prolific writers

Turn on the Faucet- Advice on Productivity from Louis L’Amour

The process of creation can be a mystery. Do ideas come first, and then we create, or do we create and ideas come? Chicken before the egg? The question of all questions…

I think it can be both. Sometimes ideas seem to fall from heaven beginning the creation process. Other times we work our way into an idea.

The longer you spend creating anything the more the creation process becomes a mystery.

Louis L’Amour a prolific writer of hundreds of novels and short stories knew the creation-mystery well. I imagine after writing a hundred novels you might run out of ideas. Here’s what he said to do when the idea well runs dry:

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

You Don’t Need a Decoder Ring or Special Undies to Write

A writing legend Harlan Ellison died last summer. Ellison wrote in just about every genre but known for his Sci-Fi and speculative fiction stories. He also produced work on about every platform possible (novels, short stories, TV, film, and audio).

Ellison was a brash man who had strong opinions about writing and the industry. He also was married five times and maybe not a guy to invite over for Sunday brunch.

Regardless of Ellison’s temperament and multiple failed relationships he offers solid advice for writers. Behind the rough veneer of Ellison he tried to champion the ordinariness of writing. Remove the mythical nature of word slinging and bring it down to the bottom shelf of mere mortals.

Ellison wanted people to know that writing didn’t require super powers or specialized degrees.

In fact, he once said:

…the hard part of writing isn’t becoming a writer, rather, staying a writer.

For all of Ellison’s controversy surrounding his personal life he wanted writers to write. Not only write, but write fast, often, and well.

Ellison was a professional writer for fifty years and made a great living. But what did it take? How did he do it? What insights does he offer us mere mortals?

TPW Motivation Monday's 011: 5 Advantages for Being a Prolific Writer

In the latest installment of Monday Motivation's, Ryan explores the advantages for being a prolific writer and creator. Does quantity diminish quality? Listen in and find out. More writing resources at:

Mentioned on the Show:


5 Advantages for Being a Prolific Creator

What do Isaac Asimov, Agatha Christie, Barbara Cartland, and Edward Stratemeyer have in common? They were some of the most prolific writers and creators ever.

Asimov wrote over six hundred Sci-Fi and nonfiction titles. Christie wrote sixty-nine novels and nineteen plays. Stratemeyer wrote one hundred ninety books in the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series.

These authors alone sold billions of books (not a typo). They penned millions of words, hundreds of novels, nonfiction works, short stories, plays, and did it without the aid of a computer.

Prolific authors of the past are fascinating people. How they created so much content by hand or on typewriters. Barbara Cartland averaged a new book every forty days in her career.

And she didn’t have the distractions of Netflix and Social.

Not only did these prolific authors create volumes of work they also maintained high quality. A feat of its own.

Is there something we can learn from these prolific and speed demon writers?

I think so.

Isaac Asimov explained the advantages of being prolific in his biography, It’s Been a Good Life:

“One advantage of being prolific is it reduces the importance of any one book. By the time one particular book is published, the prolific writer hasn’t much time to worry about how it will be received or how it will sell. By then he has already sold several others and is working on still others and it is these that concern him. This intensifies the peace and calm of his life” (205).

The prolific writer whether penning articles on Medium or indie publishing books on Amazon have an advantage. Asimov gives at least five:

1. No one book/article is that important.

When you produce content and publish at a high clip, no one book becomes precious. What I call the Gollum Factor.

Instead of petting, caressing, and thinking your latest project is the best thing since sliced bread, move on. Create something new.

The prolific writers of the past and present don’t have time to obsess over the one thing, because they’ve already started the next thing.

2. No time to dwell on sales, reviews, and reception.

Yes, please. What derails the sensitive artist and creator among us? Bad reviews, sales, and people ignoring their work.

What if instead of crying about an anonymous reviewer saying your book or article was sucky… you wrote the next thing?

What if you produced enough work and content that when someone left a harsh critique you said: I don’t remember what that was about… can you refresh my memory?

Prolific writers and creators have a short memory. They’re freed from the chains of watching sales dashboards, clicks, views, and reads.

The prolific writer is already working on the next project and not caught in the vortex of sales data.

10 Confessions for the Prolific Writer

What will it take to make it as a writer? Well crafted sentences? Maybe. How about marketing savvy? Sure.

With all the noise on the internet, social media, and the plethora of publishing platforms. How will the average writer get noticed?

My core belief is the prolific writer wins in the end.

What’s that you say?

It’s a new tribe of people who aren’t content with your One… Next Great American Novel. They are writing a novel a month.

The tribe of prolific writers aren’t satisfied with one genre, one stream of writing income, or making excuses for having a consistent writing habit.

These crazy people will not allow their blog to languish in the sea of dead ones. They will produce, work, and make art consistently.

Maybe even daily.

In the last year I’ve interviewed some of the most prolific writers on the planet. Some who’ve written twenty, thirty, forty, and even two hundred books. People who live in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, US, and in small and big cities.

Some of these prolific cowboys are young and some are grandparents, some men and some women. My guests have included people who make six figures… wait for it… a month, off their writing. Yep, that’s right.

These writing bandits make a great living and provide for their families…others are just getting started and will be there soon.

The point is just this… Yes, it’s noisy in the blogosphere… yes, it’s loud on the inter-webs. But the ones who will rise to the top are The Prolific Writers of the world. The grinders, producers, hustlers, and hard hat creatives who put on the work gloves, safety glasses, and don’t wait for the Muse to show up.

TPW 03: Russell Blake Reflects on 51 Books

In this episode, Ryan discusses an article about being prolific. Russell Blake, an indie author, has written 51 books in less than six years. He wrote an article encouraging aspiring authors how to keep doing the work. How to put those words, ideas, and dreams into action. Ryan gives his own spin on the article and encourages us to get after the dreams of writing and whatever project you need to complete.

Article mentioned: “5 1/2 Years”

TPW 02: 7 Habits of Prolific Writers

In this episode Ryan discusses seven habits for writing fast, often, and well. If you want to be a prolific writer there are patterns, habits, and rhythms essential to make it happen.

No excuses people, you can do it!