It's scary as heck.
I'm worried that I'll lose momentum in sales and building buzz. But I'm also worried that if I keep going at this pace, I'm going to burn out and lose my love of the work.
A little history:
I got my first book contract in 2014 and the book (Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel) came out in spring 2015. When the first book was accepted, I was partway through writing the second, Change of Life. I finished it in early summer 2015, then quickly wrote a novella in the same world for an anthology my publisher was putting together (Indomitable Ten). Both the anthology and the second book came out in spring 2016.
Meanwhile, I wrote another novella and two short stories in the same world for other anthologies (Theme-Thology: Mad Science, The Good Fight 3: Sidekicks, and The Realms Beyond ), a handful of stories for my blog and newsletter readers, and the third novel, which is is in edits now and has a summer 2017 release planned. That makes 10 works of varying lengths in a single universe in three years writing time.
That's quite a wave I've been riding, and I'm tired.
I couldn't be more thrilled to have so much interest in my work, but this pace is exhausting (it doesn't yet pay enough to let me cut down on the day job), and worse than that, it's not fun.
Readers of this blog probably remember that I had to do a revise and resubmit on the third novel. Looking back on it, I think I ended up in that spot due to a combination of trying to work too fast and burnout.
I'm thinking this is a good idea for a few reasons: finding the fun again, not burning out, diversifying my output.
I'm thinking this is a bad idea mostly because I'm worried that I won't be able to easily pick it back up again after taking a break or that readers will have lost interest.
But I figure that it's better to have readers lose interest because of a longer wait for book four than because I release a sub-par book four. This would be a great time to have a crystal ball and know that my decision is the right one to serve my writing career, but since I don't, I'll just ask all of you to tell me I'm doing the right thing. I am, right?
If you're not already following #IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group), you should really check it out. The monthly blog hop is a panoply of insight into the writing life at all stages of hobby and career. Search the hashtag in your favorite social media venue and you'll find something interesting on the first Wednesday of every month.
This month the group asked "Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?" So far for me, the answer is no, I haven't. I've just begun reworking an "old" novel, but it's only been two years since I wrote the draft I have, so it's not really that old. In fact, I haven't been at this long enough in any serious way to have any really old work to go back to. Before I was thirty-five, I'd only written poetry and essays, not novels. I do have one trunk novel I'd like to go back and revise at some point, but we'll see what we see.