Friday, June 11, 2010

Write More...Faster Faster Faster

I've been wondering about something for quite awhile. Normally, I'm not a fast writer. I plod along, agonize a LOT and finally I'll reach that satisfying ending and no one could accuse me of being the writing energizer bunny. It's just not me. At the beginning of this year, I made it a goal of writing a book a month. Yes, a lofty goal for me and one that I know I won't make, at least not this year. I tried. I really did but life got seriously in the way. Illness in the family on several fronts and other assorted catastrophies stifled not only my creativity to put a damper on the whole 'speed thing'. My friends know that I often say....fast doesn't necessarily mean good. Developing layered characters, letting them fall in love and giving them a hot time between the sheets takes work, time, effort. Right?

Many of my friends are prolific. They write seemingly 24/7 and crank out the work so fast my head spins. I'm proud of them and love seeing their monthly releases because I know how hard they've worked to do this. I guess everyone is just different. Sometimes it bothers me that I'm not a speedy storyteller...at times I've been downright depressed over it.

Here's what I'm wondering though....is a release per month a good thing? Do you run the risk of over-exposure? I have never seen figures on this and I'm truly curious if there are statistics out there that say it's good or bad or hmmmm indifferent. On the other hand, if you don't have releases often enough, readers could forget all about you. I'm sooooo confused. I know many writers prefer something released every other month. That sounds good to me. I'm truly comfortable with that number. What do you think?

I know one thing though. Making a lame New Year's Resolution to push yourself beyond your comfort level is not for me. I won't be making that mistake again.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I'm having a writer's block, I get around it...and go somewhere. Whether it's to my parent's farm in Richmond or head over to the outdoor mall that reminds me of the Paris walkways, the change of venue gives my muse just the right kick in the butt to get the creativity flowing again.

Denise A. Agnew said...

To me there is only one pace. The pace that works for you as an individual writer. What is the optimal pace you can write a book and still turn out a fantastic book? If it's writing a book a month more power to you. For me it would be impossible. My best books are usually complex, and there is no way I can write those type of books any faster than I already do. To some people I'm a fast writer. To others, I'm slow. Writers cause themselves a lot of heartache comparing ourselves to others. :) Write at your own pace. :) Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

If what the author is putting out is good and leaves me wanting more then there is no such thing as too much. There is always room for more....like cake. On the other hand, if the author is writing the same thing over and over again, I would get tired of it. Bottom line, it depends on how much time the author needs to keep up the quality and the style of their work that drew me to them in the first place. Keeping readers waiting too long is bad for sure because it allows them time to find other things to fill the space they have allowed for your wonderful read. During that time, they could find something else that makes them forget to come back and check for your book dropping. Being one to get distracted by shiney objects, I admit this has happened to me. A happy medium. I see nothing wrong with every other month though. VON

Laurann Dohner said...

I think every author is as different as the books they write. Everyone has their own pace. They also have their own lives that vastly differ. As an example...a lot of authors hold jobs besides writing. Some of them have social lives. I take my hat off to them because I don't know how they do it all AND find time to write. I'm lucky enough to not have to work outside the home. I also suffer from insomnia often so for me...I live on 4 hours of sleep. I get to write a lot more hours than most do so my pace isn't exactly speedy...I just dedicate a lot of hours to writing so it seems I write faster than I do. Whatever your pace is, it's all about the books we write so faster or slower... what counts is the end result. LOL. And Regina... your books are AWESOME so you're doing great at the speed you write.

Anonymous said...

for me there's not too much as long as the writing is tight and the story is popping
lots of writers who produce a lot do so b/c it's how they pay the bills...if you don't work outside of writing i imagine it'd be much easier to pull off
the downside is some pubs and authors think more is better but don't take into consideration that they're producing garbage

J and J

BrennaLyons said...

The words come for you how they come for you. Rushing or even slowing yourself down is not good. You will work at your comfort level, and trying to force a change in pace will adversely impact performance.

The other major truth? There is not even a passing correlation between speed and quality. Some people out there write slowly and well. Some write quickly and well. Some write quickly and badly...and some poor soul slogs over every word and still writes poorly.

Can you put out too much? That's a hard question to answer. For me...no. Well, not when you're talking about overwhelming the readers.

It takes 3 books from a publisher to build an audience there...more or less. I built my name quickly. My first ever 3 releases were from a single publisher and within 6 weeks. No kidding...Jan 28th, Feb 3rd, and March 1st. These days, there will be periods of 2 or 3 months where you may not see anything from me (but that is a decidedly odd situation for me), and other times, you may see 2-4 releases per month for 6 straight months...then 1...then 2...then a month off... The readers roll well with it.

