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.
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.