An Unashamed Tortoise: Why ‘Slow’ Doesn’t Equal Failure

I am pretty sure I haven’t mentioned this in recent posts, but I am attempting NaNoWriMo this month. For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Each November a huge group of writers and hopeful-writers gather and rather crazily attempt to write 50,000 word novels in that month, or roughly 1,667 words a day. Despite being swamped as always, I wanted to tackle this this month. I planned to use this to finish my already in progress novel, about 11k in so far.

Rewind to yesterday afternoon and picture me, staring at a blank Scrivener doc, feeling utterly useless. Why won’t the words come out? Why can’t I write a thousand words easily like ‘everyone else’? How will I ever be an author if I can’t write as fast I should? I stink.

At about 6 o’clock last night, after spending precious hours agonizing over the few hundred words I managed to write, I tweeted something along the lines of:
“This is ridiculous. I’m sorry, but I just can’t write this many words in a day. I don’t think I can do NaNo.”

In response, I got about 5 people telling me to keep trying, to let go of my Inner Editor, all that sort of stuff. The people who told me this stuff meant it in a great and encouraging way, and they’re lovely for helping me that way. But it seemed to drive a wedge between me and seemingly the rest of the writing world. On one side is me, clinging to my triple digit word counts, and on the other is all of the others, the ones who succeed, the ones who can sometimes write 12,000 freaking words in a day. It’s pretty hard not to feel like a failure thinking of someone writing thousands of words a day and you still struggling.

But after quite a bit of introspection, I discovered what I knew all along. I’m not like that. I can’t write 1,667 words a day. I can’t write 1,000 words in a day, either, unless I’m feeling particularly inspired. And why should I be expected to? Why does this feel wrong, my inability to write thousands of words on whim? It’s just me.

Part of the reason I love to write so much is because I believe communication is beautiful. That it’s one of the greatest gifts we have as humanity, and writing allows me to speak to people without ever meeting them or actually saying a word. I am like this in person, too. Words are so, so powerful, so I take extra care to make sure the ones I write and the ones I say are empowering. This means, sometimes, that I am slow to speak. It also means that I can’t sit down and write randomly. I can’t write the first words that pop into my head, I have to think them through. Call that my Inner Editor if you’d like, but I call it me. It’s just who I am, someone who contemplates things.

People who can write thousands of words in a day are amazing, and in no way do I mean that they aren’t as good as me. Oh gosh, no. I hope you don’t get that idea.  I admire those people from the bottom of my heart. Their devotion to their stories is unbelievable, and their energy is contagious.

But I thought it would be nice to write a post about the other people, the ones who agonize over every word and come out immensely proud of that paragraph or even page. Remember that race between the super slow tortoise and the sprinting hare? The tortoise won. Why? Because the hare (NaNo-er)  got tired and had to take a nap (really long revisions) while the tortoise continued slowly walking by (with his measly word counts but very limited revisions) and won. But ‘winning’ isn’t really the point here. Both finish eventually, because each are totally legitamate ‘competitors’. To me, finishing in a month isn’t as important as finishing with a good product.

I’m still registered with NaNo, but I’m shrugging off the pressure. My daily goal is now 833 words a day, half of the NaNo goal, which is good for me. And I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise. We *technically* aren’t supposed to worry about word counts, anyway.

So there you have it, all. Remember that slow writing is never unequal to fast writing. Just write, okay? We shouldn’t really care that some people write slower than others. That’s all.

Love and writing luck to everyone!

Olivia

“After that, Hare always reminded himself, “Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!”

~Aesop’s Fables, The Tortoise and the Hare

**EDIT: Thanks SO much to WordPress for making this a Featured Post, and to everyone finding my blog through that. I am appreciative of every single one of you- thank you for the encouragement, the stories, the NaNo discussion, everything! You make this even more joyful than it usually is. It’s a beautiful thing, when I write something I’m passionate about and people feel better about themselves after reading! I’m trying to respond to every comment, so keep ‘em coming! ;) Much love to all of you, Olivia.**

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134 responses to “An Unashamed Tortoise: Why ‘Slow’ Doesn’t Equal Failure

  1. Pingback: NaNo ’12 Day 1 | Side Quest Publications

  2. Sarah

    Yay for the contemplative people! I am totally the same way. I feel a lot better when I sit down and think things through. I by no means feel I have to have a PERFECT first draft, but I want to at least get my ideas on the page in the most coherent way possible, and for me that takes a lot of thought.

