I won’t go too Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on you all here, but quality vs quantity is a concept that applies to all avenues of life. Definitely writing.
I’m about halfway through my month long writing hiatus and instead of dying to write, I’m surprised to find comfort in taking a step back to polish old pieces. It’s a slow go right now, but I’m focusing on other things as well.
I used to pump out numerous stories and story ideas to the point that not writing was painful. Going back over my first published pieces has been an excruciating trip. I’ve always had a vivid imagination, but it seems I was so eager to get as many stories out there as I could, that some haven’t held up.
Honestly I wonder how they got published in the first place. haha
From what I hear, that’s part of being a writer. As we progress and really grow into our own styles it’s difficult to look back. A lot of us are so hungry to find our audience that we push out so much junk and then wonder why we’re struggling.
Now that I’ve slowed down and really honed in on the voice of each piece, things are really starting to take off. It’s not sound. There are no guarantees, but it’s encouraging.
I’ve read a lot of stories from other writers and the ones who seem to produce more works faster have incomplete tales that feel rushed. This is not always the case. We can’t all be like Ian Thomas Malone (a talented writer I’ve come to know) who is relatively young and has multiple books out there that have been well received. But in most cases writing is like gardening.
You have to plant the sentences and let them grow into paragraphs, preen them, fertilize them with editing and add ins. Then you have to to harvest your work by sharing it with others, getting feedback from writers groups and outside editors. If it’s good enough it will eventually get published. But reaping the benefits is a long process. The only way to get a positive outcome is to immerse yourself in the muck and do all you can help cultivate your story.
Can you tell I worked in my veggie garden this morning? heehee
As silly as it sounds, it’s true. I’m not the first person to say it and I won’t be the last. Slowing down and really digging in, sets a tone that is much more palatable.