So this weekend was very busy with the wedding, but it was beautiful and the weather actually held out for us. The morning was wet and drizzly, but the afternoon couldn’t have been more beautiful – a little warmer would have been best though. All in all, my aunt couldn’t have pulled off a more beautiful wedding.
This week I wanted to talk about something that is very important to remember as a writer that often gets bypassed. Quality over quantity.
As a writer in school, professors wanted you to turn out a certain number of poems, short stories, whatever – in a week. They wanted you to write just to get words to paper. In reality, you are lucky to get a poem out in a month. One poem can be written four or five times before you are happy with it and it is considered “done”. I am running into this problem now.
I have mentioned before that I am working on my MFA application and I am working on editing, expanding, and creating a piece of book art for this application. My goal was to complete two pieces. One that was a series of letters, and another that was a cross genre prose piece. Both were going to be completed and have books made, the process documented and thrown into a video which was going to be the videos that I made for YouTube that I talked about last week.
I thought it would be possibly to get all this stuff done before February 1st. That is complete and total crap. I realized that today as I was reading through my work. There is so much that goes into making any book and any time less than what you need isn’t going to turn out work that you are proud of.
I always thought that I would rather die and put out work that I wasn’t proud of. I was quickly proven wrong when there was a time line that was placed on creating a full length chapbook with at least 7,000 words. Three weeks. That was all I got. The stories weren’t what I wanted and honestly needed a lot of work. But I did what I could given the time that I had.
I came to the conclusion today that if I’m going to put out work for my MFA, I wouldn’t feel good about it unless I was able to put in the work that would be needed for it. At this point, I plan to work on and finish one project in all of it’s completion to turn in to the program. I am alright turning in the writing only for the second project. I’m itching to start something new as well
This is all very personal, but some writers are able to turn out a lot of high quality books very quickly:
- Sherilyn Kenyon
- James Patterson
- Erin Hunter
- Diana Steele
And that’s just a few of them. In the end you have to decide what it is that is most important at the time. Quality or Quantity.
I think that there is some importance about just getting pen to paper and get words to the paper. Once the words are out, then you have something to work with. When first starting out, that can actually be helpful.
When it comes down to it though, taking the time to make work that you are proud of is always what’s important. Take the time that you need to create the work that you need. There are always people who are going to want to push you to get it done sooner – and those who have aggressive managers will have that – but there’s no need to make more than needed. Sometimes the bare minimum is the best.
So I hope that this isn’t too off kilter from how I normally talk. I have been battling a migraine for the last few days and I’m not completely sure that this makes sense. I can revisit this later again if needed.
Till the next chapter,