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  • DW Johnson

How Much is Too Much?

I mean I don’t consider myself a seasoned veteran of fantasy fiction. But when you go behind the scene, I actually am. Many “authors” write one maybe two books. Get bad reviews and/or no sales and give up. To them I say being a writer is not a get rich quick scenario. Think about it, if it was everyone would do it and we would all be millionaires.

Anyway, it’s interesting that because I have published a few books and continue to crank out the novels, I get many questions from new authors. I do the best I can give everyone an answer based on my current experience. One question that is very popular is “How much or How often should I write?”

​Like EVERYTHING in life, it depends. First it depends on your genre. I write fantasy fiction which I think is easier than say something like historical fiction which requires a lot of research. Second it depends on you. Some writers write a great deal one day then may not write anything for a few days. Some write a little every day. Some work on one book at a time, others many (This is me. I work on at least three books at once.)

Then there are writers who are so damn prolific they cannot contain it. For example, Walter Gibson (who?) He wrote most of the Shadow novels under the name Maxwell Grant. In his career he wrote 282 of the 325 Shadow novels. He wrote an average of 24 books per year! One every two weeks!!

Or Isaac Assimov (we know him) who wrote over 500 novels and over 400 pieces of short fiction. He wrote so many novel, short stories and essays it’s difficult to get an exact count of his works.

For many (most) of us we are not so prolific. We can’t just shut ourselves into a cabin in the woods (get this reference?) and write. We have lives and other priorities constantly tugging at our time.

So, a good guideline is 2000 words a day. Keep up that pace and you will publish 3-4 books a year. You must keep in mind most of your time IS NOT spent writing. It's spent editing, correcting continuity and rewrites. Of course, you can write more. I write 3000-5000 words a day depending on the weather outside and what else I need to get done. I too have days (like today) where I will write more (because I also write this blog) and days where I write nothing. Maybe just do some outlining.

​Just remember you’re an individual and write at a pace your comfortable with. Let God guide your writing, and everything will come out fine.

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