|Photo credit: listentothemountains on Flickr|
We often talk about writing quickly, editing quickly, reading and revising and getting those word counts down as quickly as humanely possible.
We share secrets about how to write faster, how to make the most of our time as writers, how to go, go, go in a culture that only seems to be speeding up.
And sometimes it's not a bad thing, sometimes the difference between 100 and 1,000 words written in a writing session is directly related to mindset or strategy. Sometimes writing quickly is exactly what we need to finish our WIPs, especially when we're short on time.
But sometimes we need to slow down.
I've already written about how for writers, time is on our side, but I'd like to reiterate something that I think is important because it's something that's easy to forget: we all write at our own pace.
Each of us writers has our own journey— for some of us it takes a couple years to meet our goals, for others it takes over a decade. Some writers write four to five books a year, others take two or three years just to complete one novel. There are writers who self-publish immediately and writers who spend years seeking representation, even long after the advent of indie publishing.
What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter how much time it takes for you to reach your goal. It doesn't matter if it takes you a month or a year to write a first draft. It doesn't matter if you spend three years to bring your manuscript to the best it can be, while your writing buddy finishes in a couple months.
What matters is that you take all the time you need to write the very best work that you can.
When you see other writers speeding past you, don't let it get you down. When it takes much longer than you expected to finish your novel, while your family peers over your shoulder, don't let it bother you.
A writer's journey is not a race. It's not about who gets to the finish line first, or how many times they race around you on the track.
A writer's journey is about one thing: meeting your goals on your time. At your pace. At the time that's right for you.
So next time you feel tempted to rush through a writing stage, take a deep breath and remember to take your time. As long as you keep moving forward, one way or another, you'll meet your goals, too.
Have you ever felt like you were taking too long to finish a writing stage? What did you do to combat it?