One of the writers who requested my opinion about the work they produced and requested I read, had what I consider valid reasons to write. First, she loved the effort. Second, she wanted to use her writing to help others avoid mistakes she’d made. She’d chosen a plot and story that weren’t threadbare from overuse. The passion she wrote the novel with was palpable. …. However, the result was disappointing. The work wasn’t cohesive. There were errors in continuity I wouldn’t have expected. Grammar was strange … good in portions … errors made in sections of the book that were correct in others. Why?
The answer came out when she proudly told me, “And it only took me 90 days to write it.” After gagging and struggling to maintain a straight face, I understood part of her problem. She’d succumbed to the mindset that there is some great virtue to writing at a pace designed to win a 100 meter sprint in the Olympics. Unfortunately, this is cultivated by some literary folks. I’d already discussed the vital need for her to rewrite her novel. It could end up as a salable book. I added this piece of advice, “Few (if any) of us can produce a “finished” manuscript on the first pass. The need for rewrites, or polishing if you prefer, is universal, and taking the time to produce a better quality starting point will pay dividends when the rewrites are made. A finished, waxed, and shined product is required to send your work to agents and publishers.”
I can assure YOU ALL that you won’t get agents or publishers to accept your manuscript because you wrote it faster than a speeding bullet. There won’t be an extra 40,000 copies sold because you wrote it in 60 days. No one who reads it will proclaim it a masterpiece because it was vomited onto the printed page at an unparalleled rate of puke. (colorful to make the point) People will brag about your novel or non-fiction because you have executed all the authorship skills required to a level that exceeds the thousands (literally) of your competitors.
Writing every day to hone your skills to the point you are a razor is important. Hemingway set a goal of 300 to 500 words of PROPERLY WRITTEN, MEANINGFUL PROSE A DAY. Speed helps you win races. It doesn’t do much for you when writing.
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