Be Brave Friday – The Year I Wrote Too Much

best writing coach Carrie Jones

So, this Be Brave Friday is on the last Friday of 2021 and I’m starting a whole lot of scary stuff this year.

Scary Stuff I’m Starting

  1. I’m starting my own classes to teach people online about writing and they are super cheap because I want people to be able to learn even when they aren’t wealthy. Yes, this makes me worried about my own bank account. That’s why it’s being brave. 🙂
  2. We’re revisioning the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and starting a new one called WRITE BETTER NOW.
  3. I’m been writing poetry on Medium and I’m going to keep writing it, but also sharing it in a podcast. CARRIE DOES POETRY. I couldn’t think of a cool title.
  4. I’m going to keep writing and not give up. Sometimes, I think that’s the bravest thing of all.

But since it’s the end of 2021, it’s also a time where I should be brave and reflect for a hot second. This is the year I wrote too much.

I decided to have an experiment and try to put out one novel a month, every month, all year long. And I did it.

But at what cost?

Probably at the cost of my brain. No! No. Just kidding.

I learned that:

  1. The pressure to write does keep me writing, but I also learned that 50,000-75,000 words times 12 months? It’s a lot of words. Especially if you add in what I do on my patreon.
  2. I’m still not good with criticism.
  3. I’m terrible at marketing my own books.
  4. That I miss doing things like going outside.
  5. I miss painting.
  6. I should have used a pen name to not impact my traditional publishing career. Oops.
  7. I’m really good with deadlines and pressure. Thank you former newspaper career.
  8. I really really need to write sex scenes. And I really really haven’t.

And I also learned that:

  • I still love writing.
  • I miss writing things that are a bit less genre and I can’t do that in a fast turn-around. I have two, really complicated stories that I want to get done and I haven’t had time to do that.
  • Writing adult novels is fun. And I apparently need to put in sex scenes. Yes. I am repeating this. Who knew? Not this uptight human.

The Bad Things About Writing Too Much

But the big thing is that I maybe wrote too much. Because I didn’t just write and revise my own novels, I wrote blog posts and podcasts and editorial letters for the writers I edit, mentor, and coach, and that? It turned out to be a lot of writing.

My typing fingers ache a little bit.

And I’ve gotten in a bit of a rut from my self-imposed experiment and the pressure of doing one big novel a month and getting it out there.

And I started thinking, “Keep producing. Hurry. Make it good. It isn’t good enough. Oh my freaking word, Carrie. Earn money to support the family. HURRY! HURRY!”

Which has made me:

  1. More anxious
  2. More cranky
  3. Even more obsessed about making enough money.
  4. Very American, I think.

Sounds healthy, right?

And I’ve had some big fails.

  1. Our Be Brave Stories podcast (where we share other people’s stories about being brave) has floundered because I didn’t market it enough to get people to actually SHARE their stories.
  2. I’ve failed to solicit sponsorships for our other podcasts.
  3. As I’ve recently mentioned, I totally failed about marketing anything and everything.
  4. I haven’t done nearly enough author-to-author podcasts.
  5. I haven’t done nearly enough painting or poems.
  6. I haven’t magically owned a book store.
  7. I never say things like, “Hey! If you appreciate this podcast episode or blog post, send me a $1. I know it feels like nothing to you, but it means everything to me.” I think this is because one set of my grandparents lived in Canada and I somehow got the “DO NOT EVER ASK FOR MONEY GENE.”
  8. I am at my body’s maximum density (for me) because I sit in the chair way too much.
  9. I suddenly look old. And my knees hurt. And my hips hurt. And my ego hurts. Like it snuck up on me. Is this from squinting at the computer too much?
  10. I am still not any braver. I mean, I try so hard to do things that I am afraid to do and I do them all the time, but I haven’t become any less anxious about putting books out, talking on podcasts, or writing the books of my heart.

Here’s the thing though: If you love something, you need to do it. If you want to make a living at something, you need to find people who support you doing that. If you are making a living at it (like I am), you need to remember to be thankful and gasp in the moments where things are going well and allow yourself to be happy.

I am very bad at that.

It’s good to experiment, to push boundaries and to also take stock and say: Um. Maybe twelve novels in twelve months isn’t the best idea? And change it up to six. 🙂

How about you? Brave things going on? New leaps? New adventures? New worries? Am I alone?

My little, creepy book baby is out in the world because who doesn’t want sad, quirky, horror with some romantic bits for the holiday season?

It’s a young adult novel (upper) called WHEN YOU BRING THEM BACK, please buy it!

It’s super fun.

Author: carriejonesbooks

I am the NYT and internationally-bestselling author of children's books, which include the NEED series, FLYING series, TIME STOPPERS series, DEAR BULLY and other books. I like hedgehogs and puppies and warm places. I have none of these things in my life.

One thought on “Be Brave Friday – The Year I Wrote Too Much”

  1. Crikey! I figured that the stand-alone stories (non-series) were short stories. But a full-length novel every month? Well, at least you know not to put yourself through that much again.

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