Looking at the big picture
I love it when someone blows my mind with an entirely new concept I had never even conceived of before. This happened to me recently when a prolific friend of mine told me that he doesn’t count how many words he writes day-to-day. He doesn’t count how many words he writes in a week or a month. He counts by the YEAR. When he thinks about how many books he’s written (which is a lot!), he considers how many he’s written over his lifetime.
Talk about big picture thinking!
Maybe this is what happens when you write incredibly fast and have over 80 published books to your name. You stop thinking in the day-to-day word count and start to think big.
I can tell you, I’m not there yet.
I’m just finishing up book #34, which is only the second book I’ve written this year (usually I write three books and a novella in a year, but this year has been tough). My friend has already written and published seven books… this year… that’s only half over!
What do I do with such information?
Do I feel like a failure? Like a shlump?
No, I can’t say that I do. I’ve had a hard year. Usually I write more than I have this year. So that’s okay. I can easily forgive myself for not writing as much as I have in years past.
But what about if you only write one book a year? Or one book in five years?
Honestly! This isn’t a race. This isn’t a competition.
My friend writes probably ten to fifteen books a year. They range from 30-40k (for his nonfiction works) to 60-65k (for his fiction). That’s a lot of words in a year. But because he writes so fast, he needs to count by the year and not by the day.
He knows that some days he’ll only write 500 words, but then the next day he might write 10,000. That’s works for him because it doesn’t matter how many words he writes in a day. He’s thinking long-term, big picture. He knows about how many books he wants to have written in the year, so why should he worry about having a bad day—unless there are too many of those in a row, I suppose.
The most important part is that you write the best work you can. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you get the book done so long as it’s good.
Some people are just fast writers. Others just are not. It’s all good.
The key is to write and to be happy. Have fun with your writing. Enjoy your story telling. And once this book is done, start on the next one. And maybe you too will start thinking in how many books you write in a year.
Geez, I have trouble thinking in such a big span of time… I guess this is something I need to learn.