How Productive a Writer are You?

I’ve always admired productive authors; I find they are a great source of inspiration for me to keep pursuing a writing career.  I envy them their imaginative drive, hoping one day I can do the same.  Since this article came out from the New York Times, there has been some talk that writing one book a year is not enough.

Like other readers, I can become impatient for the next book by an author, particularly books within a series.  However, if I have read a particular author’s work before and know to expect good quality, then I am happy to wait for it.  As a writer, I understand the pressure can be immense; both publishers and readers alike desiring the next book to be better than the last.  Expectations for authors these days are high, but like any other business, push yourself too high and you could get burnt out.  You don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity; readers are prepared to buy and recommend particular authors if their work is highly regarded.  Producing two books a year is doable, but it also depends upon the author’s genre and the amount of research required.  Author Jody Hedlund has some good ideas on what you could be writing between novels.

In an interview with Writers’ Digest some years ago, author James Patterson explained how he manages to produce so many books.  His explanation was simple: when one book is finished, write another book!  This seems to be the usual catch-cry whenever you read books regarding the craft of writing; as soon as you finish one, begin work on another.   You can’t always wait for the muse to make its appearance; there are times when you have to force it to show up.  By continuing to write between books, you are not only producing more work, but also improving your skills as a writer.

If, like me, you are an unpublished author, we have an advantage – we don’t have deadlines to meet.  We don’t have the added pressure on what to write and when to write, however, we do have the same amount of time like everyone else.  It is in our own best interests on how to use that time and use it wisely.

Being a writer in today’s world seems to be separating the hobbyists from those who just have to do it.  I’ve always dreamt of being a published author, yet I know that it will forever be nothing more than a dream if I am not putting the effort in.  I trust you are doing the same.

Are you a productive writer?  Do you believe writing at least two novels a year is doable?  What are your thoughts on the expectations of authors these days?

Free image by Salvatore Vuono courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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