Writing is a process. It takes creativity, time, energy, and a lot of thought to bring story and characters to life in a coherent and compelling manner. And while ideas may come quickly at times, the art of breathing life into those ideas and making them into solid and dimensional stories can take a lot longer than we sometimes realize.
When it comes to writing a novel, a screenplay, a TV pilot, or a play, we sometimes have to remind ourselves that the creative process is a marathon and not a sprint. It can take weeks, months, even years for a story and its characters to gel and come together in a way that you’re satisfied with.
Even with outlines, character bios, and other notes, a story that you know backwards and forwards can take a lot longer to formulate and write as a 300-plus page book or a 110-page screenplay.
Rushing to get a first draft done is fine, but when it comes to fine-tuning and really generating quality work that you’re proud to show to others, that’s when the marathon truly begins.
The key to good writing is to give yourself the time and the pace you need that works best for you, especially if you are writing for yourself. Obviously, if you are being paid to write, it’s best to meet the deadlines and pace of the person who hired you. But if it’s all on you, don’t pressure yourself into rushing out your final product. Make sure it’s your best work; something you are proud to show the world.
In our world of instant gratification, it can be hard to sit down day in and day out and work on the same story over the course of many months or years. But just know that at the end of the day, thanks to your patience, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best work.
And readers and audiences will be grateful for the time you invested by investing their time into your future creative endeavors.