Take a Deep Breath and Take Your Time

Love this post at YA Highway about taking care of yourself in the stressful world of writing. Among other things, Kirsten Hubbard reminds us that we should give ourselves permission:

. . . to take your time.

As writers, we’re so aware of time. How much time we have to write each day. How long it’ll take to finish a book and revise it. To get an agent. To sell to a publisher. And after that, there’s contracts, editing, promotion, and (a million light years away) release.

Everything takes so damned long! As a result, we often fall victim to this relentless urge to hurry hurry hurry – because somebody will write our idea, or we won’t have a 2013 book out, or we’ll turn 18 or 30 or 45, or a million other arbitrary things. On good days, that hurry hurry hurry refrain lights a fire under our butts. But it’s also really freaking stressful. And stress doesn’t result in our best books – or happiness in general.

As long as you keep writing regularly, give yourself permission to take your time. It’ll take how long it takes. And however long that is – it’s okay.

In moves, books get written in the time it takes to show a montage. There’s no editing required. People are super successful published authors by the time they’re 18. That’s totally unrealistic! The writing and publishing process takes a long time. And most people don’t understand that. They’ll ask when you’ll be done with your novel/get an agent/get published. Mostly this is just from excitement, but it can induce a lot of unnecessary pressure. (As if you’re not already beating yourself up about that stuff, right?) I love Kirsten’s suggestion to take your time. Rushing the journey doesn’t help and only needs to stress.

Make sure to check out the rest of the list for more ways you can give yourself permission in your writing career. I’m feeling more relaxed already!

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