Sunday afternoons I usually devote to writing projects. This Mother’s Day, after a little prompting from my family, I took the entire day off. And I enjoyed myself! That is, until later that evening when a NY Times headline caught my eye: Writer’s Cramp: In-E-Reader Era, a Book a Year is Slacking.
Those commercial fiction writers who previously managed to put out a book a year are now “pulling the literary equivalent of a double shift.” These writers, whom we love and hate, are churning out extras–short stories, novellas, e-books– to satisfy their impatient readers whose attention spans have shortened, thanks to our revved up world.
Thriller writer Lisa Scottoline has revved up her daily quota to 2000 words. That translates into a 12/7 workweek. Best-selling literary novelists are, so far, off the hook. (Go ahead, take your ten years. We still love you!) Since I don’t belong to either camp (not yet), I’m wondering what to make of this madness. Between book marketing, building my platform, speaking engagements, circulating short stories, writing query letters, entering competitions, raising my kids, and the Other job, my next novel is still in note form. Maybe I could offer this for 99 cents while my fans await the real thing.
Let’s suppose that you could (or do) write full-time? How many books could you (would you) write in one year?