Dean Wesley Smith’s Nine Rules of Writing

So who is Dean Wesley Smith? He’s a writer of mystery, science fiction and fantasy. He’s published close to 200 novels, hundreds of short stories, and several writing craft books. He writes what he loves, and doesn’t look back.

DWS reminded me of something very precious that I lost sight of for the longest time—my own love of writing and telling stories. Most of all, he’s reminded me to keep moving forward. Moving forward had been on my radar for the last few years, thanks to my dear friend, Max. But sometimes you just need an extra kick in the pants. Or several.

As a child, telling stories and drawing pictures was all that I wanted to do. It was my love. As I got older, the writing industry chewed me up and spit me out–yet still I dragged myself along by my fingernails. But that’s a story for another time.

I share my experience to help set the stage for DWS’s nine rules of writing. Of how he finds success. The video below will go into more depth and carry much more inspiration and energy. Remember though, use what works for you. Your writing journey is much different than DWS’s.

The Nine Rules

  1. Is your writing sustainable? Do you see yourself doing it 5 years from now? 10? What about 20?
  2. Have fun (telling stories.) Write what you love.
  3. Don’t write to market unless you’re a fan.
  4. Defend your work (against yourself.) Don’t ever trash talk your work.
  5. Believe in your work. Release it, and go have more fun.
  6. Dare to be bad, and dare to fail. Have that courage to be bad.
  7. Heinlein’s rules are business rules, and are difficult. (see 3#)
  8. Nobody cares. It provides the complete and total freedom to write.
  9. Calm down. Take a deep breath. Comparing your success to anyone else is deadly.
Dean Wesley Smith. Subscribe to 20Booksto50K’s live events on You Tube.

Writing Into the Dark: How to Write a Novel without an Outline by Dean Wesley Smith.

I’ve been working on this blogpost for the last few weeks, and absorbing the nine rules. Especially when I stumble. But now, I have some great news, and it’s perfect timing. I’m so excited!

The AuthorTuber Writing Workshop run by Tamara Woods has chosen this DWS book for the month of August. If you’d like to join in on the talk, you can get the book here. Or just stop by Tamara’s channel at the end of August, settle in, and don’t forget your beverage of choice.


Come join us on Tamara Wood’s YouTube Channel. Ms. Woods is a cozy mystery writer and poet. She loves music, grammar, and geeky shows. Don’t forget to subscribe, because it’s a lot of fun! Especially the writing sprints!

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