Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A wild and wacky ride! 6 years in publishing!

My first book released in June of 2007. Since then, there have been 26 more books published and 3 are waiting to go. So this time of year, I always take a look back at where I've been.

Here are a few things I've learned:

After 30 books, I've finally figured out that I shouldn't panic when words don't flow off my fingertips via the keyboard onto the screen. There will be times when it's damn hard to get even a page written.

I work best with a deadline. Give me a date to shoot for, and I'll hit it every time. Don't put a bit of pressure on me, and I'll dither and dally all day long. Now I set a goal for each book: "finish by such-and-such a date" and that gives me something to aim for.

Let the story go where it will. I never plot it ahead of time. All I know is I want to get from Point A to Point B. I've learned I shouldn't try to jerk the story back to the spot I think it should go. Just let it go and follow along and see what happens. Sometimes I delete a bunch of stuff, but usually I go places I never guessed I go.

I need to write about something that interests me. So I always have my hero or heroine involved in something I need to research, something that intrigues me. I don't add a lot of that detail to the story, but it gives me a good background and insight into my hero or heroine and it makes me feel I'm learning as I go.

But maybe the biggest thing I've learned is that you can't predict success. I know so many authors who are great writers -- they tell a fabulous story, they've got great characters, and they write a nice, tight novel. And they're not financial successes. And I know of others who are raking in money with crappy stories and poorly written books.

It's not all about talent. There's luck, there's talent, there's perseverance, and more luck. That's why you have to define success for yourself because if you compare your career to somebody else's, you'll go crazy.

I always said I'd keep writing as long as I'm having fun. Every year, around this time, I reassess and see where I am.

Yep. I'm still having fun.

So I guess there's still a few more stories in me!

J L Wilson
30 books and counting!


Leah St. James said...

Okay, I'm trying really, REALLY hard to not compare myself to another's measure of success...but THIRTY books?! Wow. Congratulations! And thank you for sharing your tips and insights! :-)

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thirty books in six years creates some very busy math--and author. I keep asking myself the same question: Am I having fun? As long as I love what I'm doing, I'll continue. I'm glad you're still enjoying the writing journey. Keep at it And you are so, so right. There are too many poorly written books out there. Often I'll be nearing the end of chapter one and think who published this drivel? I'll go back and check, then shake my head in wonderment.

Jannine Gallant said...

I like your style, JL. I'm also feeling better about the fact that I don't know how my current WIP is going to get from point A to point B. I'll just keep writing and hope my characters aren't as clueless as I am!

Margo Hoornstra said...

First a moment of awe. Thirty books. Amazing! And I thought I was doing so well with three books in one year. I, too, like your style, JL. For me, it's pen and paper or I can't create. But it is hard to NOT panic when the words won't flow.

Diane Burton said...

Wow! Congratulations, JL. You must be very disciplined to write that many books in such a short time.

glenys said...

I'm in awe - 30 books? Incredible, and you deserve all the success that perseverance & talent bring. And wouldn't it be lovely if there was a formula for bestselling books? All the 'authorities' say write a good book and the readers will come. Problem is, getting them to find your book amongst all the others...