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ACFW 2016: What is Success? Part 2

zinsser hard writing is easy writing

In an ACFW conference session about writers developing a thick skin, Steve Laube had asked us to define success.

In my quest for defining success, I learned the real value of writing and strategy.

The process for writing one or a hundred books will be different for every writer from every different level. Some may crank out four novels a year, and others one novel every two years, or even four years. Steve’s blog post Praise Slow Writing really made me think. However, in my reply to his post, I did not think well enough. Well, I did not choose well enough.

Steve’s gracious reply:


I must be very clear that this post is in no way a criticism or critique of those who write and publish much faster.

I represent Susan May Warren and know that she has a gift. She is very deliberate and careful in her writing but she can do it at a speed that makes it appear easy. Her manuscripts go into her publishers very clean and her readers love her writing.

Sure, Susie’s output is prodigious. But it is not slap-dash or haphazard. We just had a meal together last week and talked about her work strategy. She has spent a long time working long hours to get to this point. It just seems like she “cranks ’em out” when in actuality that is part of the strategy!

But remember it is a gift honed through years and years of discipline and learning.

I have clients who write one novel every three to four years.
I have other clients who write one novel every three to four months, or even faster.
Both are right in their methods.

I also know how hard Ted Dekker works on his books and how he wrestles with the text and the plots to make them impact his readers.

So, let’s be careful that we don’t fall into a comparison of volume in output as being somehow less literary than what I wrote here and called Slow Writing.

My intent is to challenge each of us to consider our words and make sure they are the right ones to put on the page. If they come at lightning speed it still may be Slow Writing because it too[k] years to get to the point where you can create quickly but with quality.

Other writers are gifted with the ability to write slowly. Neither is wrong in their approach. Merely different.

Uh-oh. I’d committed the cardinal sin for writers! Totally botched my word choice!

One word! Did you find it?
My  c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y  thought-out reply:

Thank you for the clarification, Steve, and for teaching me this deeper value of writing/strategy.

My word choice “haphazard” is incorrect, as I did not intend to or even want to slam writers who write quickly and label them as uber pansters who don’t care for their readers and the written word. I do apologize, for the word choice gave the impression that this post was criticizing fast writers. And I didn’t even take it that way! Ugh, words. Guess I should have rolled that one around in my tongue a little longer. 😉

I attended Susie’s and Rachel’s post-conference session this past weekend at the ACFW conference, and greatly admired their knowledge and writing ability.

I guess I’m just one of those Slow Writers. 🙂

Again, thank you.

It’s all about choosing the right word or definition. In a sea of a million. And even then, the above reply has some issues. (Maybe I’m in the wrong profession?) Haha. Just give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice on it!

Granted, this barely touches the definition of success (still working to define it as it pertains to my writing). 😀