It’s a little after six in the morning. I’ve already been up two hours revising the next Silo Story. I can’t tell if this is a healthy obsession or not, but it’s certainly an obsession.
I was interviewed recently (more about this on Monday, I hope), and the reporter asked me how long I’d been writing and how many titles I had available on Amazon. After some quick mental math, she sounded more than a little stunned about the output. I cringed, knowing what she was thinking. My work must be complete bunk, an unreadable, stinking, steaming, mess.
Maybe, but that has nothing to do with my output. I think most authors could write this much if only they would . . . write this much.
I have a lot of friends who write. Some of them go weeks without jotting down a word. I just had lunch the other week with a very well-known and top-earning author who has had success in both the traditional and Kindle realms. He casually mentioned that he hadn’t written a thing since Christmas. Like this was normal. Since Christmas, I’ve written two novels and started a few others. And it isn’t because I’m a fast writer; I really wanted to explain this to the nice reporter. It’s because I do little else.
Yesterday, by the time I stopped for lunch, I had spent seven hours revising the next Silo Story. It’s because I started at 5 AM.
Now, I am in no way suggesting that this is an intelligent or sane degree of focus. No way. And I’m not calling any other writer lazy. Hell, I’m jealous. I would love to go two or three months without writing a word. That must be lovely! Think of all the reading I could catch up on!
No, I’m just confessing to the level of mania and single-mindedness with which I’ve attacked this hobby. And I’ve been maintaining this level of focus and determination for three years. As I mentioned in a recent post, I used to write in the morning before work, during my lunch hour, and again when I got home. I spent the weekends writing, and I continue to spend my weekends writing. None of this can be adequately conveyed, not on my blog and certainly not in an interview. It’s sad that my self-criticism allows this prodigious output to be sensed as a weakness rather than a strength. I worry that readers will feel that I’m rushing things, when I am in truth babying the hell out of them. Babying them for hours and hours every single day.
Here’s a confession for you: I’m not all that good at this, people. I’m really not. I just work my ass off on it.
And I love every sleepless moment.