Writing Wednesdays: On pacing

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Shadow of a Writing Hand

Are you a fast or slow writer?

When I’m writing, I find it very hard to move on when each sentence, paragraph, or page isn’t right — at least, right for my intentions in the moment. (Hindsight tends to bring clearer vision.) That means I can spin my wheels for hours if I can’t figure out how to move forward, and while I can sketch out upcoming scenes in the rough, I can’t get from one point to another until I’ve moved through the middle.

I’ve long wished I were the kind of writer who could get everything on the page in one messy draft, then go back later to edit, shape, refine. However, that’s easily said, and I’m sure that method brings its own challenges.

What are your own tendencies? Have you been able to reform them?

4 thoughts on “Writing Wednesdays: On pacing

  1. I have much the same problem. I really would like to be able to plow through a first draft and then go back and edit, but I keep getting stopped by wanting to make sure the sentences are phrased exactly the right way or the grammar/punctuation/spelling is perfect, etc.. I would also love to be able to write various scenes out of order and then join it all together, but I’m really a little stuck on writing linearly… It’s frustrating, because it makes for very slow writing, and unfortunately I haven’t yet found a way to break myself of the habit that actually makes me comfortable enough to do it.

    • It sounds like a timid way to write, but I know that you are not timid by the blog posts that you put out for all to see. Everyone has his or her writing pace and I don’t know if it is possible to change this way of being. It’s like waking up one morning and saying, “I’m tired of being who I am. From now on, look out world! I’m a new ‘me’.”

  2. I totally sympathize with having to get everything right before moving on to the next scene or stage of a story. It sometimes takes me years to complete a novel, but I continue at my pace, sometimes a quick energetic clicking of keys on the keyboard, while other times it requires taking out my Rhodia notebook and journaling for days about what should happen next. But I do like to go forward from a clean and carefully edited place.

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