I was writing away on my fifth book last evening, and a sudden thought came to me. I wonder how many words I have written since I started the Heir to the Crown series. A quick calculation later, and I just about fell off my chair; over half a million words!
It's hard to remember back to when I started stories and never finished them, but a recent clean-up of our office unearthed multiple books and binders with many incomplete novels. From dwarves in the mountains to spaceship captains running from aliens, I had a never-ending supply of ideas. All I was missing was a way to finish a story.
I can honestly say that outlining a book is how I managed to finally finish a story. I know of many authors who can sit at a computer and just write; the plot developing as they go, but for me, that never worked.
I should have realized this much sooner, as I have always written up an outline for each roleplaying session I ran, but it took researching different styles of authoring for me to realize how important changing my style from pantsing (just sitting and writing from the seat of your pants) to plotting would be.
I still amaze myself when I see that I have four published books. At times, it all seems a little surreal, but then I receive a wonderful review from a fan, and all I want to do is write more!