Last week, the local radio station interviewed me about my writing life. I found this rather amusing because I am 1) a part-time freelancer who still only supplements her income with writing profits and 2) still shopping for a literary agent which means The Novel isn't even a book, just a Word document (filled with hope!) on my hard drive. That said, it was really fun pretending to be an expert about the writing biz! ;P
The entire interview I was worried I'd get that inevitable question that all writers get asked: "What does a typical writing day look for you?" Thankfully that question never came up.
Here's the thing. Whenever I make a goal like "I'm going to write 1000 words on this work in progress every day" it goes really well for the first three days or so and then I kind of peter out. I actually do much better with weekly goals. That way I have the luxury of completing goals when inspiration strikes instead of writing rather uninspired "cardboard-ish" prose every morning because I feel like I should. My completed novel was written by committing to write 1000 words every week. Only in the last two months of that writing project, when I really had momentum, could I churn out 500 words on it 5 times a week.
Slow and steady wins the race, right?
Well, sometimes I fail at the steady part. Sometimes I'm just slow.
I always felt really guilty about being a slow writer. Then I ran into the work of fellow Minnesota Erin Hart, a mystery writer, who calls herself a "molasses-in-January" slow writer.
Maybe this slow writing thing comes from being a Minnesota writer. Maybe the cold weather makes our brains work slower. Or maybe it's just easier to find excuses to be dormant when the world's covered with snow six months out of the year. And after all, it's not that we're not writing, it's just that the words seem to have a round-about way of getting to the page.
I could keep feeling guilty about my putzy writerly ways. Or I could just finally realize I'm never going to be one of those people who can write a novel draft in a month and I can let the words meander in and out of my life as they will. As long as I keep putting the pen to paper on a regular basis I am making progress: one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one chapter at a time.
Are you a slow writer? Or a slow anything?! Have you come to terms with any sort of inconvenient aspect of your personality?