Strange Advice

With regards to writing, I’ve gotten a lot of strange advice. The latest tidbit is courtesy of Writer’s Digest. I found myself agreeing with most of the things said in the article until I got to the following passage:

Don’t write a book in less than four months.

I’m sure some authors would disagree with this point. But, I think authors kill a book’s sales potential when they write it too quickly, such as less than four months. Books need time to percolate in your mind, test on focus groups, and revise to a higher level. When you rush the book process, you prevent the book from going to market with all of the necessary elements. A good book is like a fine wine. It needs time to develop complexity and a rich taste that will appeal to the masses.” – Marketing Basics: 3 Reasons Why Some Books Never Sell

This isn’t bad advice. It’s just a little strange. I agree with the idea that an author shouldn’t rush. There’s a lot to be said for taking your time and doing things right. An author should always write at his or her own pace but that pace is going to vary based on the author, the story being told and other factors. If the article had simply said, “Don’t rush,” I would have had to find something else to blog about.

My main issue is with the statements like “Don’t write a book in less than X amount of time.” Such statements imply that books written in less than X time will not be good while taking longer to write a book will insure it is good. That’s not how it works. It’s a trap some authors fall into. There have been award winning novels written in a month. There has also been crap that an author spent a year or more crafting. Time spent writing is not an indication of quality. A book will be ready when it is ready, no sooner and no later. Whether that book is good or bad, that’s going to come down to your writing and what your audience thinks about it as well as all the little things that goes into publishing a book (ex. did you use an editor? did you use beta readers? etc).

If you have a little free time, give the article a read. It’s less interesting for most readers but still a little enlightening.

Have a good weekend.

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