Writing: Does Slow & Steady Still Win the Race?

I’ve always been a bit of a tortoise when it comes to my writing.  I have been writing for many years, mainly for the sake of pleasure, yet it has only been within recent years that I have taken my writing a bit more seriously.  My husband has always been supportive (and surprisingly patient for someone who isn’t) of my writing endeavours, but just like the tortoise, publication can take some time.

It always used to amaze me over the years, that I have encountered people who are more like the hare in their writing.  They may only have been writing for a few years, yet they want to be the first at the finishing line.  Naturally, we both want to achieve the same goal, but it leaves me questioning myself.  Have I been too overly-cautious in trying to perfect my craft, believing that good things come to those who wait?  Have I really been too much of a perfectionist and only want to produce my very best before sending it off?  Or do I just secretly wish I had the hare’s enthusiasm, throw caution to the wind and just go for it?  Success in writing, after all, can come to both the tortoise and the hare.

Added to this mix is the fact that I take full responsibility in allowing self-doubts to control my journey to publication.  Perhaps, now as I get older I’m feeling more like the hare, in realising that time is whizzing past and I shouldn’t squander it.

Does slow and steady still win the race?  Are you a tortoise, a hare, or maybe a bit of both?

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8 thoughts on “Writing: Does Slow & Steady Still Win the Race?

  1. Maybe a bit of both. A situation may call for one or the other.

    1. Debbie Johansson 22/02/2012 — 3:17 am

      Hi. I agree that some things can be one or the other – it depends on what type of writing one does, I guess. Some short pieces can be whipped up in no time, whereas longer pieces, like novels, can take years. Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

  2. Great post, Debbie! And if I were you I’d stick to being the tortoise. The last time I decided not to submit and everyone in my critique group started subbing everything they had going I got sucked into it. Needless to say they all got rejected and so did I. Try really hard to ignore others when it comes to submissions. I have lots on the go but only one truly ready and it’s two years old. Tortoise every time Debbie, and blogs to take our minds off it. Have a lovely day!

    1. Debbie Johansson 22/02/2012 — 3:32 am

      Thanks Catherine. I generally try to follow my instincts when it comes to submitting – only sending things off when I ‘feel’ they’re ready. This can be so hard to do sometimes, as you well know, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’d hate to have something published that I feel could have been done better if I had only waited a bit longer. Hope you’re having a great week. 🙂

  3. I think the only thing that matters is working at the pace that works for you. There are times when my wordcount is really high but in the end, I may use very little of what I produce. Other times the words come slow but none of it gets cut. Finding my own method was tricky, but now that I’ve figured out how to get myself motivated, I’m much more successful at arriving where I want to be.

    1. Debbie Johansson 23/02/2012 — 10:55 pm

      I have to agree with you Lesann that you need to work at a pace that works for you. It can be hard to feel swamped by the progress of others, but everyone’s journey to publication is different. You just need to go with what works for you – I’m glad you’ve found that Lesann. 🙂

  4. The tortoise’s attitude is certainly for me although I’d describe writing self as slightly hybrid: hariose-like even 🙂

    1. Debbie Johansson 29/02/2012 — 2:50 am

      I like the sound of that hybrid Dimity. I might have to start trying it! 🙂

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