To begin: I absolutely am not trying to throw shade at anyone who writes fast. Everyone’s process is different, and I wish I could write a book in a month or turn out perfectly polished short stories regularly. I wish I could, but the more I write the more I realize that I never will be able to, and that’s okay.
I’ve never been an especially fast writer. When I first started writing “seriously” (I was around twelve, and everything I wrote was a poorly-disguised rip-off of something else.) I set myself a goal--something like 2-3 pages a day. That’s more or less the limit I stick to now, though some days I can’t even make that. (My stories are still rip-offs, by the way. Just better-disguised ones. :))
Keeping a strict schedule is also a sticking point for me. I used to write every day, but not anymore. Most days, yes. Every day, no. Sometimes it just comes down to laziness, but other times I do need space to mull over the plot a little. I’m a pantser, and also super disorganized, so if I don’t keep reminding myself to hit the main points, nothing will happen plot-wise and I’ll be left wondering why I ever decided to write this stupid story in the first place.
Basically, I’m not one of those people who can write a novel in a month, or even two months, without it being a hopeless mess. Which is the point, but half the fun of writing is, at least for me, taking the time to get to know the characters, sink into the setting, and enjoy the story. I can’t do that when I’m worrying about word or page counts.
I used to feel guilty about writing slowly, or about the days where I wasn’t able to write at all. To be honest, I still do. Every time NaNoWriMo rolls around I wonder if maybe this is the year I’ll give it a try. And maybe one year I will. But for now, I’m trying to be happy with the process I have.
Everyone has a different process. Everyone has their own way of doing things, and no one way is objectively better than the others. If you write fast and love it, keep writing fast. If writing slowly works for you, stick with that. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but know your strengths. And enjoy what you have now. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.
Do you write quickly or slowly? What does your process look like?
Picture Credit: X