Moving at a snails pace…

Snails Pace?

I read an awesome blog post today by Paula Vince, all about how creativity can’t be rushed. You can read her post here.

This post resonated with me. Sometimes it can be hard not to get impatient and want everything NOW. In these cases, I find that my writing sounds forced and isn’t nearly as good as the pieces I write when I have the time to let inspiration come to me. This might also be part of my problem during this year – I had so much on my plate that I didn’t have the space to really let the inspiration and the stories come.

It doesn’t help that every few months I get a phone call from a self-publishing house asking if my book is done! They drive me up the wall, especially as they don’t seem to take “No” for an answer. It feels like they are trying to make me hurry up when I know none of my manuscripts are ready for publication.

For me, the creative process is slow. Maybe this is why I like short stories and picture books. They are just that – short. A single story that carries through the piece. When inspiration strikes, I can usually write the whole story in one sitting. Writing a novel is a lot harder as the inspiration doesn’t always stick around. This is part of the reason I am usually working on more than one story at a time.

I dream for the day when I can be a full time writer and be able to write whenever I can, and spend time on research and daydreaming. Right now, I’m trying to simplify my life for 2013 to give me more head-space to write. This means cutting down on commitments that impact on my energy levels, much harder than it sounds.

Challenges are fantastic as they give me a deadline to actually get something finished, and I’ve signed up for a few again next year. I’m aiming to meet these challenges and keep writing, but sticking to the types of writing I’m enjoying most. This means not trying to finish a novel in November when life is really busy, for example.

Here’s to moving at a snails pace, getting things written at my own speed and not at the timeline of anyone else. It will mean that it may be longer to see my name in print, but the journey will be much more enjoyable for me and my family, and, I hope, my future readers.

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  1. Hi Melissa,
    Sometimes I think I’ve been able to pick those books. I’ve guessed that the poor author was probably rushed and harried by those in control to get a move on. Often, they’ve been authors who wrote fantastic early books, and then later on got caught in the commercial production machine and were forced to simply produce. Maybe we should all put out a challenge to keep us all accountable with this snail’s pace thing.
    Interestingly, since I wrote that blog this morning I read something similar by Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat, Pray, Love” to the effect that she found it difficult to simply relax and enjoy like the Italians when she lived in Rome.

    • I agree, I’ve been able to pick some of those too. I think that with the ease of self publishing these days, there’s another pressure to just get books out. Better work takes time 🙂

  2. Good for you Melissa. Sometimes, life gets in the way and meeting a deadline can be very hard to achieve. I agree with you about work appearing forced, when rushed. I also dream for the day when I can give up my day job and dream and write full time. All the best for 2013!

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