Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why it's Good to Rush to Get Published

One of my regular tips to burgeoning writers is, don't rush to get published. Slow down, enjoy the process, learn the craft, get it right, indulge, experiment. And while I still stand by this advice, I'd like to emphasize it's also good to rush.

How is that even possible—to rush and not rush at the same time?

I'll start by explaining why it's good to rush:
Rushing to 'get published' gives us writers a sense of urgency. This urgency in turn gives us focus. We become more likely to finish that tricksy first draft. We're placed in a better mind frame to complete multiple edits. We push ourselves to learn those boring grammar rules because we want our stories to be the best they can be. The rush drives us to step out of our comfort zones, to meet other authors, network, attend conferences, join workshops, and take the rollercoaster ride that carries us from Hobby Station to Career City.

Of course, as part of that rollercoaster ride, we experience two opposing forces tugging at our senses—to rush, and not to rush. Very Hamlet. But before you start pontificating philosophical arguments to skulls, remember balance is key.

If your writing becomes a painful chore because you're not 'getting published', then you're rushing too much.

If you jump into self-publishing thinking you'll find overnight success without a professional edit or cover design, then you're in too much of a rush.

If, like me, you're down with a nasty bout of flu and you're getting frustrated because you're too sick to write and it's June already—JUNE, for goodness sakes!!!—then, well, that's part of the rollercoaster ride and you need to accept that sometimes life will throw you that curve ball and no matter how much you try to duck and weave, there ain't no avoiding it. Take the necessary time out and deal with whatever it is that's holding you back from writing. As a good friend said, "Your backbrain continues to hammer things out." In other words, the writer's mind never stops.

How do you deal with the crazies generated by the need to 'get published'?

This post was written for Alex J Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers' Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. It's a fantastic supportive group. Come join us.

My apologies to my wonderful bloggy friends whom I haven't managed to visit recently, but I'm gonna go crawl back to bed. I will visit as soon as I can.

Happy writing. Happy rushing.

#IWSG

Lynda R Young

78 comments:

  1. Get better soon! Like right away!:)

    Never rush, at least not unless it's a measured rush, if there is such a thing!

    Everyone wants it over night, and some have achieved success that way, but not the majority. It takes time, lots of time, lots of frustration, but worth it, always!

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  2. To rush or not to rush...that is the question. I always think of the other advice: You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. Very tricky.
    Get better soon Lyn!! Dastardly flu!

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    1. It's a fine line, but it's still good to keep that sense of urgency to get it right.
      And thanks. Still sick. So over being sick. Sigh.

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  3. Great advice. I've only heard the 'take your time' end of it. It's hard finding balance because too soon equals rejection and frustration, while too long equals delay and frustration. I hope to find the right balance soon. Feel better!

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  4. Ohhh... so sorry you're sick. And wonderful post. It strangely makes perfect sense ;-)

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  5. Thanks for your take on rushing and slowing down. I like it. I think I am finally learning to keep that in balance and check, to not force things, and to not be hard on myself when I strive to stay on a schedule. :) Writer’s Mark

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    1. One of the hardest things is not being hard on yourself. I think I'm too hard on myself at times.

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  6. Lack of sleep and trying to get a paper written up and finished in time for a deadline is the closest I think I can get to. :P

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  7. I rushed a lot at the beginning, learning craft, getting feedback, getting short stories pubbed, but after I finished my 3rd novel, I collapsed like I'd run a marathon. Burnout. I'm definitely not rushing anymore...

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  8. Sorry you feel bad!
    It's not a race. No need to rush when things outside of our control sideline us.

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  9. To rush, or not to rush! Haha! I think I TRY to rush (because it keeps me focused, like you said) but what other people see doesn't always look like a rush ;-) (because I can't write FAST!)

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  10. I hope you feel better. I push myself because I want to be a better writer and sometimes to do that I need to achieve goals. But as one of your other commenters said, you don't get another chance at a first impression. That's what makes me slow down.

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  11. I've literally no idea how on earth June crept on us so quickly and shamelessly????

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  12. No crazies here actually! In fact I might have the opposite problem, though my IWSG post touches on a similar topic. I think that I'm quite focused on making my story the best it can be, but feel no urgency at all to get it published ... it will be ready when it's ready. Except how will I know when that is?
    Otherwise, I'm in complete agreement with your thoughts about enjoying the process and am enjoying the whole ride immensely. :)

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    1. knowing when a manuscript is ready is a whole other blog post.

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  13. I read another thing this week which resonated deeply. 'Contain the energy.' Hard to do in a world of social media where it's tough to sift the signal from the noise.

