Nothing to fear but…
You know that cliché in nightmares where you are desperately trying to run — lungs heaving and heart pounding in that cliché way — but you just can’t move a muscle?
(Yeah, no, I don’t have that nightmare either. I have the drowning cliché nightmare, the naked-in-public cliché nightmare, and the “can’t find my classroom and it’s test day” cliché nightmare, but not the stuck-in-molasses cliché nightmare. For the sake of this blog post, though, I’m going to suffer it. Why is it that even my clichés don’t make my writing any easier? Sheesh.)
Write faster, write more
One of my greatest fears in today’s publishing world is that I can’t write fast enough.
Once upon a time — back in 2009 when I was first published — a book every nine months was good enough. Nine months was very gestational and all, which is symbolically satisfying. But in today’s self-publishing world, popular opinion suggests we must produce a new work every six weeks or at least quarterly in order to keep retailer algorithms favorable.
(Slight non sequitor. Some self-publishing writers who smugly crow how they have ditched their New York overlords neglect to mention how they have merely traded in for completely faceless algorithms, but that is a different rant.)
I’ll manage through no fault of my own to hit the quarterly release mark in 2013, but rather than allaying my fears, I find myself even more nervous about 2014. I need to step up my game but I see all the usual stumbling blocks (day job, perfectionism, laziness, etc.) ahead of me, plus some new ones (changes to said day job, a faltering mission statement, etc.).
I need to race ahead of my fears. That seems obvious to the point of ridiculousness. Just as “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” deserves a “Well, duh.” The trick to writing faster is… wait for it… to write faster.
But there are a few things I can probably do to improve my chances of racing ahead:
- Know what I’m going to write next. Not just the next scene or chapter, but the next book.
- Make sure I stay on top of my daily word count goals. When I do that, I make progress, but sometimes I let myself slide. You’d think sliding would count as movement, but it doesn’t.
- Don’t let the fear slow me down. After all, I can be afraid and still keep moving.
Do you have tricks for writing faster? Please share in comments.