Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG: What's the Rush?



The Insecure Writer's Support Group is where writers of all levels, beginning or advanced, share their insecurities and receive advice and encouragement.
We post on the first Wednesday of every month.

Want to lend support? Or sign up? Go HERE.
 
Guess who's taking their turn co-hosting?
 
ME!
 
Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting this event every month.
 
Thanks to my fellow co-hosts this month:
 
 
My Insecurity:
 
Writers really put a lot of pressure on themselves. Not just the traditionally published, either. Every self-publisher I know is just as serious about their calling as any other writer. Our deadlines are self-imposed, but every bit as real. I usually set some hefty goals. In fact, I did set some hefty goals. But in learning about who my new characters are and discovering more about the world in which they live, I decided I need more time. The rush and pressure to publish isn't doing me any good. It's definitely not making my writing better. Instead of publishing a three-novella series, I might just publish one or two of the novellas. The important thing is that I'm enjoying the process without all the pressure.
 
Sound like a good plan?
 
HOW IS YOUR WRITING GOING?
 
(If you get a chance, check out my post at Untethered Realms.  It's about how I discovered a solution to a writing problem. Not an insecurity, really, but about how I was able to begin moving forward again.)
 
 

113 comments:

  1. Hi Gwen,
    This sounds very sensible, recognising that you need to slow up and take stock of things can help you see the bigger picture, whereas barging ahead could mean you miss something important. Sit back and enjoy the ride ;)
    Angie

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    1. Thanks, Angela. I do think it's a smart move.

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  2. Yes, it's so true that it's important to enjoy the process more than putting self imposed deadlines on ourselves. And you're working full-time so you need to be realistic about what you can do.

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    1. Exactly, Natalie. I don't want to get a book out just for the sake of getting a book out. I want to enjoy the process while I'm learning my new characters.

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  3. Gwen, what an insightful post. And so true!! I need to remind myself how much I love the process of writing and reading the finished product.

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    1. Yes, Cathrina. I tend to want to rush because I'm so excited to get to the end result. I want to explore these characters more.

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  4. In the past when I've set too big of a goal I ended up getting discouraged and threw the towel in. I approach my goals now the way I approached dinner time when my children were toddlers. Small portions and then they always asked for more. If I put both portions on their plates at once they barely ate. Good luck!

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    1. I've certainly been discouraged, Donna, but I don't think I'll ever quit. Like you said, manageable bites works best.

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  5. I'm struggling with the same thing. I'm a busy working mom and have trouble finding enough time to write. I wish I could release more than one novel a year, but that's (apparently) just not possible. Of course, I want to put something of quality out there, so rushing is not allowed.

    Thanks for co-hosting! :)
    IWSG #143 until Alex culls the list again.

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    1. I might get a novella or two out, Melissa, but I'm not going to stress on it. I want to concentrate on being a better writer and I can't do that by rushing through the process. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Hi Gwen--I think your attitude is great and wish more writers followed in your "thinking footsteps." Good on your for looking at writing as a love and a pleasure!

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    1. Thanks, Randi. It's really the unnecessary stress that I want to get away from. Plus time to improve my craft by slowing down a bit.

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  7. Your post really helped. I'm starting a new novel and know I should flesh out my main character. The fun of writing almost overshadows the need to provide the reader with a meat and haired heroine to believe in.

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    1. Ha! Glad I could help, Rohn. I plan on writing this new project as a series, so I really need to know my protag well.

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  8. If you're not enjoying yourself, then what's the point?
    Now I feel better about being a slow writer.
    And thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Me and you, Alex! We're both slow pokes and that's okay. Co-hosting was a pleasure.

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  9. Stop and smell the roses? Is that too cliche? You offer great advice. Thank you for co hosting today.

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  10. Stop and smell the roses? Is that too cliche? You offer great advice. Thank you for co hosting today.

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  11. I'm kinda worming to the reality stating I'm a slow writer, I believe you made the right decision, it is after all your writing career, not any body else's. Good luck.

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    1. Being slow is okay. It's the tortoise, not the hare, who won the race ;)

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  12. Great post. I'm a slow writer too and I get impatient. Writing should bring us joy. Sounds like you have the right idea.
    Thanks for co-hosting today. Best of luck to you.

