Don’t quit your day job, kid

The weekend is nearly over and I realize that I’ve accomplished none of the writing I intended to do. I wanted to get a head start on revisions to “Temperament” (or whatever I decide to call it in the end) so that I could submit it to group this week. That doesn’t look promising. Even if I can get some time to write tonight, I’ll be hard-pressed to finish the edits that I know it needs before I can give it over for public consumption.

I read some comments today from someone who went to a book signing by Robert Jordan recently.

“If you are writing two hours a day you won’t cut it.”

He continued, saying that he works eight to ten hours a day, seven days a week. Last year he only took five days off. It’s comments like these that always chafe my hide. If by “cut it” he means pumping out mamoth volumes every two years and stretching out the expectation of readers over as many volumes as you can get away with, then I hope I don’t cut it. I want to write and be published, but not at the cost of quality over quantity.

Once, when I was a much younger man, I made the mistake of asking a published writer what advice he had to give an aspiring one. He replied, in a gruff, bitter voice, “Don’t quit your day job.”

I expect that published authors are bombarded with such questions from people who want to become writers. In truth, they are difficult questions to answer. If I’ve learned anything over the years of writing, it’s that there’s no one right or wrong way to do it. You have to discover for yourself what works for you. If any advice should be given, it’s that.

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