I was at work when I witnessed an exchange between a volunteer and a full-time employee. This particular volunteer is in his eighties while the full timer is between thirty-five and forty. They both come in for a full work week and work eight hours. It was midday when they were crossing paths in the hallway. Already the full timer is sweaty and worn looking.
“How are you making out?” asks the full timer.
The volunteer looks him up and down. “Better than you apparently.”
The full timer laughs before they both go their separate ways. When I saw this brief exchange it hit me that the two people had the same job, both made sure to complete their tasks. But while the younger one may have seemed to be doing more because he was sweating and moving quicker, his elder moved at his own pace and appeared a lot happier.
What in the world am I prattling on about?
Glad you asked. I am a notoriously slow writer, which has been made all the slower by having to take my writing spurts where I can get them. A lot of times I see Twitter updates of other writers doing Word Wars or Word Sprints like “3000 words this hour! Yay!” or “4500 words while I ate a bagel!” When I see those sometimes I get a little discouraged, feel a little bit less than. How can I measure up to these writerly triathletes?
However, this little exchange reminded me that I still write one word after the other. I still am writing just like everyone else. A huge 5000-word day may not be in my future but those words will come in their own time. It took Tolkien sixteen years to write The Lord of the Rings. No one complains about how long it took, they marvel at what was produced.
There’s no need to compare yourself to anyone else. Keep writing. Keep doing it at your pace. Let no one deter you. And remember the longer the stew simmers the deeper the flavor.
Until next time have a writeous day!
Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or a long commute you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. He’s working on publishing his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem sometime in 2016, along with a few projects with his other daughter.