As I struggle through the first-round edits of my next novel, I realize that, again—just like last year—my New Year’s resolution really should be to write every day. This book should have been done months ago! If I had committed, and followed through, on writing at least 1000 words a day, it would have been completed in less than three months.
And 1000 words a day isn’t an unreasonable goal, at least for me. What happens is I get too caught up in the marketing aspect: Facebook posts, Tweets, blogs, updating my website. Fiddling with the next book trailer. Agonizing over the next cover image. This is all necessary, but in reality? I often use it as an excuse NOT to open that WIP manuscript.
Funny, but that’s the most painful step. Because once I actually open the document and read over the last few paragraphs I’ve written, I’m immediately drawn back into the story. Writing the next few sentences usually isn’t all that difficult.
As every successful author and publisher will tell you, the best way to sell more books is to write the next one. I can tell you this is the absolute truth. Every time I’ve come out with another title, my debut SMP novel jumps in the Amazon rankings. That’s no coincidence. That is, as I’ve heard it called, the “funnel effect.” Once a reader discovers one of your books and likes it, they go out and look for other books you’ve written.
My goal is come out with three books a year. I did it in 2016, and by God, I’m doing it in 2017 too.
So this year, I’m committing to 1000 words a day. Even if I have to break it up into three segments: some before I leave for work, a few hundred on my lunch break, and the rest in the evening. Even if my Facebook friends start to feel neglected, or worry I might have fallen off the face of the Earth. Even if I have to trade in that after-dinner Bailey’s for a real, caffeine-loaded cup of coffee.
After all, I can always add the Bailey’s to the coffee . . .