Slow As Molasses

My sister loves the movie Romancing the Stone. In the beginning, the villain asks if the girl he’s followed wants to die fast or slow as molasses. That line’s always stuck with me. Maybe for a reason. My writing seems to be “slow as molasses.”

When I say that, people disagree. “You’re already up to the last fourth of your book,” they say. Yes, I am. But it takes FOREVER to get there. And I only make the progress I do because I’m retired and try to write every weekday. I start with doing rewrites of the previous day’s work. And sometimes, that takes me right up until it’s time to stop for lunch. Why? Because I try to ADD details to the scene I wrote yesterday AND I work to polish it. I can spend a couple of hours reworking a scene, adding something, then tightening it, then changing word choices. I fuss over the pages until I’m sick of them and move on.

Usually, after lunch, I start working on NEW words. And I’m slow at that, too. I know people who come up with huge word counts in one day. I’m not one of them. If I finish 7 new pages a day, I’m happy with myself. That’s a little over 1600 words a day. For a manuscript, I aim for 70,000. If everything goes well, that’s 44 days of writing. Except that I don’t write on weekends. And I don’t write on Writers’ Club Day, and who knows how many other things that interfere? IF I was lucky, and my brain didn’t freeze up, I could finish a rough draft–in theory–in 2 months. But it never happens. Life isn’t that cooperative. And when I finish a manuscript, then I give it to my critique partners and wait for them to read it. Then I have to fix what they find. So, if everything works out PERFECTLY, I might have a book done in three months. But does your life ever run perfectly? Mine doesn’t. So, if I’m LUCKY, I can finish a book in four months. That’s my best scenario. And I’m hoping for that with The (Steaks) Stakes Are High.

Who knows? My horoscope says my planets are starting to look less grouchy. I hope so. I’m ready for some happy vibes for a while. But I learned long ago, you get what you get and try to make the best of it. I’m crossing my fingers and hitting the keys. (I know. A little tricky). And I hope to make serious progress this month. Hope you can, too!

Happy writing!

8 thoughts on “Slow As Molasses

  1. You may be working slow for you, but you’re still faster than a lot of writers are.

    I also go back to fix and polish my previous day’s work. It’s the only way I can comfortably move forward. It might make writing a little slower, but it sure makes revisions faster. It all balances out in the end.

    Don’t beat yourself up about your progress. I haven’t been making any, either. In fact, a lot of my writing friends haven’t. Must be something in the air.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, Judi, you sound like me. I’ve been working on the same short story for ages. I’ve rewritten several scenes at least three times. Yesterday, I think I finally have them where I want them. I’ll still need to do some editing and tweaking, but I’m at the point I can move forward with new words. I’m so ready to get this one behind me and move on to something new.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you’re finally there. I hate it when I rearrange words over and over again and they still don’t sound right. Good luck with the story! And hope the rest of the words flow for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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