I’ve been reading blog posts and news stories here and there speaking about the changing nature of publishing. There are so many changes happening so fast it’s sometimes hard to keep track, and honestly it’s foolish to try. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing to stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry—all segments of it—but there’s no need to know it all.
One of the things I’ve seen lately is this push for authors to produce as many books as they can as fast as they can. There was a time not too long ago when, if an author published a novel once a year they were on a rapid schedule. They were producing!
Now there’s talk, because of the “ease” of publishing ebooks, that if you’re not putting out a couple of novels a year, then you’re falling behind.
Don’t Forget, Writing is a Process
Check out this post from Rachelle Gardner about Six Thing to Learn from Hemingway. Here’s one of the things she gleaned from studying his writing habits.
He wasn’t afraid of the process. He knew that a book or short story had its own timetable, and he didn’t try to force it. If a project needed weeks, months or years in the editing and rewriting phase, that’s what he gave it. Despite the same anxiety for publication that all writers share, he still gave his books the time they needed to develop.
I don’t know much about fines wines, or coffee, or cheeses, but I do know one thing. Some of them need time to age to produce the flavor that makes them desirable. If makers of any of these premium delicacies rush their product through production in order to get it to market, you know as well as I that they would soon have a severe drop in sales because of the corresponding drop in quality.
Writing, I believe, is the same way. Crafting a good story takes time.
Time to let your ideas percolate. Time to flesh out those ideas and turn out an outline and a plot. Time to develop characters and run them through the wringer of life. Time to write the story, then edit it, then revise it, and revise it again, and again.
You get the picture.
I write a lot, and I write as fast as I can. I’ve got novels I could push out into the world, but as a self-published author I think I owe it to those who will read my works to give them the best product I can. If I create something they enjoy and think is of value, they’ll become a fan and be more willing to buy the next work I publish. They’ll be more willing to spread the word.
You know the same won’t be true if I put out a bunch of shoddy work, no matter how great the volume.