Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's Not Just About the Numbers: How Many Books Can You Write in a Year?

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

There's been a lot of insightful and interesting posts on how many books a writer can/should/needs to write in a year. It's certainly something to think about, since ebooks are shortening the amount of time it takes a book to release, and the more indie authors out there, the more accustomed to fast releases a reader will be.

It used to be that one book a year was normal for an author. Now we have authors like Matt Forbeck doing his 12 in '12 challenge and Elizabeth S. Craig writing three to four a year. Tonya Kappes asks if one book a year is slacking, and Roz Morris discusses why one book a year suits hardly anyone. In the middle of all this, there's some peace from Jody Hedlund who says how finishing a novel is a miracle in itself.  I think it's awesome they can do this. However...

I read these articles and I'm filled with one part inspiration and one part desperation. How can I keep up? Should I keep up? What's an author to do?

First, step back and breathe. There will always be those who write faster than you, same as those who write slower. Writing is not a competition.

Then figure out what you're actually capable of doing. Which isn't as easy as it seems.

I write about 1500 words a day (in the mornings) on most days. Not a huge word count by some standards. I write five days a week, so that leaves me with 7500 words a week. Let's be even more generous and say I only get 1000 words a day done, and 5000 words per week. Four weeks a month, 20,000 words per month, 60,000 words in three months, which equals a first draft for my market (young adult/middle grade).

By those basic numbers, I could essentially write four books a year. Even more if I'm writing for the younger end of middle grade, which is in the 20,000 to 30,000 word range.

Sounds perfectly doable, right?


I've never written a polished draft in three months, so that's out. Let's say I aim for two books a year. Write it in three months, revise and polish for three months. Six months, twice a year seems absolutely feasible with this math.

Again, it never works out this way. (I've tried) Books don't write as quickly as I planned and I spend more time revising than I expected. And then I feel bad because I can't do what my math says I should be able to do, especially when I keep hearing how much faster I ought to be writing.

It can make a writer crazy.

It makes me crazy.

I'd love to make the math work, but I also know it's not all about the numbers. Not every writer is the same or has the same process, let along the same ability to write. Authors with no day jobs who have been writing for years might have a better routine and more time to put it to use. Authors with kids and jobs and families might not have the time or the stamina to put out multiple books. And some books just take longer to write for a myriad of reasons, same as some take less time.

I know how this push to publish more makes me feel, so I can only imagine how it makes someone still trying to get published feel. It's hard enough without this added pressure.

But I hope it helps to hear you're not alone in this.

As for me, I'm doing my best not to let it bother me (too much). I'm trying to let it inspire me to be more productive and make the most of my writing time to get the books I want to write out there. I'm trying not to let it make me want to curl in a ball and feel that I'm not getting anywhere in my career. That I'm not good enough if I can't write multiple books a year. I'm reminding myself that the roughly 260,000 words a year I write for this blog counts for something, too.

And yes, it's still hard sometimes.

How do you feel about the pressure to publish more, and churn out book after book? Does it scare you? Inspire you? Anger you?


  1. Scared to death. I put up two novels back to back last year, only because I had them finished and revised for querying with agents (Which were both rejected). So up went the novels. In the mean time, I'd heard you needed to keep putting content out there, so I wrote a couple of short stories. Problem is, even the novella's take time. and real life does interfere with word count.

    I can't imagine those writers who can slam out 3-4 books a year. They must have some pretty heavy duty secretary/maids/babysitters to take care of their "real life" to be able to get all that work done.

  2. Last year I finished 2 books --one an academic multi-authored book that I edited and wrote two chapters for. The editing and working with authors took forever. The other was the second in my MG series, but LONG - 90K words. I had already written it - now I was mostly revising.

    My plan and hope was to finish three books this year-- the third in the series, plus a new shorter MG novel based on science and time travel (done) and a kids' biography (not happening). I am getting extremely bogged down in everyday life and laziness, which will have to change IMMEDIATELY if I'm going to get the series book finished.

