I’ve been working on The Saltwater Twin for about a year now in earnest. I’m about halfway there, I think, and I’m impatient. It’s slow going. I get antsy when I finish yet another draft of a chapter and realize it’s still not done. I have to go back and work on it some more. Maybe even set it aside and come back to it in a few days or weeks. It is a little-by-little process of finding a path forward, looping back around, creeping forward again. I write many, many drafts. There are pages of typed and penned rambling that end up discarded, but lead to what will stay in the end. Sometimes there is research to be done. And of course there are mundane distractions like laundry, groceries, dog walks and earning a living.
So I have noticed a couple things. 1. Being impatient does not make me write better or faster. It just ratchets up my anxiety, and I am not a big fan of anxiety. 2. I think I am a little bit slow by nature. As a kid I was always getting left behind in museum exhibits. I liked to amble and think and explore till someone came to scold me for lollygagging and herd me back to the rest of the group.
So, in light of 1 and 2, I’m going to try to be okay with being slow. Maybe even embrace it. And though I’m impatient about wanting to see how this whole book thing is going to turn out, I’m going to try to pay attention to how it is to be in the thick of these green and growing leaves right now. It’s not a bad place to be.
4 thoughts on “In Praise of Slowness”
Maia, I absolutely love this post. I’m working on a novel and I’ve experienced exactly the same struggle…Trying to balance movement (moving along with writing, that is) with taking the time to savor the experience and let things flow as they fill, big challenge. You describe it well 🙂
flow as they will*
Maia, this made me feel better about being slow at writing my new piece. Is that a sloth in the photo?
Yes. I love them.