  3. Pingback: Nano Day 2- part 2 -Turtles | Chillers And Thrillers

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  5. I totes agree! #givingupproperlanguageforslang

    It’s the end result that matters and I’m cheering for you! ^.^

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  7. I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short ~Blaise Pascal, Lettres Provinciales (1656-1657)

    Saying more using fewer words is s good goal, I think.

  8. liamodell1

    Great post! I prefer writing in long, rather than short, periods. Great views and opinions! :) Congratulations on being FP! :) Oh, and if you want to add me as a buddy it’s LifeofaThinker. :)

  9. katrinamillen

    I love they way you described hy you love communication!!! Best of luck with your writing, your right you should be doing something you enjoy without pressure, you will get the best result that way :)

  10. I love this! I’m not a super fast writer, either – especially when compared with some of my friends, who can regularly do 2,000 or 3,000 (or more!) words a day. It’s easy to feel slow and a little stupid when comparing. (For me, at least.) It’s one of the reasons I’m always conveniently busy in November. And when I do have a huge writing day, I usually have nothing for a day or two after that, as if I’ve used up all my creativity. But you know what? That’s how the process goes, and 833 words a day is still a TON – and it’s 833 more words than all those people who say they want to write a book someday and never get around to it. That said, I think you can work your way up to writing faster with practice IF you want to change your process. I’ve been working on that, and although I have to talk myself through it, it does work. And if you don’t want to change, well, just think of all the revisions people are going to be doing in December, January, February, and probably long after that.

  11. Yes! I agree. I have trouble writing over a thousand of words at once, unless I’m word-vomiting, but I’m doing NaNoWriMo for a novel in progress as well and I can’t just spit out whatever I feel like if I’m going to be consistent. I have two friends doing NaNoWriMo and I keep seeing their facebook posts saying “I’ve written 12k (or some other big number)!” I always have a sinking feeling when I see it because I can’t do that, especially not when I’m swamped with papers, exams, and the like. But I feel a lot better reading your post :)

    Thanks for writing this, and good luck with your novel.

    • I am so, so glad you feel encouraged. My whole point of writing the post was to get this off my chest, and at the same time encourage people and let them know that slow isn’t bad. Thanks for commenting, and good luck with your writing as well!
      Olivia

  12. Yeah, I can totally relate to this post. My goal is 1,000 words per day, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to complete a manuscript in two months or so.

    Good luck with your writing, and keep plugging away at it!

  13. You know what? I can’t get 1667 words a day, on average. In fact, I’m lucky to get a 1000, which in my novel is usually how long a single chapte is. And how many chapters am I getting done a day? One. I probably won’t finish 50k words by November 30th. But the point is, I’m making an attempt, and that’s what counts.
    Good luck to you.

  14. Freaking fantastic post! This is the first year since 2005 that I haven’t participated in NaNo, and part of it is that I know I can’t give that commitment to it. And I know that the super hare in me can do it… but this year? This year is a tortoise year, and I appreciate your acknowledgement of the importance of that kind of race, too!

    Good luck! (And? 833 words a day is *nothing* to scoff at. Keep at it!)

  15. Great post. NaNo is a great thing in theory, to encourage making the commitment to write. But as with any other regimen, when you fail to meet the daily requirement, then it invites all sort of obsessive introspection that’s there’s something flawed with your process or your talent or skill, and that just invites further procrastination and stress.

    Word counts or page counts work as an incentive or definitive means of marking progress for some, but the real benchmark is that you should walk away from a writing session feeling a) satisfied with what you’ve done, no matter how ‘little’ or ‘much’ that was; and b) anxious to get back to it the next chance you have to sit down. If you haven’t signed a contract that has a very specific deadline, there’s no need to be doing MATH to figure out how much you need to WRITE. Be your own person, work at your own pace, relish what you do and how you do it.