    I know that seems non-sequitir but it's along the backbrain lines ...

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    1. 'Contain the energy'. I like it. We also need to feed the energy and that means breaks and doing other things than writing.

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  14. I don't like rushing, but I do like a deadline. I need one to plug away at it.

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  15. Blah to the flu!!

    And I constantly feel that tug of war inside -- rush...no, don't rush! My last novel won a couple of contests and was getting some good reaction from agents when I was querying it. And it scared me a little, because I know I'm such a slow writer. I worried if I did get it published I'd be a madwoman trying to get another novel written on a deadline. I decided then to give myself some breathing room and write a second novel for the trilogy before continuing to query. It's been hell having to wait to query again, but I'll have two strong projects ready to go when I'm done with this WIP. Some days I feel like I'm going to break the stable door down in my rush to get these stories out. LOL.

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    1. Knowing what you want is a good place to be, especially when you're able to work toward getting that. You're seeing the bigger picture beyond 'getting published'. You're definitely stronger for it.

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  16. Truth: giving myself a sense of urgency in anything pushes me forward, gives the goal a higher importance. For me, though, I must be careful not to psych myself out with rushing and then failing to meet a hurried goal. It's a delicate balance of self.

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  17. Feel better, Lynda!

    Life threw me a bit of a curveball so I haven't written as much as I'd like. But, my CP gave me some great advice - just write something to avoid the rust from developing. He got me motivated.

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  18. Time just seems to be getting faster and faster. I try not to think about it because my reaction tends to be to freeze up, which only wastes more time. Keep moving forward at whatever speed and you'll get there, is my feeling.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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  19. Hope you feel better! And someone, please, how on earth did it get to be June already?!?

    I know the feeling you describe--the rush to get it done now! It's a hard one to fight. Usually I read something really, really good and that makes me take a step back and wonder if I can improve my own writing more before attempting to get something out in the world :)

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  20. Rushing has caused me to make some mistakes, but I've learned from those mistakes, so I guess that's the positive side.

    So sorry about your being sick. I was on break in May and for two weeks I was sick! Yucky. Be well soon,

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    1. Thanks so much. It's a shame half your break was taken up by sickness. So frustrating to have all this time to write, but can't. Sigh.

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  21. Feel better Lynda. I like the line that balance is the key. You are absolutely right.

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  22. Hope you get better soon Lynda!
    Rushing will cause everything to go by in a blur, and you won't get to enjoy the ride...
    Writer In Transit

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  23. I hope you feel better soon!
    This is a hot topic for me. There is such a balance between working as hard as possible and understanding that there are times when forcing the work means the end result will be less than satisfactory. Sometimes we need to accept limitations.

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  24. Aww. Feel better soon! We miss you. I try not to rush my writing, but then I start putting it off so I have to do something. Good post. :D

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  25. Balance is so important, and it seems to be what you are emphasizing very well with this post.

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  26. Glad my backbrain's working, 'cause the front one, not so much. Feel better soon, yucky time of the year.

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  27. I hope you feel better soon. It's no fun trying to concentrate when all your body wants you to do is sit in front of the tv with a lovely cup of tea, snuggled up under a duvet.

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    1. I've discovered that daytime tv is shockingly BAD. But that's good because I end up falling asleep anyway. lol.

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  28. So easy to get caught in the hype, so I pull back and remind myself about getting the story right. No need to rush I say.

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  29. I've never read such good, contradictory advice before. Thanks, Lynda. I agree with everything you said. I also have the flu, and right now I'm feeling very sorry for myself. I sure hope you'll feel better soon.

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    1. Aw!!! Let's feel sorry for each other!!! How horrible! I'm STILL sick and I'm so over it! I hope you get better soon.
      Hugs

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  30. Glad someone's touched this topic. While I agree you need to take the time to get the best story out there no one must use it as an excuse to hoard their manuscript instead of publishing it.

    Blog: Queendsheena
    IWSG Co-host

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    1. I hadn't seen it as hoarding, but you are so right. Stories need to be shared. They don't gain that true breath of life without sharing them.

      Congrats on your co-hosting. Hope you're having fun.

      Lyn

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  31. That IS very Hamlet. But I think you're so right. I know you're so right for I've got the attention span of an ant, so whatever I write... I need to finish it asap. That means long nights and a lot of focus. You know, before I lose interest.

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    1. she ain't right either, Blue, Lyndy is liberal like moiself.....

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    2. you're confusing me, Dezzy. I'm sick right now so you're not allowed to confuse me...

