Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Insecure Writer and Finally Admitting I'll Always Be A Slow Writer


Today is October's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Why makes me an insecure writer this month?

Coming to grips with the knowledge that I'll always be a slow writer. 

I can deny it no longer. I'm a slow writer. (LOL) It's not that I haven't known this for several years now, or that I haven't mentioned it on this blog at least a hundred times before, but 2022 has shown me that even when I have a more time to write, the words don't necessarily come any faster. Editing and rewriting are where I spend the bulk of my time, and forcing myself to sit down and work on my manuscript doesn't guarantee I'll make any worthwhile progress. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I've learned that I'll eventually figure out how to write a scene that's giving me trouble, but whether that process takes a week or three months is out of my hands.

For example, I've been working for nearly three months on the short story that will eventually become my reader magnet. It's almost ready for prime time now (thank goodness), but three months?  Heck, some authors write entire books in three months. Now some of that delay is attributable to me--when I'm stuck on a scene, it's easy for me to avoid going down to my office to write. But I'm officially acknowledging here and now that I don't ever expect that behavior to change. That's how I roll and it'll be how I always roll. No sense fighting it. Accept it and move on, I say.

Just keep writing.

October question - What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre? 

For me, that genre would be science fiction and fantasy, and the best part of those genres is the sense of wonder evoked when I'm reading those stories. These days, my taste tends more toward urban fantasies, and the aspect of the story that gives me the most goosebumps is when the author creates a magical system that allows the main character to be clever with the magic, usually inventing news ways to use the magic we're already familiar with. That's the main reason I enjoy reading the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka.

Take care!



  1. You might take a while, but at least your stuff is coherent when it comes out. I might bust out a short story quickly, but dang if it doesn't need a lot of editing afterward. Like that one I mentioned a few months back... yeah, it's still missing a plot months later.

  2. When your muse kicks in you'll feel it. I've been sitting on my WIP of over a year. I get to it now and then, but I haven't written a word in months. Every person has a different way of working through their writings. Don't feel rushed.

  3. I wish I could write faster. I'm in awe of all the people who crank out a first draft in a matter of weeks or months. But comparing ourselves to other writers isn't productive. It's better to have an accurate sense of our own process and our own pace and work within that.

  4. Everybody is different! The good thing about you is that you keep on plugging. :)

  5. I'm also a slow writer, also. I feel the same way about eventually figuring things out. I don't know how long it'll take, but I know it'll happen at some point.

  6. I'm a slow writer too, so I sympathize with you. I'm finding that I revise a lot as I go, which slows the process. But it keeps me going and then my revision doesn't take as long. For my next manuscript, I'm going to try the technique in Save the Cat Writes a Novel and see if I can write a little faster.

  7. I think a lot of things depend on how fast you write. I can be fast while writing a story down, but sometimes it's far from perfect and the number of reiterations it takes to perfect it ends up slowing me down.

  8. You're comparing apples, oranges and bananas. You banana. Each of us has our skill set. Love the ones you've got.

    I've read your work and you're great.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  9. Ken, I'm a slow writer, too. Yes! Even with short stories. And I bet my short stories are shorter than yours. I write for the middle grade market, about 1800 words. Fantasy is difficult to write well. You are amazing. More power to you!

  10. I'm a slow writer, but I would be much faster if I didn't have to stop writing and go work my 'real' job.

  11. I applaud the slow writers of the world. I have to because I happen to be one! Remember Aesop. He nailed the fast v. slow and steady idea, and, of course, I know he was right.

  12. Haste makes waste. This is a true statement in many disciplines from woodworking to word working. Slow and methodical writing isn't a negative, embrace it.

    Thanks for sharing and participating in the blog hop.