When I became serious about my writing, I knew that two skills would be more important for me than any others: to write well, and to write fast.
I love my stories and want to give them the best form I possibly can. I want readers to love them as much as I do (okay, at least come close 😉 ) For that to happen, I need to keep my prose clear, my pacing tight, and my characters fully-developed.
I also have a ton of stories to tell, so I knew I needed to be able to write well quickly. I spent ten years working on building these skills. It probably sounds weird, but I saw it as training myself like an athlete might. I ran drills, gave myself assignments, set strict time limits and word count goals, and kept my focus on what exact skill I was working on developing (description, characterization, pacing, etc.). I’m so glad I did.
There’s a lot of “hurry up” and “wait…” in publishing. Once that ball starts to roll, though, you want to keep it moving! You might be waiting on a piece to go up on pre-order, or waiting for edits to start, or planning a cover reveal, or all of the above. But you need to always-always-always keep the creative wheels turning. Whether you’re adding words to the page or thinking about the next story, or the one after that, or even the one after the one after that—you can’t let your stories fall by the wayside while you’re climbing the marketing mountain or trying not to stress about reviews.
It is so much work, but the return is amazing. Watching my Amazon Author page grow over just the past few months has really been bringing this message home.
All that work—it was worth it. And I can’t wait to see what lies ahead as this beautiful list keeps growing, just as fast as my brain and fingers can get these stories out.