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    1. Impatient to see the end product, yes! But now I need to learn to be patient.

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  13. I totally hear you. I put the same pressure on before I was published, only to realize that I should have enjoyed the journey more--because the stress of a work being published and in the world is stress enough. Best not to kill ourselves before our appointed death date, eh?

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    1. This is true, Crystal. Nothing before its time!

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  14. Although I do have some deadlines from publishers, the goals and deadlines I set for myself seem to be the ones that stress me out the most--I always want to do better, write more, achieve more, break my own records...sometimes I have to remind myself it's all about the love of writing, that's why I'm here, not to prove something.

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    1. I do it for the love of writing, Morgan, certainly not for the money, LOL!

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  15. Thanks for co-hosting this month for IWSG. Goals are great. Self-imposed ones are just as real and hard to break. You also have the option to take your time when you see a need to slow down or re-examine a plot or character.

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  16. Every step forward brings you closer to your goal. Keep moving forward 😄

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    1. That's it exactly. As long as you keep moving forward, you'll get there.

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  17. I know that pressure, and sometimes I do feel that I need to rush, rush, rush! It helps to step back and take a deep breath, eat a chocolate, and talk about T-Rexes. Hehehe! Thanks for co-hosting today. :)

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    1. Hehe. You forgot about the whiskey. Chocolate, Whiskey and T-Rexes ;)

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  18. I probably need to exert more pressure on myself. I get way too laid back sometimes.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Haha, Arlee. But are you having fun? ;)

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  19. Self-imposed pressure -- yep, that's me! I have a self-imposed goal to finish my second novel this year, but I have an outside deadline for a novella. I'm feeling the pressure!

    Best of luck with your novellas! Thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. And I know you just had a new release, Loni! Slow down, you're making us look bad. LOL.

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  20. Sounds like a great and wise plan, Gwen. I self-published my first novel, and later when it was picked up by an ebook publisher, the edits I was given to correct were astonishing. I was so embarrassed at how many errors and typos I'd missed. I had the plot down, but I missed some really in-your-face problems with descriptions and setting. I would always tell an author to get as many critiques as possible, and then if funds allowed, hire an editor. It's worth it.

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    1. I agree, Joylene. My books go through the grinder of critiques, editing and proofreading. Never rush through that part.

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  21. Thanks for being a co-host today. I am struggling to recapture the fun and joy and stop feeling overwhelmed, so I get it. Great post.
    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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    1. We're on the same page, Juneta. Gotta keep the joy!

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  22. It can be really hard to find what pace and pressure works for you. And it can be different for each project. I'm so glad you found what works for you. Continue to enjoy the journey because it's all part of the fun! Thanks for hosting.

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    1. I've only been publishing for a few years and that balance seems to keep changing. I guess I need to keep changing with it!

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  23. You're right: enjoy the journey. It only comes around once. Mark Twain wrote that each day was a coin -- we could spend it anyway we wanted -- but we could only spend it once. Have fun with your writing. :-)

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  24. Rushing can sure kill our creativity. Taking our time is always the best thing to do. Enjoy your story and characters! :)

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    1. It sure can, Chrys. I'm too anxious to get to the finished product, but I'm going to learn how to pace myself better.

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  25. Yup, the rush to pub (unless it's O'Brian's down the street) is seldom worth the ride. I, too, have set two lofty goals for my writing (in addition to my current projects.) As much as they might appear as an overload, the new work and direction is seeping into the stale projects and helping out. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month!

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  26. That's it. Write because you want to, not because you have to. That's what makes it fun.

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    1. Yes, Steve, then let the love shine through!

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  27. It's always good to push yourself with schedules. You just can't let it bother you when you don't meet them. Progress, slow and steady, is what works.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG!

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    1. Ken, I'm definitely going to set a schedule, just modifying it a bit.

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  28. I set deadlines in pencil, and I my best to meet them. However, I refuse to rush something with my name on it if I need more time. I do think there's a lot of pressure out there to churn out books. Yet, there's also a lot of criticism about quality. I choose quality over quantity. But, that being said, I still strive for at least 2 books published a year. Even that is a lot compared to the old days of publishing, especially waiting on traditionally-published books.

