Planning Ahead

There are three advantages to not having published (traditionally) a single book:

1. No expectations.

By others, that is. I don’t have to worry about my words offending or pleasing anyone.

2. No deadlines.

If I don’t feel like writing one day (or year), I don’t have to. Unless, of course, my muse starts pounding on the back of my head to get to it.

3. No need to brainstorm ideas.

Once a writer signs a contract with a publisher, it’s usually for multiple books, and the writer is expected to churn out about one book a year.

Writing my first book was a dream. I spent a mere three months pounding out 103k words. The sequel I wrote a year later, and it took me only six months to write 130k words.”The Red Dagger” took a month to write 2/3 of it since it was my first national novel writing month effort. I then spent another three months finishing it. All three came to me with a flash of insight, so it felt more like dictation than actual writing.

Since then I’ve tried writing three other novels. None are finished. I can’t seem to bring out the passion to write them as I did my first three. Where are those flashes of insight? Or are they there, but buried deep within a pile of too-high expectations?

So thinking ahead, how can I meet the possible requirements of a publisher with one book a year?

Believe it or not, I think I can do it. Sometimes I merely need an outside source to push me to complete a project. Coming up with a good idea, however, proves to be the biggest challenge. Writing it comes in a close second.

For that reason alone, I admire authors who can continuously write one novel a year, and see a good portion of them succeed.

I’d love to be one of those.

2 thoughts on “Planning Ahead

  1. Ah, that was one of my biggest reasons for going non-traditional. I want to be in charge of my own schedule. Turns out, though, that I’ve become a horrible slave driver. 😉

    I’m sure you will manage when you get to that.

    I have heard, though, that it’s less often the case now where you’re signed to more than one book at a time. I think that’s a good thing for at least a couple of reasons.


  2. Plus you have a fan base who want to see more, so I’m sure that’s a huge incentive to keep writing.

    I wouldn’t be surprised that publishers are only offering a single or double book deal — at least until the books sell enough to justify the expense of publishing more.

    As for me, I would hope for (but not expect) at least a twofer. That will give me the motivation to spit another one out.


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