  16. I am actually a bit like you. I agonize over every word before I write it down, which is why I am doing NaNo. I had this great idea for a novel a few weeks ago and despite working on it every day I hadn’t actually produced a single sentence of substance. I was busy planning and note taking and contemplating to actually get the words out. With NaNo, I’m at least getting the words down. As terrifying as it is to let my inner editor take a long nap, I’m at least getting the words down and plotting the novel. And sure, come December, I’m probably going to cut out half those words and do loads of revisions. One thing I do know, that the minute the writing becomes a pressure and I’m not enjoying hanging out with my characters anymore I will know that that’s the time to stop. In the meantime I’m really enjoying seeing how they are developing and going off and doing things that I had never planned for them.
    And by the way 833 words a day is not to be sneezed at. When I’m not doing NaNo, I sometimes struggle to get that done in a week.

  17. Hi Olivia, Good luck with finishing up your novel. Does it have a name?

  18. Great post! Just letting you know that you’re not alone in the staring at the blank doc — or computer screen — part. Don’t you just sometimes wish that by staring hard enough and long enough, the words will magically appear? :)
    Don’t be too hard on your Inner Editor. Some of my friends call me Grammar Girl. I have the tendency to read and reread my work several times before I post or submit them… and that makes me slow, too. But that’s who I am. That’s the kind of writer that I am.
    Embrace your individuality as a person and as a writer. :-)
    Best of luck!
    -B-

  19. Fantastic post, I can really relate to the painstaking amount of time that it takes to string together sentences which are aestetically artful and meaninful- it is a task which should be met with a measure of enjoyment, so if that means that it takes a while to complete—all the more time to enjoy your craft! Good luck on your writings:)

  20. Hi! I’m new to your blog, but I had to comment to say how beautiful this post is. I loved it so much and, as someone who has been suffering from writer’s block for a bit over a year (painful, painful, painful), I found your words meaningful and inspirational. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Hi there! I’m so happy this made you feel a little better. I know how terrible writer’s block can be, and I am so very sorry you’ve had it for so long! I’m not very experienced, but I suggest taking a break. Maybe go on a trip, take pictures, draw, learn a language, get inspired! Find something beautiful and write about it, even if it’s something silly. Everything will get easier once you start!
      Best of luck to you! :)
      Olivia

  21. Pingback: An Unashamed Tortoise: Why ‘Slow’ Doesn’t Equal Failure « myfourgirlssoapsandmore's Blog

  22. Good stuff. Someone once told me, “I have to read everything you write. Usually, I breeze through a writing, catching words here and there and get the basic idea. Your words all have purpose. I LIKE it.” It’s not the quantity, but the quality. Blessings and best wishes to you.

  23. Writing a novel is like running a marathon, the reward is in completing it. Only a few people care about how fast they do it, so just work at your own pace. I only heard about NaNoWriMo earlier this year and had no idea how big an event it was. Maybe I’ll participate at some point in the future, but for right now, my writing style is the exact opposite of a NaNoWriMo sprint. I write at a jogging pace. I wrote a book called “It Takes 15 Minutes to Change Your Life,” that I wrote in 15 minutes a day, over 387 days. I think most people can schedule 15 minutes out of every day rather than one month out of their year, but that’s just my opinion. Congratulations on the FP!

  24. jamescsmartinez

    Great wisdom… that’s why I write poems.

  25. I agree completely. The quality with which something is written is much more important than speed. If I were participating in NaNo, I would be much like you. Whether the story is written rapidly, then extensively edited, or slowly, with care, the important thing is to turn out something you can be proud of.

  26. You are not alone in the struggle to write 50,000 words in a month.Its good kick start though. Good luck.

  27. Well I agree, good compositions are always better than rushed ones. You have a point, and keep it up!

  28. Yes! It has very little to do with how you get there, only that you’re going. And, continuing with your race analogy, if you’re pushing past your optimal pace the whole way, it’s not likely that you’ll make it to the finish line (or want to race again once it’s over). I’m sure NaNoWriMo pushes some people in a great way, but I’m afraid it also burns others out and makes them feel “less than” for not reaching that final word count. And that’s a shame. Because we’ve all got our own pace, our own style. It takes confidence to know what yours is and use it to your advantage. Thanks for writing this post–it’s a welcome reminder to work at beating your your own time, not someone else’s.

