::Writing:: It takes time to learn: time is priceless

On November 17, 2010 by Aimee

I’m working on my 6th novel right now. That means I’ll have written somewhere around 600,000 words in novels alone (probably more as I have a number of unfinished ones and other writing I do). That all happened in a year and a half, which to some seems like a looong time. It is and … it isn’t.

Let me explain.

When I wrote my 1st novel, I wanted to get it out to potential agents as fast as I could.
With my 2nd, I wanted to go faster.
With my 3rd, I went even faster.
With my 4th (almost 1 year after the 1st), I figured something out.
WIth my 5th, my aha! moment with the 4th came a lot easier.
With my 6th, I’m prepared to take it way slow.

What’s my lesson? What did I figure out?

What everyone already says … let your novels sit for a while.

Oh, it’s EASY to say and to read that so many people say it … but so very much harder to actually do. It’s especially difficult when you are in love with your characters as much as they love that you’ve created them.

When you’re in the moment, fast is the only speed.

When you can finally take a step back, seeing that time is a priceless commodity is even more valuable.

Some get to this point way faster that me … I’m naturally a Type ‘A’, go-go-go and get ‘er done kind of girl.

Writing was no different until I wrote Hide an Seek and deliberately decided to wait to submit it until i’d written another novel. Then I wrote that one and deliberately told myself I’d wait to submit it until I’d written yet another.

I’m in that yet another novel phase right now and I am so happy I’ve waited.

It’s not that my writing has gotten any better per se.
It’s not that my stories have morphed or changed.
It’s not that I thought waiting was a good thing (I already admitted I’m Type A)

It’s that time really does bring clarity.

That’s why I rewrote a novel I wrote a year ago…. I could see the trees and the forest, so to speak.

When you’re just beginning, there is excitement over the story, a need to finish and push it because everyone will love it. So you pour your heart and soul into it and hope others see it the same way as you only to get rejected. Some will quit at that point. Others will try again. I now believe that trying again is part of the process.

Some believe excitement over that one story will wane … I believe that if you can get excited over a story a year later (or even 6 months later) then that means it has longevity … purpose … and identity of its own.

Writing is a very personal ‘sport’, right?

We are the creators and we want to share our products.
We are hurt when others disagree with our thoughts on our products.

When we can take a step back from those products, we can look at it more as consumer than just creator … and that takes time.

Time won’t hurt a good story … it will only make it better.
Time won’t take away your chance to hit it big … it will teach you the patience necessary to getting you to that point.
Time doesn’t mean you’re slower than someone else … it means you value it as part of your writing process.

I write really fast. I can finish 100k words in less than a month. And I do … regularly.

I now know though that time is what will set me apart from other writers … whether I’m published or not … because time is what it takes to teach you whether you love to write for you or you love the IDEA of writing and can kick out a few words (or a few hundred thousand) every once in a while.

Writing is a part of my life and always will be and it’s taken time to really feel that deep down.

I’m there. I have peace with the writing and publishing ‘model’ not matter what it is, because I write for me.

And you? Have you found that ‘zen’ moment, that aha! when it comes to writing or are you still chasing down every possible opportunity and stressing out over whether you get your novel query in before the other 15,000 that will write theirs this year alone?