Write or Edit?

The above-noted question is a dilemma many self-published authors face.  After all, we're the entire package.  We're the writer, the editor (even though we also hire professionals), and the marketer.  We stop producing, guess what? Sales will slow down.  So what is an author to do?

We look at the successful self-pubbed authors and we know that we need to produce quality books and the more the better, but how can we find time and the creative muse to do so when we're stressed about finalizing edits on an upcoming release?  (Side thought: I find stress about money and time to be the biggest creativity killers.)

Well, I had a little bit of a break through yesterday.  Logically the goal plan can work, but it will take commitment.  

I was fortunate that when I set out on my self-publishing course, I had several novels already written so I've been working through having them professionally edited and published.  I have 3 more releases planned for 2013 (see my site here for more information) and a goal to release in February 2014.

Here's the thing, by the time February 2014 comes around, I'll only have 1 written novel left that I haven't published (as it stands now)!  That means I have to get writing! And I'd do so with pleasure but when one's head is caught in a vortex of editing, how is it possible to uncover the muse and "justify" the time to write?

The thing is I started writing another Madison Knight novel (the 5th in the series) the start of June.  I'm in love with it so far and the concept, but time...yes, the elusive element we all have to deal with.  Anyway, it will get written and Madison and the characters keep peeking out from my unconscious; it's probably why I had the revelation.

So here's the plan I'm aiming for: writing 3 books a year and publishing 4.  At some point that will mean the book I wrote at the beginning of the year is published at the end of the year. I'm hoping to publish at least one Madison Knight novel, and one Brandon Fisher FBI novel a year.  That leaves 2 releases that may or may not be in either series.  Maybe another will be born? LOL

Anyway, how am I going to accomplish all this?   Well, I'm typically not an outliner at all.  I write by the "seat of my pants", but I'm thinking if I drafted a rough outline of the novel I'm going to write, it will give me a guideline of sorts.  I know the characters will detour, and I thrive on that, but at least there will be a somewhat step-by-step course for me to follow.  

The goal of writing 3 books a year will also keep me writing mostly every day too, at least that's the plan.  If I wrote a novel every 4 months, that's only about 600 words a day.  Of course when I'm hunkered down with finalizing edits I'll need a few days to just chew on that, but most days will be opened up as "free game".  And typically when I'm into writing 600 words is a very achievable target!  (I wrote one of my novels in 1.5 months! :) )

So that's it, that's my plan. I'm interested in hearing how other authors balance their time with writing and editing.


  1. I get the bulk of my writing done on my lunch hour in work. It's surprising how much you can fit into that time. Recently I've managed to hit 1,700 words in a single sitting.

    When I have edits due, I'll normally get up early on weekends to get them done and I can typically get through an entire set of my editor's comments and changes over the course of the weekend.

    1. Oh, lunch break is a great time to write, and I love just before work.

      When it comes to reviewing my editor's comments and changes, I can review and fix them quickly as well. I guess sometimes I find it too easy to feel overwhelmed and then the excuses pile up as to why I don't have time to write right now.

      It's gonna stop. : )

  2. I just finished my first book and I'm going over it and editing it. I find that I'm worried about little details, grammar and typo's. Readers are sticklers on that. I wish you the best with all your upcoming plans. And I'm happy your a 'pantser' like me. I never can do outlines....my characters get all rebellious and take off on me.

    1. Congratulations on finishing your book! :)

      You need to correct grammar and typos for certain, and once you've cleaned it up as much as possible, hire a professional editor. After them still review numerous times.


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