Nov 19, 2012

Success and Failure

This post is late today, but you will all be glad because the crap that I had to write was quickly cleared out when, walking into the school today, I saw two girls, passing a book back and forth between them, giggling, followed by an "Okay, don't tell me don't tell me don't tell me."

The book?


It got me thinking about books and writers and readers and life.  About the debate of whether it is better to have a best selling book or an award winning book, because often they aren't the same, though that seems to be changing in come circles a bit.

But I saw a glimpse of what I want in my future as a writer.

I want to see people, passing my book back and forth with enthusiasm, giggling (though the giggles will probably be older), loving it so much they HAVE to share it with a friend.

I have been a bit frustrated this year with NaNo because I'm at the really hard part of a book, the part I've never written, an end.  The emotion it draws out of me to write some of these scenes literally leaves me exhausted 1000 words in.  And while I wanted to really nail NaNo this year, even had a book plotted out-ish and ready to rock, I couldn't not finish this other book first.

I keep reminding myself that the big picture is essential.  Winning NaNo doesn't mean anything if I'm not proud of what comes out of it.  It doesn't mean anything if it disrupts my process so significantly that the amount I can actually use come December 1st is minuscule at best.  It doesn't mean anything if it takes me away from the story I'm supposed to tell, in the way I'm supposed to tell it.

So, to those of you who thrive on cranking out words at light speed, I applaud you.  I'm in awe of you because I'm not now nor will I ever be that fast.  And to those of you who are a bit more like me, just remember the key is to keep moving forward, writing our best in the way that allows that to happen.  And while we sit on the side of the freeway, watching the other writers fly past us with MS's in hand, we can still celebrate our progress as well.

Do you find satisfaction from speed work (can you do it?)?  Are you a slower writer like me?  Have you finished NaNo already?  What brings you the most joy in your writing process?

I'm going to take the rest of the week off from blogging - need some rejuvenation time.  Hope you and yours in the US have a joyful Thanksgiving and everyone can find a way to enjoy the preparations for the upcoming holiday season.



21 comments :

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I had to give it everything I had to win NaNo in 2010 because I am not a fast writer. And I'd rather have a best seller than an award winning book any day.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

You are aboslutely right - the key is not how many words or pages you do but to keep moving forwards! And I don't see why you can't have a best seller AND award book...

Jessica Bell said...

I'm extremely slow and I have never done NaNo because I know it will be a complete de-motivator for me. I can't even keep up with 500 words a day. I tried to, but then I lost motivation at around 25,000 words. My brain just does not work without decent breaks and time to brainstorm and mull over what I've done, you know?

Julie Luek said...

I didn't participate in NaNoWriMo because I knew the idea of it wouldn't be good for me. I did, however, jump on the NaNoReviMo bandwagon to kick my butt in gear and get some support. But because it's a grass roots kind of effort, there's no performance pressure.

Award-winner, best-seller, both seem out of reach to me at this point. I want a book that is a good read and that I can be proud of for my first work. If that happens I'll be a happy lil author!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

The best compliment I ever got from one of my books was a lady who gave me thunder...why was my heroine so hard headed, why wouldn't she just be reasonable. It occurred to me that she saw the my character as real; she wasn't frustrated with her in a fictional sense, but as someone I could call later and relay the message.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Don't get too hung up on this first NaNo draft, though, Tasha. Remember, it's not the finished product anymore than the rough sketch an artist makes on the canvass before doing a detailed oil painting is.

Andrew Leon said...

I'm all about the quality.

Morgan said...

Tasha! Came by to say thanks for signing up for the Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest! I'm so glad you're participating! <3

Jessie Humphries said...

Here, here! I love you Tasha. We are so much alike!

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

You'll get there, giggles and all. Just stick with it. :)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I admit it - REACHED is sitting on my kitchen counter - ostensibly a xmas present for my daughter, but let's be honest - I can't wait to read it! And I'm sure one of these days I'll have a Tasha Seegmiller book on my counter that I can't wait to read :)

Leigh Covington said...

OOH! I SO want that too! That is the best thing! Knowing people love it and share it and are reading it!

Now hook me up with a review of REACHED! I've got to read it!

Nicole said...

The situation you describe with the girls would be amazing as a writer! I'd go for best-seller any day. And, I wouldn't get much satisfaction out of speed writing. It doesn't let me tell the story how I want to tell it.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Will miss you here but I understand the break. I like wrting the ends in my books. The middles are what slow me down.

Tammy Theriault said...

definitely not a fast writer. but i also work full time, so what time i do have, i'm writing or doing others. i'm in no hurry...it'll always be there.

J. A. Bennett said...

I used to be a speed writer, but I'm finding difficulty in that lately. Anyway I started that book yesterday and had a similar thought: I want to be her ;) Hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving!

Suzie F. said...

Tasha, I know exactly what you mean. I have the same feelings about NaNoWriMo. Would you mind if I quote your 3rd and 4th paragraphs in my next blog post? Of course, I'd link back to your blog.

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

loverofwords said...

I think "true" writers, have to write, not like me. So the idea of the pressure of fast writing is not that daunting. A true writer has to write every day, just like an artist who has to draw a little sketch, or ? I wish I had that focus and drive, but how I appreciate good writing, that perfect sentence, just the right phrase. I am part of your fan club.

Tamara said...

I tried signing up for Nano and I have no idea WHY I thought I could do it. Just not me. If I'm super inspired I can sit and write ten hours in a row. BUT--I can't force super-inspiration. So, my normal day will be a couple hours, IF I can find them. With the holidays, my grandson, etc...etc...that's been extremely hard to do.

So, I am failing dismally at Nano, (I have like three chapters written haha)

And I HATE failing at stuff, but I keep reminding myself that it doesn't matter. In the end, I'm still writing, and that's the important thing, right?

And, I have to agree with Alex. I'd WAY rather have a best-seller than an award winning book. :)

Lisa Regan said...

I like the speed but usually end up taking forever in revisions! It's a marathon, not a sprint. If you want something truly good, you've got to take your time and labor over it. You'll get there for sure! Have a great holiday!

Kelley Lynn said...

Love your story. That is what I want from my writing too. For people to talk about it. (Hopefully good things... haha)

I'm a very speedy writer. NaNo is how I write all my first drafts. But you're right, some just can't write that fast and I would bet that their first drafts are A LOT cleaner than mine. So where I spend more time in editing, others spend more time in drafting.

And WE ALL spend a lot of time in waiting for agents, publishers, etc. haha