How Many Books Have You Written?

I’ll begin by a quote from Chuck Wendig, because who doesn’t love Chuck Wendig?

“Here are the two states in which you may exist: person who writes, or person who does not. If you write: you are a writer. If you do not write: you are not. Aspiring is a meaningless null state that romanticizes Not Writing. It’s as ludicrous as saying, “I aspire to pick up that piece of paper that fell on the floor.” Either pick it up or don’t.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately (duh) but more precisely  how much writing I actually write. When I wrote Cadaver Dog, I was paralyzed by the fear that if I even considered trying to write something new, I would instantly lose Jacob’s voice (my MC in Cadaver Dog). For a year, I wrote and rewrote and sent to betas and rewrote again, even during my 6 months of querying, I never even wrote a short story.

All I can think now is how much time I wasted.

But then the writing bug hit, not once but twice…three times! I wrote After Death in a month, started its companion novel, and am now 15k into a new book that feels just like magic.

And the thing is, I’m positive I could still go back and write in Jacob’s voice.

Whew. I can’t believe I’m into my 6th book! It’s pretty thrilling.

 

I’m curious, how do you write- do you have to focus on one book or can you keep track of multiple? How many books have you written?

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11 thoughts about "How Many Books Have You Written?"

  • Kristen says:

    I’m on my third book in a series. This one is the hardest, because the rules have been set for my characters. I can write short stories while I write, but I only write one book at a time. I’m really invested in these characters. I want to give them my all. If I come up with new stuff, I try to incorporate it into my book.

    Kristen

  • I used to bounce around between books all the time (and RP characters), and I never lost anyone’s voice 🙂 Now that I’ve seriously started trying to be published I’ve slowed down to working on one thing at a time (plus RP characters to keep it interesting).

    As for number of books I’ve written… um… I’ve written/started writing nine so far, with plans for at least six more in the works (that doesn’t count the four re-writes of Nameless :P).

  • I wrote 5 novels (but the first 3 are forever trunked and nobody will ever see them!), a couple of novellas and a couple of novelettes.
    At the beginning, because I wrote so fast (and had no idea about any writing rules), I focused on one project at a time. But after that, I met some writer-friends who became CPs … so, when my work is with them (or editors), I write something else.
    I try focusing as much on one story as I can, cause I’m easily distracted, meaning that if a shiny new idea comes around and I let it take much of my thinking time, I can risk losing interest (momentarily) of whatever I’m working on now … the interest comes back, but I lose my momentum …

  • I thought I could write several different projects because I can read several different books and keep them all straight. So not true. I have to focus on one, and I have something on the side where I write ideas for others that may jump in, but they just get to sit there and marinate until the brain is ready for them.

    Great post!

  • Jamie Ayres says:

    What a great quote!! I’m currently writing my fourth one. I wrote two that will never see the light of day, other than to torture my bad students;-) Third time was a charm and comes out next week *squee* and now I’m writing the 2nd book in the trilogy. I get confused easily, so that’s a big no to writing more than one book at a time. I tried, and what an epic fail!

  • Candilynn says:

    Complete novels, two. Picture books, five. Although, some of those picture books took me longer than the novels!

  • Carrie-Anne says:

    I’ve probably completed around 20-30 or so, though the majority of those books are part of four connected, interlocking series, not standalones. In the past, I was easily able to do several books at once (both handwritten and typed), but these days, it’s easiest for me to do one at a time, and maybe take some time out for my handwritten book.

  • Sophia Chang says:

    I’ve written 3 books and I have to be monogamous otherwise my voice and plot points and themes start to bleed 🙂

  • Six?? I didn’t know you had written so many!

    I’ve written eight so far… and I usually stick to one project at a time myself, but that’s draft/revisions wise. Always working on something else during queries. And sometimes writing down ideas when I shouldn’t be. 😉

  • Rachel Frost says:

    Geez, am I the only person in the world who has only finished one novel?! I’ve been writing all my life but it’s poetry, short stories, and first chapters or random scenes from dozens of projects. I’ve only finished one… four times. And revising it again.

  • I write one book at a time…but since I usually love writing about Fantasy, I can write a small contemporary note sometimes,mostly on facebook for my friends…
    I’ve written just one book by the way (which is shelved), and right now in the process of outlining a second one.

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