25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing (5/25).

Stop Hurrying

The rise of self-publishing has seen a comparative surge forward in quantity. As if we’re all rushing forward to squat out as huge a litter of squalling word-babies as our fragile penmonkey uteruses (uteri?) can handle. Stories are like wine; they need time. So take the time. This isn’t a hot dog eating contest. You’re not being judged on how much you write but rather, how well you do it. Sure, there’s a balance — you have to be generative, have to be swimming forward lest you sink like a stone and find remora fish mating inside your rectum. But generation and creativity should not come at the cost of quality. Give your stories and your career the time and patience it needs. Put differently: don’t have a freak out, man.

I actually think I do this quite well…maybe too well, actually.  I’ve been sitting on one book now for nearly 3 years.  Yes, it’s gone through a number of drafts and yes, it’s almost to the final draft level, but no one can accuse me of hurrying.  With the hotel book, there’s a part of me that wants to push ahead and get it out asap, but my realistic picture of releasing the book remains intact – somewhere ideally between October – December of this year.  In all, that would be 1 year to write, edit and percolate on a book that while interesting, is not my life’s work.  (See, the Fates project).

At the same time, I’m also aware I could use a bit of motivation is creating something new.  I’m off my pace for writing, and that is something I want to get back towards.  Honestly, I don’t mind hurrying a rough draft – as long as it gets done.

It should also be mentioned, if I could go back in time, I would have taken this advice with my YA books.  I rushed.  Big time.  The great thing about digital editions of the book is that they can be updated.  However, I’m a bit embarrassed of what I sent to agents and still wish the printed version of the books ended up a bit different.  We live.  We learn.

What about you?  Do you rush or wait?

(This post was brought to you by track ‘Can’t Hurry Love’ – although the Supremes did a great job, I like the Phil Collins version).

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