I’ve been working on a new novel over the last year, but have been really pressing at it the last month. I’m trying to “make a job of it”, having quit my comfortable, dependable, well-paying day-job, and taking a few months to really work on my writing–something I haven’t done in nearly ten years.
And to start this sabbatical off, I’ve moved across the country to a city I’ve never been to, in a region I know little about–other than it rains nearly every day–and an area where I know next to no one to interact with. So, writing, writing, writing.
Interestingly, when you focus on writing 7-8 hours a day, five days a week, you get a lot written. Whether it is quality writing or not, I’m not sure. 120 pages in a month is quite a lot for me! And it brings into focus something I’m always worried about: quality vs. quantity.
Stephen King vs. Raymond Carver, I guess. Someone who spews out thousands of pages–seemingly daily– compared with someone who wrote short stories, and obsessed over the quality of those short stories to the point of editing long after publication.
I’ve always tried to find a mix between quality and quantity, but this sometimes ends with days where only a few paragraphs are written and other days where I’ve written a dozen pages of material that leaves me somewhat unsatisfied in its depth.
I’ve been writing* for about twenty-five years, now, and I still feel like a beginner. I still feel like I’m trying to find that happy level of output, and sometimes I come to the conclusion that there never will be an optimal output level, at least for me.
*If you count the collection of two sci-fi short stories I wrote in the third-grade that were “published” by my teacher and submitted into a school book fair.