The ‘Slow’ Writer’s Dilemma

It’s come to my attention that I am, by certain standards, an extremely slow writer. Better yet, I’m an incredibly slow editor. Which is to say, I write, or I don’t, and then I take a break of at least a couple of months.

And then I start comparing my progress (or lack thereof) to other people, you know, those magical writers out there who seem to always have a book in the post-production phase. Even people who have multiple careers at the same time.

And then I get thinking—is it even worth it, if it’s already been three years since my first published book, and if I keep writing about writing, but never seem to finish, edit and publish anything that’s actually fiction?

Oh, the myriad of ways in which we manage to bring ourselves down.

In the end, it’s just an excuse, albeit a tricky one.

Because, after all, if I’m writing, but I’m not writing four books a year or whatever the norm is these days (and, as a reader, you certainly won’t get any complaints from me if you’re a writer like this!), and I am finishing stories or books or articles or whatever it is that I write, my guess is—still a writer. Only a ‘slow’ one.

I grew up with books by people, most notably one Canadian person, who took years to write these awesome, standalone tomes of wonder. It was only natural to me to think that taking years to write a novel is normal.

Fast forward almost twenty years later, I’m faced with the fact that I don’t write these awesome, research heavy standalone tomes—I write short books in a relaxed series (or two) and I do most of my research in bulk in advance. I also type fast, finishing first drafts in two months, tops, when I’ve got the time.

And then I don’t edit. (Except when I do.)

Instead, I write posts like these, trying to feel a bit better about the fact that, if I publish a book by the end of this year, it’ll be the first one in three years. I have higher hopes for the next three years.

So, if you’re someone who’s a little bit like me (singalong if you wish to)… high five, we’re still writing, and we’ll get to this publishing thing in no time.

I hope.

Photo by Sidik Kurniawan on Unsplash.

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