Two to Three Novels per Year…Yeah, Right.

empty handedI didn’t think I had anything to write about for Misconceptions, but then i realized that I had a common misconception staring me in the face. I’d planned on putting three books out in 2016. I’ll be lucky to get one. I think that’s due, in part, to a common misconception by writers and readers; for some insane reason, we believe that life will go as planned. Even though it’s proven to us again and again, that life will NOT go as planned, we still seem to believe that it will.

Take my story for instance. I already had Moon Shadows written, the first in a series of six, and so I was sure it would go out in 2016. Nope. Taking a closer look, I realized this is a series that needs a publisher. It has great potential as a YA novel, but changes need to be made and it needs the marketing and backing that a pubolisher, even a small one, can give it. So nope, not coming in 2016.

I was partway done with two other novels, but medical issues within my family and extended family took time as well as money. I needed to get a consistent income which meant getting a regular job. Now, most authors work and write so what’s the big deal? Most aren”t the mother of five, active in their church and community, and spending 3-6 hours a week with dr. appointments. Is that an excuse? Yes! I should manage my time better, get less discouraged, and I should make writing more of a priority. I watch TV to escape the stress, I worry about things I can’t change then can’t focus on my stories, and my priorities occasionally get completely screwed up.

I’ve gone off on a tangent a little bit here, but I think the point is valid. Life happens. Excuses happen. Recognize it, deal with it, and keep writing. Let your readers know that you’re still working. Change timelines. It’s okay. And if you can only get a book out every other year for a while, or even longer, that’s okay. After a couple of those, you may be able to get four out in one year. Will missing self-imposed deadlines affect your career and your fan base? Maybe, but not detrimentally. Don’t believe the hype that you HAVE to have X number of books out per year. Believe in your fans, believe in your art, and believe in yourself.

One response on “Two to Three Novels per Year…Yeah, Right.

  1. Charles T. Whipple

    People ask me how I write novels. I tell them 500 words a day. Some days I don’t make it. WIP, 1000 words into chapter three. No word from the publisher on the one I submitted at the end of May. Wrote my first novel in 1979 as an entry in a Louis L’Amour writeralike contest. Didn’t win. Had awards in copywriting and corporate literature, so I decided fiction was not my strong point. MS went into the bottom drawer for the next 20 years. Dug it out, polished a bit, sent to publisher. Bought. After the turn of the century, 20-odd novels, a bunch of novellas, several short stories, and tons of magazine articles. By the time I sold my first novel, my kids were grown up. That helps. (I’m active in my church, too.)

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