Some time ago, I came across an article by a well-known indie author who said that to succeed as an indie author, you'd have to write fast. How fast? Six to eight novels a year. The common advice used to be four. Now the number has doubled! Crazy!
I can and have written fast. I once wrote 7,000 words a day. I have "won" every Nanowrimo I've participated in. But my imagination refuses to be hurried.
It takes time for my brain to come up with ideas and to patch up plot holes.
For the longest time, I was frustrated and hard on myself for being "slow". If my imagination was faster I could easily write a novel in a month, I thought morosely.
I wrestled with major life changes during those years: moving to another continent, trying to root myself there, then moving back to another continent. So, the stress of it all probably played a huge role in the delay.
Still, I thought I did pretty well considering that I also wrote a few short stories and a novella, Heretics of Thran, at that time.
But you know what? I'm really glad I didn't rush out to publish Book 1 even though I completed it in 2014. I felt that it wasn't where it should be and decided to write Book 2 so that I have a better idea of the characters and the world. And I'm very glad I did. After completing Nexus Point around May 2017, I returned to Shadows of Corinar and layered more complexity to it and mercilessly trimmed down 10k of fat. I am now very happy with what I have.
So, in essence, I took nearly five years to write Book 1!
And you know what? It's FINE. Sure I could've published Book 1 in 2014, but I think it would've been a much weaker novel. When I told an indie author my plan to write two books first before publishing any of them, he said: "Wow, you're really patient."
I don't think patience has anything to do with it. For me, anyway. I was actually very impatient and really wanted to launch my indie author career asap! It was fear of putting a less-than-good book out that kept me from hitting the publish button.
I just think an artist knows when she can put down the pen. For me, Shadows took five years.
I think every author is different, and saying that we should all be producing at a certain speed or "we're doing it wrong" is well, wrong.
I'm glad that in this article, one author said that she produces one a year and she's happy with it. I think that's great, and I have found her novels very layered and complex.
My goal is to eventually comfortably produce two novel-length works a year. It doesn't have to be novels, but it could be one novel and two novellas or 4 novellas.
I think that's the pace that will fulfill me as a writer and won't drive me to a nervous breakdown!
It was supposed to be a simple job: Nab the deviants and drag them home to Planetia. But Commandant Edrich Dekker soon discovers that there is nothing ordinary about the mission. Not the deviants, not the planet they were hiding in and certainly not the "god" they supposedly worship.
Heretics of Thran is a 15,000-word novella set before Shadows of Corinar (Book 1 of the Distant Stars Saga). Download Heretics of Thran FREE.