A successful writer is not what you think
Jessica Cote

I am a writer and I do alright, I earn a living (lol- not like Rowling or Meyers- who often sell more books in a day than I do in a year) and am quite progressive in my thinking but “consistency”, in my humble opinion, is not enough. Over the many years that I have been writing you get to know one thing very quickly; no one knows the vagaries of the reader. What will amaze and enchant a reader, what will keep them reading, no publisher, agent or Magazine editor (that’s my job)can predict those vagaries. With time we grow more attuned to possibilities but no one truly knows what makes the reader tick. That is simply because readers are individuals and what may attract one, will not another. Each of the millions that may read your book, story, poem or thesis will be attracted by something different from the one before. It is only when all of those things meet in conjunction such as happened with the “Harry Potter” tales does an author grow rich.

“Consistency” seems an admirable goal so I do not mean to disparage it but I am going to. I am a consistent writer, I write on a routine established twenty years, or so, ago. I work hard on each book, stylizing and perfecting each story or tale. Some take years to write others only a few months, some require many rewrites, others only a couple until I have achieved a book that I am happy to release. At that point my publisher takes over and another round of questioning begins.

That cycle has been part of my daily routine and life now for longer than I care to remember. In those many years there have been two anomalies, a short story written back at the start of this century, It took less than a week to write, If I remember correctly it took me no more than three nights sitting in a hotel room in Manchester to put the whole thing together on a laptop. There were rewrites and so on but I had the whole thing written and it sold incredibly well. Another time a cool novella (that I had written to be included in a magazine) self-published in this case, sold really well.

A strange novel that involved many characters that were essentially the same person, over a period of twelve thousand years, caught many peoples imagination.

I took almost eighteen months to write a novel that has to date sold about eight copies (and I am sure my mother bought one of them, perhaps my girlfriend too)so consistency be damned. The odd flash of inspiration and a little bit of luck is what may be required.