In today’s society, every aspect of our lives seems to run at hyper speed. We can communicate with someone with the tap of a screen. We can receive news within minutes after it happens. Likewise, in the realm of self-publishing, readers often don’t have to wait extended periods of time for the next book in a series to be delivered straight to their Kindles. In fact, they often don’t have to wait more than a month or two!
Due to the self-publishing strategy of rapid-fire series releases, many authors are feeling pressured to write faster in order to keep readers engaged in their series. Attention spans are shrinking due to the growing norm of instant gratification, so why not join the club?
You can’t rush art. -Toy Story 2
This is at least the third time I’ve quoted the toy repairman from Toy Story 2 on this blog, but the sentiment remains true in this situation. While I’m in no way against authors releasing books in a rapid-fire strategy if the books are backlogged (I actually think that’s a genius tactic), I’m wary of the practice of rushing to write and publish books back-to-back within the span of a few months. Though some authors can and have mastered the art of remaining quality prolific writers while publishing those titles as fast as possible, it’s not a tactic I recommend for most writers, including myself.
For the same reason that I don’t participate in NaNoWriMo, I don’t think that writers should force themselves to complete their writing projects as quick as humanly possible. Granted, they may strike a fit of creative genius and crank out a mesmerizing first draft that requires minimal editing; however, they may also produce a hot mess manuscript that will require a heap of extra care to edit, care that may entail pushing the publication date back and skewing release plans. Or, the writer is stuck with a hot mess manuscript and chooses not to take the necessary time for edits, publishing said hot mess as is.
That’s a big no-no, my friend.
You see, as writers, as people who see the value in words and know how powerful they can be, I’m a firm believer that we should seek to publish high quality works over a heaping quantity of mediocre works.
As a reader, I would much rather wait a year or two for an author to release another book that I know will meet my quality standards than have them mass produce books that aren’t up to par because they didn’t receive enough time in the incubator so to speak, molding and growing into their full potential before being thrown out into the world. When readers buy a book, they’re expecting it to be as good as it can be when it reaches the marketplace. Readers will eventually see through those hyper-released hot messes and choose to spend their time and money investing in a more polished series.
The moral of the story is it’s perfectly okay if you’re a “slow” writer who takes more than a few months to write a book. There are positives and negatives of the rapid word count trend, so don’t let peer pressure overrule your writer’s heart. Choose the method that works best for you. You’re not any less of a writer if you take more time to finish your WIPs. Don’t beat yourself up for taking the time to make it the best it can be. Just write, and enjoy the process.
Whether it takes you two months or two years to finish your WIPs, you’re still a writer, my friend! Comment below and tell me how long it takes you to finish a manuscript, and if you’ve ever felt rushed trying to finish it within a short time frame?