Becoming Dean Wesley

Dean Wesley Smith is a freak of nature. The man regularly produces 80,000 words. A month. That averages out to 20,000 words a week or roughly 2700 words a day. Stephen King writes 2000 words a day, but his output is slower. Yes, I just said someone who writes his own work is faster than Stephen King.

I’m no Dean Wesley Smith. I have a full time job that threatens to suck up more than its allotted 40 hours per week. (The dangers of working in e-commerce.) And I have a bachelors degree I should have finished a few presidents ago I’m still working on.

Still, I devote my early mornings to writing original work. My lunch hours are given over to revising work in the pipeline. As a result, there are three stories in the can for the first Winter’s Quarterly due out in January, two seasonal stories that have appeared in Get Into Jim’s Shorts, and three science fiction stories in Dick’s name making rounds, with three more in beta. I did three novellas over the summer and am about ti revise one of them.

Even a year ago, I would not have dreamed of producing this much. Indeed, the idea of doing my own magazine (thanks to a dearth of paying crime markets) would have seemed impossible. But I have to write for two bylines which do not acknowledge each other. The rule has become “Do at least 500 words of original work every morning.” Even the bogus rocker autobiography contributes to this.

That’s not to say I don’t deal with betas or want to deal with editors. Why else would “Dick” be sending so much stuff out to science fiction markets? Or a novella to an editor? Or why would I be working with an agent on Holland Bay.

The biggest benefit of all for this has been that annoying problem when I finish a work: “What do I do next?”

Now the problem is “When do I get a break?”

It doesn’t make me Dean Wesley Smith. But it does tell me how he does what he does.