Why Other Writers Don’t Want You to Write Quickly

The real reason other writers don't want to believe you can write so quickly - and it's not what you think. Only on #thewritersaurus

It’s no secret that over the past year I’ve adopted a philosophy of writing and publishing books quickly. This outlook has become more common for writers, especially indies, over the last year or two.

That’s why I cringe whenever a post pops up on my Facebook feed asking how it’s possible to publish so often, the thinly veiled implication that any writer who writes that fast must therefore be writing poorly. Some even go so far as to say something like, “I would never publish that quickly! I have pride in my work!”

It’s not like I don’t understand this viewpoint. Heck, two years ago I was right there with these people. But even before I adopted a rapid writing philosophy myself, the wave of successful prolific authors had put that ideology to bed. Haven’t we been through this already? I always think.

I spent some time puzzling over these doubters, but it was upon considering that less educated, less productive version of myself that the answer came to me.

(and, let me be clear: the below is about the people I’ll call “doubters.” Doubters are those who make condescending comments about those who write and publish quickly.)

The doubters don’t want to admit that others can write that quickly because it shakes their identity as a writer.

They want becoming a successful writer to be elusive and difficult. It makes them feel safe. That way, if they don’t make it, it’s not a reflection on them—it’s a reflection on how slow and backward the system is.

Seeing other writers producing vast quantities of good words also begs the unspoken question, why am I not producing that much?

The simple reality is that prolific writers produce huge amounts of work because they work harder and smarter, and devote more time to it. The doubters don’t want this to be true. They want to believe anyone who writes more than a book a year is cheating the system somehow. This is mostly because they either don’t want to work that hard or don’t know how. They don’t want to give up watching hours of television or surfing the internet every day. They don’t want to have to choose to spend less time with friends and family.

What doubters do want is to re-share inspirational quotes from famous writers on Tumbler and comment in writing groups, all while producing a couple paragraphs (or less) a week. They want to do all this and still call themselves writers.

And they are writers. I’m not trying to deny that fact. Some people only want to write one book in their lifetime. Others are obligated by work or family and don’t currently have the time to devote to writing. And THAT’S OKAY. They are still writers, no better or no worse than anyone else.

But so are those who write quickly—and frankly, they have a much better chance of achieving success.

To the prolific writers out there: I know it stings to see these negative sentiments when you’ve been working your tush off. Don’t let the doubters get you down. Ignore them. You do you.

To the doubters: If you are feeling particularly defensive or skeptical, I ask that you examine why. I mean no disrespect. It is okay to write at a slower pace, either for the fun of it or to finish the one or two masterpieces you feel like you have in you. If you simply don’t have the time due to other priorities, it’s totally okay to wait until your kids start school or you retire. Just know that you probably won’t achieve financial success until then. Own your goals—just be realistic.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to write more quickly, you can get the basics by reading the two previous articles in this series, The Benefits of Writing Quickly, and How to Write a (Good!) book in a Month. The books 5,000 Words an Hour by Chris Fox and 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron are also great resources on the topic.

So that covers why others don’t want you to write Quickly. Next week, I’ll discuss what you may be doing to sabotage yourself in Why You Don’t Believe You Can Write Quickly.

Now I’d like to hear from you! Do you think it’s possible to write and publish a good book in a month? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!


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H. Duke
H. Duke writes fantasy, horror, and more. Her works include the weird west / urban fantasy serial mashup, Jeremiah Jones Cowboy Sorcerer and the Christmas horror collection, Things on the Shelf: Three Tales of Christmas Terror, as well as the forthcoming Pagewalker series. She wrote the first season of Jeremiah Jones Cowboy Sorcerer while living in Arizona with her husband, Giru, and a shiny black dog named Jupiter. To see what she's up to now, visit her website.

2 comments for “Why Other Writers Don’t Want You to Write Quickly

  1. Anonymous
    January 15, 2018 at 10:20 PM

    This article comes across as condescending as you claim the ‘slow’ writers to be. Why can’t everyone just write at their own pace and we all be supportive?

  2. donald bell
    January 16, 2018 at 3:26 AM

    My reasoning is that writing is done at the speed a person can reasonable fabricate a story. It has nothing to do with publishing quickly No one who is a serious writer of books would purposely delay their publication. That would occur if they were inconsequential, lazy, easily distracted, in love, or just don’t care.

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