how fast should you write?

motivation process Sep 03, 2021
 

I once got annoyed when a colleague casually observed that I was a “slow” writer. I mean, I've published a lot of books. How slow could I be?

Is a writer who takes eighteen months to finish a publishable manuscript really that much slower than a writer who takes three months to scribble a draft that then takes two years of revision to be salable?

We all have our preferred process, and that’s great—but these labels can really get in the way. “How long did it take you to write it?" is asked so frequently of published writers! 

I'm old enough and humble enough to grasp that the popularity of the question is not because anyone is that interested in Maryrose and her deadlines! What’s really being asked is something along the lines of:

How long should it take me to finish a book?

Am I going too slow? I am, aren't I?

WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG? I'm no good, that's the only explanation.

If I were meant to do this it wouldn't take me so long.

And so on.

Alongside the concern about slowness is a newer trend I see in aspiring writer circles, particularly among those who aim to publish independently. It’s the idea that the key to success is to crank out six books a year, and that scribbling ten thousand words a day is a mark of professionalism. 

I suspect these speed demons wouldn't know what to do if you suggested they work on a book for a year! But does that mean they’re wrong? Is there any right or wrong answer to these questions? That’s the subject of this livestream.

How about you? Are you a tortoise, or a hare? Leave a comment and let me know!


My weekly livestream happens on Wednesdays at 1 PM Pacific. Come live and participate! Or catch the replays here on the blog. You can leave your questions and comments below.

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