I have a lot of favorite authors who I would gladly trade places with. Jayne Anne Krentz for her deft characterizations. Elizabeth Lowell who uses words to weave wonder tapestries. Marilyn Pappano for her warm, caring stories. And maybe Iris Johansen for her exciting plots. But most of all, I want to be Nora Roberts.
No, not for her great writing (though I’d kill to have Roarke…even if it meant Eve Dallas would take me down!), but for her output. I’ve been struggling to get one particular book finished for over five years. Nora puts out about four titles a year! And they’re somewhere around 100,00 words books. What I wouldn’t give to have that kind of dedication to my craft.
Don’t get me wrong. I love writing and I love the writing I’m doing, but when I see authors who turn out so many books so fast, I begin to feel maybe I don’t have the dedication a professional author should have. As a nurse, I’m constantly focusing my energies toward providing the best care for my patients I can. If it means overtime, I do it, usually without whining too much. Very little detracts me from my patients and I tend to get very aggravated with anything that diverts me from my patients.
But it doesn’t take much to sidetrack me from writing. Email, TV, reading (especially when I get the latest book in a series and end up re-reading the ENTIRE series!), even doing laundry, for God’s sake. Is it because I’m less of a professional writer than I am a professional nurse? Yes and no.
Yes, because I NEED the security of a steady paycheck. I haven’t the faith in myself to let go and risk all for my art. Also, part of me resents “writing” to the market. No doubt I got spoiled as a Star Trek fanfiction author; if one fan editor didn’t like my story, another would. My story would get published somewhere if I had the patience to keep submitting. Intellectually, I KNOW my books have to be saleable, but part of me just wants to write what I want to write. And finally, I’m a terrible professional writer because I totally HATE the business part of writing. Promoting, doing booksignings, networking, etc.
On the other hand, I am a professional writer because I constantly seek to improve my writing through technical books, conferences, and workshops. I DO force myself to attend to the business side and I accept that if I want to sell, I have to write a marketable book. And, praise be to God, I HAVE sold my stuff and have the royalty checks to prove it. 🙂 But what I wouldn’t give to be able to write at least two books a year. *Sigh*
Any suggestions on how to speed up my writing?