June 3rd, 2009

me

Thoughts on Writing #31: This Is Not A Race.

It's time for the thirty-first essay in my ongoing series of essays on the art and craft of writing. Thirty-one essays, and I still haven't run out of things to say. All these essays are based around my original fifty thoughts on writing, and are touching on just about every aspect of the art, craft, and marginal insanity that is this particular profession. Here's our thought for the day:

Thoughts on Writing #31: This Is Not A Race.

As always, and because it's good to explain yourself, here's our expanded thought for the day:

Measuring your output against someone else's output is a game with no winners at all. Maybe you write fast. Maybe you write slow. Maybe you're somewhere in the middle. I can write an obscene number of pages on a good day, and finish it off with a song and maybe a sonnet or two. Another friend of mine considers herself to be doing amazingly well if she finishes three pages in eight hours. Neither of us is doing anything wrong. Some of the best books ever written took years to finish; so did some of the worst. Write at your own pace, and know what that pace is.

Everyone naturally moves at their own speed. Some of us are fast, some of us are slow. Some of us are somewhere in the middle. Our quality will often be determined by our natural comfort zone. Is it something we can push out of? Is it something we should push out of? Let's talk speed, why it matters, and why yours is no better than mine. Ready? Good. Let's begin.

Collapse )