I going to try to be short and sweet with this one because one of my personal resolutions is to buckle down more with the writing.
I don’t have a lot of time to read these days. If I have time to read, then I have time to write. That means I feel guilty for reading and not putting more content out there. But I do still listen to audiobooks, since I can do this when I’m walking the dog, or working in the house.
And there is something I’ve noticed.
Some of the more successful writers I’ve listened to just really aren’t all that good. Or rather, they aren’t as good as I would expect, based on their financial success as authors. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic indie authors out there. But there are also some pretty mediocre writers that are still extremely successful.
I know, I know, that sounds like the epitome of vanity for me to say something like that. And it’s not that they’re actually bad writers. They just aren’t where I would expect them to be as full-time writers who are making a good living at their craft.
And that got me to thinking… what are they doing that I’m not?
- They produce more titles than I do. A LOT more. Sure, they’re usually shorter books, but there are a lot more of them.
- They market better than I do. They keep their name and titles out there so that they always have something in the new releases. And the more the public sees your name, the more they buy your books.
- For better or worse, they don’t worry (obsess?) over the quality of the writing as much as I do. The quality of the prose is secondary to the quantity.
- For the most part, they concentrate on a single series until there are several titles under its umbrella before they ever move on to another series.
In short, they’re better businessmen and businesswomen than I am. Now, I can’t do much about the last two items on my list. It’s in my nature to worry over the quality of my writing and I’ve made myself a promise that I’ll never intentionally let my quality slide. That’s not to say that I’ll be producing literary masterpieces, but it’s just not in me to do less than I can reasonably be expected to do.
As for the series, I’m already committed to the four series that I have going. Two are under contract, and the other two make me more money and have established fan-bases, however small they may be.
But I can address the first two items. I can get better organized and increase my word production. I’ve already gotten better since the beginning of the year, simply by employing some of the techniques I’ve read about and heard about in various writing podcasts. In the last few weeks, I’ve almost doubled my average daily word count. Not only that, but I think I can see ways to do even more. Fingers crossed here.
And I can learn more about the marketing side of things. The problem here is that the marketing aspect of the business is constantly changing. What worked in 2012 won’t work in 2018. The marketing tips and tricks I learned back when I started just won’t cut it. And I haven’t taken the time to keep up with current trends. I need to address that.
But part of that whole “produce more content” thing also means I need to spend less time on my blog posts. I need to stop trying to think about something clever to write about, and put my effort into increasing my catalog. So from now on, I’m going to limit myself on this blog. It will be a sort of New Year’s resolution… posts will be either shorter than 1000 words, or I will limit myself to half an hour’s time in which to get them written. On thousand words or half an hour, whichever comes first.
So moving on to other writing news:
Pangaea: Exiles – Severed Press sent me word last week that PE1 has been selected by their audio partner, Beacon, to produce as an audiobook. Estimated time to release is about three months.
Payne and Suffering – After a few derailments, P&S is really moving along now. I had a few plotting issues earlier in the week that forced me to slow down and open up some mind mapping software, but it only took a few hours to get things back on track.
Crazy Larry – I had dropped CL into the virtual file cabinet several months ago when the story went stale for me. When MBH asked me how it was progressing, I had to admit I was stumped. She brainstormed with me, and helped me see a way out of the bog. So I made a bit of progress on it, too. Man, I love that woman.
And with that, I’m beginning to approach my self-imposed 1000 word limit, so that’s it for today. Stay safe, and I’ll talk to you next time.