    As for regularly putting out 3 to 4 books a year, one thing I think about is... have you been to a Barnes and Noble lately? Does it look to you as if the world doesn't have enough books? Each new one added in should be something wonderful and unique.

  3. I think this is a very tricky thing. For me, if I latch onto an idea (usually I have multiple projects going at once, and I work on all of them until one grabs me, then I focus on that one) I can write on it almost nonstop. Problem is, I work... so yeah, I'm not able to just write nonstop.

    *If* I was in a place where I didn't have to work outside the home, I could probably get a minimum of 2-3 books out in a year. That's with an awesome crit partner and the fact that I can really just go for hours at a time, if I have those hours to use.

    However, since the number one thing us 'in the process of getting published' writers get told is 'don't quit your day job' I'd say my scheme is more 1-2 books a year.

    Also, I think that I could produce more efficiently if I had an agent going 'Oh, this idea is great! You *have* to write that one!' because right now, since I'm querying and still trying to get an agent, I find myself dithering and flipping from one project to another, debating on which one is more likely to catch agent attention once it's polished and ready to query.

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  5. Janice, I so get what you're saying here, and frankly wondered what you might say on this. I'm trying to avoid some of the discussion for the sake of my sanity and avoid getting too depressed to blog or write anything again, because that's kind of what in part kept me away, never mind that Mother's Day and my birthday this year was hard, and from our private correspondence, you can get part of why.

    I'm not so much scared as I am mad. As in, I'm M-A-D as H*** and I'm sick of feeling that way.

    As for what you said above-

    "I know how this push to publish more makes me feel, so I can only imagine how it makes someone still trying to get published feel. It's hard enough without this added pressure.

    But I hope it helps to hear you're not alone in this."

    It helps. A little...I'm still in the trying to get published camp.

    I haven't read the posts you cited, but I agree with Jody Hedlund's general sentiment about the miracle that is finishing a novel, however d*** rough it is.

    Still, it's hard not to feel any pressure when in the past it took me YEARS just to draft something, and more years to revise it, and when being "near done" feels mandatory by every pro market in creation the only way now to achieve this fabled middle ground is to go indie, and I do still feel the need to do that, but lack of money does hinder the process, and the post I did on my birthday explains it better than I can here-

    Talking Animal Addicts: Birthday Tribute (A True Artist Who Taught Me A Lesson I Will Never Forget...)

    Anyway, hard as I try, it's hard at times to hear writers further along than I am say it's "No big deal" to have a weak query or a an manuscript that's not 'ready for press' the time they get it.

    As much as I CRAVE any morale booster I can get, it's hard to personally "lower my standards" when the people I'm trying to sell myself, and writing to, are only making those standards higher, and I'm left not knowing what or who to believe anymore.

    Not willing to quit indefinitely is the only sure thing in my process right now.

  6. I deleted and re-posted my comment due to typos and unclear parts. THIS is how SERIOUS I am about letting my writing speak for itself, even on my own blog or replying to other people's blogs.

    That's just the writer I am.

  7. The key to any kind of math like this to know your averages, to figure them out on the high end—and then to pad them. :)

    I've started a spreadsheet to keep track of how long it takes me to finish (and write, from drafting to end) the next several projects. A pattern will emerge, I'm sure.

    For me, it's incentive to push myself to uncover the best ways to work for myself. I'm new enough to writing that I'm still figuring that out.

  8. Your take on this is very reassuring, because I can't come anywhere close to 1-2 books a year, let alone 3-4, even if I buckled down and stayed focused during the time I can dedicate to writing. I write in spurts. Some scenes flow readily, others bog down during either blank mind moments or decision time on direction of action/words on the part of the characters.