  29. Thank you for laying this out there like that. I tend to be a “hare” in everything I do, and I sometimes get impatient with people who are wired differently than I am. It’s good to be reminded that we are all just fine the way we are, tortoise, hare, or somewhere in between. <3

  30. Thanks for this. I came across NaNo for the first time this year and thought – that’s a good idea. Then I realised – like you- that I actually slowly plod at writing – but that what I do write isn’t bad, really. I love playing with words and painting pictures with them, and I find that difficult at speed. Your blog makes me feel I am not alone.

  31. So lovely to find this blog … I sometimes spend days waiting for the right word to come. I am in total awe of NaNo writers – but i will never be one!

  32. Olivia, I am so impressed! I remember a friend telling me about the NaNoWriMo, and I will definitely post this his way, cause he actually has difficulties writing this many words, too.
    What really struck me was this:
    “Words are so, so powerful, so I take extra care to make sure the ones I write and the ones I say are empowering. This means, sometimes, that I am slow to speak.”
    I really marvel at that, and I wish I could be like that, thinking every time before I speak. I find myself babbling on and on without even saying anything. Do you have advice as how to get better at this? Sometimes I feel that if I am not fast enouhg to reply, people will think I am stupid or I will be out of conversation for the rest of the evening/day/ … It’s so hard for me …

    • Hi there! I feel totally unqualified to answer this question, but I’ll try anyway!
      You should know that I am most certainly not perfect. It’s taken me my entire life to train myself to think before I speak. Do your best at thinking through what you’re going to say before you say it whenever you can, but don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. I think writers tend to have this problem a lot- words aren’t a struggle. We don’t have to fight to string words into sentences like some do, so it seems our words come out unconciously. It just takes practice.
      I totally understand that sometimes you feel silly, or are worried about seeming weird, when you take a while to speak. Don’t worry about it. People will soon enough recognize that you aren’t gazing into space, you’re organizing your thoughts in a calm fashion. And they’ll come to appreciate that, just as you will.
      Best of luck!
      Olivia

  33. Thank you so much! Your post really helped to take the pressure off. When I started blogging, I had the (rather unrealistic) idea that I would post something insightful at least once a week. Unfortunately, the required inspiration has not been quite that regular. When I do feel inspired to write, it takes me ages because I’m a perfectionist.
    Another Unashamed Tortoise

  34. riverstwilight

    I’ve been attempting NaNoWriMo every year for most of a decade. Most years, I have written one page and given up because I missed a day or had a string of days with 300-500 words total and could not possibly catch up.

    I think it’s a great idea to write a rough draft without over thinking it. After all, that is what I was taught in high school: make stuff up, edit it later. I think it’s an even better idea to spend a month developing a daily creative writing habit. However, you are absolutely right that some of us are bogged down by a word count goal.

    For me, if I cannot finish my goal, there is no point trying. I failed the first week when I missed that single day or found I had only 500 words at the end of a couple of days. I couldn’t catch up, so why bother?

    This year, my only goal is to write every day. If I write a single sentence it counts. I am up to ten pages already. My worst day was better than my best NaNoWriMo attempt from previous years. I will probably fail at completing a novel, but I will succeed at writing more than I ever thought I could finish.

    With a head of steam like that built up, I can finish a novel in less than a decade, even if I do have to take a day off to mourn a significant anniversary or to deal with real life once in a while, even if I have days when I hammer out a single page or less. Just write every day possible and the work will get done.

    Best NaNoWriMo advice I ever got: enjoy yourself! Have fun with it! If you aren’t having a great time, you are doing it wrong. (Wish someone had told me that ten years ago!)

  35. I did Nano last year. I wrote my 50k words. It was absolute rubbish. It has taken me a year to knock some shape into it and the story still isn’t finished and isn’t much bigger. Not sure that all that effort was worth the result actually.
    “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.”
    Oscar Wilde

  36. Great, disarmingly encouraging blog. Thoroughly understand what you mean. I’m definitely a tortoise, although surf-blogging has helped this tortoise get more bursts of pace. Good luck & happy writing whatever form it takes! = )

  37. Just think of novel writing like a cycling..forget about who is cycling beside you if other person doesn’t care to acknowledge you. Just write/cycle at your own pace. :D As you can see, I must be pretty slow..I pump out 1-2 posts per month.

