Put in two hours today.
I saw a sign yesterday, a huge one in the back of a car that said "not in a hurry to be somewhere."
It made me stop and think for a bit. Ya see, I am in a hurry. For as long as I can remember I've been in a hurry: to make money, to get till Friday, to have sex--whatever was in front of me, I was in a hurry to get it done.
The first novel I wrote was like that. So was the second one. Both were just balls to the wall, finish this thing so that I can put it out and make a bunch of money. The result? I wrote two shitty novels that could have sold, but certainly weren't up to any sort of a standard a writer should have for themselves.
With this novel, I've slowed down. I mean slooowwwweeeddd down. It used to take me about an hour, maybe an hour fifteen to finish a thousand words. It takes me almost five hours now. I don't know what the results are going to be, whether my five friends will buy it because I make them, or I'll be updating this blog from a yacht next year--or something in between. Either way though, I know the story is much better. I know when I wrote a scene today, I cried in it, that's how strong I feel the characters and their relationships are. I know that I understand the plot, the intricacies, and the parts that need editing much more.
By slowing down I've created a better product. I'm no fan of Steve Jobs, he was an arrogant, narcissist, who made the lives of the people he was supposed to care about absolutely miserable. However, he understood creation as well as anyone I've ever read about. He understood the product, the good, was all that mattered (besides marketing). The money you made, the fame you got, that was all a side effect. All made possible by the product.
I truly do not care if anyone ever compares me to an Ernest Hemmingway or William Shakespeare (which they won't ever dream of doing, I'm certainly not saying anyone should), but I do care that I've done the best I can given my abilities. I do care that I've looked at my word choices, that I can argue why I've chosen them and if I can't, then I throw them out.
Take your time on the things that matter to you. I won't say the end results don't matter, because indeed, that's all that does--however, taking your time is the only way to make them happen.