The Truth Behind the Guinness World Record of Most Novels Written in a Year.
The Guinness World Record apparently doesn't exist. But it does, according to the New York Times, and it has since 1977.
I wrapped my 23rd novel of the year today, July 22nd, 2021. Started this journey back on January 1st, but if we are being technical, and counting a year for what it is, starting on July 22nd, 2020—I would calculate I’ve written about 40.
Here’s what 23 Novels written on a typewriter looks like.
When you obsess enough, and there’s a certain amount of production, you start wondering if there’s a world record for the most books written in a year. And then I was wondering if there was a record for the most written on a mechanical typewriter.
So I searched Google (naturally) and found this:
I understand Googling something is low-level investigative reporting but it reveals a lot off the bat. First of all, sorry Stephen King—(though I read your book On Writing several times, and I do agree that smoking increases a writer’s productivity, which is to say you should give a pipe a try, with some freshly grown Virginia tobacco because it is divine.) —all is to say, you’re not the record holder, it happens to be the late Dame Barbara Cartland.
Dame Cartland was close friends with the Queen of England. I mean, she was the step-grandmother to Princess Diana. And Dame Cartland wrote a lot. She wrote like mad. And was able to manage an amazing social life at the same time being donned “The Queen of Romance”. This, in my mind, makes her a legitimate rock star among the list of famous 20th century writers. She was probably one of the most intelligent, driven, and enthusiastic novelists to have ever lived, and deserving of her record. Because writing this much is hard work. She wrote over 700 novels in her lifetime. Which isn’t much less than L. Ron Hubbard who holds the Guinness Record for the most books ever written.
For Dame Cartland, it was worthy of recognition when she wrote 23 novels in 1977. It garnered her the Guinness World Record. It’s been recognized since then according to Wikipedia. Look at this—
This is quite revealing. And being the sleuth that I am, I wished to dig further, just to make sure this wasn’t someone trolling Dame Cartland, which would be like making fun of the late Princess Diana’s late Step-Grandmother, which is karmically very bad.
The record is fact, according to the New York Times. Check the article.
This Guinness Record has been recognized as legit since 1977, and this is unfortunate news. Because I payed Guinness World Records $1,000 of my hard earned cash to expedite my application to beat the record of the most novels published in a year. But I suppose it was my wording that wasn’t correct. And that’s the issue that writers often encounter with readers. I’m working on it. But this is how I phrased it at the time:
As you may tell from my wording, I was going into this optimistic that it would be a no-brainer, after all the stuff I saw on Dame Cartland including the article in the New York Times.
I was wrong in my assumptions. Check it:
So after I got this response from the rep from Guinness. (Note that this comment I wrote on book #16 was written before.) Anyway, here’s my reply:
For those too lazy to read these images what I wrote was basically revealing the evidence I have already given you. About the Wikipedia page and the New York Times article, and how someone was making a mistake. And that I would just keep on writing.
Here’s what I can promise you. I won’t stop writing. Record or not. Every day I will publish something new that I have produced on my typewriter.
Here’s what I say—”What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is yours.”
What you think, becomes real. I would argue that this development offers a better story than just beating the record.
Oh, and one more thing. Before I forget. The rep from Guinness never replied back, but a female coworker did, and I thought it would be nice to share it with you fine folks.
How do I go about explaining that—I understand about Wikipedia, anyone including bots can roll up and make changes, but I doubt the New York Times allows anyone to go in and make changes to pre-existing articles like Dame Cartland’s celebrated obituary from year 2000, and so it’s a legit article, from a legit source. I hope it is legit. Because if it’s not, there are going to be a lot of folks, especially in England, that are going to be good and pissed. And rightfully so, for denying Dame Cartland her well-earned Guinness World Record.
How about this, folks. A promise on my end: I’ll keep posting my work, every single day.
Thanks for reading. If you like this article and want to be kept abreast of any developments regarding the non-existent, but existent, Guinness World Record, throw in your email address and subscribe to my newsletter.