148: How to Become a Prolific Writer and Publish Over 200 Books: Interview with Jerry B. Jenkins

Writing your first book is like running a marathon. When it’s finally over, you’re equally excited and exhausted. You might even be a little sick (of your book). Now, imagine doing that almost 200 times.

148: How to Become a Prolific Writer and Publish Over 200 Books: Interview with Jerry B. Jenkins

With my fifth book getting ready to release this summer, I can barely fathom the level of discipline and creativity required to produce 20 books in a lifetime, let alone a couple hundred.

This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life, has sold over 70 million copies of his 189 books (and counting) and yet maintains a humble demeanor, works diligently at his craft, and encourages other writers on their journey.

Listen in as Jerry B. Jenkins and I talk about how he got started writing at a young age, the hyperbole of public perception of writers, and the advantage of experiencing success later in life.

Listen to the podcast

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Show highlights

In this episode, Jerry and I discuss:

  • How writing was his answer to a calling
  • Achieving the freedom to write leisurely because you love it
  • Rejecting the idea of retirement
  • Not measuring success by sales or accolades
  • How not to get on the bestseller lists
  • The relationship between passion and purpose
  • What is within your control as a writer
  • If it gets easier to write as you publish more
  • When to say “no” to a writing project
  • Why deadlines are a writer’s best friend
  • How writing a book is like giving birth
  • Treating fear as a healthy motivator
  • What role procrastination plays in getting writing done
  • The myth of writer’s block and the truth behind it
  • Why perfectionism is a mask for fear
  • Getting a phone call from Stephen King
  • Writing without guilt and still being present for his kids

Quotes and takeaways

  • Writing may be the vehicle through which you answer your calling.
  • “You don’t get on the bestseller lists by trying to get on the bestseller list.” –Jerry B. Jenkins
  • Writing books doesn’t get easier. It gets harder.
  • “Writers don’t write because they are writers, they write because they have something to say.” –Jerry B. Jenkins
  • Schedule your procrastination
  • “Procrastination may be a prerequisite to being a writer.” –Jerry B. Jenkins
  • Just write something. It doesn’t have to be pretty.
  • “Writers are the only profession in the world who allow themselves the conceit of writer’s block.” –Jerry B. Jenkins

The only thing I can control, is how much of myself I give to the quality of the writing.

Jerry B. Jenkins

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What is writing to you? How are you answering a calling as a writer? Share in the comments

Click here to download a free PDF of the full interview transcript.