usually his workshops tend to feed his blog rather than stopping him (even if the information is less developed in his blog, obviously, his posts are still full of gems).

    We shall see. But I do hope to be right about this!

    • I agree that It isn’t like him to “retain” information, and that isn’t what I think he’s doing. I just think most of the information is going into other places rather than his blogs (and I listed them and even linked to them). And I wasn’t concerned about the length of his posts so much as the content. For the past couple of months, his psots have been more about promotion than about writing. Which is perfectly fine.

      I was only 1) explaining why I haven’t included links to many of his posts in “Of Interest” recently and 2) affirming that I intend to continue as I have been with the Journal. That said, I hope you’re right too. I hope he comes back soon to posting at least most days about various techniques of writing. But if he doesn’t, that’s all right too. Most successful professioal writers either don’t blog (and share) at all or do so only very sporadically.

  2. I noticed thing a few years ago in the workshops and the tips he had for a while. The workshops started veering over to ones where the class was on analyzing something and the assignment resulted in template responses like “Good job taking the time to do it.” The tips themselves started out as writing related, and then veered away and into other things. I suspect he may have actually gotten tired of teaching writing.

    • Yes. Frankly, I suspect he’s bone weary of beating his head against the wall. As one of his success stories, that bothers me. And to be honest, I get tired of talking in circles all the time too. But when one person really actually gets it, it’s all worthwhile for at least a short time.

      WITD is so very freeing, such a wonderful gift, but it’s all but impossible to get others to just let go and trust themselves. As Mark Twain once wrote, “It’s much easier to fool people than it is to convince them they’ve been fooled.” They go right on, merrily outlining, revising, rewriting and sweating bullets that someone somewhere might not like their story and absolutely certain they’re right. Sigh…..

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