As we barrel through 2015, I’m going to write a series of short posts that I’m calling my “On” series. These posts will be my random thoughts on writing, the business of marketing your works, and more. 2014 was the best year I’ve had as a writer, both in terms of writing itself and in terms of financial gain and overall satisfaction with this business (and for me it is a business…one that I love, but still a business). I’ve gained a lot of knowledge along the way. I’ve focused heavily on ways to market my works and it’s paying off. So without further ado, today’s post is about writing fast.
Indie Authors – Writing At Pulp Speed
A lot has been said on this subject, but I would encourage you to look at Dean Wesley Smith’s post about writing at pulp speed. He makes good points about writing fast, but also writing well.
Pulp Speed writing takes a love of learning about writing and a love of learning how to keep improving on telling stories.
I don’t necessarily agree with him about rewriting, but I do believe that the more you work at this craft, the easier it becomes…
Indie Authors – It Gets Easier The More You Do It
Maybe it’s just me, but the more I write, the faster I get, and the easier it is to put words on page…words that make sense. I’ve always been a pantser, and I write somewhat instinctually. I don’t consciously think ok, this is the end of Act I, now what? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the more you write, the easier the whole process becomes because you’re figuring things out. You’re understanding the craft that’s behind the scenes. And the stories flow. Remember how we’re told it take a blah hours to master something? Think writing and storytelling is any different?
Indie Authors – What Works For You?
Figure out what works for you. You may need quiet. You may need music. Or time in the morning. Or at night. Don’t worry about how others are doing it. Do what works for you. Too many authors spend valuable time worrying about how others do things. Stop. You are unique, your writing voice is unique, and how you do things is unique. If you’re reading advice (including this), take what works for you and toss the rest. But know this, a book isn’t written unless you DO something…like write.
Indie Authors – Goals
Set goals. If 1,000 words a day is what you can do, then do it. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t hit that goal, just try harder the next day. I try to hit or exceed this goal every day. Sure, I miss days some days. But trying to write every day keeps me in the story and it means I’m producing more, faster.
And think about this: if your goal is a 50,000 word novel, and you write 300 days out of the year (taking 65 days off), you can produce six novels in a year. Six! Not bad. I did that last year, and most of that came from May through December. Why so much, so fast? I set goals and I stuck to them. I wanted to produce novels that badly. And most of the time, I actually try to write a chapter a day, and since my chapters typically are 1500-2000 words, I usually am above my goal…and I just keep going.
Indie Authors – Why Produce So Much, So Fast?
Okay, some will disagree, but here’s my take on this (and I’m not the only one who feels this way). The more books I have, the more discoverability I have. And having series is a huge thing, as well as choosing a popular genre (more on these two points soon). If you only have a few books to sell, you limit how much you can sell. Yes, there are exceptions – authors who sold a lot with one book, or a few. But they’re called exceptions for a reason. Most of us need more product out there in order to be seen.
Indie Authors – My Goals
Sometimes telling others is a good way of sticking to goals. So here’s mine, I want to write nine novels this year. They may not all get published this year but I’m going to write nine. This is with a full-time job, building a house, and when construction is complete, moving into it. Will I hit that goal? Who knows, but I’m going to try. And I’ve already got one under my belt, as I just delivered the third Noah Winter adventure to my editor yesterday. And I’m plotting the next Reed Ferguson mystery on my drive to and from Arizona for vacation.
And speaking of vacation, that’s where I’ll be for the next ten days…but also thinking about novels