As I barrel toward The End on book number three, I’m starting to think of who I want to include in the acknowledgements. There are so many people to thank, so many folks who have contributed big and small to this manuscript, so many friends who haven’t read a word yet still never fail to encourage me along the way. “Thank you” doesn’t feel like nearly enough.
But by far, my biggest and most vocal group of cheerleaders has been other authors. Writing a book is a solitary venture, a six-to-twelve-month process in which we close ourselves off from the world and pound out a story. I know there are writers who do this in public, in coffee shops or restaurants, but I’m not one of them. I like an empty house and a do-not-disturb sign on the door.
And I’ve found that the only other people who get it, who really understand what it’s like to be me when I’m mired down deep in a story, are other authors. They understand the self-doubt and frustration that comes with each book. They know better than anyone else the terror when you send it out to your readers, and they’ll encourage you to do it anyway. And when your book baby is born, when it hits the shelves and the world wide web, they are first in line to help celebrate the big day.
That’s been one of the most pleasant surprises in this journey, actually, how supportive authors are of other authors. Yes, there’s jealousy and pettiness. Yes, it’s impossible not to compare books and careers and Amazon rankings. But as a whole, authors are some of the nicest, most generous people I know, and I’m blessed to have them as colleagues.
I have only a suggestion to share today, but I think it’s an important one.
I’ve tried to go on and break this down, talk about what it means to do both, how we might accomplish a soft heart and a strong mind, the benefits, whether such things are inherent or fought for, but it’s not for me to say. It’s different for each of us.
We find our own journey of heart and mind.
Here’s to yours. And mine.
In the past few weeks, there’s been a bit of a stir in social media about how many books an author should publish in a year. An author on Bowker suggested that four books was a good number if you wanted to earn a decent living writing fiction. Another on Huffington Post balked at that idea, fearing that quality would suffer. (The art! she lamented. What will happen to the art!)
This satirical article from Bad Advice for Writers should perhaps have the last word. It’s frankly silly for authors to debate the ideal number of books to write in a year, because it depends entirely on the author: their goals, their writing process, the time they have to write.
Prolific authors existed long before indie publishing revolutionized the industry. Often they wrote under different pen names to hide the fact that they were writing so much. Also, traditional publishing is slow, so even if you write four books a year, your publishing house may not be able to keep up with you. That’s a consideration indie authors don’t have to worry about.
I know bestselling authors who release a novel every month. That’s right, twelve books a year. And their fans love them.
Readers read for a variety of reasons. It’s not always about the art. They want to be entertained. They deserve a well-crafted, well-edited story that delivers the reading experience that they’re looking for and that they’ve come to expect from a particular author. As long as the author is able to deliver that consistently, it doesn’t matter how many books a year they publish. What matters is keeping their audience happy.
As a reader, I look forward to new books from my favorite authors. Some are writing so fast that I can’t keep up with them. But at no point have I ever thought, I wish she’d slow down and think more about the art! Instead, I think, I need to make more time to read!
How about you? When you see authors producing four or more books a year, do you worry that they’re not paying enough attention to quality? Or are you just excited that they’ve got another book out?
Image Copyright: bonumopus / 123RF Stock Photo
In perusing yahoo news, I came across an article about a study done of older Americans (aged 65+) and what they regretted most in their lives. The most common answer? Worry. Out of 1500 people, the most common regret was that they’d spent too much of their lives worrying.
You can read about the study here.
I found this to be particularly relevant because I notice more and more young adults riddled with anxiety, more and more middle aged adults suffering the side effects of stress, and more and more people turning to pharmaceuticals for relief.
Some worry is unavoidable. If you’re a parent, worry comes with the job. If you or a loved one is suffering an illness, make room for worry.
But kids? Really?
School is harder than ever. The things my kids learn about in high school were college subjects in my day. A friend was talking the other day about a five year old who didn’t want to go to kindergarten because she didn’t know how to read. In kindergarten! When I was in kindergarten, we learned to tie our shoes. And it was half-day.
Bottom line: life’s too short. Every day is a gift. If we spend too much time worrying about things that either don’t matter or can’t be changed, we are frittering away the gift of life.
So get off the computer. Go outside for a walk. Read a good book. Call a friend. Smile at a stranger. Live the gift, and have no regrets.
It’s release week for book #3 in my Silver Creek series ~ ALL ABOUT YOU
Financier Katharine Wainwright is tasked with saving the charity ranch founded by her mother. Facing bankruptcy, the ranch for terminally ill children is a refuge, the one place they can redefine themselves outside of their illness and discover their true power. Canyon Laredo has dedicated his life to the cause. When accused his contribution to salvage the operation is less than adequate, he takes it personally and pushes back.
Frank Dillard currently runs the ranch. A close friend of the Wainwright family, he is central to Katharine’s success. But when crisis strikes, loyalties are divided, forcing Katharine and Canyon to work together toward a common goal: save Wainwright Ranch.
When the unthinkable happens, Katharine is faced with the challenge of her life. Can she survive the ultimate betrayal and restore the sanctuary her mother built? Or will it become nothing more than a memory…
Official release day is Wednesday – check My Books page for purchase details. **Excited** But as every author knows, there is no rest when working on a series and I’m diligently at work on book #4 ~ ONLY WITH YOU ~ an adventure that will take readers high above the mountains of Colorado as a heli-skiing trip goes terribly wrong, leaving it up to two of Silver Creek’s finest to try and save the day. Stay-tuned!