So about a month ago I blogged that I was going to publish 10 books over the next twelve months . I thought I’d give everyone an update on how it’s going, because I know there are quite few people out there who think it’s insane and even stupid, and some others who think it’s some sort of heroic accomplishment. Just for the record, it’s neither.
First, I’ll refresh everyone’s memories as to why I’m doing this: backlist, baby. Mine is too small, and it’s hindering my progress, so I’m putting in a big effort for one year to pad it, and hopefully then I can cut back some the following year. If everything goes perfectly, I can do it by writing 3500 words a day twenty days out of each month. But we all know things never go perfectly, right?
Just like with most things in Indie publishing, this is an experiment–it may work, it may not, it may do something totally different than what I’m aiming for. But one thing it’s definitely doing is teaching me a lot about my work and myself as a writer. So, here’s some of what I’ve learned in the first month:
First: 5,000 words a day is not 5,000 words a day is not 5,000 words a day. What I mean by that is those daily words can be a lot easier or harder depending on certain things like where you are in the book, and what kind of book it is. The last book I wrote was the second in my Rhapsody rock star series, RACING TO RHAPSODY. And doing 3k or 4k or 5k a day on that book wasn’t too bad. My rock star books are full of angst and sex, and have relatively simple storylines, usually tied to a tour or trip of some sort that makes the whole thing very linear. They are standalone and the books take place in sequential order, so there are no overlapping timelines.
However, the book that was up in the queue immediately after Racing to Rhapsody was the second full-length book in my Powerplay political romance series, POTUS. This series has two threads weaving through each book–the romance and the political intrigue/suspense. There are lots of issues that require research, things like what route you’d use to transport goods between Russia and the Middle East, and can the President of the United States approve a request for asylum from a foreign citizen. These books are less angsty, more complex, and even though each is a standalone, they have overlapping characters and overlapping timelines, so I have to take the time to consult my series bible, look back through the previous book, calculate timelines, figure out seasons, etc, etc.
As you can see, writing 5k a day with one of those books is a lot different than writing 5k a day with the other.
Next: I get more done earlier in the week. Yes, Mondays it’s not so hard to do 3 or 4 or 5k. Thursdays it hurts. Fridays it might not get done.
Also: You have to work REALLY hard at moving around enough when you’re writing this much. I’m writing wherever it’ll get the job done. A lot of times that’s in my bed (yeah, I know, it’s weird), but other times it’s at my desk, and if I can, at my treadmill desk. I’m also working really hard to get one walk around the neighborhood in each day. But seriously? You have to consciously remind yourself to stand the hell up and move your body or you’re going to die an early death.
And: It can take me eight hours some days to get those words in. Some days I’m done by lunchtime, other days, it takes me the whole six hours my kids are at school plus another 2-3 hours after dinner. This shit isn’t easy, y’all. Ideally I’m doing 3500 words a day twenty days a month. But the reality is, October was the month to do the Powerplay book, and it’s a bigger job, so it’s bleeding into November. But I can’t put my November book off, so I’m doing 5000 words a day until Nov 14th when POTUS will be off to edits, and then I’ll be left with only my November book.
Finally: There are a lot of people who do this many words all the time and I’m not special, and I’m also not crazy. There are as many types of writers as there are books and genres and ways to publish. Some types of books can be written in massive word count days. Some can’t. It doesn’t mean some books are garbage and others aren’t. It doesn’t mean some writers are lazy and others aren’t. There is no formula for all of this in spite of some big famous writers trying to act like there is. I took this on because I know that I have the capacity to do it, and that it works for my genre. Your results may vary. BUT, one thing I can say to people who keep asking me, “how in the world do you do that?” It’s fucking hard work. That’s all. And the longer you write, the more books you get under your belt, the more possible writing like this becomes. I couldn’t have done it five years ago. But also: self-discipline and determination.
Okay, that’s all this month. I’ll let you know how it’s going and what other fascinating things I’ve learned in December! Also, if you want to read the first book in this year of books I’m putting out, you can get RACING TO RHAPSODY here:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2etRqGS
BN Nook: http://bit.ly/2exdQXc
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2du65o6
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2eoHY9O
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2er2Pbz