Monday, February 17, 2014

The Joy of Slow

by Jemi Fraser

Our world today is Fast. Everything seems to move at lightning speed - including us. I've found this extends to a lot of people going through the journey to publication as well.

But there's a very valid argument for Slow. Especially in the publishing world.

Most writers write because they love it, but few are adverse to making some money along the way. Most writers also want others to meet their characters and love their plots. I get it.

But rushing leads to too many mistakes. Too many regrets.

You don't get a 2nd chance to put out a debut. Make sure it's a book you'll always be proud of. A book that starts the brand you want. A book as clean and polished as you can make it.

Enjoy learning how to revise. How to edit. How to take that story down to the bare bones and build it back up again. Have fun with the slash & burn. Enjoy taking that risk with crit buddies and really listening to their opinions and learning how to share your own. Take your time and study the available paths you might take. Find the joys and the advantages of each but keep an eye out for the downsides too. Learn to deal with rejection until you realize it's not personal and it's often helpful (really!). Find the joy - not just the fleeting fun - in the process. If you hope to make this a career you need to learn to love it all.

There truly is joy in the journey, and the journey never ends. Don't rush. Savor. Be a kid again and play with your words, find the ways they flow. Learn from your mistakes and make new ones. Learn again.

The publication journey is kind of like the pursuit of education. Dropping out of school at 15 so you can work at a job will certainly give you more money in the short term. But, by staying in school your chances are much better that you'll find a job that pays you more. A lot more. Enough to make up for those early years and then some.

Is slow a guarantee for success? No.

Are there exceptions out there? Of course.

Are you willing to take the chance?

Jemi Fraser is an aspiring author of contemporary romance. She blogs (today about her personal slow journey) and tweets while searching for those HEAs.

19 comments:

Old Kitty said...

One of my bestest pal's favourite saying is "marry in haste, repent at leisure"! I also think the journey to whatever goal you aim for not only builds character but enables you to reflect and to really focus on all the big questions of your long term future.

Thanks for such a thoughtful post, Jemi! Take care
x

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's right - take the time to do it right the first time.

JeffO said...

"Are you willing to take the chance?"

Oh, yeah.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Since self-publishing is so easy now, many authors do rush. You can't ever get back that first book though.

Jemi Fraser said...

Old Kitty - thank you!

Alex - it's taking me a long time, but I'll get there eventually :)

Jeff - you're definitely on the right track!

Diane - I think that's a big factor too!

Stephen Tremp said...

I look at the end of the day and the end of the week and am thankful for whatever progress I made. Might be a lot, sometimes not so much. But something is always better than nothing.

SC Author said...

I needed this! I've been feeling cruddy about only revising 10 pages a day, and I've been trying to speed it up :/

Jemi Fraser said...

Stephen - well said! And some weeks are much better than others!

SC - glad I could help! I think our lives and our learning dictate our pace - and no pace is wrong!

Nas said...

Great points Jemi.

DEZMOND said...

In my translating career I've translated a book by a Chinese writer who took 30 years to write it :) And he is one of the possible Nobel Award candidates :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks Nas! :)

Dezzy - wow!!! That's pretty incredible ... but I hope I'm a little faster than him! :)

Medeia Sharif said...

Wonderful post. During my unpublished days I wrote in various lengths, styles, and genres. It was great playing around and I learned a lot until I fell in love with YA and MG.

Jemi Fraser said...

Medeia - thank you :) For me that playing around and experimenting is the very best way to learn!

M. J. Joachim said...

I couldn't agree more. Taking your time to produce the perfect manuscript before publication makes all the difference. Putting your heart and soul in your writing often makes the difference between an okay book and a phenomenal story.

Jemi Fraser said...

MJ - agreed - taking that extra time can be well worth it! :)

Crystal Collier said...

Awesome. I'm totally a fan of this approach. I finished my first novella 21 years ago and my debut novel just came out. I still wonder if I was ready for the leap.

Jemi Fraser said...

Crystal - love it!!! I don't know if I'll ever be sure about the leap - but I think I'll eventually take it! :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wise words, Jemi. I've stopped worrying about running out of time or keeping up with someone else and decided to try to love the work, even when it's really hard.

Jemi Fraser said...

Tricia - and that sounds about perfect to me!! :)