The vast, vast, vast majority of you Champions are so understanding as to why I can’t write faster than I already do. In fact, I get so many kind messages and sweet emails from you guys because you’re worried about my health and you don’t want me to burn out. Thank you so much for your love and support–I appreciate it so much and I know I’m so blessed to have such a great community behind me.
But every once in a while, I’ll get a reader who wants to know why I can’t write just one additional book per year, or why I don’t try to optimize my process to the fullest extent possible and therefore write more books in the same time. So, I thought I’d open our series of frequently asked question-blog-thingies with the explanation that this is why:
No, this picture hasn’t been photoshopped in any way. My face is normally the shape you see on the right side of the pic. But when I get super stressed, and work too many hours for too many weeks and weekends in a row, my body will forcibly shut me down to give me a break. Usually I’ll lose at least a week of work to one of these episodes, sometimes more, and it happens several times a year.
My body will communicate its need to slow down in a myriad of “fun” and “intriguing” ways. The one pictured in the photograph is what happens when I get massive sores in my mouth that randomly erupt and make my cheek swell so bad it looks like it’s trying to split off like a cell in the middle of mitosis. This is an extremely painful condition, particularly because pain killers don’t really work, so I take a bunch of medications to knock myself out so I don’t get sick to my stomach–as I have in the past. If it goes on long enough it can even make my eye start to swell shut–as you can start to see in this picture–which makes life super exciting and pirate-like in ways I never wanted to experience. But what’s worse is I CAN’T EAT DESERT LIKE THIS!! My mouth can’t open because the swelling is so bad and I was off cake for DAYS with this, then there was also the drooling problem… *sobs in the distance.*
Moving on! I’ve seen doctors for my various “exciting” ways my body communicates to me that I’m overdoing things, and the medical pros always tell me that this is my body screaming at me to stop working since I very obviously won’t listen unless it does something this drastic. Like taking away my cake.
And the truth is, writing a book is not a fast thing. Even if I can get the writing of the actual book done in less than a month, it still needs editing from a copy editor and at least two betas–and each one of those people gets it for one to two weeks. And even before I begin writing the book I always outline and flesh out my characters. After the book is polished and edited I still have to make arrangements for its cover and work with Meg to see that the book gets formatted and uploaded by my preorder deadline. I also have to write the extra that I send out as my launch celebration/thank you for reviews–which also has to have one of my betas go over it for typos–and I start prepping all the blog posts/facebook posts I release as part of the launch celebration, too. (I typically do all of this while the betas and editor are going over the book, so no time is wasted.)
Basically, no matter how fast I go, the process of creating, writing, and publishing a book takes several months–and that’s for an average book, not a monster-length like Reign of Magic or The Revived. And–as I mentioned above–my body already punishes me for the pace I’ve set, so it’s not something I can maintain long term.
So can I work faster and for more hours? No. No I can’t. The current pace I’m setting already tests my limits, and I’m aware in the future I’m going to have to slow down to really be mentally and physically healthy.
NOTE!! I know a bunch of you Champions were already worried about my health, and I’m guessing the picture made you scream in horror. But don’t worry, I’m okay now! Thank you so much for your concern. I’m so grateful for our community and the relationship I have with you Champions, because I know you really care about me. As I mentioned, I am taking steps to try and prevent this in the future, and I am aware that none of you want me to push myself to the point where it affects my health.
This concludes the first frequently-asked-questions-blog-thingie! Don’t worry, the rest aren’t this…grim? Worrying? But hopefully they’ll all be illuminating, interesting, or maybe even inspiring! 😉 Thanks for reading, Champions, and have a lovely week!