Some of the hard realities of writing

I didn’t do National November Writing Month, though I was happy to cheer from the sidelines. I’ve been writing professionally for decades, it’s thirty years since I wrote my first book for publication, and every month is NaNoWriMo month for me.

The way books should be sold, cover out (the best way to display them). I wrote this one...

The way books should be sold, cover out (the best way to display them). I wrote this one…

Fitting in writing obligations around everything else that has to be done in a day, including sleep, is a perennial challenge all authors have to meet.

It’s getting more challenging as the publishing industry tightens. Not least because quality MUST NOT get compromised for speed. That’s one of the realities of writing. It’s one authors have to know, understand and accept if they’re to get ahead. It’s also true for self-publishers.

Put another way, the age of authors being able to casually rise from their beds at ten thirty, drift across to the typewriter after a leisurely brunch and tap out a few words, then maybe go fishing for the afternoon, are gone. Uh…damn.

The money isn’t in it. Actually, the money was never in it, except for a lucky few.

Trad publishing is getting tight – which means authors have to write smart, and the onus is on more than ever to produce quality in ever-shorter time, to meet a specific commercial market.

Self-publishers are under pressure too. If you write something that works, readers want more – and in that sense the life-cycle of e-books is short. Yes, they’re available forever – but readers always look for something new. Soon. It’s up to the author to provide it.

Everybody, basically, has to learn how to churn out stuff at the same rate as Barbara Cartland. Without compromising quality.

It means working smart, it means working professionally – it means working hard.

It’s a challenge. But I’ve got some pointers as to how to do it. Soon. Who’s in?

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013

Coming up: more writing tips, more humour, more science – watch this space.

9 comments on “Some of the hard realities of writing

  1. bevrobitai says:

    Yes, I’m in! I too wish to learn the secrets of world literary domination! Send me your pointers now. I understand if I am not completely satisfied I may return them without charge within seven days in the original packaging. Is this too good to be true???

    • Not at all;. First, create a fictitious middle initial with the letter ‘K’, then mash up a couple of unlikely genres (remembering to reserve the secondary product marketing rights to yourself) and watch the pounds sterling roll in…. :-)

  2. SleepyDragon1320 says:

    Reblogged this on Sleepy Book Dragon and commented:
    An insight into the modern world of professional writing.

  3. I’m in. I loved all of your pointers and reminders during NaNo, so now I’m hooked!

  4. KM Huber says:

    You know I am in, Matthew! In the immortal words of Rosanne, Rosanna Danna: “it’s always something.” Just in the last two years the changes in publishing are staggering, I think. It is so incredibly helpful to have writers like you who help us separate the wheat from the chaff. As previously noted, your NaNo pointers are among the best, and I found them quite helpful even though I am not a NaNo participant. Thanks, Matthew!
    Karen

    • Thanks – much appreciated. My tips and hints were generally intended – I pushed them out at NaNo time with the idea of helping NaNo, but they work for any writer any time… Apropos the changes in publishing…I really wonder where it’s going, and how nimble authors are going to have to be to keep up. We must try, of course.

  5. pinkdeaf1 says:

    Reblogged this on pinkdeaf1 and commented:
    I could use a few pointers from this guy.

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