Thursday, December 28, 2006

Harnessing Speed For Good Rather Than Evil...


6 am (well 5:50) and 71 degrees.
I am fast.
I admit it.
Hasty.
Impulsive.
Quick.
When I competed at horse shows I rushed my fences. I was always in a hurry. My friend Bunny called me a "hot seat rider" instead of a "hunt seat rider."
I was quick in the jumpers and did well most of the time.
But when I got in too much of a hurry.
Well.
I have lumps and bumps on my body as a testament that if speed doesn't kill, it certainly maims.
It is the same with my writing.
My friend Holly chides me.
"Slow DOWN!" she says.
I try to comply but it is hard.
My agent says it tactfully.
"Sometime you a a bit too quick with your edits."
I know, but it's hard for me to take my time.
You see I have all these ideas fighting to get out.
But I am learning. I have started to fool myself.
My editor sent her letter first. I had to wait for the annotated manuscript.
And wait.
and wait and wait and wait.
It was sent the Friday before Christmas.
It forced me to wait, read her letter and think.
When I got my manuscript I was able to make two passes through and then let it sit. Let it meld.
I will look at it again Friday.
It does not pay to be in a hurry.
Don't get me wrong.
Quickly creating a first draft is a joy, but then?
You need to learn to take your time.
This is something Paul Theroux is teaching me. Holly Kennedy is teaching me. My agent is teaching me.
Embrace the speed and make it yours.
Control it.
Don't let it control you.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been accused of writing too fast. I have learned that those of us who do simply have to get used to revising many, many times! And, actually, I really don't mind so much. It's fun to play with ideas over and over and watch them grow up.

Anonymous said...

That picture is wonderful - you have a lovely riding seat! I showed your feet to my daughter. "See? Heels Down!" That's what she's having trouble with. She wants to be on tip-toe, lol.

ORION said...

Sam - She must be a dancer! All my students who danced had trouble with that! Thanks for the complement. Not bad for a 50+ year old huh!
Does she ride dressage or jumpers? I don't think you guys have hunters over in France do you? I believe that is particularly American...
Kimber - you are right. But it is really just finding the way you work best. Simenon (who wrote the Maigret series) could write a book good to go in 2 weeks. He was quite prolific with over 200 books published.

Mari said...

Although you do work fast, your determination and intensity has and still is a motivation to me as i continue on in my career and life in general. Thanks Pat! Happy Holidays. I love the pictures...especially the anemone! Too cool.