    Thanks so much for co-hosting this month.

    My IWSG Post

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    1. I love the books I've written, Tia, but I find myself wanting to improve and do better. I think slowing down will help with that.

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  29. It definitely sounds like a good plan. I always feel the need that I should be doing more, but taking more time with some projects is much better. It's better to do the story justice than just getting it done.

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    1. That's it exactly, Cherie. I'm thinking since I'm writing something new that I'm turning into a new learning curve.

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  30. I see the pressure many authors put on themselves to set high goals and how disappointed they are when they don't accomplish all. Makes writing seem like too much work. Thanks for co-hosting today :)

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    1. Yes! Writing is work, but you should enjoy it as well.

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  31. I'm down on my poem count but after reading this I've decided to try not to rush things just to make time. There's nothing wrong in extending the original time deadline as long as I can create a huge batch of poems I can be proud of me. Instead of doing a rush job just to end up with a handful of usable poems.

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  32. Yay co-hosting! :D
    It's good that you're enjoying the process. I have a hard time trying to make myself write without any deadlines, but I'm trying to find a way to push myself more to get things done.

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    1. Oh, I will definitely set a deadline, Sarah. It will be just less work within that deadline period. Gotta keep moving forward. Yay for co-hosting!

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  33. I'm in a sloth phase right now, so the word deadline terrifies me. Good on you for realising the one you set needed to be altered. From experience I know they can as easily propel you to disaster as they can ignite inspiration.

    shahwharton.com

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    1. Well, I know you've got a lot going on right now, Shah, so you can be forgiven for being slothful, LOL.

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  34. Take your time, enjoy the process and don't feel rushed. Look at Harper Lee! If she is behind sending her 2nd book for publishing (and not being taken advantaged of), she waited decades

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    1. Haha! Look and me and Lee Harper spoken of in the same conversation. Thanks for that!

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  35. That sounds like a good plan. It's better to take your time than rush. Chances are you'll catch problems or mistakes because you won't be looking at what has to happen next and instead focus on what you're currently doing.

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    1. Yes, and maybe I say it better by slowing down :)

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  36. I wrote the end to an eight year long journey today. I listened to the perfect song (which I think I had been waiting years for), wrote the ending and cried. I still don't know why...maybe because it's like taking your child to college and leaving them there. Now, I'm re-reading and editing it for the small publisher who has picked up the saga. Since I was writing for pleasure up until this year, I didn't have any deadlines. Now, I am sure that will change!
    Thanks for helping host IWSG this month!

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    1. Well, Heather, your baby is getting ready to fly the coop as they say. Congratulations!

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  37. Sounds like a good plan! I think we get too wrapped up with the things we "have to do" (or think we have to do), that we just put unnecessary pressure on ourselves, leading to nothing getting done. At least that's how it's usually with me.

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    1. Yes, too much stress isn't very productive!

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  38. I like your plan! I think I've taken on more than I thought with some volunteer commitments, but I really want to do them, and I really want to write. So I'm going to re-assess and make a list of priorities. I like lists. Lists are my friends. Thanks for co-hosting today!

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  39. I'm trying to enjoy not being on deadline. I guess that's one good thing about not having an agent yet? Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Yes, do enjoy it while you can, Michelle, LOL.

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  40. If you just found out your goals won't pan out, then it's time to figure out what will. And if that's taking more time to write a good story and characters, then do it. Good luck.

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    1. M.R., I'm basically cutting my workload in half, so that should relieve a ton of pressure.

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  41. I think it's important to keep the end goal in mind, while enjoying the ride! Sounds like you know what will work for you, Gwen. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Yes, Sandra, it's that exact balance I'm shooting for.

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  42. Yes! I can so relate. I had those self-imposed deadlines but I was so worried I wouldn't met them, I forgot to enjoy myself along the way. No, I have zero deadlines (unless finishing by the end of the year counts?)

    Thank you so much for co-hosting!!

    Elsie

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    1. The end of the year is a deadline, Elsie. That's my deadline, too.

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  43. I have some self-imposed deadlines but the ones imposed by other entities are the ones killing me right now. Sucking the joy right out of it.

