I’m often amazed by my author friends and acquaintances who seem to write at breakneck speed. Regardless of how many other commitments they might have (family, day job, etc.), their output is objectively impressive. Fortunately for the rest of us, being highly prolific is not a requirement for getting published and finding a readership.
In fact, according to this supercool 2016 infographic, my latest manuscript took the same time to write (2.5 years) as both The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird—two of my all-time favorites. Clearly, I’m in good company.
I’ve mostly made peace with the fact that I’m a fairly slow writer compared to some of my colleagues. In an age of fast-paced content generation, this hasn’t always been easy. That said, I definitely want to avoid “typecasting” myself (i.e. by identifying so strongly as a tortoise than I never allow myself to challenge that identity and really kick things into high gear, productivity-wise).
And that said, I can’t help but think writing speed is at least somewhat hard-wired, depending on the book and/or author in question. Fortunately, whether you’re an unstoppable, high-output word jockey or someone who’s more slow and ponderous about your process, it’s definitely possible for all of us to enjoy the journey of writing and publishing.
So, which are you—tortoise or hare? Or do you consider yourself to be a writing creature somewhere in between the two–like this baby elephant, perhaps–occasionally going in circles, with some not-so-graceful stops and starts thrown into the mix?