I did something yesterday that I haven’t done for a while. A year to be exact. I had a booth at a Christmas Craft Fair.
My craft, as you might guess, is my books. Every year for the past five or six years I have attended this particular Christmas sale. It has been very rewarding over all. I’ve met new readers, teachers, existing fans and, of course, people who just want to talk about their own writing journeys.
It is always rewarding to me to meet current fans. I get to find out what they like about my stories, who their favourite characters are and so on. It’s also lots of fun introducing new readers to my books, especially when they come back the following year asking about the next book in the series.
This year was no different. What WAS different is, I left the fair feeling revitalized in my writing. I was excited to get back to it. I think that feeling was a combination of NaNoWriMo and meeting my fans. I will confess, the past couple years I’ve felt decidedly meh about writing.
Now I’m trying to figure out how many books I can reasonably write next year (for those of you wondering, I think that number might be three (not including Mik Murdoch 5, which will be complete first draft this week).
Why the change? I’m not sure I can completely articulate it. I think one of the problems I’ve had is the complete lack of interacting with fans. I’ve lost some of the personal contact I enjoyed in the past. Losing the contact meant losing some of the joy I get from knowing my stories will be consumed (and hopefully enjoyed) by readers.
3 Books in the New Year?
That is going to be my goal for 2024. Why 3? Well, there are a few reasons. The first is, the 3 books I’m thinking of are all part of bigger series. The second reason is, people are asking for them and the third (and maybe biggest) reason is, the gap between books is getting too big.
I know I never liked having to wait for later books to come out. If I didn’t like it, why would I do it to other people?
The three I would like to write in 2024? Well, they are (in no particular order); Jack Kane 3 (I’ll need to get the attention and agreement of my friend and co-author JR Murdock to do this), OutKast Klub Mystery book 2 and Goddess book 2.
By my figuring, those three books represent about 160,000 words for me (or about 13,000) per month. That number might sound big, maybe even impossible, but let me remind you, I’m writing 50,000+ in November alone this year. If I decided to do NaNoWriMo again next year, I would only be working towards 110,000 words in 11 months. 10,000 a month or 2,500 per week.
I’ve had days where I’ve written that much. I think, if I pay attention to what I’m doing, my goals are doable.
December and January will be plotting months
Once NaNoWriMo is over, I’m going to start plotting all three of the new books. I’m not quite sure which I’ll work on first when the writing time begins; I can decide that in January/February.
If you’ve been doing the math on your fingers and toes, you will likely point out that, if I don’t start my writing until February, AND I do NaNoWriMo in November next year, I’ve only got 10 months to write, not 11.
You would be right. I also will have to insert some time to edit Mik 5 and potentially one or more of the other books so I won’t only be writing over the course of time. That’s okay. I’ve tried to give myself enough space to be successful. Even if my week goal was 3,500 words/week, that’s only 500 words a day on average.
That’s less than 2 NaNoWriMo days.
I think I can do it. I hope you will all hold me to the plan.