Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

“Write Faster!”, Might Be the Worst Advice . . .


So much in our highly materialistic age is bad for us… Slow Writers can be Better Writers

I’m not denying the benefits that have come with mastery of the material realm; it’s just that, due to a certain denial of our higher selves, materialism has also bequeathed some very deadly things

One of the great benefits, for readers and writers, is all things Digital

All, that is, except the modern maxim from the self-professed “gurus” that the more you write and the faster you write it, the more “valuable” you are

There’s a certain blog that has posts from two writers—Anne R. Allen and Ruth Harris.

Their blog recently had this article, Are Slow Writers Doomed to Fail in the Digital Age?well worth reading and pondering; so, I’ll share a few excerpts to help you decide to take that last link (or, share it with writer friends...).

It begins with:

“…back in 2014…the indie superstar gurus were telling writers to grind out ebooks as fast as they could type to take advantage of the ‘Kindle Gold Rush’.

“Three years later, the Kindle Gold Rush is history; but there’s even more pressure to write fast—not only for authors who self-publish, but for traditionally published authors as well.”

Then, this:

“I’m afraid I’m in the tortoise camp myself. My plots morph and change during the writing process and never bear much resemblance to my original outline. That means I spend a lot of time rewriting and reworking.

“Maybe I could write faster if I kept to my outlines, but then I wouldn’t have nearly as much fun writing the books.”

And, a bit later:

“…much of the developed world seems to be engaged in some turbocharged drag race of the soul, hurtling our frenzied selves from cradle to grave, terrified of slowing for even a minute of rose-smelling.”

Then, further on:

“In an an economy where fewer people have steady jobs and many eke out a living with random piecemeal employment, working an absurd number of hours becomes something to be admired.

“In fact, taking care of ourselves has become something of a taboo.”

After engaging in a practice I use quite often (linking to a number of other articles supporting the theme), the author continues with:

“If we’re blogging, networking, sending out newsletters, and churning out books as fast as we can type, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important person in the publishing equation: the reader.”

Then, after much more valuable information, advice, and reasoning, this is said:

“Okay, I’ve learned to compose a little faster than I could a few years ago. I’ve moved from a snail’s pace to that of an arthritic penguin, but I still can’t write much more than 2000 words a day on a WIP, combined with an average of maybe 500-1000 words of nonfic for blogs and social media, another 1000-3000 on email and replying to requests, comments, and questions, plus a few hours editing or proofreading.

“Am I a failure? I don’t feel like one….

“I’m certainly not keeping the publishing industry afloat like those Duck Dynasty guys or the adult coloring book craze, but I have 10 published books, several of which have made bestseller lists. I’ve got several books in translation and audiobooks, and I’m being read all over the world.

“Hey, I even have haters, which might be the real mark of success in today’s snarky Internet culture.”

Well, with an article that has so much good stuff, I have to restrain myself from stepping over the boundary of “fair use”; but, I’ll just share this one last excerpt, ok?

“…remember there are other ways to make money from your books that don’t involve churning out 12 books a year. Go wide, get translations and audiobooks (You can find translators and narrators for no money up front at Bablecube and Audible.) And most of all—live a healthy, balanced life, remembering that you are part of a community, not simply a book-generating machine.”

Yes, I know, if the article is way longer than this blog post, lots of folks may not go read the whole thing…

Well, most of those folks will be missing out on something great

And, because this post was so long, here’s the link to the full article again:

Are Slow Writers Doomed to Fail in the Digital Age?
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2 responses to ““Write Faster!”, Might Be the Worst Advice . . .

  1. Jane Watson April 26, 2017 at 8:40 am

    As a very slow writer I really enjoyed this post and the article you link to about slow writing. I often feel I have failed because I have not churned out 10 books in the last 15 years. Perhaps I should change how I think, lol. It takes all sorts :-)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai April 26, 2017 at 8:43 am

      I nearly dedicated this post to you, Jane — Bless you :-)

      Like

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