“Some men have only one book in them; others, a library.” –Sydney Smith
When I read on blogbooktours that Nora Roberts has written 150 books, I was stunned. How can one author be so prolific? According to her web site, her first book was published in 1981. That means she’s written an average of five-point-something (math is not my strong point) books a year for 28 years with no time off for good behavior. Whew!
I wondered what other authors are prolific writers and Google came through for me again. Trivia-Library.com has a list of the 20 Most Prolific Authors and Writers in Literary History. It looks as if Nora has some catching up to do. She did not even finish in the top 20. According to the list, Mary Faulkner leads the pack at a whopping 904 books. Lauran Paine is second with 850. Prentiss Ingraham, Jozef Ignancy Kraszewski and Enid Mary Blyton tie for third place with 600 books each. L. T. Meade is at the bottom of the list with a mere 258 to her credit.
What makes their feat even more amazing is that these writers predated computers and possibly even the typewriter. Think of the number of hours they had to devote to their craft. I can only imagine the agonizing writer’s cramps these poor souls had to endure.
I ran across an article on Writing Information that mentioned Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) wrote from midnight to dawn almost every day of his life, thus turning out a million words per year. (I’m assuming this refers to his adult life and he didn’t emerge from the womb with a pen in hand.)
Sleep is something I find important to my well-being and temperament so his approach to an amazing word count won’t work for me. I’ll accept the fact I will never be a prolific writer. I’ll happily settle for writing books that number somewhere between one and a library.
Do you consider yourself a prolific writer? How much time to you spend each day writing?
Thanks for stopping by.
Tags: Sydney Smith, Nora Roberts, Lauran Paine , Ingraham , Kraszewski , Blyton , de Balzac , Meade ,