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Friday, December 22, 2006


Okay, I'm home from work. The commute in this morning wasn't too bad, actually. I left the house about 15 minutes early and I punched in about 10 minutes early so it only took 5 minutes longer. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate snow? :-)

So a week or two ago, there was a discussion on one of the published authors loops that I'm on and it was depressing as all get out. The gist of it was that an author will fade into obscurity if she only has one book a year released. Herein lies the title of this post. While I work a full time job, I can't write much faster than I currently am (I already have no life and little sleep) and that amounts to one book a year or so. As long as I only release one book a year, I can't earn enough money to support myself. However, until I can support myself writing, I can't afford to quit the EDJ. The EDJ pays the bills and it has health insurance. Catch-22.

If I were married to a man who earned enough to cover the necessities (like mortgages and internet bills) and who had health insurance, it would all be simple. Unfortunately, I support myself.

Maybe if I wrote shorter books (I always turn in stories that are 60-100 pages over what I'm required by contract) I could squeeze more in, but then I'd feel like I wasn't giving my stories enough room to unfold, that the characters wouldn't have enough time to change and grow. And honestly, I have little control over the length. When I wrote Power of Two, I had a 4 month deadline and three plots I was weaving together through that story. I sweated and sweated making that deadline, so when I had a 4.5 month deadline for Through a Crimson Veil, I realized I couldn't manage a complicated plot that would go 460 pages like TPOT did. My "simple" story came in at 463 manuscript pages--exactly as long as TPOT to the page.

I'm mostly over the depression now. I've accepted I can't write 8 books a year like one of the authors on the loop or even three or four like so many of the others. Not while I work full time, at least. I just keep reminding myself of Jenny Crusie's RWR article where she talks about how writers are rats swimming for an island. I'm still treading water.