I have a confession: I’m a tortoise. No, not a literal tortoise, a writer tortoise. My writing speed is…well…it’s slow.
When I see advertisements about helping writers “write fast,” I often take a pause. Me? Write fast? Well, I have nothing at all against writing at hare speed so long as the writing is well-done. However, I prefer to write slow. For me, writing is akin to eating a half-gallon of ice cream during a four-hour long, Oscar-winning movie. Both take time to enjoy.
I love playing around with words and phrases, taking things out and putting things in till I’m comfortable with how my writing sounds. Sometimes I do catch myself envying those who can write both fast and well, but if I write too fast, I feel that my writing is sloppy. This is just me, though.
Every writer is different, I’ve come to realize. Tolkien spent twelve years writing his trilogy, The Lord of the Rings (1937-1949). Other writers, such as Joyce Carol Oates, are super-prolific.
No, it’s not wrong to write fast as a hare, neither is it wrong to write tortoise speed. Each writer must write at the pace that he or she is most comfortable with. And even though I’m a literary tortoise…Hey! I’m enjoying the process!