How Fast Should You Write? (Writer Wednesday) [CC]


Hello, Writer, and welcome back to my life. It’s Writer Wednesday, the day where I give
you my tips and advice on the art AND the business of writing, and tell you how I do
what I do as an indie author. As always, this video and every video on my
channel are supported by my patrons on Patreon, I’d love it if you’d check out that link
somewhere around this area. Today we do not HAVE a question of the week,
I am instead going to talk about being prolific and being consistent. Writers, especially when they’re first starting
out and especially when they’re indies, are often plagued by the dilemma: how fast
should they try to write? Now, if you know anything about me, you know
that my first answer is: FIRST write as well as you can. THEN, teach yourself how to write really,
really well—faster. If you’re a Writer Wednesday viewer, I know
I probably don’t HAVE to stress it for YOU that much, but I AM going to stress it again
in case someone’s watching this who isn’t already familiar with me and the way we do
things around here. What we’re talking about here is business
advice, and so much business advice out there—especially in the indie author space—is given on the
assumed basis that you, the author, are already going to try to write the best book you possibly
can, and that you’re going to make every reasonable effort to give your reader a professional
reading experience. But that assumption is…not always accurate,
shall we say. I have met or interacted with many of the
big names in indie publishing. And they give great business advice that is
always based on the foundational idea that the author knows their business when it comes
to writing and that they will put their best effort into their book. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. There’s a lot of authors out there who don’t
respect the craft and don’t respect their readers, and they turn out shlock books. And what’s worse, sometimes they’re really,
really successful, anyways. Because there’s a lot of marketing advice
out there that will work—at least in the short term—even with an awful product. That might not last, that might not help you
build a long-term career with legitimate readers who actually care about you and are invested
in your success, but boy, it sure is a good way to make a quick buck and maybe appear
in a few more BookBub newsletters than you REALLY ought to be appearing in. Which is why, as I’ve seen the way this
industry has evolved in the last few years, I’ve tried to craft all my broad, public
business advice in such a way that it literally will not work if you aren’t doing your best
to write a good book. And that’s the case with what we’re talking
about today, on the matter of how fast you should write. Because the answer is: if you’re not writing
the best possible book you can, it doesn’t matter how fast you write. Because no one will care, and you’ll never
have a fulfilling career. So write GOOD books. Then teach yourself how to write good books
FASTER. But okay. Let’s say you’ve worked on your craft
as much as you can. You’ve written your first or maybe your
first few books. You’re starting to publish. The question remains: how fast should you
try to produce them? And far more importantly: how fast should
you RELEASE them? Because that’s what we’re really talking
about. How fast you produce content is not, in the
final analysis, as important to your career as how fast you make that content available
for your audience to consume and then pay for. However, the two questions are very closely
linked, because the answer of how fast you should release content IS: just slightly slower
than you are able to produce it. No matter how fast or how slow you are able
to write, you should release your work ever so slightly slower than that. That might sound too obvious to be useful. Obviously you can’t release your work FASTER
than you can produce it, so you HAVE to release it slower. Right? Well, not quite. What a lot of people will do is release content
AS FAST as they’re able to produce it. In other words, if they can write a book every
two months, they release a book every two months. If it takes them three months, they release
every three months. If it takes them three weeks, they release
every three weeks. And this can be a mistake. Because if ANYTHING comes in and interferes
with your schedule, that affects your relationship with your audience. One of the best things you can possibly promise
your audience is consistency. Consistency is way, way better than speed. If you can release a book every three months,
consistently, that’s better than someone who releases a book in one month, then four
months, then one month, EVEN THOUGH they’re releasing a book an AVERAGE of every two months. So one of your early priorities in your author
career should be figuring out how long it takes you to write a book, give yourself a
bit of buffer time, and then plan out your releases so that they’re coming out SLOWER
than you’re producing your work. What you want to be doing is slowly building
up a backlog of work that’s ready to release, but which you’re holding on to and drip
feeding to your readers. This gives you a tremendous amount of power
as a writer and as a person. As a writer, you’re able to experiment with
different release times and see what works best. Also, every time you publish a book, you know
about it WELL in advance, and you can plan your marketing accordingly, rather than throwing
it all together at the last minute. And as a person, it just removes a whole,
whole lot of stress from your shoulders. Having a backlog of completed work ready to
release in the future removes the panicked need to write MORE WORDS NOW NOW NOW. Stress is just bad. And the stress of “HAVING TO PRODUCE THE
NEXT THING” can lead you to compromise on your quality, which again, you never want
to do. Now I’d be dishonest if I didn’t admit
that this advice is slightly, “Do what I say, not what I do.” I have not had the most consistent release
schedule in the world. The gaps between my books have gone four months,
six months, four months, two months, four months, two months, two months, and twelve
months. However, I’m still able to speak from experience
on this, because the best and most successful and least stressful time period of my author
career was that one section where I released three books in a row with only a two-month
gap in between each one. That consistency was great for me, it was
great for readers, and frankly, it was great for my bank account. In fact, my major goal as an author AND a
publisher right now is to work towards a consistent release schedule again. We’ve done it for the Chronicles of Underrealm
starting in March, and though it’s been VERY hard to maintain that consistent schedule,
we’ve done it, and we haven’t missed a single weekly release. Now we’re going to get to that point with
the books as well—not just my books, but all the Underrealm books Legacy is going to
be publishing going forward. We’re reinspecting and revising our planned
release schedule so that it accurately reflects our production time and is slightly slower
than that production time. Because we want to have a small but ever-increasing
library of books ready for release, and then we want to decrease that production time so
they can come out faster. That’s how you get happy readers. And that’s how you ditch frankly incredible
amounts of stress as an author. That’s all I’ve got for you today, Writer. Thanks again to my patrons on Patreon for
supporting this and all my other videos, do check out the Patreon link somewhere in this
area. Thank YOU so much for watching, and I will
see you next Wednesday. Byyye!

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