Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Literary Promise: A Book This Year

My agent called to see how I felt about my book being pushed back. He wanted to make sure that I wasn't frustrated or angry about it. (This call shocked me. An agent calling to check on the emotional well-being of a client? Especially when I know that I'm low author on his literary totem pole.) I told him I was fine with it. My New Year's Resolution: "Roll With It."

We got to talking about other things, particularly about writing full time. He said some authors make it a point to write a book a year, so they don't lose their readership and gain more of an audience base. A book a year?!?!?

I got to thinking. My first novel was published in 2002. My second novel will be published in 2007. That's five years between books. At this rate, my third book won't be out until 2012! For some reason that did not sit well with me. I feel like I have lots of books inside of me and at the rate I'm going, if I write till I'm 100, I still won't have written all the books I'd wanted to write.
(I'm still awed about how Jack London had written some 50 volumes of novels, short stories, and essays by the time he died at 40; see Novemeber Post: "Literary Oakland")

I realized I needed to start crackin' if I want to say all the stories I need to say. I found myself uttering these words to my agent: "I'll have my next book to you this year." Hala!

It' nose-to-the-grindstone time.


barbara jane said...

a lotta work, for sure. and delays also suck, but hey, congratulations on the second book! i'd been told many a talented writer never does get the second book out.

Sundry said...

Very inspiring. Yeah, let's go!

Bob Hoeppner said...

Some poets write a poem a day, but I find that too forced. I try to average at least two poems a week, which I've kept up for the past couple years. Perhaps chopping your book up into monthly and weekly milestones will help get you finished with it by the end of the year. Good luck on meeting your deadline!

Rich said...

I'd be ecstatic just to get one under my belt!

The Blind-Winger Jones said...

Good to have goals but don't get too bogged down with them.

Sundry said...

I was thinking about your blog on the drive home last night and I want to add that this is a marvelous response to a setback. You clearly have the nerve and stamina to have a literary life.

thelastnoel said...

Hey, thanks all, for your comments. It's much appreciated.

josephine anne lin said...

"...some authors make it a point to write a book a year, so they don't lose their readership and gain more of an audience base."

This is true. But this assumes that your writing is a business enterprise. Is it? Do you write merely in order to generate sales, or is there another reason?

Having been a fan for many years, I'd wager that there is something more than business sitting behind your work. After all, no one intends to generate sales by planting a bug into someone's head that whispers "page 168 is mine" whenever she enters a library. That kind of visceral connection comes from literature, not just "books."

There is no "book a year" standard for compelling literature.