Writing … It’s Not a Race #SatisfactionSaturday (@KaceyHammell)

saturday

Good morning all. Kacey here again. Happy weekend!

My post today is something I’d just spoken with my husband about recently. He’s my sounding board for many things when it comes to writing and we had a discussion about how NOT prolific I am, and he talked me off a ledge of frustration. I wanted to write about this topic today as what NOT to think about. LOL However, it is a topic that some authors do observe and it is natural to notice these things but not obsess over.

In this business there are a lot of authors who can write pretty fast. It’s something I’ve noticed and felt lacking with. Some authors can write a book a month which always astonishes me. Kudos to them first of all! And it is an accomplishment that can be done. Many authors are disciplined to bust out 5k words a day. (I have managed this once in my writing career – at 9k in one day). But for some it’s not always easy. And I do open my stories every day and will type up words, only it doesn’t always amount to much. So a book a month is possible but frustrating as well. As an author that can’t usually succeed at it, and I watch authors produce book after book with their publishers, they’re always on the new release list, I won’t say it’s a jealousy at all that I feel when I see this, it is awe a lot, but it’s a maddening sense of failure I feel at times. I mean with each new release there’s promo to do as well, which can hinder starting the next book for some. And not to make excuses but I’m still learning how to balance writing and my kids. It’s become better over the last couple years as they have gotten older, but there’s still a lot going on with them.

In my head, I know that for each author the writing process is vastly different for all of us. But as my husband repeatedly says, “It’s not a race, dear.”  And I believe him, and in my head I believe it, but it weighs heavily for me – and I know other authors who lean toward the same frustrations from time to time.

Sometimes in this business it is a balancing act of many things – time, family, marketing, preparation time in outlining the next book to write – and I’m learning that my process is MINE. I have to do what works for me and ignore all else. I confess, I’m a meticulous author who now outlines a story, completely staying away from as much of the last book as possible. I try to ensure that none of my plot, settings or anything gets repeated in each book (unless it’s a series) because I am not a fan of stories written where only the names of thinethe characters or the locale have changed. And for some authors that is how they accomplish writing one or two stories a month. I flesh out my stories and do what needs to be done for fresh and new ideas. I don’t like the repetitive stuff.

All in all, while we all want to be prolific beasts at our computers, for some of us the writing process is very different. Maybe one day we’ll all be writing a book a month but it really isn’t a race. It’s not about how many stories this author or that doles out every month / year. It’s not something I obsess on but it is does get noticed. I’m glad I’m not the only one either. For all authors, hone your craft/ your process as you see fit and don’t worry about the small stuff. It’s really not as important as we may think it is.

Everyone has to remember the phrase “To Thine Own Self Be True”.  Write your process. Don’t worry what others are doing. All of us have to be true to who we are, the stories we write and the craft of genius that we all possess. Each of us takes writing differently from others and that is what makes us each unique. Always remember it’s not a race to have the highest number of releases out there, to “beat” others, and not consider it a failure when you don’t reach the perceived success of others. You are you and each book completed is a success.

Writing is not a race. But you have to plant your butt in the chair and get words in every day. That is a must if you want to finish a story! *g* The stories won’t write themselves. Though, I think there should be some sort of device made so that all stories swirling around in an author’s head be instantly typed up and finished! HA!! We can all hope it would be that easy.

ray-bradbury-youfail

 

Until next week, happy reading!

Kacey (2)

11 thoughts on “Writing … It’s Not a Race #SatisfactionSaturday (@KaceyHammell)

  1. Such wise words, Kacey. I know I’m one of those considered prolific, but I don’t really see myself as such. I know there are some authors out there, who astonish me with their output. Sadly, sometimes I think their stories are lacking for it, but that’s just my opinion, of course. 🙂

    We all have to find our own path and writing speeds. I tend to have bursts of mad activity, when I type away like a mad thing, because the characters are screaming at me, and then days, weeks of just a few words a day. It used to bother me, when I wasn’t writing my obligatory 2 K a day, but nowadays, I just shrug and enjoy the peace in my head. Because, once those characters do scream, yeah, I write tons in a short space of time.

