Well, you all probably know that it’s NaNoWriMo again.
And people all over the world are writing like mad and tracking their word count. I personally know a few who have written 10,000 words or more since Sunday. They are writing fast.
Is writing fast a good idea?
In many minds, there is the visual image of the writer who toils at the desk, taking hours to create the perfect sentence or perfect page. And the longer it takes, the more work has been put into it and the better it must be. This seems to be especially true for literary novels.
Because it is quite possible to write fast and create good stories at the same time. In fact, the ability to write fast – to the tune of regularly putting out 5,000 or more words per day – is almost necessary in the new world of publishing.
Publishing more books is the best way to get noted.
It’s the best way to keep readers loyal. Even the usual one book or novel per year is no longer enough. That used to be the norm because the big publishers couldn’t put out more than one per year, with everything to arrange and a large stable of authors to manage. However, the times have changed.
Most successful authors publish three or more books a year. How in the world are they doing that? How can they ever manage?
Let’s do some math.
You see, it really is a numbers game, even if you don’t like that. Let’s assume a novel of 60,000 words because that makes it easy to break down the numbers. And 60,000 words is not a huge novel, either, but it is quite marketable.
So, further assuming 30 days per month, the numbers break down like this:
1 year = 5,000 words per month = ~167 words per day
6 months = 10,000 words per month = ~333 words per day
3 month = 20,000 words per month = ~667 words per day1 month = 60,000 words per month = ~2,000 words per day
To write one novel per month, you need to do 2,000 words per day.
That would take me 90 min to 2 hours, depending on how clear I am about what I want or need to write next. In other words, it is very doable if you want to do this. If you learn to get into the flow while writing, it’s actually easy.
Of course, there is editing. Proofreading. Formatting and all the other things that are needed to turn a manuscript into a book. And marketing, if you’re indie. Which is entirely doable as well, especially if you outsource those tasks that take you too much time.
But think about it. Writing consistently at NaNo speed, learning how to create clean manuscripts, with a good story (whether you outline or not) will allow you to create several novels a year.
Several novels per year!
And that is what NaNo is really all about. It can teach you to write every day, come hell or high water. It can teach you to stick to a regular pace, if you let it. It can teach your writing habits, trusting your writing mind, and to stick to it.
It is very doable. As a first step, I suggest creating a little spreadsheet where you track your daily word count. Because what you focus on grows.
And if you have doubts about tracking your wordcount and writing regularly, let’s tap on that!
Even though I can’t believe it’s possible to write several novels per year, I’m a good writer, and I’m open to the possibility that this math is real.
Even though I’m shocked at how little time I really have to invest in order to create a novel, I’m a good writer, and I’m allowing myself to entertain the thought that it is possible.
Even though I can’t believe that Frauke just broke down novel-writing into numbers, I resent that because I’m creating art, I’m okay the way I am, and I’m open to the possibility that being an indie author is a business that uses numbers to measure the creation of art.
You can listen to a podcast about writing faster while still creating good stories here: “Libby Hawker Takes Off Her Pants” at The 21st Century Writer Podcast
(I’m in there, under my pen name.)
How do you feel about writing fast?
Can you imagine that it might be fun?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what great story are you writing right now?
Would love to hear from you!
Image Source: F. Moebius
PS: Being an indie author is living at the intersection of art and business. It means measuring what you do, while being free to create on purpose. It means discipline. It also means letting go of limiting beliefs. I can help you to create the mindset you need to flourish as author.
I’d love to do that for you. If that idea appeals to you and you want to learn more, click HERE and send me an email. We’ll decide how I can support you best.
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