October 10, 2015

Why I don't write four books a year

Last month, there was an article on Huffington Post asking authors not to write four books a year. I am happy to say that I don't write four books a year. It's an accomplishment if I can finish one novel a year.

Do I write just one novel a year because I agree with the article and think that a good book can't be written in three months? Do I believe that any book that doesn't require a year's worth of work must not be very good? While I do work hard on my books and try to write the best story I can each time, that's not why I only publish one book a year. The reason is simple: I have a full time job and a family that keeps me busy, and since I only write in my spare moments, it takes a year to finish a novel that's good enough for the public to read.

If I weren't working a day job, I'd probably write four books a year, and you know what, they'd be better than the single book that takes me a year to write. The idea that a good novel can't be written in three months or less is absurd. Novels aren't like wine that needs to age before it's ready. Anthony Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange in three weeks, Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 in nine days, and Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde in six days! While those astounding numbers may be the exception rather than the rule, there are many great books that have been written in less than three months. Speed doesn't dictate how well a book is written. An author's skills, inspiration, dedication, and many other factors count more toward the quality of a novel than the amount of time it took to write it.

Now, it's time for me to go back to my precious minutes of writing today.

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