Writers: Are You Rushing?

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I want to thank Joey B. for raising this issue in one of my previous posts about what to do with an idea for a story. His website is InStagnation. So, thanks Joey!

His comment was:

I’ve been trying to make stories out of ideas throughout the years and somehow I can’t finish because I’m trying to rush everything.

I want to be the wise sage and offer pearls of wisdom about slowing down and taking time to sniff the ink pen along the way and blah, blah, blah…

But I can’t. I can’t because I too rush like Chris Hemsworth. Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing?

Or is it just stupid?

My wife is always telling me my greatest downfall is rushing my writing. And she’s right. I miss plot holes, grammatical errors, I number the pages wrong, and on and on.

But telling a writer to slow down is like telling my dogs to stop barking at every car that drives past our house – it won’t be heard. While my wife is telling me I need to slow down (right as she is), my mind is already planning and plotting chapter 93 in the fourth volume of a series I have no intention of writing until 2019.

And let’s be honest here. We’re not excited about the act of writing, per say. We’re excited about getting our readers’ approval. Write, write, write, send it out to people, and bathe in the luxurious glory of positive feedback.

Ahhhhh.

But are we sending out our best? Or are we flinging mud at our loyal readers and fans?

I’ll admit, it’s been VERY difficult not sharing snippets of my upcoming biography, Profit Over Patients because it is a very good book that I’m dying for everyone to read.

I also admit I’ve indulged in rushing by hash tagging my favorite quotes for my upcoming YA novel These Great Affects

My advice on this sticky subject? Rush your writing. That’s fine. Because your first draft is going to be crap anyway. Indulge in the toxicity of speed and give in to the freeing power of flying fingers over your keyboard. (Or if you’re like me, handwriting with a pen.)

The faster you get it done, the more time you can spend editing it and making it perfect.

But when you’re done, read it back slowly. Pull back the reigns and take your time soaking it in. Put yourself in your reviewers’ minds. Would you be happy with what you’re reading? Not really? Fix it. Would you feel like the reading material was a waste of time? No? Make it better anyway!

Rush the writing. Relax the reading. Then ride the wave of positive feedback to carry you to that last page. Sound good?

Seriously, email me if you want an advanced copy of my YA book about a girl who falls in love with a boy after he dies: These Great Affects

Follow me on Twitter: @atoy1208

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About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

29 Responses to Writers: Are You Rushing?

  1. So recognisable. It’s something I struggle with as well. I participated in NaNoWriMo last November, a good writing exercise for sure, but the thing is, I just completely changed the story again in December, because what I had written felt so… incomplete.

    • That is definitely a major risk to rushing. My advice is to have an outline before you jump in. Stick with it, but be flexible with it. KNOW YOUR STORY. That can make all the difference in the world.

  2. jstgina says:

    I try to practice this but I always end up rushing…Do you think I need help?

    • In what ways would you need help? Can you be more specific?

      • jstgina says:

        I don’t really know how to explain. I get this amazing idea…I rush into it…it feels so good…then I just blank out. I’ve not been able to see any of my books through. They’re all half..I hope I’m making sense tho, Iono what to do 😦

  3. Fantastic advise… I too am a student of the school of rushing but I am learning to hit the pause button and edit, edit, edit ….. I am working very hard not to be a “mud-slinger”

    • Good, because I feel like that’s the most important thing. It doesn’t matter how slow or fast you write, as long as you’re hitting your goals and delivering your best material .

  4. I think the quality of my reviews has dipped, as these days I rush articles because shift work has cut my writing time. It’s a little sad, but bogging does pressure you to post frequently. Posting something is better than nothing I suppose.

    • It’s true. But posting too many less than stellar articles can hurt too. Just make sure to get a real good one in there every now and then. I hear your struggle. I struggle your struggle.

  5. This is great advice! I completely understand this struggle, although it happens to me in a very small way. I’m really not as serious about my writing as I’d like to be, so what I do write is usually quite short. (When I say short, I do mean short) I feel that I could bring out the plot and make it longer and therefore better, but often I just… don’t. I’d like to change that, so I really do appreciate this post!
    -Amy

  6. This is great advice. I can see how “rushing” could work in silencing the lizard brain, getting the work done and not wasting time or killing inspiration by overthinking it. I tend to deliberate writing and then spend ages and ages editing so this is definitely something for me. Thank you.

  7. karynakellar says:

    I have the opposite problem. I am a perfectionist! 🙂 I want it to be good the first time. So I don’t rush things. If I do, it shows. It sounds horrible. The flow isn’t there and the scenes don’t even make logical sense. Important details are left out. My husband is always dismayed when he gets to the end of my stories. By then, I want to just wrap things up quickly and be done with it. And it shows. And I hate producing crap.

  8. Jodine says:

    I read a very cool post recently about how to write by a well known American author. I will try and find it for you. He made some bulletins for us based on what works for him. From memory one was, write without editing, spell checking etc uninterrupted then edit when you have finished. Jx

  9. Jodine says:

    Here’s the blog and article I think you will like. Blog is: the Politics of Writing, the link is: http://www.thepoliticsofwriting.wordpress.com/writing-advice-from-john-steinbeck I hope the link works. Jx

  10. Take all those good ideas while you’re flying high on excitement at the very beginning and jot them down in one or two sentences. Use that as your outline. Those are your dots you need to connect to. I get the feeling of falling flat. That’s mostly because our excitement for the project has gone flat. The middle part of the story is the hardest part to get through.

  11. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    The only rushing I do is to get an article ready for The Greenwood Magazine. My novel writing is super slow. I’m certain when Cindy returns my edited manuscript, I’ll be kicking myself that I don’t have the next one ready for her.

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