Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket By Writing Only One Book

Author:
Publish date:

At a recent writers' conference in New York, I was asked by someone in the audience to give my best pieces of advice. Thinking fast, I ended up throwing out four tips. One of those tips was "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

In my mind, if you have written only one novel or memoir, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

At any given time, I have from 3-8 different projects going on. That includes articles due, articles turned in, book proposals to my agent, book proposals in progress, or new plays I'm trying to get produced. Something is always cooking. Besides having multiple rounds of "good news" with so many projects, it also allows me to never have writing downtime. It's not like I send out 10 queries and say, "Well ... nothing to do now but wait for agents to respond, I guess." Nope - none of that. Something is always cooking, and I enjoy the variety.

In addition, as an agent said to me recently, a lot of first novels really aren't that good. This is a hard fact of life. If you spend 6 months or a year on a book and it turns out bad, it's not the time to quit. Start the next one. Writing gets easier - and you get better at it.

Diversify! Nothing bad can come from it. If you start writing articles, for example, that means more bylines (awesome), more credibility and platform (double awesome) and more money for writing the pieces (triple awesome).

On a side note, I apologize that it took me several days to finish this darn post. I was sick and then traveled to Georgia for a writers' conference. (I'm at St. Simon's Island now. Of course, if you were my Facebook friend, you already knew that!) In the interim between the start and finish of this post, I see agent Scott Eagan posted with his own take on the subject.

Image placeholder title
Sara Nisha Adams: On the Celebration of Reading in Literary Fiction

Sara Nisha Adams: On the Celebration of Reading in Literary Fiction

Debut author Sara Nisha discusses the impact of growing up reading on her writing as an adult.

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2021

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2021

Here are the top live streams, podcasts, and YouTube channels as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 576

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a back to blank poem.

Where Are the Toxic Families in Children's Books?

Where Are the Toxic Families in Children's Books?

Christina Wyman discusses how for children who suffer difficult family dynamics, seeing their experiences reflected in books is few and far between.

the island

The Island

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, build yourself an island.

Nawaaz Ahmed: On Personal Identity in Literary Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed: On Personal Identity in Literary Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed discusses how his personal experiences acted as the impetus for his new book, Radiant Fugitives, and how it went from novella to novel.

Comedy vs. Comity (Grammar Rules)

Comedy vs. Comity (Grammar Rules)

There's nothing funny about learning when to use comedy and comity (OK, maybe a little humor) with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Debut author Shugri Said Salh discusses how wanting to know her mother lead her to writing her coming-of-age novel, The Last Nomad.

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

Does your manuscript need a little more definition, but you’re not sure where to begin? Try these 100 tips to give your words more power.