In late December 2014, I had a thought, seeing I had written seven books this particular year, that I should try to release eight books in 2015. It seemed a little crazy and maybe unwieldy to undertake, but, I decided to give this a try. It was definitely going to be a challenge, but, I felt like I was up to it, and wanted to see how it would turn out (and how I would go about doing it).
In January 2015, I composed a blog post whereby I outlined five of the books I wanted to release in 2015. I decided not to state that I would be releasing eight books, as I myself was not entirely certain if I could live up to this pronouncement! Instead, I mentioned five of the books, as I was in doubts about the other three books, being, which ones I wanted to write, and, how I would go with time.
In February, I released THE ANNOUNCER, in March, THE CHAUFFEUR came onto computer screens. I had decided by this time that the final two books for the year were not the ones I originally envisioned, but ANGRY CAMERON (October) and EARLE’S GRAND DESPAIR (November) were not leaving me alone early in the year, so strong was the pull for me to write them. The other two books I wanted to write have been postponed for a later date, which worked well for me. In very late December 2014, the concept for BRANDY’S SUMMER IDOL (August) began to be developed, and in early January, I took three weeks away from twitter and other writing to compose the rough draft. Originally slated to be written over two weeks, life and other things slowed down the process a little, but it was now done.
Generally, I had a release every two months, and once one book was delivered, another took its place. I surprised myself by how organized I actually was during the course of this year, but, there were several things which had to give way to the books. I began to tweet less, reverting to every fourth day, and when this proved difficult time wise, I then tweeted every second week, which has afforded much more time to writing and other book related activities. I am very happy for automated tweeting and retweeting, as it also freed up time to take care of other matters without having to be in front of the computer all the time.
I also did not play around on the computer much for recreation, just concentrating on the books. The increased writing load also played a great effect upon reading time. The number of books I read was down considerably compared to previous years, as I just did not have the time to read as much as I wanted to. By the end of the year when all my books had been released, I read some short works to lift my reading numbers slightly, but, I was unable to read a longer work this particular year.
In all honesty, I had started to write some of the eight books at the end of 2014 over the November-December period. PATRICIA’S HOLIDAY AFFAIR (May) was written over Christmas, and THE KIDNAPPER (June) over February. HARVEY HANDSOME was begun in October 2014, but released in April 2015. As I always do, though, I let these ‘sit’ as I either worked on a book, editing and refining other books. I did not enter 2015 with any books entirely done, but THE ANNOUNCER was 90% ready, as I always edit right to the end.
What I Learned From This Exercise
While it was an interesting, testing experience, and I learned a lot about time management and other matters, I do not think I will again release eight stories in one year in the near future (though never say never!) The books were composed of two novellas, three novelettes, and three shorter stories (it would have been impossible to achieve if the books were all full-length novels!) The maximum number of books I will do, to keep everything and life on an even keel, from 2016 onwards, is six. This number works perfectly for me, as it is enough to keep me stimulated writing, and sufficient for balance. Six books also takes into account reading and other writing related activities such as editing.
It is good to find a happy medium with whatever we are doing, and if it works for us, we should run away with it. As a result of everything, I also became more in touch with myself, making sure that I am eating properly, drinking sufficient water, and taking the time to rest. Knowing when to stop writing or editing to recharge one’s batteries is also something I learnt more about this year. Afternoon naps are always helpful, but in this particular year, have been a godsend!
I hope that my experience has been interesting and helpful to read, and welcome your comments about your own writing experiences and challenges which you have set yourself.