Monday, September 22, 2008

Looking ahead

I'm a goal setter.  I like to have a plan.  Now that I've sold and met that particular goal, I spent the weekend thinking a lot about where I want to be in the next five years.  How many books I'd like to have sold.  Series I'd like to write.  That sort of thing.  

I have no intention of spreading myself too thin.  I know my capabilities and limits.  I am very comfortable writing 2-3 books per year.  I can do that without stressing myself and without rushing the final product.  I'd like to work on two different series.  Perhaps in the same genre.  Perhaps not.  That depends on whatever work I end up selling (hopefully) beyond my Charlie Madigan series (the series I am writing for Pocket).  

The options are endless.  Debut authors can sell a second series before their first book comes out on the shelves.  In May Maggie Stiefvater sold SHIVER (which sounds amazing) in a two-book, significant deal to Scholastic, and her first book, LAMENT with Flux, won't be released until October 1st (or thereabouts).  These are both YA.  A few other authors come to mind here, too . . .   Some authors like Rachel Vincent have a few books out on the shelf before jumping into a new genre (YA) and blessing us with more of her wonderful imagination.

My point here is that there are so many ways to approach one's career that it can be overwhelming and confusing.  But, for the most part, I know how I want my career to proceed.  I've had years and years to think about it, to decide what is realistic and doable based on my abilities.  I study the market.  I see how other authors manage their careers.  Of course, all that being said, no one's experience is or will be the same.  Plus, things are always changing.  It helps to have folks in your corner to guide you.  Your agent.  Pubbed friends who have been there, done that.  The most important thing to me is being able to write what I'm compelled to write, what I really want to write, and to be able to share my imagination with others.  And eventually, hopefully, one day make a living doing what I love.
    
Do you guys plan ahead, set goals?  

Okay, enough of my rambling . . .  I have yet to have my second cup of coffee.  And I need to get back to work -- can't sell anything else unless it's written!    

5 comments:

JKB said...

Goals...I lubs dem.

Thanks for the links too. It was quite inspiring to read about her success with Shiver. Sounds like a good book, too.

Tia Nevitt said...

I have enough planned to keep myself busy for ten years. I have the plots of four novels outlined, including the final two novels of an epic fantasy trilogy. I have a five-book arc planned out (but not outlined) for my regency fantasy, and I only have the first book written. Plus I have a Roman mystery series idea that could go on for book after book after book.

That said, I don't think I can write more than one book a year. Two or three seems amazing to me. Maybe when I'm a full-time writer.

Kelly Gay said...

Yeah, jkb, I totally can't wait to read more about SHIVER!

Hey Tia! WOW. Definitely sounds like you're booked for the next decade! ;-) And regency fantasy - luv it. Anything about Rome -- luv it, too. Can't wait until these are on the shelves. :D

jax said...

I'm with you on writing 2-3 books a year. I have discovered that the authors I used to love who churned about 7-10 books a year have sacrificed quality for quantity.

I have always tried to stay focused on goals and although I'm reaching them slowly, it is a great source of motivation and inspiration! Congrats girlfriend!

Kelly Gay said...

Thanks, Jax! Great point about your goals being a source of motivation and inspiration. It feels great when you reach one and can check it off your list, doesn't it? :)