We’re moving toward the end of the original definitions and will be able to move on to specifics in a few more posts. I’m looking forward to that!
For now, why “Write more”?
The Bipolar Indie Scene
Recently, David Gaughran has written a number of posts about the Wide/KU debate that rages in the indie publishing industry at the moment. His is an interesting perspective. In his post “A Tale of Two Marketing Systems“, he lays out the theory that two completely different styles of marketing are needed depending on which camp you are in.
I think the polarization is more severe than that. I think two different types of writing are needed, depending on which camp you are in. In later posts, I’ll go into that in more detail. For now I merely want to establish that there is a difference.
If ever there was a reincarnation of the classic pulp fiction industry, then KU publishing is it. Authors must hew to genre expectations and tropes as if they’re on rails, and while they’re at it, publish at pulp speed, too. Amazon favors authors who publish every 30 days or less.
Writing more is a survival skill for KU authors.
The waters are a lot calmer when you’re wide. There’s no pressure to spike your sales upon launch, or promote yourself into the top ranks in order to be seen. Everything the wide author does is an incremental process, from acquiring reader emails organically, to advertising campaigns that add a few extra books per day…to publishing another title.
While the wide author’s gait is even, the pace at which you release books does affect your bottom line, so it pays to write more. Every book released is another trickle to the multiple streams of income you’re generating.
The purely traditional author
It’s often assumed that a traditional author is the most staid of fiction authors, and if an author abides by their traditional contracts with their non-compete clauses and demands to see the next project, then one-book-a-year is the fastest the gas pedal can go.
Stephen King’s character, Mike Noonan, in Bag of Bones, like many of his characters, is an echo of King himself. Noon is a fiction writer, traditionally published, and living in Maine. The most interesting aspect about Mike Noonan is the hint about King’s productivity. The character publishes one book a year…but writes more than that and sticks the books in a drawer for a rainy day.
The rainy day comes, of course. Noonan goes through a multi-year case of writer’s block and uses all his “backup” books. Without that stash, he’d have been hooped.
Even from a purely traditional, one pen-name only perspective, authors benefit from writing more.
Writing more also allows an author to write under more than one pen-name, in more than one genre, multiplying their advances per year and therefore their revenue. It also gives you a chance to have fun writing something other than the next book in your main series.
Writing More -> Writing More.
In part, discovering this facet of creativity is what prompted me to start this blog.
In the months leading up to Christmas 2017, I spent countless hours hand crafting gifts for everyone on my gift list. I would spend long hours in the evening and on weekends, creating not just the gifts, but the cards, boxes and wrapping to hold them, while documenting all of it with photos and journal notes. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for many years, but the day job + writing wouldn’t allow it.
I always presumed that blowing all my creative “juice” on craft projects meant that I wouldn’t have as much to spare for writing, the next morning.
After some very long evenings, I woke up refreshed and ready to go. The story ideas flowed smoothly and the writing zoomed along.
This happened not just once, but nearly all the time. Creativity, it seems, begets creativity.
I extended the theory: What if, instead of crafting, I filled my spare time with writing, instead?
Thus, this blog and the mad experiment were born.
Although, I don’t need to finish the experiment to know that this works. The more I write, the more I get written. Creativity is a muscle, not a gas tank.
Try it yourself. Aim to write for more hours than you are already. Temporarily, put aside other commitments and indulge yourself with a week of immersion therapy.
See what happens.
I guarantee you’ll find that you have never written faster, with more clarity, or drive.
Best: You won’t want to stop.