Thursday, November 12, 2009

Do you rush your writing?

Do you speed through your first draft? I use to think the faster I can get this done, the faster my dream will come true. So I must write fast. I reasoned that all published authors must write that way too.



Fast(no pun intended)forward to the here and now. I realize that FAST is definitely good for some things like finishing my exercising--fast. But not good for other things like writing. Writing must be done at its own speed. It must be done like good food is eaten--slowly. To taste good wine, I want to savor it. To make my writing the kind of writing that I want my readers to savor, it must be done with the utmost care.


I want to choose my words carefully. I want to pick my setting with care. I want my verbs to be vivid. I want my book to be read. By others. That they bought at a bookstore. With my name on the spine.

How about you? :)

Oh and today is my anniversary. HE BETTER BE PLANNING ON DINNER--OUT TOMORROW NIGHT. That's all I can say about the matter. I think he knows that too. I've left hints for the past month. In passing conversation, "Gene, you remember the last time we went to the Olive Garden?" Over the phone, "I just saw the funniest Olive Garden commercial." I mean, how funny can an Olive Garden commercial be, anyway? So I think he gets it! :)


  1. You know, we actually drove past an Olive Garden the other day...:) Happy Anniversary! I agree, writing must be done with care, although sometimes the first draft of something will come out rather quickly. But then the revisions take time. Blessings!

  2. Karen, agreed. The first draft can come fast, but not for me. I want my first draft to be close to the finished product. Thanks for the anniversary wish. :)

  3. Happy Anniversary! :) The Olive Garden was my favorite place to wait tables. MMMM breadsticks. :)

    I used to write in short bursts, then often not writing for a couple of days or even week at a time. Then I realized that steady is what I go for. Nano is teaching me a lot about my writing and I've found that the word count goal for each day isn't so bad, as long as I write steadily.

  4. Thanks Kristi! MMM breadsticks is right. YEAH!

    I have really slowed my writing down to the point that my first draft will look like a second or even a third draft. On my two writing days, I get more words in than I use to get done in two weeks. :)

  5. I love Olive Garden...Hmmm, shrimp capriesse!

    Happy Anniversary Robyn!

    Writing should be savored, I like that analogy. I have never been too inclined for speed. NaNo is teaching me to make word count goals that fit me and stick to them. That is what I love.

  6. No fair to NaNoers!!! That said, my first drafts are like second drafts because I edit constantly as I write. The reason I am doing NaNo is to get myself to shut that editor up at least at bit so that I make forward progress faster. There is a fine balance between disciplining yourself to write and forcing yourself. I'm learning a lot about the process by trying NaNo. After I make it through the month, I will see what's usable and decide if I should ever do it again. But you are right that everyone needs to find the process that is best for them. :)

  7. Happy Anniversary! And I think writing must go at its own pace. I've also decided that the more time I spend on a scene the better it is, so I allow myself as much time as I need.

  8. Tamika, thanks for the anniversary wish. I love to learn how to stick to me goals too. I'm glad Nano is teaching you that. Every writer needs to learn that. Hmmm, I feel a post coming on. :)

  9. Tricia, nana nana nana! :) I think every writer SHOULD do what works for them. Believe me. There is SO much info out there. I figure something's gotta work for me. I like editing as I go too. But I don't want to stop doing it. I need to do it. I just figured that out too. :)

  10. Ah, dear Robyn . . . happy anniversary!!

    Here's my thing with the rough draft - 30 days max, 50,000 words. It's my own mini NaNo. Okay, sometimes I take more than 30 days.

    My main point: if I don't set a deadline for actually finishing the rough draft, I've been known to procrastinate! Yes, the horrors. Scott procrastinates. Heck, the dust bunnies can tell you about the things I procrastinate about. Seriously.

    For me, the rough draft is getting the basic idea of the story down from beginning to end. The first draft is the matter of fleshing out the characters, developing them more deeply, and tightening things up a bit. The second draft is . . .well, just part of the process.

    I do agree that we shouldn't - hey, I believe I blogged about a lot of this on my blog, people really should hop over there to check it out - rush the writing. We need to take deep breaths, and plod merrily along, knowing our goal, but not racing toward it at break-neck speed only to realize the tortise beat us to the finish line.

    Great post. I hope your husband got your not so subtle hints.

