Regular Releases & Rewrites - A-Z Challenge, Starting & Sustaining A Writing Career

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

When you've been writing for a while, you know what time frame works for you in getting a book completed. Maybe it takes you six months to get from that first sentence to publication. Maybe it takes a year or five, or you prefer to meander and get everything just so before you send your next book off to your editor. Publishers operate on schedules, so it's not a good idea to take your time with a book under contract.

Readers are always after the next good read, so if you're not serious about producing a book on a timeline you create, your fans will move on to the next great writer on their list.

I'm not suggesting you rush to get books to market. That's both a disservice to you and your reader, but if you're treating your writing as a business, it pays to settle on a production schedule that agrees with the time you give to writing and stick with it.

The term production schedule may rub artists the wrong way, but if you want readers to take you seriously, you have to wrap your mind around this paragraph and the one above. If you doubt you have the will to do what you say you will, make the information public. That will ensure a higher level of accountability and there's no better way to take what you do seriously than to hang out your shingle, advertise your skills and do what you say you're going to do to the best of your ability.

One way I motivate myself to get moving on the next book is to write a chapter and insert it in the back of the book I just finished. It's a promise to my readers and myself that I'm going to do something more.

In short, write consistently and shoot for regular releases.

Today on the Challenge trail, I came across a writer to whom I lifted my hat. Of course, I didn't bookmark the page, but the post was about Quills and that's in terms of actual writing. The writer shared that she goes halfway through a book and realizes that some things aren't working the way she wants them to or she needs to make plot points come together in a better way, and so goes back and rewrites the first half.

That boggled my mind in the same way that it messes with my brain when people rewrite their first chapters or write them in first and then third person point of view to see what works better. Am I the only one who gets a panic attack thinking about doing all that work twice? I have a streak of lazy a mile wide, which could be why I think about each first line and then the first chapter for a while. When I have both clear in my mind, I start writing.

Do you shoot for regular releases? What things do you do while writing that can be considered a whole lotta work? How often do you rewrite chapters?


                            Don’t be a writer. Be writing. —William Faulkner

13 comments:

  1. I'm also an article writer, and that's part of the reason I haven't been as good as I could have been with regular fiction releases. It hurt me financially, as well. My books sell, but I could have made even more money had I kept up with the schedule I had planned for myself. However, I've vowed to change that. You can't take back the past, but you can control your present for a better future.

    Precious Monsters

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    1. True that, Jolie. The determination to do get things done will work in your favour.

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  2. I'm the queen of rewrites, but since publication, I've got a much stronger editorial crew, and thus my revision time has decreased by at least 10X. If only I could chisel out more time to write.

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  3. Interesting post J.L. Though I am not a writer, there is much in there that I can apply to my blogging efforts. Especially setting a production schedule and being accountable! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I wouldn't want to do the work twice.
    Placing that chapter at the end of your book certainly commits you.

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  5. I'm always amazed that I find it much easier to write to a deadline. Writing without one is much harder, I can write a poem very quickly in a day if someone needs it tomorrow... if no deadline it can take ages and may even be given up on. I am doing one at the minute - it's take 4 days already, tried rhyming, non-rhyming, free verse - everything, and it is not going to plan! I need the person it is for to mail me and say it's needed tonight! Rewriting poetry is a lot easier than a novel! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com (my website, Blogger will take you to an old site!)

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  6. I have a big white board that I engage in my thinking processes on how I want to connect parts of a story or article. When I am not at home, I have other apps and gadgets that I will make use off to bullet list my idea and work out how to connect them. I think once you find your thing that works for you, that is what you should do! www.petramonaco.com

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  7. I'm aiming for regular releases. There are a lot of first drafts on my computer and I have an idea of which ones I want to edit and get published. In 2012, my main hurdle was when it came time for beta readers, I had a bunch fall through for me. Every thing stalled because the people I normally relied on became too busy to help.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  8. I generally plan the flow of my story before hand and try to stick to it till the end. There are times I need to make changes. The first publisher I worked with let me take my time finishing my novella even though there were sections that I needed to rework. Later, I self-published 4 books in 2014, keeping my readers on their toes. This year, I have a contract with another publisher and am hoping my book will be released in June 2015. I have a meeting with him come saturday when he's going to tell me all the re-writing I need to get done. I am petrified is putting it mildly.
    My A-Z posts: http://sundarivenkatraman.blogspot.in

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  9. I also hate to do work twice even though I know that's what rewrites are all about. I've got rewriting to do right now, but I find myself putting it off until "just that right moment." Yeah, like that ever happens. I've sort of made a commitment to myself that after A to Z is over, I'm going to go back onto a writing schedule. Thanks for the nudge!

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  10. The time table makes sense. I'm not a writer and have no desire to be, but there is no limit to what's available to read, more now then before ebooks etc. So, it's easy for people to move. Good advice.
    Sandy at Bridge and Beyond

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  11. I totally agree witj you. even i am a professional writer in coursework writing service. I like the quote "Don’t be a writer. Be writing" by William Faulkner. i used read his novel, short stories, poetry etc.

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