I don't know about you but the concept of 'slow' is a real irritant for me. I've grown accustomed to fast-paced city life. I grew up in a rural farming community and, believe me, I know the concept of slow. There is nothing more frustrating than being caught behind a crawling tractor with a wide-load combine taking up most of the space on a rural road when you are running late for an English exam! When I moved to the city I was at first overwhelmed by how fast things sped by - both highway and people! The stereotype of rushing here and there, get 'er done yesterday, no time to waste really is a part of city life. Especially city life with 3 kids, full-time job, dog, and home renovation to contend with! But I adapted - even welcomed - that faster pace.
When I began the journey into book publishing people warned me how slow it could be at times and it's very true - and very frustrating. Weirdly, lately things in this business seem to be changing at the speed of light (e.g. self-publishing, agents getting into that part of the business, etc). But everyone still agrees that publishing slows down over the summer. For once, I'm glad there is slowness. I'll tell you why.
Per my blog post last week, I have a few goals to meet over the summer. And every one of them seems to be going slower than my never-ending house renovation (publishing isn't the only slow business, people. Construction - especially on my house! - is SLOW.) I've only been trying to lose ten pounds for one week and I only managed to lose 2. I wanted to revise a chunk of my wip and I only got through 4 chapters. I wanted to clear out the mess of paper in my office and I only got through one pile. I wanted to organize the stuff in my house for a yard sale and haven't come close. I wanted to get my wonky back straightened out and it's still wonky.
But slow progress is still better than nothing. Going slow has its benefits (as all those proponents of slow cooking will tell you). Losing weight slowly tends to stay off longer. Four chapters of revision is a start and there is no way a quick revision helps a book become better. One pile of paper is one less to go through. And those other two projects - well, a back is a complicated thing and miracles take time. A shot of cortizone is not going to help me in the long run. The yard sale organizing … well, I just have no excuse for that (beyond the fact I hate going through stuff and would just as soon send all of it to Goodwill. I may still end up doing that.)
My point (and I do have one) is that sometimes it's better to take things slowly - especially when that thing is important to you. The care with which we undertake to do something always shows up in the final product. There is a time and place for speed, certainly. But if something matters to you, taking the time to do it right is a hundred times better than a quick fix, get it off my desk, approach. Inevitably, those quick fixes break faster and you'll just have to re-do them later.
So, count this writer as one who is thankful that summertime is slow. The livin' may not exactly be easy but the pressure cooker doesn't need to be on when it's this hot outside!