Last week I wrote about how I create my marketing and release schedule. Another question I get frequently is how much I write every day, especially from new or unpublished authors. I have published two full-length books, have a third on its way, and am going to have multiple shorts stories published in anthologies this year. And to those just starting out, that sounds like a lot. Unfortunately, in the world of self-publishing, it really isn’t.
The indie book world is a lot faster paced than it is for traditionally published authors. Readers expect books more often and can get rather impatient. It is not uncommon for indie authors to publish multiple books each year. In fact, I know quite a few who publish one or two almost every month.
That being said, IT IS NOT A RACE. As an author, you need to do what’s best for you. You know how much you’re capable of, and if that’s one book per year, then so be it. There’s nothing wrong with that. Most of us have a lot going on outside of writing.
Every “expert” I’ve come across says to write every day. Most say to dedicate a solid chunk of time each day just to writing. But for a lot of us, that is just not realistic.
I am currently a full-time grad student, who owns and manages a website, works for two others, and offers freelance editing and marketing services. Plus, more importantly, I do so much better if I write when inspired or motivated, as opposed to when I feel like I have to.
So, I do not write every day. Not even close. Sometimes, I go a whole week without working on one of my books.
I am working on better writing habits because I do have a lot of books planned and know I need to get on a better schedule to make that happen, but I’m going to start slow.
Through a few different groups, I have writing sprints every day. I have a bad habit of working on other stuff during them though. So, I am trying to use them as a break to just focus on writing for that hour or two each day, at least four days per week.
I can get in about 1000 words in an hour. More if focused. That’s about 10k words per week, if I stick with the plan. Then, there are days where I can’t focus on anything but writing.
Long story short, I can write a whole book (50-80k words) in a couple months if I stick to it and focus. So, with my four-month marketing schedule, I am always working ahead. For example, The Lost Prince goes to the editor in the next couple weeks and releases in November. As soon as it goes to the editor, I will jump into the book releasing in January, which is actually already started because I typically have a fantasy and contemporary romance going simultaneously. While the fantasy is the focus right now because it releases sooner, sometimes I need a break–I need the light, fluffy romance.
My points: Do what works best for you. Don’t feel like you need to work faster because of other authors’ habits and schedules. Work ahead if you can. And stay organized!
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