Since I've been dabbling in self-publishing, I've been reading a lot about the need to have multiple books available for your reading public. You may not be able to rack up big sales on one title, but if you are getting okay sales on a number of titles, you can generate the kind of income writers who do rack up big sales on one title generate. If you follow my thinking.
This involves cranking out some writing, though. Writing on the Ether: Faster, Authors, Faster! at Jane Friedman deals with "The pressure to write faster, write more" on what author Porter Anderson calls "entrepreneurial writers." By that I believe he means those self-published writers who embrace their roles as publisher/businesspeople. Not only do these writers need to build a body of work for the reason I
mentioned earlier, maintaining enough titles to bring in income, if they are
series/serial writers who have built up a following, their fans may be
pressuring them for more, more, more. And, practically speaking, writers in that
situation may want to get more out there before the fans have forgotten
them and moved on to someone else.
Traditionally published authors of stand alone titles are unlikely to feel much pressure
to get a lot of books out into the world so that they have more to sell. In my
experience, publishers aren't going to be keen to do that without some big
sales of an earlier work. However, traditionally published authors of
successful series/serials probably are under that same kind of pressure,
especially if you're talking children's authors. If you have an 8- to
12-year-old fan base excited about your work, you probably don't want to make
them wait too long for the next installment or they may have aged out. You can't
be sure the next group of 8- to 12- year-olds will find the same author
as engaging as their elders did. This is a case where striking while the iron is hot is important.
In Anderson's post, he writes about the feeling among many writers that they just can't keep up with the pace. I'm going to suggest that speed writing is particularly difficult for organic writers who spend so much time writing and rewriting preliminary work, which is usually how we come up with a basic story in the first place. Then we have to get it into shape later. And all writers have to deal with the fact that while they may feel they need to work faster, they have less time in which to work, period, because of marketing demands.
For those who are trying to speed up, I recently read about writing sprints, intense writing in 20 or 30 minute blocks over and over throughout the day. For my Time Management Tuesday followers, this sounds like the Unit System, but sprinters choose to work in even shorter periods of time.
And if you're willing to try something well outside the box, scroll down through the comments following the Faster, Authors, Faster! post. One commenter/writer uses a polyphasic sleep schedule to make more time for writing.
If you find a way to make more time to write, can you slow down?