    I couldn’t keep that tempo up, though, because I get so involved in my characters, it leaves me a wrung out wreck by the end of it. Depends on the story, of course.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, Doris. There’s a difference between cranking out story after story that is basically the same as the last fifty or so, with only the names and a few details changed, and crafting a new story that is truly unique. It takes an emotional toll on a writer, for sure. 🙂 When I wrote under deadlines for a certain publisher, under another name, I was miserable. I truly did feel as if I was writing on an assembly line. There was no time and very little wiggle room to try something different. Something unique. Something that didn’t sound like what everyone else was writing. I’m MUCH happier now, and I no longer freak out if it takes me six weeks to get the next book to Evernight. 🙂 I suppose I’m considered prolific as well, but I don’t feel like I am. I write every day because I love it so much and would rather do it than do anything, but there are days I’m lucky to get in 500 words. 🙂 Real life has to take precedence.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I consider both of you ladies as very prolific. 😀
        And admire it as well.
        There are many — TOO many — writers that do crank out stories with such little changes between each that it drives me crazy. I’ve stopped reading NY pubbed authors for this reason as well. It’s an injustice to the readers IMO. If there’s no fresh ideas coming along, take a bit of a holiday and recharge your mind and Muse.
        I try to follow Nora Roberts advice about this being your job, no excuses, no real life insinuations, you would go to work everyday, this is your job you must do it, but my kids do come first. I’m lucky enough to be a stay at home mom, and farmer, so it’s not only writing I do. I consider it my 3rd full time job (wife/mom #1, farmer #2, then writer), so we all have to find the median that we can live with.

        I’ve changed my practices a bit this last bit, even though writer’s block has kept me from completing a full story, but I’ve started writing scenes as they pop in my head. I’m usually a very numbered author where I write as each chapter is supposed to be written, with notes on paper of what’s to come. Now though, I will write the full or partial scene for further into the stories as they come up, based on current scenes etc.

        We all do what works best for us. Gives us the most peace.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I love this post! And I understand exactly how you feel. It’s hard to honour your reality when it seems everyone else is just cranking them out. But I admire your discipline. Writing every day, even if it’s a small amount, is what keeps you moving forward. I should remember that myself.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Michelle. Yes, I changed my way of thinking on each day. I used to be — “I have no time to sit and write my 2k count today, it’s a sports mom day or a school trip day”.

      Now, I look at it as, okay i have to be at the field by 2pm, it’s noon now (after household chores etc are done), so I’ll get in one hour of writing then go. Or I’ll take my notebooks with me wherever I go. I have written many a scene on a bus with kids’ classes, or on the field during warm ups for football, rugby. LOL And if I have 30 mins to wait for dinner to cook and it’s before the “herd” tromps in, I’m writing in my notebook.

      I find taking notebook instead of tablet/laptop with me is much easier and less restricting, as odd as that may sound.

      One day I wrote 50 words (when at hospital between tests when I fell ill) but it was 50 words I didn’t have the day before. Found a small amount of peace in that, very small (i mean, really, 50!! LOL ) but it was still progress.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. I do try to write every weekday or I get antsy. But it can be anything between 500 words and 8k. I don’t write in the evenings unless its absolutely necessary, and let’s face it it rarely is. Ditto at weekends unless the footie or golf is on and I nip into the study while Hubby is watching. Otherwise it is ‘our’ time.I’ve slowed down lately just because I’ve been doing other things, but it’s my choice. i’m very lucky that kids have flown the nest and I don’t go out of the house to work. Writing is my job, albeit part time. And as some one said, you can’t edit a blank page so every word written is a step nearer your goal.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Very true Raven.
      I tend not to write in the evenings or wknds when Hubby is off work. He works a couple overnight shifts every week, so I will do some writing before bed, but I try not to write on wknds (unless on a really great roll) so that we can do as much family things as possible. I try to keep everything during the week since my kids are in school. I try to keep it a 9-5 or 8-4 type of hours but things happen that don’t allow that. But now that I have scolded myself about even if I can’t write for 2-3 hrs straight and accomplish 5-10k in each sitting, using the notebook and doing as many words as possible daily is just as great.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Kacey. I have to remind myself a lot not to get concerned with what I haven’t yet finished, I’m still working full time and some days after being on the computer all day the last thing I can bring myself to do is go back on! But at the end of the day you have to follow what works for you at your own pace, I never like to feel that what I’ve written isn’t the best that I can put out, that feels like an injustice to myself as well as my characters and story.
    ….and I certainly wouldn’t want them to revolt and take over the asylum 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Sarah. Yes, doing what works best for each individual is key. What works for one author may not work for another.
      And as you keep reminding yourself, I do as well, that I can only do what I can do and if one project stalls, then I have to move forth to another. I too dislike getting back on a computer after a long day, but have found having that notebook handy beside me on the side table, has been essential and valuable. Wrote a whole scene one night when I hadn’t planned on writing a thing and wasn’t even thinking about my characters.
      We do what works best for each of us.
      Happy writing Sarah!

      Liked by 1 person

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