Monday Motivation: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint (For Authors)

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I was telling someone the other day how relieved I am to have my most recent novel FINALLY done.

“When did you release your last book?” They asked.
“2014.”
“What took you so long?”

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There are a lot of authors out there who are writing and publishing many books (and often), and have figured out what their readers want and are actually making an impressive living just writing books. 

To those writers, I have this to say: friends, authors, countrymen: lend me your wallets.

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Seriously, though.

Many authors are able to write books at a miraculous speed. I, however, am just not one of those authors. Making peace with that has saved me a ton of anxiety and has allowed me to avoid the oh so ugly comparison trap. There’s a lot of pressure for authors to “keep up,” but if you’re someone who can’t crank out books as fast as some of our other author pals, don’t beat yourself up about it. Everyone has their own particular set of strengths. Someone who can write a book a day may not be able to beat you in Foosball, or a potato sack race.

So don’t worry if you can’t keep up! Just continue writing the best stories you can and who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be able to write a book in a day. But even then, you’ll neeeever be able to beat me in Foosball, honey. Not even in your dreams!

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22 thoughts on “Monday Motivation: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint (For Authors)

  1. I fight not to fall into the comparison trap, but sometimes temptation wins.

    I remind myself that everyone’s situation is different. Maybe that prolific writer doesn’t work outside the home like I do… maybe s/he doesn’t have kids at home, like I do… maybe s/he is just a fast writer (I’ve gotten faster over time)… and maybe his/her books are not as good a quality as someone who writes slower. I’m sure, for some authors, that’s true.

    Great post.

    • Crystal, yes absolutely, if there weren’t kids running around you probably would be writing faster! I say this as a mom as well. This pressure to be so prolific is something invented by people who are not raising children, so it ends up being unfair to parents who are main caregivers. I also tend to put myself under the same expectations as from my pre-mom days, but I have to remind myself that giving children a nurturing, loving environment is more important than any novel that I could ever write at the moment. Being a parent gives us a deeper understanding of life, too, and will make us better writers when we have time for the keyboard again.

  2. I tend to think that anyone who complains about the time it takes people to write knows little to nothing about writing. This makes it easy to dismiss them. (I don’t usually dismiss peoples’ opinions so easily, but in this case, I’m so incredibly willing to make an exception.)
    Mason T. Matchak recently posted..Back From a Week at Sea.My Profile

  3. You have to work the way that works best for you. That’s true of all authors. And some of the most successful books were books that took YEARS for the author to write. It likely means you have an award-winning book in you! You can just tell those authors who reach deep into their souls to write, and you’re one of those authors.
    Stephanie Faris recently posted..Why Glamour Jobs Don’t Pay the BillsMy Profile

  4. Aw, thanks! This really was motivating 😉 Now I don’t feel so low; lost as I am in the comparison rut, and can rejoice at (once) being the foosball queen! Hugs to you 🙂

  5. Speaking of comparisons…I’ve got you beat. I haven’t published a book since December 2013. There is a lot of pressure for authors to put out books quickly, and that just won’t work for everyone. Finding the pace that works for you–and all of the other obligations in your life–is the most important thing.

  6. I’m the same. I’m just not one of the writers and have to remind myself that that’s okay. A book is not a race and I’m not in a race to beat out an author to see who can write their book the fastest. I have my own pace and even though I’d get a little envious, I’ll whoop, and cheer for them. But that’s just not me. In the meantime, I’ll just keep writing, until I read ‘the end.’ Even if I write slower than a turtle moves.
    Lidy recently posted..Happy Banned Books WeekMy Profile

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