Art of Writing Slow

I did NaNoWriMo two years ago. Churned out 50,000 words in thirty days. Thanks to a self-imposed deadline of 1,667 words a night, I had to resurrect my caffeine-addled college self—a creature fueled by coffee and cookies and cram sessions late into the night. Before I knew it, November ended, and I was a certified NaNoWriMo winner with a 50,000 first draft manuscript under my belt. I held my head up a little higher, posted the happy news on Facebook, crowed sweet sweet success to my cats.

Since that NaNoWriMo, I've discovered that I much prefer the slow and steady approach to writing. There is something to be said for savoring the art of writing. Every blank page a multi-layered canvas with which to craft the perfect scene. Phrases and words filled with infinite meaning. Each to be mulled over, sifted through, then occasionally discarded.

Writing slow is an art form. It is about appreciating the taste and texture of each word before committing pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and approaching each writing session with a sense of reverence. It is about coming face to face with the purest essence of each scene and wallowing in it until your fingers turn all pruney. It is about being so in love with the power and beauty of language that you despair at the thought of never being able to write well enough to do it justice. And yet, no matter how far it might seem like you have to go, you keep stumbling along, putting words to paper, because you just can't seem to stop.