  38. I’m not exactly what you might call slow…my actions usually go at a speed my mind can not keep track with and my brother got all the slow-speed genes inherited in my family…
    But: faster acting than thinking does often not proof to be a great thing…
    I can only recommend to read Sten Nadolny’s “The Discovery of Slowness” – a great read and mind opening novell about speed.

  39. Exactly how i role! A stuggle, but, As long as you get where you’re going. good luck!

  40. Very true. Life’s like a Marathon, its not about how fast you can sprint in the beginning. Is about being able to last through and complete the race. I’m sure you can do it. =)

    And I believe, Novels that you put thoughts and effort in writing connects with people more.

  41. Hey Olivia, really great post and so inspiring! I would love to re-post on my blog (with link back) at theblogbabe.com. It’s a pretty new blog but I’m looking for good stuff to share, please let me know if that’s okay!

    Thanks!
    Allison

  42. Olivia,
    Your inner thoughts are inspiring. I believe they capture mosts writer’s concerns. I’m not doing the NaNo yet, but keep telling myself “I will and I can”. Our inner dialogue makes the difference. If you think about the outcome you remove yourself from the present. Keep mindful and I know you can do it!
    Thanks for sharing. It helps normalize the rest of us.
    BTW does this post count towards the daily word count? LOL.

    • Thank you so much! I want everyone to feel more normal, because the fact that they don’t is absolutely absurd!
      I wish posts counted towards word count. If I write any words at all per day, I’m satisfied with myself. :)
      Olivia

  43. I too like to edit as I go. But even when I have done that (like in a novel I wrote in 2011) I still ended up vastly improving it through MANY subsequent edits (though not, as you say, huge revisions). The story was there, it just needed to be told in better words in places and the editing process is just as important to me as the writing process. This year I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the first time and I am getting things right enough as I go (the story, the progression of events, the relationships, the character development) but leaving for later some serious language work I know I would do better as a revision of the whole (since the voice will slowly mature during the novel). I say everyone should work the way they love to work. For people who find it hard to make themselves finish anything, I think NaNo is a fun way to challenge yourself to push ahead. But writing a novel sentence by agonizing sentence is just as valid a method. That’s the lovely thing about being an artist–the process is as unique as the individual and the product. Keep writing!

  44. I am currently writing a novel, I love giving myself deadlines because it lights a fire in my fingers Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!

  45. Agreed. Writers go through their respective ‘creative ruts’ where the thoughts are buzzing through your mind but you’re struggling to get it out on paper. I’m plagued with this. Certain times of the month I can whip out 3,000 words in one sitting when the creativity is throbbing, and others, it’s like I’m knocking to get it to come out. Good post- I thought I was the only one feeling this way :-)

  46. TNW

    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”

    That’s Hunter S Thompson speaking. I agree that slow is good in some things. I just like the quote.

  47. I am feeling a bit relaxed after i discovered through this post that this doesn’t only happens to me. Sleepless nights, agonizing pressure in mind for composing that perfect line which expresses the thought simply and completely, and hours sitting and re-re-revising the posts consisting around 1000 words. The inner editor is extremely tough, especially when writing on technical posts.

    Great idea to send the inner editor to a vacation and write freely, then one single pass. I think more writings will make better writing in future.

    Excellent post, i am feeling a lot better :D

  48. It’s is my second year attempting NaNoWriMo. My goal was to do better than last year, when I had only about five hundred words written, in various paragraphs and as the start of different stories. I’ve already passed that goal, but I’ve only reached a little over 3,000. It’s frustrating to me for several reasons. 1) I’ve spent the past three months planning, and have a pretty strong plot with a good grasp of characters and characteristics of the world I’m creating. 2) The words aren’t coming as easily as I wish they would, and it scares me because I want to write for a living. Or at least for a career, if it won’t be my sole source of income. 3) My boyfriend is also doing NaNoWriMo this year, his first time around, and he’s vastly outpacing me, with at least twice as much written already. Even worse, he’s editing as he goes, and the glimpse I caught of his manuscript is amazing. I’m trying to tell myself that I’ve already accomplished my goal, and that I shouldn’t let anyone else’s word count matter because anything beyond what I have is just icing on the cake. It’s really hard to believe.