  11. Susan, I appreciate the anniversary wish. It will be good to enjoy a meal I didn't cook. YAY!

    Writing is a strange animal. What works for some doesn't work for all. But I'm with you on this. The slower I go, the better I write. :)

  12. SCOTT!!!! Did I detect an advertisement in your comment? HMPH! I'll be right over. And were you buttering me up with the happy anniversary? :) Thanks friend. I bet he did get my NOT SO SUBTLE HINTS. How could he not? :)

    I have to take my sweet time about this. I wanna get it right the first hundredth time! *grin*

  13. My first drafts are as fast as I can stand.
    Revisions = much slower. And many more times.
    I love that sense of completion of knowing the first draft is done, even if so much of it needs to change!

  14. PJ, I use to feel like that too. But now, for me at least, I need to slow them down. I want to get as much done, as right as I can, in the first one.

    I like knowing when I start on revisions that I have already revised in a way, because I took the time I needed while writing the first one. :)

  15. I couldn't agree more with your first paragraph. You want to hurry up and get finished because everything else in publishing moves so slowly.

    Happy Anniversary.

  16. I was writing so fast I forgot to say:


  17. Happy Anniversary! I love the hints you've been giving your hubby. LoL!

    And, yeah, I'm with you on the speed thing, you can write your manuscript fast, but then you miss out on the great taste of your first draft (which in my opinion, tastes the best!)... plus you get killed on revisions because you have to go over it twice as much...if not more to fix things.

  18. Patti, You are right about that. It move so slow!! :)

  19. Tricia, were you Nanoing your comment? :) Thanks so much my dear blogging friend. :)

  20. Linda, thanks for the anniversary wishes. Yep! He better take me to my PLACE! :)

    I couldn't have said it better. I don't want to drown in revisions. Nor do I want to miss the flavors. Thanks my pal! :)

  21. Robyn, that's so funny about the hints for Olive Garden! Happy Anniversary!

    I agree that people should write at the speed that feels comfortable. NaNo or not, once I get into writing something I'm passionate about, I usually get a first draft done quickly. This works for me but it's different with every manuscript. I've taken as long as a year to write a manuscript and written one in as short as 10 days. It's definitely what works best for each individual!

  22. BJ, thanks friend. I betta be goin to the Olive Garden. :)

  23. Cindy thank you for the happy anniversary wish my pal. I feel REAL confident that I'll be dining out tomorrow night. At the Olive Garden!! :)

    And you're right. It is different each time we write. Because every MS has many different needs. :)

  24. Yes, the slow path, I think, more often leads to a more expansive view. I cranked out a first draft of a novel in six weeks but then took a year and half to revise it. I labored over every sentence, every word and got it into shape for submission. It's like running a marathon, you might be excited at the beginning of the race and take off fast but if you don't slow down there's a good chance you're going to crash and burn.

  25. Paul, truer words were never spoken. And I don't want to crash and burn. I want to sail with the wind. :)

  26. Happy Anniversary, you two!

    we have to all
    find our own pace.

    and each book
    unfolds as it chooses...
    some fast, some slowly.

    just keep the fingers engaged!

  27. Chuck, thanks for the wonderful anniversary wishes. Keep the fingers engaged. I plan on it. :)

  28. Great point about writing at your own pace. I've often though, "I need to get this written fast," pretending that a deadline like the pro's have will help me complete a project. It doesn't. What ends up happening is a lot of rewriting when the first draft is finished because I rushed the idea.

  29. Congrats on the anniversary!

    No, I don't rush my writing. Pointless when it'll just make me have to revise more at the end.

  30. (slightly belated)CONGRATULATIONS on your anniversary! Hope your man spoilt you rotten!! :)

    As for writing, I'm a painfully slow starter but as I get into the story I begin to write faster.

  31. Angie,thanks for the congrats. Pointless is right. Though I use to think I HAD to. I'm so glad I realized I can't. I need my first draft to be as good as possible. That way, revisions go so much easier. :)

  32. Ann, Slightly belated congrats mean the same to me. Thank you my friend. He did spoil me actually. And he knew to. Our beloved cat passed away on our anniversary.

    I have to s-l-o-w it down. I don't want my first draft to be so bad that I have to write from scratch. That has happened. It's how I learned to slow down. :)

  33. My daughter tells me I write too fast. That I should slow down. I think she says that because I stress out because I feel like I have to write a lot. However, I do believe in getting the right words down and making the plot zing, the characters live and breathe and be someone we care a lot about, and to create vivid pictures. I have to do this in the editing. Which is what I should be doing right now. Okay, I'm getting off the blogs and getting down to work. :)

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