In Defence Of Writing Slowly

Recently a friend told me, very sweetly, that she wishes she could put out as much writing as me.

She was feeling bad that a post she’d been working on for several days wasn’t finished yet, when I’ve been putting out a piece every day and delivering client work at the same time.

It reminded me that it’s been a few days since I reminded you that comparison is the thief of joy.

I do write a lot. But I have made lots of intentional decisions to be able to do this: I don’t have an office job, I don’t have children, and I live in an environment that inspires me.

My life is set up for me to write a lot. For many people that is not the case, and that’s FINE. You can still be a writer if you have a 9-to-5, or you have kids, or you live somewhere that doesn’t really inspire you.

You can also still be a writer if you takes a long time to get your work out.

My friend doesn’t write full-time. She’s super smart and has a bad-ass business, in which I would have to spend months doing what she does in a day.

She’s optimised for different things. That doesn’t mean she’s a bad writer; it means there are several hours in her work day where she can’t be writing.

When writing is literally all you have to do with your productive hours, you can produce a whole lot of work, especially once you’ve been doing it a while.

I’ve been writing full-time since 2013 — I have enough experience to know how much time something is likely to take me, and I can control my workflow so that I can guarantee I always have enough time.

Please, please don’t feel bad about your writing because you do it differently to someone else.

JK Rowling took 6 years to write the first Harry Potter book. Michael Crichton took 8 years with Jurassic Park. Junot Diaz took 10 years with The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Patrick Rothfuss took 15 years to write The Name of the Wind.

You can write slowly, and still be a great writer. You can write your pieces in a completely different order to what you were taught or how others do it, and still be a great writer. You can dictate your whole piece, and still be a great writer.

The work will come when you’re good and gosh darn ready, and it will be better because you’ve done it in the way that’s right for you.