Hi, I’m Misty, and I’m a slow writer.
Have you ever tried to pour the last quarter-ounce of honey out of the plastic bear? And waited for what seemed ever just for it to reach the hole in the top? That’s me. I blame my day job when anyone asks, but the reality is that I write really slowly. I can’t leave a paragraph and go on to the next until I know it’s verging on perfect. I’m hideously jealous of people who can slap out 10K words in a week, words they don’t worry about editing until the whole book is done. I’ve been told by professionals and I’ve read books that tell me I’m doing it wrong, that I should spill words onto the page the way a toddler spills milk, waiting until later to clean up the mess. I’ve tried, to no avail. I sign up for NaNoWriMo every year, not because I think I can manage 50K words in 30 days, but because the arbitrary deadline at my busiest time of year does help to keep me focused. In the last five years of playing along, I’ve only “won” once. I spent a summer in The Artist’s Way, faithfully scribbling those morning pages the Way demands. When the course was over, I was right back to my old ways. Sometimes I can go nuts with pen and paper, but even that loses its luster after a few days. I’m not a spiller – I’m a careful placer. It’s how I roll.
Two weeks ago, I was asked to read the galleys of an upcoming Tor title and provide a quote. Reading the book took two days. Writing the quote? An eternity. I worked on it every day, worrying that this word wasn’t quite right or it was running too long. I eventually sent it off, and the recipient seemed happy with what I’d crafted (even though I was stressing as soon as I hit “send”. *hee*) It’s okay, though. The words come slowly, but they come. And if I manage five or ten pages in a week, I can be proud that those pages are the shiniest prose I can bleed onto the screen.