People ask me how I'm able to write 5-6 books a year and keep the quality up. (Not to mention teaching and going to school myself) It is a lot of work, but for one thing, it's my job. For another thing, there's plenty of authors who write many more books than I do.
I was in an anthology once with Stephanie Bond and Leslie Kelly and I was whining about having to write five books in one year and when they both told me they were under contract to write 8 books that same year, I felt like such an underachieving slacker!
But besides having a fabulous editorial team at Avon and Harlequin and a husband who runs the household so I can work around the clock if I need to, I do have a secret weapon.
It's a software called Write or Die.
There's several levels. One is "gentle" mode for the timid. If you stop writing, the computer screen flashes red at you and it won't stop until you start writing again. This one is for newbies and wimps.
Then there is "normal" mode where the computer makes a horrible, obnoxiously loud noise if you don't keep your hands moving. But I say why go for half measures?
I use "kamikaze" mode. If you don't keep your hands moving over the keyboard, the software eats the words starting with the last word you've written. Hence the "die" part of the equation.
You can also adjust the time frame for when the warning begins. There's forgiving, strict and evil. I use evil, because again, why use half measure? (Can you tell I need pressure to get my work done?)
Anyway, that's my secret weapon. I complete 3-5 (depends on how tight my deadline) Write or Die sessions a day. So on an average day, I write 4500 words in an hour and a half. Then I have plenty of time to edit the day's output.
I will admit there are times I can't do Write or Die. If I'm stuck in a scene, I know whatever I do that day in Writer or Die will have to be junked, so on those days, I skip Write or Die and it takes me an agonizing 10-12 hours to write the same 4500 words.
There's also something important for newer authors to remember. I didn't start out being able to do this. It to me years to work up to this kind of pace. Don't judge yourself against a veteran author's production schedule. The most important thing is that you write consistently at a pace that works for you at this stage in your career.
So if you want to write, go try Write or Die.
Next Friday, I will have another "secret" weapon tip. I'm thinking of making Friday Craft of Writing Day. Weigh in. Are you for a day devoted to the craft of writing? If you're a reader and could care less about the craft of writing, I want to hear from you too.