Haste Makes Waste

Interesting post by Athol Dickson on writing too fast. He is concerned that Christian fiction writers are giving in to the pressure to crank out the books:

I recently got into hot water with some writer friends by crying out for a slower, more thoughtful pace. Although I hate it when people are unhappy with me, I’m not backing down. Many popular Christian authors are in the habit of putting out three, four or even five or more novels every year. Such haste strikes me as a risky proposition.

[. . .]

Other than those three exceptions—bursts of inspiration, requirements of the genre, and true genius—I suspect this publishing pace is driven by naive over-optimism, economics, and/or a fear of failure. Naive over-optimism, because some remain perennially convinced of their ability to cram 240 minutes of work into an hour, especially while negotiating deadlines. (Agents and acquisitions editors share the responsibility here.) Economics, because more books usually means more money. And fear of failure because we (wrongly) believe the readers will forget us without a constant supply of fresh reminders on the shelf. Whatever the reason, and with the exceptions above duly noted, such a pace means insufficient thought is given to the work, and let me be clear: insufficient thought given to the work is the concern, not how fast one writes the first draft.

Speaking of Dickson, I just finished his River Rising and hope to post a review soon. Short take: an engaging and thought provoking novel.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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