Dispelling Some Myths About Writing Speeds16:43
|Original Image by Andrew Czap|
Camp NaNoWriMo is an amazing time of year. Writers from around the world form groups to support each other as they write their novels. Having a virtual cabin full of people to cheer your on is one of the most motivating things ever. But at the same time, sharing a cabin with someone who reaches fifty thousand words on the second day can be less than fun. In the years I’ve been doing Camp NaNo, I’ve been the quick writer, and I’ve also been the envious slow writer wishing I could churn out more words. Today I’d like to dispel a few of the myths surrounding writing speeds by sharing some of the truths I've learned.
Speed Does Not Make You a Better Writer
It’s just a fact. Just because a person can write a million words in a month, doesn’t mean that their million words are better than your ten thousand. Their million words might well be amazing prose that is pretty much ready for publication. But it’s far more likely that their first draft is just as bad as yours. The truth is, no matter how fast you type, everyone’s first drafts are bad. And in some cases, though not all, writing faster actually means that you have less time to think about the quality of your writing. But just because someone can churn out thousands of words an hour doesn’t mean that their ideas are better than yours, or that characters are more real, or their books more interesting. Writing speed is merely a measure of how fast a person can type words onto a screen. Nothing more, nothing less.
People Who Write Slow Are Not Bad Writers
Just because you might struggle to write one hundred words in twenty minutes doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. Are you working on your book? Are you dedicating time to writing? Are you striving to write better? If so, then you are a good writer. A good writer works on their book, it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter how fast you write, as long as you are writing. Don’t measure your worth as a writer by how quickly you write.
People Who Write Fast Don’t Cheat
I hate to say it, but sometimes, people who write quickly are accused of cheating. If you’ve been accused of this, then I’m sorry. I really am. People who write fifty thousand words in a day don’t always cheat. There are writers out there who dedicate hours and hours of their time to writing, and who set themselves a goal to hit. It’s not impossible to write lots of words in a day. It’s just hard work.
All Writers Have Bad Days
Whether you write quickly or slowly, all writers have bad days. The amount of progress you make doesn’t always reflect how difficult it was to actually write those words. You might have written a load of words, but every word felt like you were cutting it into your own skin. Writing can be hard work, no matter what your typing speed is.
Every Writer, No Matter What Their Writing Speed, Is Amazing
Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo? You’re amazing. No? You’re still amazing. Whether you can write five thousand words in an hour or five hundred, you are still awesome. Your typing speed doesn’t dictate how good a writer you are. Typing speed is just a number. What matters is that you pour your heart and soul into writing the stories that mean something to you, and that you are willing to work to become better at your craft. That is what makes you a good writer, not some arbitrary number that indicates how many characters you can dump on a page.
What myths about writing speeds do you wish people would understand? Do you consider yourself a fast or a slow writer?
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