      Blue, that's a brilliant point you brought up. Writing fast keeps our focus. I have that ant attention span too ;)

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    3. Hope you're feeling better now, Lynda. Dezzy sometimes makes me sick, too. He's too sweet.

      Brilliant? No one's ever said that to me before. Now I'm all blushing and paying attention.... ;)

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    4. I hope you're feeling a bit better now, Lynda.

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    5. yes!! Finally! But it's taken FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (still enjoying a nasty cough that disturbs the cat, but soooo much better than it was).

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  32. I learned not to rush on manuscripts, but at the same time it's important to always be learning and writing, rather than stagnating. We have to be working towards something.

    Feel better.

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  33. Hope you've finally kicked that flu bug.

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  34. Feel better soon, Lynda! Being sick in the summer is no fun (or any other time of the year, for that matter).

    I think it's important to feel rushed when you're not writing - like you said, it's what gets us networking, going to conferences and so forth. Also, feeling rushed can help you become motivated to actually start writing. But when you sit down and get in the zone, feeling rushed might reduce the quality of your writing.

    ~Wendy Lu

    The Red Angel Blog

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    1. It's winter here in Oz, but you're right--it's no fun any time of year.

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  35. nice...i agree...on the rushing that motivates us to hone our craft and become better...not the kind that encourages us to take short cuts...you def need long vision in writing...smiles.

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  36. Lyn, get rid of that flu asap. Missing your visits to my blog.
    I agree with the point that we must rush to get that first draft written and then revise until it shines.

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  37. Hey, get better soon! =) Rushing into publication is definitely not a good idea--as you have to see it for what it is, a business. However, I think publishing now days comes down to more a question of what you're selling. If you've got something that's been done before but is totally you, you're better off self publishing. I've noticed publishers are only going for things they think are completely unique.

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  38. In my case I could use more drive to get my work done. Great post. :-)

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  39. Great post! Thanks so much for something I need to remind myself up. I consider myself quite self-motivated (although yet unpublished), but I know had I published anything prior to this moment, I would only be disappointed in how much skill I lacked at that point. The past few years of serious writing has been invaluable for my writing journey.

    ~I.E.

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  40. Absolutely--urgency and a bit of "rushing" can light the fire under us so we're not just messing around on FB all day. LOL

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  41. I know, when did it get to be June already? I'm still mentally back in the beginning of May...:)

    Hope you are feeling better by now! I see both sides to this, and like your points. At this stage, I find myself on the rush to get published side, as I had an unexpected opportunity pop up within the last several weeks. So I am hurrying, and hyperventilating a bit too. Excited as well.

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    1. I'm mentally back in February .. or just mental ;)

      Hey, congrats on the opportunity. Sounds intriguing and exciting.

      And nope, still not better! :(

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  42. Was a bit confused regarding getting published itself!!
    Now I'm atleast clear about whether I should rush for it or not!!

    Thanks for sharing!! :)

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  43. Hope you're feeling better by now! It is quite a balancing act, isn't it? Like a teeter-totter? You go too far in one direction, and your work either isn't good enough or it's been re-written so much the soul's sucked out!

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    1. lol yep I'm familiar with both sides ;)

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  44. When it comes down to it, it's all about balance. Even the writing itself. We're like orchestra conductors, if you think about it. Juggling, always juggling, and sometimes it feels like we're juggling while trying to balance on a rope over a pit of crocodiles. :)

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  45. You're right Lynda. It's all about balance. And yes, June always sends me into a panic too. I keep on wondering where the first 6 months went!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  46. Ah, I hope you feel better! I totally understand exactly what your saying. If you aren't 'rushing' then you'll never finish and may even find yourself eyeballing a new project before the current one is done. On the other hand, if you do rush you may start to get burned out. It's a catch 22, isn't it. I'm still learning how to tight rope walk successfully.

    Great post, lady!

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  47. Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments and well wishes. I'm STILL sick with flu and it's driving me crazy. At least I'm getting a little better each day. Still exhausted though. I'll be back to post on Monday and will visit everyone as soon as I can.

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  48. Nice post! I find myself rushing to write each day...the publishing will flow from that. :)

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  49. Hope you're feeling better! Deadlines definitely help me.

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  50. Balance is ALWAYS key. Hope you're feeling better!

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  51. Balance is always the key. A very interesting and multi-faceted post.

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  52. I'm glad you're feeling better.

    I always feel rushed to get published. Now to actually get published.

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  53. A sense of purpose and urgency is always a good thing when in the writing business. Otherwise we'd never get anything done.

    Jai

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