But me? Usually I do well. Once in a while, I find it nerve wracking, especially when publishers move release dates forward or back with no warning, but I deal. On one particular occasion, I had three releases on a single day. They weren't SUPPOSED to be on a single day. One publisher moved the release back by a week. One moved the release forward by several days. One stayed just where she should have been. End result...well, not as bad as the time I ended up booked into two chats at the same time and had two panes open to talk on them both...but not ideal, either.

One of my publishers claims that she sees less sales on newer authors when they have a release within a few days of a release with another publisher. I don't see that with my books, but every author is different.

Brenna

Regina Carlysle said...

Well, I'm not necessarily blocked just sloowwww as molasses. Frozen molasses at that! It's driving me bonkers.

Author Mary C said...

I admit to be a slow writer too. When the words flow it's wonderful but sometimes I count victories by paragraphs rather than pages.

While I worry about not putting out something new every few months, I write what I write and I would rather be proud of the quality than the quantity. Just me.

I'm a terrible perfectionist. :)

Regina Carlysle said...

Okay Denise...I'm reading and re-reading this trying to bore your words into my brain. You are totally right. Intellectually I know that. Must learn to not be so tough on myself and just do my thang. Something tells me that getting all torqued up over this shit might affect my writing and I sure don't want that.

Regina Carlysle said...

Shiny objects...oooh there goes one. HAHAHAHA.

Natalie Dae said...

I had to have a think about this because I hadn't thought much about it before, with regards to over-exposure. Having read the responses, I see others have answered well enough for me too! I'm in agreement with writing at your own pace and however it works for you.

:)

Lyla Sinclair www.lylasinclair.com said...

Honestly, I don't know how anyone gets a book a month out. I tend to write in bursts when I feel well enough (not in pain) or get especially inspired.

Since it takes me a while, I'd love to see my books up on the new release page for longer, but there are only so many slots.

I think my quality would suffer a lot if I pushed myself too hard since my books are always character driven and usually full of humor.

Paris said...

Everyone has a pace that feels natural. I write the best book I can and try not to tweak it to death before I turn loose of it.

Don't stress, Rita. Your fans will be looking for your books no matter how fast they're released;-)

Lissa said...

I have had what seems like a release a month. Actually, I have had a release a month since April. It wasn't planned that way. Some had been contracted since the end of last year and didn't come out until May. Writing a book a month doesn't mean a release a month which is a good thing.

I set myself the goal of a book per month, but, April got hosed for edits, May got hosed cause my mother was here for 2 weeks and I hit a huge wall in my writing. I am just now getting back into the groove of things.

I like writing a lot. I like having multiple projects to work on and then having multiple projects in submission. I just write. I am lucky enough to be able to write full-time though I don't always write as often as I should. But, I do believe in word count goals, page goals (even though these don't work for me) and eventually, if you're writing 2000 words a day, 5 days a week for a month, that's 44K. Maybe all on one book, maybe on multiple books, but it's the consistency. You have to find though what works for you. It may only be 500 word a day, it may be 4000. But it is about writing consistently.

Madison Scott said...

Good question! I think it all depends on the writer. Some can write that much and its still tight writing. Others cant (me being one who can't). Not sure about over exposure. I think as long as people enjoy your writing, they will keep enjoying it.

Fran Lee said...

Back to back releases provide a steady stream of decent income, so I'm all for that. When it's been three or four months since my last release, that royalty check is pretty pathetic. LOL!

Shelley Munro said...

Honestly, I think everyone else has it right. There's a pace that works for every writer. These days with the speed of e-publishing authors need to write more than one book a year, but writing one every month doesn't work for everyone.

Romance readers have a huge appetite for books. Yes, they sometimes want quick releases for series books, but they want a great product too. I think an author just needs to write to their natural rhythms and let the rest take care of itself. :)

Kelley said...

To help get motivated to write something, I listen to music. Something that sets the mood for my story.

Another thing that works for me is to take a nap. I know it sounds lazy, but it actually works. Napping clears my mind and then I can't wait to start writing. Also helpful, is to do something mundane like house work.

Hope these are helpful.

kelleyheckart.com

Tessie Bradford said...

Reg,
Creativity should not be rushed. Your fans will wait excitedly for your new releases, and, if they are anything like me, happily re-read RC favorites in the interim!!!

Anne Rainey said...

Oh boy, we've talked about this before. The truth is, I'm NOT a speedy writer. I never will be. I would like to create quality work at a faster pace, but it needs to be quality.

YOU put out quality work, Regina. So, the old saying don't mess with a good thing applies here! :)

Charisma Knight said...

I really don't think it matters at all. If you are comfortable at cranking out a book every month, then have at it. The pace can be quite taxing.

I don't think readers will forget about you if a book is released every other month, as long as you actively promote yourself and let everyone know new titles are coming soon. Keep in touch with your fan base and write some free reads for them. They are anxiously awaiting new releases from you anyway. Also, talk to them about your author friends since readers are always seeking new material to grasp.

This was a great post, thank you.

ck