Jul 29, 2013

It's Okay to be Slow

First, tomorrow is my anniversary. My husband and I will celebrate 14 years of marriage. He is hands down my greatest supporter and cheerleader. Also, my life right now subdivides into sevens - I was seven when I met him, I spent 21 years with my maiden name and have 14 with my married, we knew each other for 14 years before we got married. And to think the seven multiplication facts were one of the hardest for me as a kid (I still want 7x7 to equal 47 - just sounds better).

I have lots of friends on the internet who write fast. Like in the thousands daily. I have been known to get to that pace occasionally (enter middle of the book), but starting and ending a book is very slow for me. I research LOTS, toy with the structure of a book, negotiate possible points of view, things that just take me a long time.

And, in part because of the genre I write, there aren't lots of action, fighting, chasing scenes. One of the best compliments I can get is when CP's or betas admit they cried. And for me, to write with emotion, I have to get myself in that state, think through what I would feel, explore what that emotion looks like.

It used to really bother me that I couldn't win NaNoWriMo, that the first draft of TRANSCEND took me a year to get out, that I can get an idea for a book and spend the next several months trying to just sort out how I want it to go, what it needs to look like, what the feel needs to be.

But I don't have much of a chance of changing that anymore than I do shrinking two inches to have a better pant selection in stores, waking up tomorrow and seeing the alarm clock in my room instead of the strange ominous glow, or having the magic from The Sword in the Stone show up and have my dishes and laundry just take care of themselves.

And that's okay. I realize why people post their word count - it IS a great accomplishment. But if you are like me, don't let it get you down. There are many successful writers who are slow, several who are fast, and quite a few who traverse the writing process with a strange combination of the two.

The most important thing is to figure out what works for you, and then do it.

Side Note: I sent out my first small batch of queries over the weekend. Truth: I sent them out around five o'clock Mountain time on a Friday so I could manage a few days without a rejection. Don't judge me :)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not judging!
Happy anniversary. Seven must be your lucky number.
I managed to beat NaNo, but it was a huge effort. I am not a fast writer either. People who type a hundred words a minute amaze me. Three hundred in one hour is a good day for me.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary and many more to come. I can't type all that fast, I go at my own pace......I get there in the end.


ilima said...

Good luck with querying, and happy anniversary. Agreed that everyone is different. Own your process! :)

Jessie Humphries said...

Wow, lots of cool stuff in this post! Happy Anniversary girl. Also, I am a VERY painfully slow writer. So whatev. And good freaking luck on the queries! We all need a little luck now and then ;) I can't wait to hear about it.

S.P. Bowers said...

We all have to go at our own pace. I'm a pretty slow writer and that's ok. It's not always easy but I have to remember that I'm me, this is the way I work, and only I can tell this story.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Good luck with the queries. Some of my favorite writers are slow.

Jai said...

Happy Anniversary. Congrats on the queries.

You know what works for you and that's what counts. It's not a cookie cutter industry.

JeffO said...

Happy anniversary! Funny how everyone does things differently; I sent my first query to an agent who was notoriously fast on rejections just so I could experience the inevitable and get it out of the way!

And I hear you about writing slow. I can crank out 2000 words a day, but I tend to write long, and the revision process is even longer. Good luck with the Qs!

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Happy Anniversary!
And I'm like you. People post stuff like 5,000 words today and counting! And I'm like, that's like a week's worth of work for me. (And not every week.) ;)

Cathy said...

Happy anniversary. I write slow also. One page an hour. Like you, I enjoy women's fiction and emotional reads.

Chemist Ken said...

Happy anniversary. And don't sweat the slow writing pace. I suspect you are a far faster writer than I.