Here’s something that I was thinking about last night. There’s no right answer, but I would be very curious as to the reason why you answer the way that you do.
Let’s start with the assumption that you are a very successful writer (Yay!), now would you:
- Want to have authored a book that that was a mega-bestseller and then spend the rest of your career not writing anything close to that successful again? This is where J. K. Rowling is right now, although she may still write something more successful than Harry Potter, it’s hard to imagine it happening.
- Want to write books that sell well, although none can be considered a breakout novel? I would say, another favorite author of mine, David Baldacci, fits this model. He writes consistently good thriller so that there’s not one particular title that he’s best-known for.
- Want to write regularly and have some of your novels become bestsellers, but then have your other novels be considered subpar?
- Write a book every five to 10 years, but have those novels be bestsellers?
There are advantages and disadvantages to each option. It depends on what you are looking for from your writing career?
Money? Then the first option might be what you want. Like Rowling, you could make a lot of money this way and be set for life, but I don’t think I would like working the rest of my life trying to recapture that early glory. I guess this could be called the “peaked too soon option.”
A long-lasting career? Then the second option might be you. This is the one I think I would like, although I wouldn’t say “no” to any of them. I have a lot of ideas. This option would mean that I am able to write and have them published regularly and have them sell well. The money is good, but it doesn’t give Warren Buffet any competition.
Critical acclaim? Then the last option might be what you strive for. With this option, you would be considered one of the best writers out there, but you might not be able to make such a great living at it. Each book makes you good money, but it has to be spread out over a number of years.
The third option is a combination of the second and fourth. You publish regularly and would have regular income, but your writing would be inconsistent. When you hit the mark, it’s a bullseye, but otherwise, you hit in the outer rings.
As I said, I think my ideal would be option number two, but that’s for me and my personality. What is your choice?