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  44. They say, "Slow and steady wins the race" for a reason.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

    Leanne Ross

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    1. That's right, the tortoise beat the hare!

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  45. Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG! I break my goals/deadlines down into manageable chunks and find myself exceeding them because I remove the stress factor. Have a great night. Eva

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    1. I have yet to set my revised goals, but they will be in manageable chunks, for sure!

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  46. Like you, I set goals. Don't always meet them but at least I have something to shoot for. Thanks for cohosting this month. You rock!

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  47. Quality over quantity!
    I completely agree.
    We have to love what we do to make sure that makes it to the page.
    Thanks for co-hosting!
    Heather

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  48. Yes, I do so much better without deadlines. I'm on a writing schedule with my CPs, and it's so tough. Sometimes the cookies are half-baked when I take them out of the oven. Hate it when I have to do that. :)

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  49. Just like life, in writing you've got to enjoy the process, Gwen. I've been reading "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamont, and I just read a chapter about how deeply authors need to know their characters and their characters' world. You can't pressure that exploration into good results. It seems to me that you are on the right path! Enjoy!

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    1. And thanks for co-hosting this month, Gwen!

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  50. I think it's great that you were able to step back to see where a problem existed and fix it. Good luck with everything!

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  51. I here you! It's like when I'm reading: if I like it, I want to be done already so I know how it ends but I DON'T want it to end because I'm enjoying it so much. Same goes with the writing process. :)

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  52. I could be better at setting goals... Sometimes I just plain lazy!

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  53. Goals can be good, but not if they're too demanding. Your plan seems good to me.

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  54. Sometimes certain project require us to slow down and take our time with them - and that's okay. Currently, I've got a giant set of goals that seemed like a good idea at the beginning of the year . . . but I may be re-making them. I think it's okay to do that, when it's needed, too. Deadlines can shift, and it's all right.

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  55. Attainable goals are the secret to achieving writers. =) Now, if I could remember that when I set all my writing goals...

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  56. I like it, Gwen . . . my post was about slowing down, too. I want to take my time to really plan and write the best book I have within me :-) And I just remembered I owe you a post . . . will send shortly <3

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  57. Soooooooooo true! I am one of those self pubbed who is always struggling with this pressure of deadlines and this sense of urgency. I have to continuously remind myself that I'm the boss. Unless I've booked an editor or formatter and I'm on their schedule, then I can shift and pivot. It's one of the perks of the self route. Each time I remind myself, it loosens everything up.

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  58. I've done both and the challenges are very similar but one lesson learned is, if it's not right - deadline or not - don't publish until it is!
    And I live by goals, but flexibility is key!

    Thanks so much for your hard work this week for the IWSG so very appreciated!

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  59. Hi, Gwen, pressure can be good and bad. I find that if I don't impose some pressure, I get little to nothing done. But I also understand that too much pressure can kill the creative process.

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  60. I always have self-imposed deadlines, but I don't worry about finish lines. As long as I put in a full eight hours, or whatever I've planned, I don't care if it has all been spent rewriting a single page or pumping out an entirely new chapter. It's still progress, and I enjoy fussing until I think it's right, so I'm not giving that up. :-) Needless to say, not much gets sent off to publishers, but I always manage to get a few short stories published each year, so a few finish lines were found. As for the larger wip, I'm still doing some fussing on the same pages I looked over yesterday, but I'm okay with that.

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  61. I can relate to this so well. I'm constantly putting pressure on myself, too. (Don't even get me started on deadlines, haha.) Slowing down definitely sounds better for one's mental health. It's hard to convince my inner perfectionist of that, though... XD

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  62. Some instances of pressure can't be avoided and those instances it's all about how we handle and deal with it. You make a good point; when we are in controll we should give ourselves a break from time to time and put on so much pressure. Thanks for co-hoting.

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  63. A rushed book is never a good idea, if it means you haven't let it reach its full potential. I'm sure we don't want to look back and have regrets that we didn't take more time. Very sensible post!

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  64. Slow and steady is a very nice pace. You get to see where you are along the way.

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  65. I'm a VERY slow writer, but a very fast reader... wish I could change them around...
    The thing is, I'm a "late bloomer" and at the rate I'm going, I'll be lucky if I release something by retirement age LOL
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month!

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