If you’re new to Bookfox, this post is a good place to start. It talks about the big picture decisions every writer needs to make, rather than the tactical decisions I talk about in most other posts.
Basically, you need a giant, overarching plan for your writing life.
If you were a billionaire, would you still be writing?
If you answered yes, then clearly writing is your calling.
But what would you do differently as a billionaire writer?
It’s true that people write the advice they need to hear, and I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been the perfect model for a happy writer.
I had some bad years. Mrs. Bookfox definitely saw the worst of it. Part of it was chemical issues, but also I had such extravagant fantasies about writing success and none of them were coming true.
When I was 31 years old, I’d been laboring over a novel for 5 years.
It was a quagmire. I was hopelessly stuck in a plot that wouldn’t move, in characters that couldn’t elicit sympathy, and with ambitions that were far beyond my skill as a writer.
When I’d started the novel, I had a grand vision that hadn’t played out on the page. I’d dreamed up a magnificent castle and built a ramshackle hovel.
I became a writer mainly because of pride.
Growing up, I always had an excess of confidence. Maybe it was being a big fish in the small pond of the desert town of Hesperia, California, but I was supremely confident that I could do anything.
So when figuring out what to do in life, I decided to become a writer because I thought other people should listen to what I had to say.
What is “Slow Writing”?
You’ve probably heard the phrase tossed around for other topics:
- Slow Food
- Slow Cinema
- Slow Fashion
- Slow Travel
It’s a movement based on Carl Honore’s 2004 book, In Praise of Slowness, which is about the detrimental effects of building an entire culture around the benefits of speed.
This writing advice would have saved me a lot of broken drafts and a lot of failed expectations.
After you read this, pick your favorite 3 or 4 points and tape them to the wall above your writing desk.
Remind yourself of this writing advice often enough, and you’ll have a much better chance of success.