Dean Wesley Smith’s 10 Tips for Aspiring Writers

(Last Updated On: 5 May 2021)

I took these notes while watching a video of prolific writer Dean Wesley Smith speaking at the 20Booksto50K© Conference in Las Vegas (circa November 2019).

The WIBBOW TEST: Would I Be Better Off Writing?

  • 1/Sustainability

Everything I am going to say, with the rest of these points, attach it back to sustainability.
=>Look at what you’re doing right now: Is it sustainable five years from now? Is it sustainable ten years from now? Will what you do right now last?

Could you do it for five straight years?

  • 2/Have Fun

Beginner writers are always looking for sot-of secret.
If what you’re doing is not fun, then it is not sustainable.

I don’t rewrite. I write like I read.

  • 3/Never Write to Market

So be careful, write what you love. If it happens to be to a hot market, good luck god bless you.

  • 4/Defend Your Work

Write what you love & defend it against everybody:

Nobody cares how many copies your book sold.

  • 5/Never Read Reviews:

(setup a castle around yourself)

  • 6/Believe in Your Work

Just believe that you did what you did, and do the

best you can. And then, release it, and o have more

fun by doing the best you can on the next story.

  • 7/Dare to be bad

We all have that critical voice that stops us.

  • 8/Follow Heinlein’s Rules for Writers

Heinlein’s Rules(1947):
=>You must write.
=>You must finish what you write
=>You must not rewrite
=>You must put it on the market
=>You must leave it on the market
=>Start the whole process again(i.e. Write something else)

Discoverability doesn’t even begin to kick in until you got twenty or thirty major projects.

  • 9/Nobody Cares

Therefore, you have complete and total freedom to write what you want and go at your own pace.

Because f you are there for the right reasons: to be a storyteller, to be an entertainer–that’s what we all are entertainers–if you’re sitting on that computer for the right reasons: to have fun telling stories, then the fact that anybody is going to read it or not just becomes secondary, and what will happen is if write what you love and really get going at it, and get into that, people will find you because that love comes through the words, it comes through the stories; It makes you a better storyteller, it really does works! and yeah it might take a little long some people might take a number of years. If you are not in this for the twenty years long haul or ten year long haul, you are in the wrong profession. If you’re trying to make it by next year and you quit your day job and you only got one year in the bank, go get a part-time job now. Because, it is gonna take some time to ramp up.

  • 10/Calm down, take a deep breath.

Comparing your success to others is deadly. Just do your stuff.

You will track your own path.

You’ve been reading a post that belongs to my daily journal—an entire section of this blog that wasn’t written to be read, but to keep me going: it represents my writing momentum.

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