Writing Ahead

So I’ve quit the day job and turned myself into a full-time writer. Yay!

And I’ve apparently done the impossible, because according to traditional wisdom, a new, full-time writer is supposed to slow down for the first six months of their transition, because they have to reinvent everything. Apparently, doing that wrong.

In 2017 l I averaged about 37,000 words per month, or a little over a thousand words a day. I knew I had sped up, but didn’t really track it as a separate value in March, as I had so many things going on. Did track my numbers in April, as an experiment. 75,000 words. Or, just shy of what the old timers call Pulp Speed One (one million words per year), which would have been 83,334 words, or a million words per year pace. (Pulp Speed Two is 100,000 words per month sustained.)

So now I have a target for May. Not that much of a stretch, either. Need to hit 21,000 per week, and I’ve on that pace. Part of the issue is that writing at that speed is a muscle, and you have to train for writing marathons just like you do running ones. Working on that. Getting better. Learning.

However, I have also sped up. The old pace I maintained had a goal of constantly working on a longer piece (novel or novella), while dropping out and writing a short (-er) story every month so I can maintain my monthly schedule to publish things.

That’s gone up to at least two stories per month now. So I have a lot of material in the can, waiting publication dates. That’s good.

Where it gets hinky is that The Red Admiral comes out next week, and I’ll be answering questions from folks about that, and I’ve already finished Lord Of Winter (#7) and started plotting out Book 8 (title reveal at a later date because I feel like it).

Worse, I had to write a short Yan Bedrov novella that sort of takes place during the last part of Lord of Winter, but I had been planning it for a while.

And then, at the end of the novel, a situation arose, and writer-brain spun me off into a whole other storyline. Let me put it to you this way, I’m 40,000 words into the first novel of a quick trilogy that will take place outside of Jessica’s storyline, and be fully resolved before the end of book 8, but I need to write all three of these before I can finish the eighth book, due to implications that will come up. Messy, messy, messy, because I don’t want it in Jessica’s last two books.

At the same time, the secret writing project is going public in a few weeks. I’ve written five stories directly for it over the last year, plus two other stories that have to come out at carefully set times, plus a couple of completely unrelated stories that just jumped up and bit me.

I risk losing track of where I am. But I have never had as much fun writing, so it will be full speed ahead for a while, while I adjust to the new pace.

So, you, as a fan, when you ask me questions about a particular story, do me a favor and remind me in greater detail what I’m talking about? Because I’m several hundred thousand words ahead of you right now, and need to pivot to figure out what I’m talking about.

On the brighter side of things, The Red Admiral is out in a few days. Have you ordered your copy?

And don’t forget The Write Stuff bundle is ongoing. Your chance to learn about the craft from some amazing writers (and me). Get yours today.