    Some of the folks in my online writing group are getting short stories out and published or novels finished and submitting, and if I paid too much attention to what they've gotten done already compared to myself, I'd go nuts. And that isn't fair to them or me. I'm ecstatic they've got stuff out, because it means I can go buy official copies of things I may have seen parts of in rough form. Being a cheerleader is more fun than fretting, and it's fun to be on the receiving end when I reach my little goals. I just have to focus on keeping up with what I know I can do and stretch a little beyond it. Only compare myself to me, nobody else.

    So any article that feels the need to put writers down who can't "keep up," well phooey on them. We can't all be mega producers. And not all of us are trying to make their sole living from writing either. If more people enjoy my writing than I first thought, that's groovy, but other jobs will be paying the bills.

  9. Sure if you write 1500 words everyday then you can write 4 books a year, but there is also the time it takes to plan a book, the time it takes to edit the book, the mental downtime I need between books.

    Now we have to add in time for social media, marketing and managing the finances and formatting, if you self-pub.

  10. I've read those articles too and it's makes me extremely nervous. I totally understand how short a readers attention span is and they just want to keep devouring books. But what about those authors who still have to hold a day job to pay the bills? Getting one book done in a year when you're working full time and trying to build your social media platform is a miracle.

  11. I have a friend who finished a entirely rewriting half of a book in a week. I, on the other hand, have been writing my current work in progress for a little under a year and am about a third of the way through.

    There's been college, and other projects, but I am also a very slow writer and it frustrates me a lot. And, I mean, my friend always points how how much cleaner my draft is than hers--stronger dialogue, better pacing, more interesting characters--but it doesn't actually matter because even looking back on what I've already written I can tell that I'm going to have to effectively re-write the whole draft when I finish.

    This combined with the all around "rush to publish" always leaves me a bit winded.

  12. The pressure to write more books per year seems unreasonable to me. I agree with Jody Hedlund--finishing a novel is a little miracle. The first time I completed a draft of a novel, I vowed never to diss another's books again, knowing what it took to write one!

  13. It makes me wonder if these high producers are truly polishing their stories. I've read a lot of books that needed... work. Are they getting that when produced so rapidly?

    Not to mention, the traditional publishing cogs can rarely support an author who produces at that level.

  14. Nice post, thanks for posting it.

    I'm not sure how I feel about it, since I'm still in the process of polishing a manuscript I started two years ago. Granted, there's a lot of things that went on between then and now, and I've learned a lot about writing that should speed up the process, but...

    It's a relief to think not everyone will be pushed to write as fast. When I look at the difference between self-publishing and trade publishing, and how self-publishers tend to need faster releases, while trade publishers have external deadlines to meet, it makes me wonder how a manuscript could ever be polished to be the best story it can.

    So... while some people can do it (and I applaud them), I don't think everyone should be forced to try getting more books out in a year.

  15. It makes me feel tired. I know how long it's taken me to complete drafts, even though I am a fast typist. But drafting is such a small part of the writing process. There's editing, not to mention the time needed to think about the idea. I don't know about anyone else, but I seem to need a lot of lead time to let an idea stew and develop.

    So while I might write a fast draft, I've had the actual idea for months or years.

    I've thought about this recent push to write more than a book a year and it makes me want to crawl into a fetal position. I know readers are used to having books come out frequently with the advent of self publishing, but I feel like it's silly to try and compete like that.

    Not all self published books are poorly edited, but there's a good number that need more polish. Are we supposed to stop editing our novels as closely too?

    I love your point. Every one is different and should publish at different speeds. I don't think the writer publishing 3 books a year is necessarily publishing crap, but I also think those of us lagging behind aren't being slow pokes either.

    The most important thing is quality, IMO. It doesn't matter if you're putting out one or seven books a year. If those seven books are all so-so you're going to loose readers. I want to make sure every book I publish blows the reader away. That's really what will keep them coming back.

    1. Elizabeth,

      It's so nice to know that I'm not the only "slow" writer out there. I, too, work better when I can let an idea stew for months, or years. I've been working on a novel for the last 13 years--partly because I kept losing interest in it, and wanted to work on other stuff.

