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Monday, August 1, 2016

Dear Impatient Writer

Dear Impatient Writer,

I’m impatient. I always have been. When I was younger, I was extremely impatient about getting published. At the age of seventeen, I wanted an agent and publisher YESTERDAY. I drove myself crazy with my impatience. Every month that went by without those things was brutal. At some point, I realized all things really do happen in their own time . . . when they are meant to, and no matter how hard I’d push against the wall, it wouldn’t budge until the universe moved it for me. But, of course, I kept working and striving toward my dream, because the universe does need a bit of help.

So many writers are impatient. They want to finish writing their book NOW. They want to finish editing their book NOW. And they want to publish their book NOW.

But here’s why it’s a good idea to take your time:

Writing: When you rush while writing, you can leave out details, emotion, mess up the chronological order, and create plots holes. If you take your time, even if other writers finished two or more books in the time it takes you to finish one, your sentences will flow better, the scenes will make sense, and your characters will be well developed.

Editing: Rushing through writing will lead to more editing and rewriting, but if you rush through the editing process, you’ll miss typos and grammar and punctuation mistakes. You won’t catch redundancies or unnecessary words, and you won’t be able to spot places that need help. Taking your time will ensure your eyes (and brain) can spot these mistakes.

Publishing: Now that you took your time writing and editing, this is the most important time to be patient. You don’t want the wrong agent or publisher, do you? By researching and taking your time, you’ll find agents/publishers right for your book. When you do, one of them may be the agent/publisher who signs you. And that is worth being patient for.

If you self-publish, you especially need to go one step at a time. Hire an editor and don’t rush editing. Get a professional book formatter and cover artist, too. Cutting corners on these may mean the difference between a good self-published book and a poor one.

Author of Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Blogger. Reader. Auntie. Vegetarian. Cat Lover.

QUESTION: Are you patient or impatient?


Bish Denham said...

And as slow and patient as I was I still had a ton of mistakes in my manuscript. Gak! :D

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Excellent advice, Chrys. It's so difficult to be patient but it is necessary.

Chrys Fey said...

@Bish, it happens. Believe me. And I wrote this post months ago, so it wasn't about you. <3 Even when you do everything you're supposed to and take your time, those errors can still slip in and slip by.

@Susan, when it comes to a dream, having patience is SO hard.

Darla M Sands said...

I can be too patient, actually, and sit too idle. Great advice, all the same!

Romance Reader said...

Excellent advice, Chrys. We need to weigh everything now before acting.

Chrys Fey said...

@Darla, that's a good point. You don't want to be too patient and not trying to make things happen or do things.

@Reader, precisely. It's better to be careful and take your time then to be fast and create problems.

Lidy said...

Great advice Chrys. Personally I'm patient with a lot of things aside from all things writing. But it's better to go it slow and steady. Dot your i's and cross your t's.

Liz A. said...

Patience isn't my problem. But I do wish my book was done already!

Chrys Fey said...

@Lidy, dot your i's and cross your t's is right. :)

@Liz, I know what you mean.

Leandra Wallace said...

I'm totally feeling the impatience right now. I'm about halfway done, and I don't want to be halfway-- I want to be allway!! =) I keep telling myself I'll get there when I get there.

Unknown said...

Being patient is a big challenge. These days I am a lot calmer but then, of course, I've got close to 30 titles out. Everything happens in good time.

Chrys Fey said...

@leandra, you will get there when you get there. That's a good motto to have.

@Kathleen, I know it is. I'm not one bit patient. 30 TITLES? Goodness. That is a good reason to be calmer. ;)