Monday 11 December 2023

Spoonie Writer: It's Okay To Take Time


As we approach the end of the year and the holiday season, I thought it would be a good idea to really talk about how much pressure you can be under to do this and that before the end of the year, and even setting huge goals for the coming year. I've learned over my many years as a writer, and a spoonie as well, that sometimes it's hard not to get caught up in the thrill of what everyone else is doing.

Now that's not to say that as a spoonie you can't set goals, or you can't do a million different things. It's more that you have to be more mindful of what pressure you're applying to yourself and why. I've been someone who has taken a lot of time to get myself into the right mindset, someone who has taken a lot of time to get myself to the position that I'm now in. That said, there are still some times when I find myself playing the comparison game and trying hard to keep in mind that no one's journey is the same, and it's okay if you need to take time to get things done.

There's that old saying about how it's better to do something right than it is to do something fast, and there's some truth to that. While deadlines and the like can, sometimes, be immovable and it's a case of having to buckle down and get the things done or you'll run into issues, there is always, always time to stop and take a breath and reassess things.

I've been an indie author for over 18 years now. I've released 21 books and none of them have been done fast. I know that it might seem that way with the speed at which I draft new ones (I have more than the same amount released finished as first drafts) but, and here's the big but, the time from first idea to published book is between seven to eight years.

The books I'm drafting now? They won't be out for at least eight years, maybe longer. I still take my time. The books that are going to the editor this year? They were written in the 2010's. It takes time to write and revise and edit and all of that. It takes a lot of time, for me personally, and for other writers. You have to remember that while it might look fast from the outside looking in, you don't always get all the background stuff. You don't get to see how bad those first drafts are, and how long the revisions take. You don't get to see that sometimes I will spend literal years revising a book before it's even seen by betas. It all takes time, and that is completely and utterly okay.

It doesn't matter if this author you know does things faster, if you physically can't, that's okay, and even if you physically can, but things are popping up and stopping you, also okay! We are all on this journey and while we can support each other and help each other through, we do not have to race each other to the finish line. It's okay if it takes you years to get from first idea to published book. Despite what you might have been told or think, there is no time limit on publishing. No one is going to come and take away your writer status or author status because you took however much time you needed to get there.

Take your time. Look after yourself, and remember to stop every so often to breathe. It's not optional and it's the only way to get through this with yourself intact. Happy writing!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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