One of my personal self-publishing heroes is Kristine Kathryn Rusch. If you haven’t read her posts, especially her Wednesday Business Musings, you are seriously missing out. (I would donate or do the Patreon thing to support her if I could, by my own financial demands are such that I can’t at this moment in time. So I push her site instead.)
Reading her stuff (playing email/social media catch-up is just evil) caused me to look at my own last few years of *ahem* productivity. Or the lack of.
2015 and 2016 have just been rough, as far as writing goes. The choices seem to boil down to:
- Tell my children “Sorry, you don’t matter as much as Mommy’s work.”
- Put my things aside, suck it up and support my kids.
Not a lot of other options really pop up. I can trim things out all day long, but at the end of it all, someone has to be the responsible parent. And responsible parents have to do things they’d rather not. Attend children’s activities, spend 2 hours on children’s homework (Common Core sucks, just gonna throw that out there), budget, laundry, grocery shopping, wrangling the hazmat, etc.
And then there’s the small crop of health issues that have started to sprout. Oy. Talk about time hogs – PT is a serious one.
2017 through 2020 don’t look too optimistic, either. Looking ahead I see a lot of the same stuff going on.
Not to say that I can’t write. Just saying it won’t be at the pace I want to write. I may have a few good days in which I’ll be able to sit down and slam out a chapter or three, but most of what I see coming at me in the future is notes. I’ll jot a note here. Maybe sketch out a scene there. Shove them into a file and hope that I can get back to them. Someday.
Unfortunately, the buying public doesn’t want “someday.” They want “NOW.” Martin’s GoT books are damn near murder weapons – seriously. You can drop one of those hardbacks into a pillowcase and beat someone to death with them, they’re so big.
And yet readers complain that the release time between them is too long. Readers don’t think about how long the writing process actually takes for a book that size. I’m not even certain readers care. All they know is that they have to wait more than a year between each release and that has become UNACCEPTABLE. They want both speed and quality, and some genres/authors can’t do both. And the demand is spread across all genres, not just fantasy.
Hence, why I’ve taken down the little count-down thingy from this blog. I can’t do speed. Even under the best circumstances, I’m more like the tortoise, not so much the hare (although the hare did die in the original story because the tortoise and his crew were sneaky, but that’s not what I’m looking at here).
I can’t start releasing until I’ve finished a whole series. It simply takes to long for me to write at this juncture. And at the current rate, I’m not going to be ready in 2021. It’s still a goal, but not one I can guarantee that I can stick to.
It’s an irritatingly massive step back, but I’m hoping this race is more about finishing than about making time.