June 25, 2011

Who in the Heck is Amanda Hocking?!

Who in the heck is Amanda Hocking? I had never heard of her until the other day when a friend referred me to an article written about her in The New York Times Magazine. This is a 26 year old young woman who sent out a few query letters and said to heck with it, and self-published over at Amazon.

Last year, Hocking downloaded and sold five books the first day, five books the second day, 6,000 books in June, 10,000 in July and now she sells 9,000 books per day. Per Day!! And then she was approached by St. Martin’s Press and now has a $2 million contract for her next four-book series called “Watersong.” What an amazing and enterprising young woman. I’m really happy for her and her success. We all hope and pray that things will go that way for us.

But what really blows me away?! She says it takes her two to four intensive weeks to complete a book! Granted, she says that she’s really been working on it in her head for over a year, so that by the time she sits down to write, it’s basically already written – her words, not mine. So she basically already has the outline in her head, but even so, that is amazing! I don’t even think GOD can write that fast!

It’s taken me the best part of a year to complete seven chapters of my first novel. One year! Fifty-Two weeks! Why can’t I write a book in two to four weeks like Amanda Hocking? Clearly, I’m struggling. My problem is that I think I need to be perfect, and if my writing isn’t good enough for me, then I just don’t write. If I don’t write, then I can’t fail, right? Conversely, I have next to nothing to show for my year of writing. I finally made some level of progress when someone told me that I need to lower my standards. I know this sounds like pure craziness...

So now I’m wondering what would happen if I just committed myself to some intensive writing over the next couple of months. To make writing my priority, to give up everything else, to not over-think what I’m writing and just write, write, write, even if I’m not happy with what I’m writing. It seems to me that at least I would have a foundation to be going on with, something to rewrite and edit.

What do you think? Does this sound like a good idea? How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have any kooky quirks?

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