Would you rather hit big with one novel and never write more, or write many and never be noticed? Honestly, I’m still figuring out if I’ve got one good novel in me. I also don’t know that I’d want the attention if it did catch fire.
At this point I’ve written a lot of books that aren’t novels. I manage to eke out a modest living. It would be amazing, and a lot less stressful, if something caught fire and sold well enough to provide some financial stability. Writing books that I’m happy with and getting them published isn’t the problem I’m solving for. I already do that, and will continue to do so. What I really need is more money.
I also acknowledge that I enjoy being a hermit. I’m not sure I’d enjoy doing book tours, giving public readings, and being interviewed on podcasts. In fact, I can tell you with reasonable certainty that I wouldn’t. Marketing my books on their merit alone isn’t easy. If I had a big, likable personality and was more of a willing extrovert, I’m sure my work would be more popular.
Hit Big with One Novel
On the other hand, it would be nice to have some sort of legacy. That one book that everyone — well, everyone that still reads novels, at least — was talking about. Something that had a positive impact on the world. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gleaned from that.
That’s why I think a one-and-done would suit me. I’d make what public appearances I required up to the point where the book had its own momentum. Then I could disappear, and that would only add to the mystique. I’d be able to live my life quietly, and comfortably, while still knowing that I created something that touched peoples’ lives.
The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.