Prolific Writers Syndrome

Ever wonder how they do it? Crank out one book a month without a thought? I mean, do these people have lives or is their house full of cats in the middle of the woods.

You’re not the only one if you’re nodding your head on that one. I wonder it myself. Some of it I’ll attribute to the writers being ‘lucky’ enough to be a stay-at-home person. When you work a forty hour a week job, finding time to crank out a novel–much less a blog post–on top of housework and whatnot is a daunting task. I’ve lost sleep trying to get in a measly 500 words a night sometimes.

Don’t get me started on the weekends where a blackhole opens up and makes day into night before I polish off my Captain Crunch.

I can’t say I envy those who have the income or situation to allow them to be a housekeeper and writer exclusively. The reason is, even if I was lucky to be thrust into that scenario I still wouldn’t be writing that much. With my style, I know that cranking out a novel in a month’s time is a soul-sucking, brain-draining path to self destruction. NaNo’s taught me that much.

The movies with authors as characters have it all wrong for my writing world. I don’t sit in front of a typerwriter/computer and crank something out beginning to end without a pause. My hands don’t go up in the air after I type ‘THE END'(I don’t end my story is with those two words. A bit silly to me) and I certainly don’t toss it to my publisher right away. Unless I want them to laugh at me, of course.

Stories are like children. You can’t give them the basics and toss them into the world without first grooming them. Sanity knows even with an editor helping, your children still go out in public with their underwear hanging out the back of their pants (typos/grammar oops) or sneak out of the house without combing their hair (hey…where’d the punctuation go?).

So back on point… how do they do and, more importantly, is it a secret to success in the publishing world to write that much?

I guess that answer will never be fully answered. The only parting wisdom I can give is make sure you’re giving your reader the very best. I, as a lover of books, don’t mind if my favorite author takes a year or two between books. Most likely, that means they’ve given me the very best and have researched every minute detail. Bad books sell too but do you want to be the one they giggle about on the internet and make parodies of or the person that is revered for putting a masterpiece together.

Ask yourself this the next time you sit in front of your computer/typerwriter/stone and chisel:

Will I be proud to put my name, even one I’ve made up to mask the naughty erotic side, on what I just cranked out? Or do I need to take time to smell the roses?

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3 responses

  1. Well said! I’m with you. Even if I could write a first draft in a month, it wouldn’t be anywhere close to being publish-ready. Maybe over time the first drafts would improve but yikes, probably not that much for me.

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