The Week Ahead, and Beyond

This week I will push myself to finish the second draft of my novel. I must also come up with a title, and experiment with cover art. I have a really awesome artist, and it's just a matter of convincing her to draw something this week.

My novel should be around 60,000 words. The second draft is basically me filling in the scenes I skipped when writing the rough draft. It's also reorganizing what is already there, and fixing inconsistencies.

In the third draft I'll make everything shine. But right now, in order to finish this second draft, I must limit distractions and simplify my lifestyle for the next five days. I'm going to spend a lot less time networking, and much more time meditating.


I'm the type of person who gets so deep into so many different things at once that I never really finish anything. “Jack of all trades, master of none” comes to mind to describe myself. Well, I'm getting this story finished. No excuses. I've got about five novel-length works on various USB drives, and who knows what else laying around in my electronic cache—none of which has been completed, some of which definitely should have been.

Time for me to grow up and learn to work hard.

There have been a few authors in the last couple centuries who have been very successful with a single book (or an idea contained within several books). But this is not typical of what you'll find when looking into the methods of the most famous/talented authors. The best writers are prolific. Authors such as Orson Scott Card, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, and Anne Rice would not have been famous if they had spent ten years perfecting a single story. They played the odds.

The more books an author publishers, the more readers an author reaches. Some books won't be as good as others, but an author who writes that much is probably going to have a hard time writing bad prose consistently. An author may have a bad book here and there, but after writing millions of words, most authors will have improved enough, and hit on enough good story ideas, to be accepted by readers.

Less, in this case, is not more. More is more. That's the type of author I envision myself as. In forty years I want to have written sixty novels. If I do I know two things will likely happen (though they are not certain). 1) I'll have spent my life doing what I love and 2) I'll likely have made a living at it.

Authors like Stephen King and Anne Rice aren't going to write forever. Ray Bradbury is probably going to be dead within the next five years. Harlan Ellison will continue to sue people for stealing his ideas. The next generation of story tellers must be there to fill the void. In my generation there are going to be some great writers—there already are

I'm not saying I'll be one of them, but I'm not afraid to aim high and risk banging my knees if I fall short.

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17 Responses to The Week Ahead, and Beyond

  1. You Go! And you are so right...there is always room for a new voice...a new author...which ironically make my recent post relevant and to your advantage. I support you whole heartedly.

  2. J.R. Good for you. Writing is the most important part of a writer's career. I'm about to bow out of some social activities online so that I can focus on getting my first draft of my second novel done. I'll have to limit my blog postings to one a week and my "visiting" also.
    I'll miss it for sure but in the long run I really need to get this book done. I'm also launching my first novel in January which I need to concentrate on also. Soooo I totally get it.
    Good writing my friend,

  3. Thanks both of you!

    @ Leah. I feel like writers have to sacrifice some of what we like to do for what we love to do; some of what we're good at for what we're great at. Sometimes I think "Do I really want to be a writer and have the time commitment?" I've always been interested in so many things, and writing can interfere, but lately my philosophical leanings have led me to be a reductionist. I'm constantly simplifying my life. I'm down to a handful of things I really care about doing, and that's fine. It's helped to clear my schedule.

    There's always the weekend to get caught up on blogs and networks and anything else I want to spend time on. It's worth it, because out of all the things I find interesting, writing brings me to interact with other people the most, and that is invaluable as a human being.

  4. Hard to believe you have that many novels lying in your desk drawer; one creative productive author you are!! Love your spirit and passion for writing; aiming high is the only way to go and you're so right prolific writers...They achieve the greatest fame in the long run.

    I've been working on some childrens picture books based upon the life of Erin and I really need to focus to make real progress. My blog and online socializing really takes up too much of my time...gotta get motivated like you. Thanks for the pep talk ;)

  5. David, I know I can draw strength from you. Your passion for Erin is incredible. That's the passion I need to maintain!

  6. Getting a novel published is every writer's dream. Best wishes for your novel. God bless :)

  7. All the best JR. I too am a Jack of all trades and master of none. I look forward to reading your book (s)!!!!

  8. There is always room for more and new. If you have something different to offer and share then you must write it.
    Your dream will come true that I am sure of!

  9. Stepping away from the distractions of this technological and in your face world is the right way to get things done mate. Go for it!!


  10. You sound very determined, I like that. So I'm going to be watching this space to see what transpires. I enjoyed your post so no doubt I'll enjoy this novel that you've wetted my appetite for. Wishing you the very best of luck with it.

  11. All the best wishes for ur novel nova !!
    May ur mind fills with all the creativity u want :D

  12. I like this. So what you are saying, is if keep on blogging eventually i may start writing some descent stuff. And maybe eventually my spelling will get sorted out. Seriously I think it sad that so many talented authors lack the confidence in their writing and ever try to get their work published. I think the beauty of blogging is that iot has offered many a new outlet where they discover that people want to read what they write

  13. That's a special insight, Larry. I agree. I hope my blogging can open doors for me, connect me to readers, propel me forward. It gives what I'm doing here right now meaning. That's really important, to have a purpose. Even if the purpose is just that it's fun.

  14. Loved the words of wisdom you shared in this post my friend. Practice makes perfect. And the only way to become a better writer is to keep on writing. Thank you for this inspiring and encouraging post. :-)


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