Year 2, Month 3, Day 17 of this Writing in Public challenge.
Day eighteen of writing the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.
Again, not much tonight, but still going. Chug, chug, chug…
Rolled out of bed around 1 p.m. and got into running around mode.
To the snail mail, to WMG Publishing, to banks, then out to Pop Culture Collectables, then back to meet Kris for a meeting at WMG. Last details on the coming coast workshop starting Saturday evening here. It’s going to be great fun.
Worked on the last physical stuff for the coming workshop, since we are holding it in the WMG offices. That’s right, the building is big enough to hold 35 people without a problem, all with their own tables. And we have room to spare.
Some day when I get a new phone I’ll post some pictures of the place. And of the new store.
I kept working on workshop details until around 6 and also got to have some great conversations with two of the local professional writers as well who had stopped by.
Then I went home, did some e-mail, and talked with family for a while, then headed for a short nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and dishes.
Then a little more e-mail and back up to WMG offices by 8:30 to keep working on the workshop stuff and get a bunch of stuff ready to take out to Pop Culture. Kris came up to the offices to walk around 11 p.m. and she headed home at midnight while I went out to Pop Culture to drop off all the stuff.
Then home for television. I then read a new short story by Kris (It’s great) and headed for my office around 2 a.m.
I finished up the e-mail finally, then managed to go get one session done before exhaustion overtook me and sent me back here to this computer to get this done. 1,150 words. Chug.
Topic of the Night: Lying About Your Writing Habits to the Reading Public
In a number of places I have said that how fast or slow you write a book means nothing to the quality of the work. And there is no reason to fight in public against the myths that are deep in this culture about needing to write slow. All that does is make people around you angry.
So I tell younger writers to keep their work habits to themselves and when asked directly, basically lie if they are forced to.
Well tonight, I got a really nice note from a young writer who had picked up my book in the great book bundle that is happening. If you haven’t seen that bundle, go get it NOW. All twelve books for $15.00. Can’t beat this for eduction, folks.
The young writer in the note objected to me telling writers to lie about how fast they write, and their writing process. She thought everyone should be fighting the myths because lying to other writers doesn’t help them.
Well, since I put my entire day and all my writing right out here for everyone to see, it does seem odd that I tell other writers to not do this, doesn’t it?
And I also fight myths in this industry with my two books on the topic (You can read both for free under the Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing tab above, but you can’t get the other 11 books for free, so buy the bundle.) And I will be starting a new third Sacred Cows book (Even More Sacred Cows) before the end of the month. Cover is done.
I’ll be kicking all ten Sacred Cows here first, so the book won’t be out until February or March.
So why do I tell writers to lie out in public and never blog like I do here on their web sites?
Simple. The answer is Readers.
Readers were taught the exact same myths that writers were taught.
Readers want to feel like you have slaved over a novel they are going to pay $5 or $12.99 or $26.99 for. They were taught by English teachers and society that writing is hard, it’s a mystery, and writing must take millions of drafts to get such a wonderful story so perfect.
So when you tell the truth as I do here, you hurt your own readership. Your own sales. You need to give the illusion to readers that novels take a very long time. That gives readers confidence in the work and in putting down their money for the work.
Yeah, yeah, I know, at the same time a reader will finish a new novel and write the author asking where the new one is at because they want it now.
So maybe lying is the wrong term for me to use. Avoid might be a better term.
Just don’t put your writing process out there. And if asked directly, say something that is mostly truthful. “Not sure how long this took, but I know I worked on the idea and craft of it for a very long time.”
True. Most good storytellers have taken a decade or more to get to a craft level. And ideas and plotting are learned as well. So even though the typing of a novel only took three weeks, the time invested in the novel is very long.
Not lying, but avoiding flying into the face of the myth for readers.
It gives your work value to readers if you play along with their belief systems. They are not writers, you are. They don’t need to know the process.
Think of buying a wonderful cake at a bakery. Did you really need to stand in the back for all the hours it took to mix and bake and frost to enjoy the cake? Of course not. And if the baker starts going into the process for you the customer, your eyes will roll into your head with boredom.
Readers with a writer’s process are the same way. Give them value. Don’t bore them with how you mixed the batter and fluffed the eggs, or whatever you do to eggs. (Sounded rude.)
I write this blog for myself and to help writers who want to be helped. Same reason I do the workshops, so I can keep learning and help some others along the way, I hope.
I have way past 100 novels published, both traditionally and indie. I have over 17 million of my books in print. I’ve been on just about every bestseller list in the world. I’ve been nominated for more awards than I can remember, and I have made my living writing and in publishing for over thirty plus years.
And in this new world of lack of respect for us older folks in this business, I am free to say pretty much what I want if I think it will help younger writers. If after that many books, readers don’t trust my ability, not my issue. So I can do this and fight the myths.
But if you are a new writer, keep your mouth shut. You will lose friends and make readers angry at you.
So my advice to you as you learn to pick up speed and produce more books. Keep your writing process to yourself.
One very, very simple piece of advice.
The writing process in producing the work has nothing to do with the quality of the work.
You take that in, that one sentence will help you through so many problems in writing.
So in your early years of writing, don’t insult your readers by asking them to buy a book you wrote too fast for their tastes. Nothing to do with the quality, just reader perception. Remember, they learned the same myths about writing we all did. Keep quite, avoid the topic in public.
And if you can’t avoid it, lie. You are a fiction writer, after all.
I am a three draft writer. (I write the book, I turn on my spellchecker and spellcheck my book, then I fix mistakes my first reader finds if I agree with her on the mistakes.)
Three drafts. Not lying, but avoiding talking about the truth. Not my problem that a reader has a different definition of a draft. (grin)
Writing of the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.
Day 1…. 1,800 words. Total words to date…. 1,800 words
Day 2…. 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 5,000 words
Day 3…. 1,850 words. Total words to date…. 6,850 words
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words
Day 13… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 27,400 words
Day 14… 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 32,000 words
Day 15… 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 36,850 words
Day 16… 4,450 words. Total words to date…. 41,300 words
Day 17… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 42,750 words
Day 18… 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 43,900 words
Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 17
– Daily Fiction: 1,150 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 37,050 words
– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 00 words
– Blog Posts: 1,300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,750 words
– E-mail: 14 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 419 e-mails. Approx. 12,000 words
– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 Covers
For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.
For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.