Sunday, March 6, 2011

Things I Love to Hear Other Writers Say....

Now, understand...I don't put myself in Norm's class. Far from it. I can't imagine EVER being even close to him as a storyteller.

But I still have to say I love it, feel very reassured when I hear writers talking about how they don't write very fast. This is something I've come to understand better about myself in the last few years. A humbling experience, indeed.

Early on - after my first "publication" - I thought I was king. The man. "Prolific Writer" was what I wanted to call myself. And, spurred on by that first "sale", I wrote stories at the frenzied pace of squirrel with ADHD on crack.

And then I "placed" them (because no one bought them. There's a reason for that, of course) all over the place. Thought I was "the man". A King. "Prolific Writer".

Then I got the contributor copies. Saw how bad these "magazines" were. How bad the other stories were. And then realized how bad MY stories were.

So the slowing down began.

And I continue to slow down today.

But this is the best thing for me. I'm a full-time teacher, husband, and dad. I write a little bit every single day, and besides...on the days I've tried to go on five hour writing binges, I'm still only able to write for two hours. I just get so tired. And I figure if I try to push past that and write tired...

I'm just gonna write crap.

Now, for the New York pitch I actually wrote an outline and synopsis. If someone runs with that project, it'll write much faster because of that. But my current novel has been in progress for over a year. And no end is in sight so far.

But you know what?

I like it that way. And I wonder. I've read so many novels these past few years, (mostly horror), that read as if the author took about a month and half to draft, write, and redraft. Even four months seems too fast, for me.

Of course, I better not quit my day job. Because then things would change. I'd have to be faster. But then, I'm thinking more and more that being slow is a good thing. It thwarts my impatience. Makes me really THINK and write well. If I were faster?

Then my impatience would run unchecked. And I don't know about much, but I do know this: when people read my work, I want them to see the blood, sweat and tears it took to write it. I want them to sense the soul I took forever to imbue it with. I want them to know that I've written with care and joy and great passion.

So being slow?

Turning out to be more and more of a good thing....

American Frankenstein: A Man's Got To Know His Limitations: "I've often wished I was a faster writer. Oh, sometimes I have been. One of my best writing memories is finishing my first novel in a one-da..."