Okay, this week I took a hard look at the way I write. I have always said I was a pathetically slow writer and I won't try to lie about it now. I have also said I usually have less traumatic edits at the end because I edit so much when I write. That's one of the reasons for my snail pace. I also read what I wrote the day before when I start writing. It takes me a good hour to actually pick up the pen (yes, I write long hand, but that's a whole other discussion.)
I've listened to a lot of writers say - just write, man.
"Forget about the edits and puke out words."
"You can go back at the end and edit."
"Unlike a blank page, even crap can be turned into something brilliant."
Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all. But here's the thing.
I can't NOT edit! I seriously have to reread it to get my train of thought going for the next scene. Call it OCD or whatever, but it just doesn't work for me any other way. My agent once asked me how fast I could write. When I hedged, she asked if I could write two books a year. "Yes, of course," I said. I hope I didn't lie.
Because I write a lot of plots and twists and characters, for me, the planning and research are the most important parts. I can devote the entire day to writing, yet not get a single word on the paper because I have no clue where I'm going next. I do my best plotting lying on my back.(So, I have to stop and take a nap!)
For me, there has to be time in between scenes to plan the next one, to integrate it into the overall plot without giving my mystery away. For me, all those writing deals where you pen an entire novel in one month or you see how much you can write in a week don't work.
Actually, I suck at them. I can't do it. Period. And I'm tired of people telling me the "right" way to write. I cannot sprint to the end. I have to take it slow and concentrate on the pacing. My goal is to write "The End" without shin splints or a heart attack. Don't get me wrong. I'm impressed that others can. I actually envy them, but I'm through beating myself up over it.
I stand proud. I am a Marathon Writer.
What about you? Are you a sprinter or a marathoner?
I just remembered I have a deadline. Oh hell! Where's my running shoes??