A good question was posed on one of my online writers’ groups this summer. “What would it take for you to become the most brilliant and prolific writer you’re capable of? What would have to change for you to achieve this potential?”
It came as I was getting my latest novel Consciousness Rising readied for publication and thinking about what I wanted to do next. I plan to participate in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org) in November to flesh out what will be the third book in my series of space stories. For now I’m calling it The Gratitude Solution. More on it after I finish the NaNoWriMo version of it.
My answer to becoming the most prolific writer I could be is probably more time and fewer distractions. I do some freelance news writing for several Canadian publications, used to have American and British customers as well, but they’re mostly out of business. This takes two and sometimes three days a week but I don’t want to drop it as I enjoy the subjects I cover, but they take up time and energy.
The next issue probably is writing to suit readers’ tastes. I still basically write a story that I would want to read. My judgement might be suspect because I often enjoy books that get little attention and find bestsellers uninteresting. Science fiction (I do prefer the term speculative fiction) and fantasy aren’t big markets but that’s where my interest lies. I prefer science fiction that is more about the what-if of science and less about characters.
I read a bit of fiction outside these genres mostly because the author is interesting. Terry Fallis is a wonderful story teller and I’m a longtime fan of Martin Cruz Smith. Gorky Park is on my too read again list. I have plenty of other fiction books on my shelves.
Also I read a lot of non-fiction, mainly related to science especially the probability of aliens and the origin of Homo Sapiens. A Most Interesting Problem is a fascinating book if you have any interest in evolution and the work of Charles Darwin. Yuval Norah Hari will get you mind fired up. Margaret MacMillan’s War is near the top of my to-read pile.
I have written at least 10 short stories and got most of them published. I want to do a lot more starting with several unfinished ones in my laptop. That will be my post NaNoWriMo project. Then there are a lot of non-writing interests and activities that consume plenty of time.
My book for 2022 – By Intelligent Design– was almost done in March 2020 when I decided that a story involving a pandemic wasn’t going to draw a lot of readers. All my stories have been written with at least one sequel in mind because I find once I get into them, I get all sorts of ideas.
Be well everyone.