Writing in Public, Too: Day 10 – Productivity for Writers

writinginpublicWell, today was another work day… And was too tired upon getting home to do much of anything. Answered some emails, hung out with wife and kids, even tried taking a nap and then waking up again. Not a lot of luck. The 6am wake-up time is brutal for me, as I’m more of a night person.

But we do what we need to do.

Long story short, I got zero new words done on Ashes today. Did some work on cleaning up the second editing pass on Starship 5, which I just got back this evening.

 

And I also wrote this… It’s from a response to an interesting thread on LinkedIn. The debate there is over productivity for writers, and how much impact does it have – wrapped up with quality vs quantity discussions as well. Fascinating thread, and it’s a closed group or I’d link to it. But here’s my post (slightly edited so it makes sense without the context of the posts I was replying to).

 

Productivity for Writers

I don’t think that being a productive writer is a “particular strategy”. Nor, honestly, am I some sort of poster child for that strategy, if it is one. I’m not a particularly fast writer. I’m MUCH less productive than most successful indie writers today. I wish I was more productive than I am; and much of the point of the “Writing in Public” challenge is to help improve my productivity.

Productivity isn’t about models or strategies, though. It’s about constants. If you spend more hours working on writing (whatever your personal process), you will produce more work AND your skill will improve faster. That’s pretty much set in stone: the more time you spend writing, the more stories you will write. The more stories you write, the better you will get at telling stories. Makes sense, right? Also, if you produce more work, you can publish more work, which WILL increase your visibility, and in my experience always increases sales of both current and older works.

So when I say I wish I was more productive, and need to work on being more productive, it’s because I see increased productivity as the number one factor involved in moving from part-time hobby writer to full-time career writer; which is my target. For people who have different targets, that may not be relevant advice.

For people with similar goals to mine, I do firmly believe that the more you are able to write – the more hours you work – the better your chances of achieving your goals, and the faster you will reach them. And I think that holds true for all fiction, and most likely for a lot of nonfiction as well.

We’ve left behind the era of the book a year writer, I think. Instead, we’ve re-entered a phase of literature where writers who work more will tend to have better careers than writers who work less. We really haven’t seen that sort of thing in a long time – not since before I was born, certainly. Most writers have spent decades being limited by publishers to a book a year, maybe two. If they wanted to write more than that, they were forced to use pen names.

And now that’s gone. Wiped away. Writers are free to write and publish as much as they can produce, and the lid is off the box. As a result, I think we will see a shift in which writers succeed, and the drift will favor those writers who are willing to spend the time to produce lots of stories.

 

 

Totals for Day 10

Daily Fiction Wordcount: 0 words    Month to date fiction: 15350 words

Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 617 words    Month to date blog posts: 6716 words

2 Comments

  1. Just as you, I’m looking at today’s post being the kick in the pants that I need to keep my fingers on the keys and keep writing.

    I agree that we appear to be returning to the time when writing volume has a huge impact on writing income/success. As has been mentioned elsewhere, the last time such circumstances were in existence was in the 1920s and 1930s when few of us were around. The recent passing of Fred Pohl was one of our few remaining links to that time and his life-long writing is something that we may see as a model for the future.

    Thanks for the post and I hope it continues to work for you.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment, and I’m glad it helped you! I agree – writers have the lid off now. Writers used to be limited in how much they could produce, and now they are not so much anymore. I think that’s going to change things, as much or more than any of the other changes.

      Reply

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