Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Writing Fast

I'm not trying to make excuses, but I have a hard time finding time to write. I work 3-4 days a week. Two nights a week I play soccer. Add in my kids stuff, my futile attempts at keeping the house clean, and keeping in touch with my family, well let's just say time is limited.

Also, I'm a slow writer. In the past few years I've only written two and a half books. So when I read Jody Hedlund's post, it made me wonder if I could write faster. She talks about how it's difficult to make a living as an author if you only publish one book a year (if you're a mid list author).

Some authors are writing two to four books a year. Even I've noticed that many authors are announcing two books being published in 2013.

So this got me thinking.  Could I write more than one book (draft, revise, and edit) in a year. I think it would take a lot of time management and sacrifice. Things like sleep, a clean house, watching my kids play sports, and even my soccer games.

I guess it's a matter of priorities. I'm not sure if I'm willing to stop going to my kid's basketball games, but I'm pretty sure I could give up a clean house.

How about you? Do you think you can write more than one book a year or maybe you already have? What would you be willing to sacrifice to gain more time to write?

15 comments:

Connie Keller said...

I've thought about this too. Honestly, at this point in my life I don't think I can do it. Words don't pour out of me--they sort of stumble out and fall over. I really can't write more than 1000 words a day. After that, everything is drivel.

I have thought about working on two books at the same time, trying to get a 1000 words on each. But right now with kids, I don't think I can do it.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I freaked when I read that post. I'm still editing a book that I started over a year ago. Granted it's gone though several major rewrites. I've started a new book recently. Hopefully I'm a lot faster in getting it finished. I'm also hoping I'm getting a lot smarter so my novels won't need as many rounds of editing. That's what is taking me so long.

Speed isn't all it's cracked up to be. I've read books by prolific best selling authors that needed to have another round or two of editing before they were published. Because the publisher was in such a rush to get the books out, they cut necessary corners and it showed. I don't read thse authors' books anymore.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I write like the wind and edit like the publishing industry. ;-)

~ Wendy

Heidi Willis said...

I almost busted out laughing at the thought of writing three books a year. I've been working on my novel for two and a half years, and it's still not done.

I cannot write fast. I just can't. I am pretty quick at the revising if I have a decent draft to start with, but the writing just takes time for me. Good writing SHOULD take time. I refuse to give in to the pressure of our microwave culture of instant everything. You know what mostly comes out of publishing two-three books a year? A lot of crappy books.

Maybe shorter books - like MG - or series books where the characters and basic plot templates are already in place - maybe those can be done quickly. And some people ARE fast writers. But I'm not one of them, and if I want to write something well, I need time. I'm okay with taking it. At least, right now. :)

Laurel Garver said...

I think one of the caveats is if you want to be SELF SUPPORTING you have to write faster. The quantity question really comes down to your long-term goals. If you plan to keep your day job, then the pressure to produce quickly isn't there to the same degree (though I'm not agented and don't have a sense of whether the industry pros would wash their hands of you for not cranking out projects on their schedule).

Southpaw said...

Once I got in the habit, I think I could. But I'd definitively have to get fast. I'm a slow writer too.

Angela Felsted said...

I don't write fast, either, but I've decided I'm okay with that. Because when I write really fast, the quality of my writing suffers.

So I guess I will likely never be a self-supporting author, but I still do it out of love.

Martin Willoughby said...

Part of it depends on what you want from your writing career. If writing is all you do, then two a year is feasible, depending on your genre and word count.

Two 60K YA books is possible, but two 120K fantasy books might be pushing it.

If you're just starting out and have a life to live and share, jobs and family, then one is enough.

In short, it depends on who you are.

Laura Pauling said...

In the past my speed has been 2 every 18 months but I'm looking to streamline without sacrificing quality. I do think some people can do 2-3 a year and do fine. Others are good with one a year. It doesn't hurt to try and write more. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work!

Leslie Pugh said...

I've been thinking about this very thing. I just finished reading On Writing by Stephen King and blogged about how he writes 2,000 words a day every single day. I don't know if I could write quality words doing that, but I set it as my goal for finishing my draft this summer. It doesn't hurt to try, right?

Leslie Pugh said...

I've been thinking about this very thing. I just finished reading On Writing by Stephen King and blogged about how he writes 2,000 words a day every single day. I don't know if I could write quality words doing that, but I set it as my goal for finishing my draft this summer. It doesn't hurt to try, right?

Melissa Marsh said...

I think it depends. If you want to make a living as a writer - and there's no other income coming in - then yeah, that would make a difference. But in reality, I don't know that I COULD write more than one book a year and be PROUD of it. To me, it's not a race. I don't want to put out books that are crap just because I want to make more money. That ruins the entire point of me writing. Could I work on my time management more? Yes, definitely.

Carolyn V said...

That's an interesting thought. I went to a class with an author who said he wrote five books in one year. Five!!! I don't know if I could keep up with five different books. Amazing.

Julia Tomiak said...

I agree with you and a lot of the other mamas that I just don't have the time to do more than I am. For me, the writing doesn't take too long, but it's very hard to find the time to do it! I agree that we should keep our priorities in mind -'and my family is my number one priority. I like writing because I can work on my own terms now, as I develop my craft, and later, when the kids are older, I can crank more stuff out.

Monica B.W. said...

Yeah, I can't write more than 1k a day. I like to edit as I go, so sometimes I even write less than that. Plus add the time I plot and outline, etc...so for me it's one book a year. ;)