And Here I Wanted to be a Recluse
This morning, The New York Times had a story detailing the increasing productivity demands placed on authors. Basically from getting by on one book a year, authors are now expected to churn out maybe two novels and several shorter works in an average year. Personally, I have several issues with this development.
For one thing, having this amount of productivity precludes in most cases authors having jobs outside of their writing. Only the most successful authors can afford to write as their sole career. Most writers have to find employment in other fields to supplement their writing. So, is writing two novels a year and ten short stories really feasible?
I also fear that this pressure for quantity will drastically limit quality. As seen with many works, when authors begin publishing a book a year, the overall quality decreases. The reason is that writers do not have the time to make their work the best it can be, even before being shipped off to the editor. What will the effect be when two novels a year are expected?
My third issue is the expectation of connectivity. I don’t like to talk about myself or my life (and I don’t think that will change). Part of me would like to be able to just write something and send it out. I get that writers need to have contact with their fans, but I don’t want that contact to force me to reveal information I don’t want to.
Publishing is changing. I don’t like the new publishing world painted by the article. But if one wants to write for a living, then adaptation is a must.