Posted in response to someone else on the KDP forum: “You wrote a 24,000 word book in three days. And you did this three times! They can’t be very good.”
My response (stuck in Mod Hell): “Dean Wesley Smith recently wrote a 70k novel in 10 days. http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=8935 I bet it’s not any good either. ”
I’m beginning to think that those who are so vocal about fast writing = crap must all:
- Be super slow writers.
- Be spending too much time doing research, organizing, goofing off, agonizing over word choices, etc.
- Have extremely limited time in which to write due to day job/family/other responsibilities.
I honestly thought, before this month, that the reason I write “quickly” is because I don’t have a 9-5 out-of-the-house job or small children. Not having either does tend to free up one’s time, yet I do have plenty of other things to take care of that replace them.
There’s home schooling, animal tending, household chores, errands, freelance work, and my part-time, out-of-the-house job. Plus sleeping, eating, feeding my Netflix addiction, socializing…my days are pretty full.
I’ve only recently begun to get over feeling like a huge failure because I wasn’t writing daily and totting up 5-10k words each day. Which, I should note, was about average for me before we decided to begin home schooling our daughter and before my part-time job.
For three months back in 2010, I did have a full-time job that kept me out of the house 58-70 hours per week. Practically no writing occurred, because I also had a back injury to deal with, and would come home completely exhausted and in pain.
So I do have some idea how a full-time job/health issues can negatively affect one’s ability and time to get any writing done.
However, at the beginning of May, I started “retraining” myself to write between “life stuff”. A few minutes here, a half hour there, and an hour after everything’s settled down near the end of the day, before I fire up Netflix.
You’d be amazed at how quickly the words add up, writing like that.
|Date||Actual Words Written|
In 18 days, only 14 of which I managed to write on, I’ve already written over 29k words. That’s not quite 2,100 words per day, or just about 2 hours’ worth of work per day. It does NOT include the 1.5 hours I spent doing some research for one story, which was spread out over 3-4 days.
And I assure you, while the projects I’m working on may not be to everyone’s reading tastes, the writing itself isn’t “crap”. It may not be pristinely perfect prose, but it’s well-written enough that no reader should have any trouble comprehending it, or be dragged out of their suspension of disbelief due to glaring technical errors.
I used to write far more quickly, when I had a solid 6 or more hours per day without constant “life stuff” going on.
The funny thing is, I see absolutely no reason why I can’t average 4-5k words per day, working 3-4 days a week, WITH all the “life stuff” going on. And that would still be considered “too fast, must be crap” by some people.
Let me ask this: Have you had any trouble reading this blog post?
It took me about 15 minutes to write, thus far.
For some, yes, writing fast is going to equal crap, especially if the writer is new. Those with a lot of words under their belt also have had a lot of PRACTICE, and on the whole, probably aren’t constantly second guessing the technical aspects of their writing. Not contending with that greatly speeds up the writing process.
I mean, COME ON! I’ve only been “Serious Writer” for a few months shy of 6 years now, and a “steady” writer for roughly 7 years. I’ve written flash fiction, short shorts, short stories, novelettes, novellas, and novels during that time. I have somewhere between 130-200 writing projects in progress or waiting in various stages of completion, adding up to well over FOUR MILLION WORDS written in total.
That doesn’t even include writing for the various blogs I have/had over the years, which would likely add another 500k-1 million words to my overall total. It doesn’t include posting on forums or correspondence writing (and I promise those two items likely come to at least another 1 million words written over the past 5-6 years).
I’m nearing 800 words on this post, with about 30 minutes spent writing. It’s a groove thang!
“Fast writing equals crap” needs to die. While it may be true for some writers, it’s not true for ALL writers.
Those of us who are capable of producing a lot of words on a regular basis can do it because we’ve practiced a lot, and do what’s necessary to make the most of our writing time.
That’s all there is to it.