Tuesday, October 28, 2014

National Novel Writing Month  is right around the bend. In my mind, I picture writers everywhere sitting at desks with pencils sharpened and held upright in hand, a couple of spares nearby. They stare at the clock. At the stroke of midnight on November 1, they bend over their desks and don’t look up until 11:59 p.m. on November 30. 

**Shiver** It reminds me of thosed timed tests in school.

Now, I’m not putting down anyone’s NaNoWriMo efforts and excitement. Far from it. I think it’s a great exercise in story completion and learning to get that first draft down fast. For some, it’s simply a challenge. For others, it’s a kick in the keister to get them motivated to complete that languishing manuscript. For me, it would be a wide-open Porsche on the Autobahn to an ulcer—a disaster in the making. (The same goes for the 1k/1 hour challenge, although I think I could handle that a little better.) 

You see, I’m a slow writer who can’t seem to shut off the internal editor as I go. I look for just the right word, just the right emotion, just the right … well, whatever … before I continue. I get lost easily and must reread the paragraphs I’ve written in order to move on in the scene.

I sigh every time I read where someone wrote thousands of words in a few measly hours. Sometimes, I want to be just like them; I truly do. It would certainly make my life easier. For one thing, I’d get out in the garden more often. And I wouldn’t need to worry about making my weekly word-count goals. Alas, though, I rarely get in more than 1,200 words in a full day of writing, and it’s usually less.  

For those of you who are like me and suffer from a case of slow writing, take heart. It’s okay. If you keep plugging away at it, your story will get be completed … eventually. 

Just as we each have a desire to write in certain genres, we each go about that writing in a different fashion and at a different speed. We’re pantsers, plotters, hybrids. The key is to accept what you can do and plan accordingly, especially if you have a deadline. If you only write 500 words per day, five days a week, that’s 2,500 words in a week, and an 80,000-word novel in eight months. 

Rejoice! You’re a writer!

Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author of short fiction who writes inspirational historical romance. Her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, releases October 2014. She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina. 

Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Sign up for her newsletter.


  1. The sad thing is today's ebook market expectations are that you will release four books a year. Will be interesting to see if folks choose to read a slow author because the quality might, and I say might, be better.

  2. Good point, Julie. Unless they were all novella length, I think if I had to do four books a year I'd definitely have that ulcer.


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