So, I did pretty good today, I think. I’m really struggling for the motivation to keep going with this, constantly bombarded with feelings of inferiority to such a large group of writers out there. What could be the odds of me actually hitting my monetary goal, when the vast majority (I think it’s 98%) of writers never make more than $100 from Amazon sales. If that’s true, it’s the same kind of long-shot odds from getting traditionally publish. Granted, there’s less hassle. No real gatekeepers. You just have to produce – write well (subjective) – and get your name out there, build a readership. Yeah, okay.
Last night I was to the point where I no longer find satisfaction in the long distance race that writing is so often proposed to be. I’m extremely fortunate that my day job is so flexible, that I can devote most of my day to writing. With that in hand, I’ve got half the problem already licked. Now I just have to fill that time with production. I have to write.
Today I did a pretty good job. I jumped right in this morning and knocked out about 400 words. Instead of doing just one session, I split my time up into multiple session throughout the day, ending with a total 2247 words edited and 551 words written. If I keep that pace up, I can publish two new books each year. I read Koontz’s book on writing, as well as other bloggers who seem to agree. He claims, if you’re serious about writing as a career, you should be putting in as close to 8 hours a day with writing activities as you can. More, if possible. If I did that, I would be pumping out 6000 – 10000 words a day. That’s easily a new book published each month. If I were able to maintain that for any length of time (highly unlikely), I could hit the almost 4 million words a year. That’s around 15 books in one year (2/3 used in editing)!
What attracts me to writing, besides spending time with the characters and weaving the plot, is the idea that once a book is written, it’s available to make money for me forever. The more real estate you have (books), the more likely people will be turned on to you and when they are, if they like you, they’ll buy even more of your real estate. Then, once they have read all of your currently available books, they will hang on and wait for you to write more, buying those copies in the future, too. I see two genuine difficulties with this strategy. The first, producing enough consistently so I’m not spending the next 20 years in poverty, and the second, somehow getting my name out there so people know to buy the books in the first place.
Here’s what I SHOULD do.
If I think writing is the career choice for me, and I think I would actually enjoy writing full time, if I didn’t have to worry about money anymore, then I should focus the next 365 and try to produce 10,000 words each day. If I split that 1/3 to writing and 2/3 to editing, then I would be doing 3333 words daily actually working on a manuscript, and the other 6667 words working on edits of manuscripts already completed. Then, after that full year of 10,000 words a day, almost 3.6 million words in the year, I stand to have 15 books (some would be novellas) published on Amazon. Then I could sit back and deal with the issue of how to market those suckers to the world.
I have the time. I have the facility (my writing room). I have no constraints or obligations that would distract me. I have enough story ideas already to probably come close to filling that order. The only thing stopping me, at this point, is making the choice to do it.
I’ll keep you posted.