  16. With work, blogging, and family, there would be no way I could write a book that fast. It takes me a year at least to get a draft done. I may try to be quicker, but don't feel pressured to do more. I think even as a published author with an editor it'd be stressful to get one book out a year.

    I really question how you can get a critique partner or group to critique your work if you're publishing a book or more a year. It really needs good critiquing and multiple drafts before it's polished enough to be published.

    And I wonder how many readers can keep up with so many published works by one author in a year. Most people who like to read have a huge TBR list and am not sure they're going to give up reading other authors to read several books by one author in a year.

  17. I just wrote a novel in 6 mos (only it was really 5 mos) - that was too hard. I'm proud of the work, but I had to put in crazy hours to get it done in that amount of time. This next one will be more like 7 mos, and that feels do-able to me. I think we each have to do what we're capable of, not be afraid to stretch, but know our limits. And especially, not worry about what the other guy is doing! :)

    Great post!

  18. I can write a first draft in a few months... BUT a novel is like a fine painting. It should contain layer after layer of varnish, shading, illuminating, fine stippling. What's the hurry, if what one ends up with is a half-baked product?

  19. I vote for quality over quantity. Also I never really thought of writing as a spectator sport where authors have to make a countable score. The only spectators I want are the ones who read to the last page.

  20. Anne, I know! I think it also depends on what they write. An established series with a smaller word count would be easier to manage than brand new epic-level novels.

    Penny, it SHOULD be unique. What a great way to look at it. Sounds like you're pretty busy, and good luck on getting that MG done.

    Artemis, That day job really does cut into the writing time. I could do more if I didn't work, same as everyone else ;) Deadlines do make a difference. So does knowing you have a place to send it to when it's done.

    Taurean, I don't think it's lowering your standards at all. I think it's about accepting and deciding that your path is your own, and no one walks the same path. What works for you isn't what works for others. The best book you can write will be written at your own pace, whatever that is. It's hard to ignore what others do, but we'll be a lot better off if we can manage it.

    Carradee, I bet that'll help. A lot of being more productive it just taking that baseline and looking where you can improve.

    Jaleh, "Being a cheerleader is more fun than fretting." Great attitude! We can only do what we can do.

  21. I agree about quality over quantity. As a reader, I might forget to look for an author if enough time passes between publications -but that won't stop my excitement when I DO hear that they have a new book out.

    Sometimes the wait makes the payoff even sweeter.

    Bruce Covelle spent years between the publication of the second and the third of his Unicorn Series, and his fans still jumped on it. I think a lot of people rushed even faster to pick up `Dark Whisperer' and `Last Hunt' because we were afraid there wasn't going to BE an end.

    -Not that I'm advocating people leave their audience hanging. I just think if someone is really impressed with your work they're willing to stick with you to get it. I know Megan Whalen Turner's fans aren't complaining too hard about the wait between each book in `The Queen's Thief' series.

    Aaand that was a lot more long-winded than I meant to be. :)

  22. Writing isn't quite so interesting when it becomes systematic. That is what I've seen from some who pump out novels the way an assembly line pushes out cars. The uniqueness in each writer and their style of story telling is what I look for as a reader. It's what I expect of myself as a writer. Not sure if my life - as it is now - would allow me to put out 5, 10 12 books a year. Sounds like a great challenge. I guess I'll have to hope that readers who enjoy my novels will be okay with me getting new content out once or twice a year...first, I have to get published lol!!!

  23. How can a writer possibly put out quality work with that many in a year's time? It boggles my mind. I'm more inclined to a book a year and sometimes that is stretching it. What a great discussion. :-)

  24. All of the pressure to write faster and write more stresses me out.

    In a perfect world I wouldn't have to maintain a day job while pursuing my writing dreams. I also wouldn't have to worry about the boring-gotta-get-done stuff like cleaning my house and maintaining my yard. I'd love to live in my own private bubble while I'm writing a book with as few interruptions and real life problems as possible.

    Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. So, I do what I can. I squeeze in time to write around my work schedule, between loads of laundry, and in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping.

    For someone with a job (outside of writing) trying to write several books a year just isn't possible. Well, not if you want the books to be any good.

    I think that the pressure to produce book after book with factory-like speed opens the door to inferior writing. It's the quantity or quality argument. If we only focus on word counts then I think that ultimately our writing will suffer. Besides, if it's all about word counts then when are we supposed to fin the time to proofread, edit, and improve upon what we've already written?

    Just my two cents worth!

  25. Ugh... I have tons of book ideas, but no matter how much I want to explore all of them, there's nothing in the world that could get me through writing four books in one year. Even without school and wanting to have a social life. Plus, you know, there are other things I enjoy doing besides writing. I haven't compared books per year to quality for anyone, so I admire the fact that these authors can do this, and I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on quality. But it's not something I could ever do, and I don't know that I'd want to even if I could statistically manage it.

  26. This is such a great reminder, Janice! Sometimes I get a little panicked by that kind of math myself. You've got a good perspective. Thanks!

  27. I'll pretend that I write quality - as opposed to quantity - because even 500 words a day is a challenge. Time contraints and fatigue take their toll.

    I envy the 1500 per day (plus a fabulous blog) Janice.

  28. It's one of the lesser reasons I decided to go indie. I don't want to be pressured so much by the publishers to have multiple books in a year that I end up turning out bad books. I've read authors I've liked and it's been obviously they were trying to squeeze a deadline. It may get immediate sales that makes the publisher happy, but if the quality suffers, over the long term, it'll erode sales.

  29. Chicory, long winded is fine :) I do it too, hehe. It's a hard balance between putting out a good book and putting out books in a timely fashion for readers. I know there are a few I've been waiting on a long time, and I'm sure I will have forgotten a lot by the time they do come out. But I'd rather have them good than fast :)

    Angela, yep, those "formula novels." That might be one reason why I lose interest with a lot of series. The books become the same basic story over and over. Though some like that aspect of a series.

    Robyn, I know. I think some can and some can't. If I JUST wrote I could probably do more every year but most writers have day jobs.

    HS Contino, me too :) And a good two cents it is. I agree.

    Atsiko, I hear ya. Sometimes I wish I could since I have all these ideas I want to write, but I know they'd all suffer if I pushed too hard.

    Nicole, most welcome! Sometimes it's good to just hear other opinions on a topic.

    Jo-Ann, 500 words a day is a solid goal. That's a lot of words in a year and something to be proud of. (and thanks)

    Linda, very interesting to hear you say that since it seems like indie authors feel *more* compelled to put books out faster. (and do). Being able to publish at your own pace is a definite bonus to doing it yourself. Smart!

  30. This is something I've been stressing over a lot lately. My first book is out in November from a small press, and I've got a WIP I want to follow up with. I'm going to be releasing some short stories in between, and I'm planning a series. I feel like I have to be doing something with the books at all times, because it seems like for most authors, the best way to be successful is to write more books. I want to be able to keep my name out there, and yet, I don't want to burn out. Constant challenge!

  31. Stacy, first, GRATS! on the debut. Second, I hear you. I do a lot of school visits, and I struggled with whether or not to continue to promote my trilogy or focus on writing the new book. It's hard sometimes knowing where to put your focus. And harder still to back away from the easy stuff, like social media and blogging, which give immediate rewards for the work.

  32. I am a slow writer, and I thought it was just me, so your article makes me feel much better. I have heard to write your first draft without re-reading or worrying about little mistakes. But this doesn't work for me because I am a professional proofreader and mistakes is what I find. I want the first draft to say exactly what I want the final edit to say, and though I know the final edit will have major changes in it. I can't just spin out stuff saying, "Oh, I'll fix that later." This goes against who I am as a writer. I think 2 books a year is pushing it for me, for sure.

