Being a Slow Writer

So I’m going through “a moment” and wanted to get something off my chest, with general discussion/advice we can give to other writers who may suffer from the same problem.

TL;DR: I’m a slow writer and it gets frustrating.

I’ve been pretty inactive on Wattpad, with the occasional update of whatever one-shot I come up with (by “occasional”, I mean two updates in the last six months, which…is actually the most active I’ve been in a while, smh).

Privately, I’ve been working on the same story on-off for…well, a while now (since I joined WP, really). I have other ideas lined up, but my current baby has gone under a lot of revisions, character diaries, and I’ve plotted the entire thing from opening scene to closing scene in the epilogue. So I know what I’m doing with the story. It’s not even geared to be that long - 15/16 parts and I’m guessing it’ll be around 40-50K words, NaNo length.

I’m currently undergoing another rewrite, since my brain loves to try and perfect everything, but at this point I just feel so bad for not posting anything. Like, I don’t even have a crowd of people waiting for me - most of my followers have moved on - but it’s more so disappointment in myself for taking so long to post anything. I try to keep my principle of writing things in advance, since I’ve had bad experience in the past with “pantsing” things out.

It just gets hard some days, or tempting is the word I’m going for. I have some chapters written out that I could upload on a schedule, but I have to resist because I know myself well enough that even with a set updating schedule, it’d catch up to me and I’d fall behind - and I wouldn’t want to do that to my readers. I just want the story to go smoothly.

Yea I can relate to this, especially the last few months. I have nine novellas done. But the last few months I’ve preferred … a more slow and deliberate writing style more conducive to writing by the seat of the pants.

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Stick to your convictions. If you know posting as your write won’t work for you, don’t do it. Wattpad should never be the cause of stress for anyone. It should always be a fun place so keep it fun.

Your true readers will understand the lack of updates so remind yourself this is a marathon, not a sprint. You write how you write and theres nothing wrong with that.

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Nine! Good for you! I took a Creative Writing course this past semester and while it hasn’t impacting my writing that much… there are small details to my story I want to adjust and everything. It’s annoying because once I edit one thing, I have to follow up and edit everything after that, otherwise things are inconsistent, haha.

Thank you! I definitely know posting as I write isn’t for me, haha. I just wish I was better at writing fast and dealing with shitty drafts. I overthink stuff too much and that’s what holds me back.

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It took me a long time to accept my first drafts will suck. They’re better than a lot of other peoples but they’re still just that. First drafts. The ONLY reason I’m comfortable posting as is, is because I’m just not going to edit everything I write. I just won’t. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t see a point in making sure I catch every plot hole, every missed comma, every minute error unless I’m going to publish for real. I run it all through spell check and catch as many of my dyslexic word swaps as I can, and there can be a lot of word swaps, but that’s not anything I consider editing. To me spellcheck is kinda of an automatic and should be done no matter what.

So knowing that, I had 2 choices: never share anything I write, or just say screw it and share it. If people read it. Woohoo. If they don’t. Oh well. I’ll still write for me.

Sharing it is actually the only reason I have actually edited 2 of the books I’ve written. I had enough people telling me I was good and should try to take it seriously (I basically just write because its fun) so I usually warn people it’s a first draft and go on my merry way. It took me a long time to get to where I’m at now. Now I know a lot of people cringe at the way I choose to look at things, so I certainly would never advocate being as tralala as I am :joy:

But maybe you just need to remind yourself that it’s okay that it isnt perfect. It’s Wattpad. While there are a lot of amazing and professional writers, most of us are just learning the craft. We’re expected to screw something up. Best way to learn it is by doing it. So getting too caught up in perfection can be debilitating. So just keep reminding yourself you don’t have to be perfect, just finish it.

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Yeah, it’s honestly helpful when I tell myself, “It’s just Wattpad!” haha. And I think it’s impossible for any piece to be plot-hole free. But thank you so much, your comment means a lot to me!

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Even published books have their flaws. No author is perfect. If they were then you wouldn’t find even one person who says “this person sucks.”

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Have you tried word wars?

No, I actually haven’t :frowning: I’ve seen them a lot of WP over the years. I just feel like I’d end up deleting whatever I wrote, but I realize that’s negative thinking. I should try it sometime!

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If you ever want to try it out, I made a thread for it!

Even if you write, like, 5k words and delete half of it, you still get to keep some!

Writing a lot and then deleting some afterwards is better than nothing. :lumi:

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I can relate. For a long time, I was the one that wrote as I went along (wrote a chapter, updated, wrote another, updated) and my updates were never constant. Sometimes, I could have a new chapter out the next week or two. Sometimes, it took me a month or two to update. I tried to never go more than two months to post, so that was my limit. But it was still pretty terrible.

Because of this, I’ve decided to write everything offline so it’s not as stressful. And it’s working well for me! I’m still posting different things on my profile to let people know I’m still active (for example, I just posted two short stories for the Wattys) but my novel (the big project) is all offline. Won’t see the light of day until it’s completion.

For me, however, it was never the “slow writer” issue. I’ve just been a big procrastinator and I’m also severely lazy, so… that tends to stick and… well… makes me a terrible writer. xD

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Yeah, haha, there’s just days where I don’t feel like writing so I get the procrastination/laziness aspects of it.

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I used to be an incredibly fast writer - I could pull 80-100k a month if I was really feeling it. Now I’m lucky if I write a tenth of that. It’s been hard to write, but I think a lot of that is just frustration over switching up entirely how I do things in the writing world and being scared and reluctant of change and leaving my comfort zone.

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Damn, I only dream of doing that much a month, haha.

I remember when I first got into writing - like, back in elementary - it was so easy to just write. Because I never second-guessed myself then. I mean, yeah, the stories I wrote were shit, but I at least got stuff on the page and had a lot to work with.

It’s kind of hard, trying to work back into that mindset, haha.

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I don’t second guess myself as much as I got stuck in a really bad way in a really bad fandom back when I was more fanfic focused. Now I’m just struggling to get back into the rhythm after almost a year of writing being associated with really bad feelings.

Turning off the inner editor is a feat, let me tell you, and I wish you the best in it!

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I kind of used to be stuck in a similar circle of continuous edits. I’d write a few chapters, re-read them, not like them, rewrite them again… And repeat. I Never got anywhere.

A friend of mine, also a writer encouraged me to just write. Forget about editing. Forget about grammar. Just write, get the story out there, let it live and breathe. Together with a daily writing goal through a monthly writing challenge I’ve participated in for the last three years now almost, I’m writing more than I ever did before. And it feels good to get the story out there!

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Can I frame this and put it up on my wall??

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If it helps you, go for it. I’m a big believer of embracing the suck. It’s the only thing that keeps me going when I get down on my writing. Okay not the only thing, my readers do too. But prior to posting a story, I have no readers. So when I’m writing the first bit I build up before posting u have to remind myself constantly it’s okay if it sucks. And also that it’s probably not as bad as I think it is :joy:

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Thank you! Yeah, bad feelings can definitely affect writing performance - be it from other writers or from life situations. Best of luck to you as well, though!

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