I guess you could say I’ve been a bit remiss in my blogging the last few weeks. In April I attended a week-long writing workshop on the coast which was grueling, liberating, and life-changing (all at the same time). Three weeks after that, I attended another week-long class on publishing, and as soon as I got home, I was busy setting up my new author identity—new tax forms, website, twitter, bank account, software purchase, and all the rest of it.
All of this extracurricular activity, while important, has distracted me from my REAL business, which is telling stories by putting words on paper. One of the biggest lessons I learned from both those workshops I attended was that as a writer, my product is WORDS. I’ve recently come to realize that my early ideas of publishing a novel and a few short stories each year probably isn’t going to be enough produce enough revenue to support myself unless I hit the best-seller list (a good goal, but not within my control).
Until recently, I considered myself to be a disciplined, professional writer, who, given enough time and persistence would realize my goal of making a comfortable living from my chosen profession. But in the last six months, I’ve come to realize I was wrong. An author needs more than one or two book titles to make a living; it’s more like a two dozen (or even more). Based on conversations I’ve had with writers a lot more successful than me, the writer with the most titles wins. And by titles, I’m not just talking about novels; nowadays authors can reasonably expect to sell their backlists and short fiction through e-pubs and print-on-demand as well. Writers have more options to get their words published today than ever. There is no reason not to put your words to work.
I did a quick inventory of my own (shortish) list of (as yet) unpublished titles. I have a few novels and short stories which did not get the response I’d hoped for when I sent them out on query. So I’ve decided to move ahead and self-publish the earlier titles. I’ve also decided to accelerate my writing pace and significantly up my daily word count quota. I plan to finish the year with at least 3 completed novels (Aurum and 2 more), and at least 10 short stories (I’ve already got three finished). My new website is up and running, and I’ve got no more excuses to keep me from my work. Writers write.