  33. I feel your pain. I'm on a two book a year (90k words each) and a novella (30k) a year. It's a lot and I'm not a naturally fast writer. But in my genre, it behooves me to have stuff come out at least every 6 months. I recently took Candace Havens fast draft class and that seems to be helping. I managed 35k this month, which is way more than my norm, but it definitely doesn't come naturally. It seems the deadlines are a little more spread out for YA writers though and that a book a year is still the norm. At least that's what I heard at the last conference I went to when authors were talking about that "Is one book a year slacking" article.

  34. Hi Janice:
    You must have written this post for me. Awesome.
    Just thought you might like to know, I wrote a post today on other writers who inspire me and you're on my list.
    Thank you!

  35. I think there are a few issues with comparing quantities. It's not an apples to apples situation, it's a novels, to novellas and poetry and anthologies, and co-written books situation. It's also a full-time/part-time writer situation. Finally, no one mentioned quality of writing here. I'm sure I could pump out numerous short stories, and at least 2 novels a year despite my full time profession (of which I'm supposed to live and breathe), but I'm going to strive for quality writing, and that takes time.

  36. Quite honestly I don’t know how on earth writers manage to put out so many books in a year. I know I have a friend who has put out at least two finished series of novels, several novella’s, and a few short stories, and he’s managed to do all of that in little over a year. I swear that he does nothing but write – ever. He does self publish, and yet his works have proven to make him money… he’s done well with his writing, that’s for sure.

    But here’s the thing: I own several of his novels, and though the writing is not bad by any means, I feel that the stories have so much more potential than where he left them at. He wrote them, rewrote them, and edited them, all within the span of a couple weeks to a month… how he managed to do that is far beyond me, but more power to him, I guess. And yet I feel that there could be so much MORE to them. You know? I can’t help but wonder if these authors who put out so many books a year, as my friend does, are not really sacrificing true quality for their quantity. And quite frankly, I’ve come to the point where I simply refuse to read authors who put out much more than 2 books a year… not unless I really, really, REALLY like that author’s work. I’ve found in the past that quality is definitely being jeopardized in books like that.

    As far as I go, I know I could never manage more than one book in a year, IF I could even manage one. Maybe a rough draft, but certainly nothing polished. And besides, I have this perfectionist inside of me that simply won’t let me allow any of my writings out of my hands until they are the very best that they can possibly be, or at least the very best that I can make them on my own.

  37. I have several stories I’m working on now, and many, many more that I’ve started plotting, but to be quite honest, I’m still pouring most of my heart, time, and soul into the novels I started in 2004 and 2007. Both have potential, both are completely different stories that are in no way connected, and both have the first drafts done, but it’s the rewriting that is taking so long. These books have gone through multiple drafts, and I usually finish rewriting a draft in a year… maybe a little more. That, of course, doesn’t mean that the product is anywhere near polished.

    Most of my time is currently going into the novel I started in 2007, “Song of the Daystar”, and the reason why is because after the 4th draft at the end of 2010, I actually had a publisher interested in the story idea… but he felt like the writing was lacking (which it definitely was) and asked if there wasn’t a way I could do a rewrite. By the time I got his message, however, I’d already started rewriting!! And the plot has changed so much since then – grown deeper, more developed, more complex. I keep in touch with the publisher, the owner of which I was lucky enough to meet in person and host at an event in my area. He’s still interested in the story and told me to go ahead and take as long as I need to, to complete this rewrite: he’s seen some of the new chapters, and seemed sincerely excited about them. He says he still wants to be the first to look at the completed book when it’s done, which is encouraging to me, of course.