    But your post was extremely encouraging, and I’m glad I’m not the only one struggling to reach that 50k/30 days. Congratulations on getting Freshly Pressed, and good luck with your writing!

    • I know how it feels! It’s really hard not to compare yourself to others and near impossible not to. One of my close real life friends is doing NaNo and because she’s writing nonfiction, she’s much faster than I am! Just remember that you are your own person- success is only self defined! Good luck!
      Olivia

  49. Loved this!! I’m also doing NaNo this year and it’s my first time. Usually when I do sit and write the words flow, but now that I know I have a word count to focus and a deadline I have shy fingers. And some of my friends are banging out 10k words a day. I’ve realized I can’t stress myself and I write what I can in a day, trying to write more one day and if I can’t the next then, oh well.
    I find myself revising my words constantly and wasting a large amount of time obsessing over little things. For some reason the words just are flowing out of me. :(
    I’m determined to finish though. Some how some way. I’ll learn to just write and the edit later.
    Good luck to you at whatever pace you go.
    If you’re every interested check out my progress. http://www.jenniferfgarcia.com ;)

  50. I would rather write 500 words and have 492 of them be worth saving than write 5000 and throw 4920 of them out. That’s the fundamental issue I have with NaNoWriMo…..it just seems to encourage sloppiness for the sake of a word count, Then again, my internal editor is the biggest pain in the butt I know;) If I could shut her up I could write more at any given time. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  51. kittyjane

    When I was training for a half marathon I rushed myself through training and ended up injuring myself. I tried to run through it, but I was just taking the fun (and health!) out of my running so I painfully decided to stop training, regroup, and just have fun with running for a bit.

    I’ve tried to rush through writing too and it’s had the same result. I end up taking the fun out of it, and I LOVE writing…if there’s no fun in it, what is the point?…for me anyways. Challenge is good, pressure is not.

    It’s a hard decision to bow out of something like this, but it isn’t always a bad one!

  52. Single & Existing

    what a challenge. As a hopeful writer I should probably make an attempt, but I just don’t know if I’d have enough time. I like Matt_S_Law idea of writing 15minutes a day, that’s a great tactic!

  53. bluerosegirl08

    I have never attempted the insanity that is Novel Writing Month even though I have had a work in progress going for somewhere close to ten years now. I am participating in National Blog Posting Month which is also this month. Writing a blog post a day is nowhere near as daunting. Here is a link in case you’d like more info on it.http://www.blogher.com/blogher-topics/blogging-social-media/nablopomo Turtles unite!

  54. I’m glad you spoke your mind. I can’t do it either, and I share your love of communication. I value words so much so that speed doesn’t mean so much to me.

  55. Lu

    I think you really touched on why I like to write…I get to think before I communicate, unlike when I talk and blurt out usually way more than I had
    intended. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Great post!

  56. I started NanoWriMo two days late and I’m not sure if I will be able to catch up. But you know what? That’s okay. Letting my fingers fly, being uncensored and unedited took away a lot of my writer’s block. I am writing a great, if somewhat quirky, book and I’m just going to keep at it until the end. Here’s to you and all the accomplishment you’ve already achieved! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed also!

  57. It is one of our few remaining free pleasure in life , to go slow and take in the view while breathing deeply.Too often we get caught up in this race everyone seems to be on, but every once in a while someone like yourself pops up and goes , Hey hold on, why am i racing, Thanks for reminding me of this ;0)

  58. hehe so true, this inspires me not to be intimidated by people who update their blogs every other day!

