Quality vs. Quantity

Posted: December 4, 2014 in quality vs quantity, Writing, writing thoughts
Tags: , ,

frustrated-writer-2

First of all, hey to everyone! How are you doing now that NaNo is over? I, for one, am enjoying a little bit of a leisurely pace in writing. It’s actually that pacing that I wanted to discuss. Someone posted This Article in my writing group on facebook (Author Fallon Willoughby to be exact). I really like the message that it gets across. I talk a lot about setting a goal for yourself, but I feel like a lot of people end up setting goals for themselves that are far too high… basically, if you’re setting yourself up for something that is going to stress you out more than make you enjoy yourself, you need to reassess your situation.

If you don’t write your words for the day, but you mentally work out something epic in your plot… you did a good job still. We are writers, and yes, we have a responsibility to get our words out… but it doesn’t have to be completely mechanical.

“The writing world in America has become infected with a weird virus. The sensible suggestion that beginning writers should try to write something daily to get themselves in the habit has seemingly become interpreted as a diktat for all writers all the time. What we write doesn’t matter, it’s how much we write every single day, as if our careers — no, our lives — depended on it.”

I am not saying that we shouldn’t try to write every day – I do think that we should still try to do that. I think though, that we should do it in reasonable amounts, and with the realization that we might not make it to our goals, but we still did good. Quality > quantity. Focusing on quality, as opposed to what we can just bang out, is very important… because, unpopular opinion here… I know… but, you ready?

I don’t think all first drafts have to be complete and utter shit.

I know, everyone says otherwise. I’m not saying that your first drafts aren’t going to have to be edited, and then edited again. I am saying that you don’t have to sit down and throw your mindless 2000 words a day at your draft so that by the time you’re finished, you’re deleting half of it…. I think that the misconception of all first drafts being utter shit comes from the fact that people end up setting this goal and forcing their writing whether it’s necessary or not.

Again, I DO think we should write every day. I don’t think you should wait until that perfectly inspired moment… but if we can get a 500 word scene that is good for our novels/stories/whatever… then we should stop with that, instead of going to a 5000 word scene that ends up being 4,500 words that we have to later cut.

Ah… I feel like this was a bit ranty, even a little argumentative with myself… but it’s a point that a lot of writers end up going to, and I agree… we’re waging war on ourselves. We should focus on the quality of our work instead of trying to produce mass quantities, even when we don’t feel like it.

Now, I’m off to write my required 5,000 words for the day xD

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Comments
  1. I’m too busy writing finals to think about anything else at the moment! School may have made me too used to deadlines. I did wonderful with Nano. Because I had to. -sighs-

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