    But that just goes to show you that my writing process is not a fast one. I mean, come on! It’s been five years since I started writing “Song of the Daystar”, and I can honestly say that I’m nowhere near done yet. Sure, I plan to make this latest draft my very last one, but that requires a lot of time and patience… if this is truly going to be my last draft, then I must be extra thoughtful about my word choice and flow and how all the plot points work together throughout the book so that I don’t have to go back afterwards and correct anything major. That’s not even counting the time it takes me to think about the story and plan it out, and connect everything that needs to be connected… I may be a fast typist, but those sorts of things take time… lots and lots of time.

    And being a full time student with a double major who’s working part time, starting my own business, taking illustration and design commissions for other authors, and looking for my own apartment at the moment does not help my writing life at all, I can tell you. A lot of the time I come home to find that I’m simply worn out and feel too tired to even attempt immersing myself in my story: I just want to go to sleep.

    So how does all this talk affect me and my writing life? Quite honestly, just thinking about it makes me tired. Not nervous… just tired – worn out, really, in a sympathetic sort of way. I don’t know how anyone could keep up with that pace and still dole out quality work. And quite honestly, my belief is, if it’s not quality, then what’s the point?

  38. Suzanne, I have a friend who writes slowly, and gets everything perfect before she moves on. If that's your process there's nothing wrong it with. You're much better off doing what works for you than making yourself nuts trying to what "everyone" says you should. It's not just you! :)

    Roni, that's a lot. Romance readers are voracious, so you guys have a lot more demand. I bet it does vary a lot with genres. I keep hearing good things about that Fast Draft class. I can draft fairly quick if I plot enough beforehand, but I'll have to look into that and see if I can pick up any new tips. Nice to hear YA is slower still :) Eases my mind, hehe.

    Tracy, aw thanks! This has been on my mind lately and I figured I wasn't the only one :) Guess not!

    Hcfbutton, totally. The creative process isn't "standard." You can't follow a format and get the same results every time, even with the same writer. It's good to remember that.

    Star-Dreamer, sad about your friend :( How much more would he sell if he really polished those novels? I think authors can produce quality and some can't. Series writers with established worlds and characters can probably write faster because half the work is done before they start. Writing full time would also help a lot.

    That's great about your novel. Nice to have a publisher interested and so supportive. Takes some of the pressure off!

    Totally agree about quality. If we're not putting our best out there why bother?

  39. Janice, thanks that is very encouraging to me, though I am always willing to learn to write better (hence my reading this blog)!

  40. Suzanne, me too! This blog helps with that actually. I'm always paying attention to what I do and looking for ways to explain it or improve it so I can talk about it ;)

  41. Janice, I understand that. I teach beginner's photography and do the same thing. Non-fiction writing comes easy for me. It's fiction that makes me feel stupid. LOL.

  42. I'm the opposite. I don't know how you non-fic folks do it. :)

  43. LOL. It's more systematic. You write point by point, stressing only what you want to get across. There's no worrying about showing or telling or mood or dialogue or, or, or. :-)

  44. That would be easier, but it takes all the fun out (grin)

  45. LOL. That's a positive spin! I always appreciate your articles.

  46. I've completed four books so far this year, two of them full-length novels, two of them shorter novels. I plan to write at least two more.

    I'm not a fast writer, but 1. this is my full-time job and 2. I've learned with practice to stop myself going on tangents that derail the plot that have to be majorly brought into line later. I write between 1000 and 2000 words of publishable fiction per day. Often I write more, but I edit as I go, and don't move onto the next chapter until I'm convinced that everything I have written so far works and only needs a light read-through.

  47. I finished and published 6 books this year only, I thought maybe 6 books were a minimum nunber for a year and thought 1 or 2 would be laziness but reading the comments in here make me rethink whether I made a mistake accumulating all those short books in one year.

    1. Grats! That's a big number. If that's a number and schedule that suits you and works for you, keep on doing it. Only consider changing it if you're unhappy with the results.

      It also depends on your goals and what you write. In some genres, more-frequent shorter releases often equates to more sales and keeping readers engaged, but other genres are fine with a book a year.