  59. Hi Olivia..
    I still can’t believe this just happened. I was just wondering whether I should give up on NaNoWriMo- I haven’t touched it for the past three days, and my word count is stuck at 1000. I don’t know whether I’m a particularly contemplative writer or not- I guess I switch roles whenever I feel like it. But I just couldn’t find the motivation to write.
    I haven’t checked out Freshly Pressed features for weeks now, but for some strange reason, I decided to browse through it today- maybe just to procrastinate my writing even more. And just as I was deciding to give up- I chanced upon your blog. I think I’ve found my zing again. I just needed to decide.
    I realize the point of your post was to not worry about word counts and the like- but two words jumped at me as I read to the end- Just Write.
    And that is precisely what I intend to do. :) :)
    Thank you, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! :)

  60. It sounds like you’re doing fine and I love your blog. I’ve just started on Twitter and so many agents are commenting on how dubious they are about people who write books in short spaces of time, so the experts seem to be on your side! Writing is so personal, we all have our own ways and means. Embrace yours and don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong xx

  61. robinbeverly

    I agree with you. I like having goals, but I’m not sure I can commit to someone elses’ specifications for success either. I think the important thing about the Tortoise and the Hare story is not just that “Slow” wins the race, but that “Slow and Steady” wins it. Plenty of people sporadically and slowly produce work that doesn’t go anywhere because they are undisciplined about it. However, when you make sure that you set regular goals for yourself, never mind whether they are nano…whatever it’s called goals, you know that you are moving ahead. I think it’s cool that you are a featured writer on Word Press and so young too. That’s so cool.

    • I am so thrilled about being Freshly Pressed. I was definitely not expecting it. At all. Slow and Steady DOES win the race, and self made goals are the only truly great kind. Keep writing, my friend!
      Olivia

  62. Good for you! I only started a blog a few months ago (i am an accountant by profession…which is a bit of a change). I have never even heard of NaNoWriMo until this year November and I am following one blogger who is trying to blog 1000 words a day and I really have no idea how someone does that! I will write a post and then agonise for days on end about the spelling, whether I am using words more than once, the layout, the pictures etc etc. Maybe it is because I am new to this, or maybe it is because I am a perfectionist, I don’t know. But less is sometimes more. Good luck with your ‘new’ challenge!

  63. Great to see that there are others in the world who aren’t afraid to work at their own pace! Good luck with your novel! :)

  64. It is such a challenge, and great learning for any writer involved in NaNo. For me I just write what I feel, when I feel it, and don’t pay too much attention to word count… I am 5000 words behind, but I know I can catch up because when the writing starts to flow… I can write 5000 in an evening.

  65. I’d heard about the competition/event and felt totally dwarfed, probably intimidated by the number of words. So thanks to you for expressing your thoughts so gently and constructively.

  66. It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you keep moving. Or as one of my generation’s favorite expressions says: “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”

  67. I did NaNoWriMo last year. Thankful for the experience but hope that my novel never, ever sees the light of day. I was also training for two 25K trail running events. I am registered for NaNoWriMo again this year and have only eight words. Sigh. Good luck!

  68. I know I am fortunate that NaNoWriMo fits my writing style. The words just flow out of me and I have very little trouble making my word count markers. However,my inner editor is a lazy, lazy person. One that I have to force to work at all. So taking my 2500 words a day and finding 300 good ones is not my favorite part of the process. I envy your care and craft. Good on you for doing it your own way.

  69. Pingback: Nano Day 6- It’s “NO Excuse Day” | Chillers And Thrillers

  70. You, my friend, art making you’re way down the track, and I’m so jealous. I’m still in the dressing room. Congrats on being FP!

  71. Pingback: I Apologize, Arty « candid calliope

  72. Reblogged this on Athena, Ivan, and The Integral and commented:
    This is not only great advice in the context of blogging, but for the rest of life as well.

  73. Or maybe they just wrote the novel a couple months ago and just enter the 12,000 words. Who knows? :)

  74. Pingback: Weekend Reads « Visible and Real

  75. Pingback: Nano Day 18- Tame, Don’t Kill your Self-Editor! « Chillers And Thrillers

  76. Pingback: An Unashamed Tortoise: Why ‘Slow’ Doesn’t Equal Failure | The Blog Babe

  77. From one fellow NaNo Head to another… Nice job. Congrats on getting “pressed.”

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