Good stuff takes time.
Work worth sharing takes time. The white noise of internet land lays on a foundation of mediocre bricks; its users ‘snacking’ as they frantically flip between sites, blogs and videos. A certain urgency lingers around creatives. An insistent need to be out there! Right now! Don’t worry if your blog is riddled with typos or stale turns of phrase, hit the “post” button and get on with it! I am of course speaking to my own inner Nervous Nellie. For some illogical, self-indulgent reason, she believes that people are actually waiting for these thoughtful reflections.
The thing is, no one is waiting. Not for your blog, your novel, your painting or your fabulous vegetable lasagne…oh, well, I guess someone is waiting for that. This thought can be incredibly liberating as all the self created anxiety around getting it out there disappears. It is also slightly depressing. If no one is waiting, then why pursue any creative endeavours?
Because you want to. (Oh yeah! So there’s that).
Back to my earlier time vs quality argument… if no one is waiting for your literary/artistic/ creative stroke of genius, how does that effect the production of your work? The thing is, once something is out there – it’s out there. No takesies backsies. If you release your work too early, before it’s truly ready, you may be doing a disservice to your reader, your work and yourself. Author Dani Shapiro states that she had to ‘write herself’ out of the mediocre reputation established by her early novels: books, she says, that were ok but weren’t really ready.
Good stuff takes time. It takes thought, litres of coffee, a good dash of try this – what about that? – before you get to run down the street, naked, announcing your latest triumph.
Robert McKee has confessed to spending upwards of three days on a single paragraph. One stinking paragraph! Diana Gabaldon reworks a scene literally hundreds of times before she considers it done. Stories that read as effortless prose, were likely scribed as the author yanked out clumps of their own hair.
It took Ken Follett ten years to write The Pillars of the Earth, so too did Margaret Mitchell with Gone with the Wind.
Good stuff takes time.
No one is waiting.
So take your time.