I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of apologizing to readers over the last year. Maybe longer.
I’m sorry I haven’t written Revelation yet.
I’m sorry there’s no sequel to Red.
I’m sorry I can’t write faster because of my two jobs and family obligations.
I’m sorry life has happened and totally derailed my already slow production.
You know, what? I’m done.
Not that I am not grateful to readers. God knows I am. I wouldn’t have even the remotest shot of making a living at this someday without them. And certainly there is this feeling for authors that when readers buy (and love) our books, when they move from readers into fans, that we are obligated to them to give them more. And to a point it’s true. We give them something they love and they, in turn, now have the expectation that we will give them more of what they love (see, really, authors are closet drug dealers, except our drug of choice is story instead of coke or marijuana).
Add to that implied emotional contractual obligation the current publishing climate (particularly self publishing) wherein there is this massive pressure to PRODUCE PRODUCE PRODUCE, where 2 books a year is not enough and there’s always someone out there publishing more and faster, and it’s enough to put a writer in the nuthouse.
I am grateful beyond measure that there are people out there who have taken a chance on an unknown and tried my work. Even more grateful to the people who liked it and bought more of it and even went so far as to share it with others. And I will own my obligation to give you more stuff you’ll like.
But I’m not going to apologize for my production schedule anymore. I’m not going to apologize for the fact that life freaking happens and I can’t control it (and y’all, this is a freaking HUGE statement because I am a grade A, 24 carat CONTROL FREAK with extreme internal attribution style).
I’m going to write the damn book. I’m going to make it the best freaking book I can make it. And that’s going to take as long as it takes. If it means I only get one book finished this year and it doesn’t get released in 2012, then that’s what it means. Because I think what I owe to readers is an awesome read, not necessarily to give it to them faster and at lower quality.
Note: I feel compelled to point out that I do not feel that most readers are out there ready to throw rotten tomatoes at me for being slow or having life crap happen or whatever. This is just the mental state I think some of us get into. So this is a rejection of said mental state, not a rejection of readers or their expectations.