“Submission Tip #30: Publishing Fast vs. Publishing Well
“I know that we live in an accelerated society full of impatient strivers trying to make their mark during a period of economic uncertainty and against intense competition (and blah, blah, blah…). Still, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest to young writers that they think less about publishing fast than publishing well.
“Meaning what? Meaning that for many of us it’s a long life. We have a lot of years to write material that is meaningful to us—books and essays and stories we’re proud of. And I see too many writers exhibiting a sense of panic about getting their stuff published now, signing with an agent, securing a book contract, and maybe agreeing to unrealistic deadlines and terms they might come to regret. I see writers so hungry for validation that they don’t have time to focus on what, exactly, is being validated. I felt this same crippling urgency when I was in my 20s, but I, like most, was lucky enough to be ignored and rejected by the publishing world for ten years until I had a better idea of was I was doing.
“Strike while the iron is hot! That’s the sound of a businessperson talking to a young writer. You’ve just published an article or story that has everyone talking, so better sign on with that interested agent now and get that book deal in ink.
“Guess what. That iron can be made hot again simply by putting in your time and writing a good book. And that iron can be made very cool by forcing out a bad book prematurely.
“I don’t know. I’ll be the first to admit that deadlines and pressure are essential to making a living as a writer (so is cutting your teeth in publishing by being willing to write just about anything for any venue). And I have seen plenty of writers get connected to excellent agents and editors through their exposure….
“At the same time, I wish young writers could have more time to do what they must and grow in the ways they need to without feeling like they have to leap for the golden ring at the first sign of marketable interest.
“Your writing is yours. Others can sell it, but ultimately your writing will represent you, not them. Protect it.”
“…. Dilation as the ‘opening’ of a closed text to make it ‘increase and multiply’ and to transform its brevity into a discourse ‘at large,’ then, joins dilation as both sexual and obstetrical ‘opening’ and the production of generational increase.”
“The final context for ‘dilation’ is an erotic one within a specific masculinist tradition–the putting off of coitus or consummation which Andreas Capellanus describes as a feminine strategy in the art of love, a purportedly female plot in which holding a suitor at a distance creates the tension of a space between as well as intervening time….”
Parker, Patricia. Literary Fat Ladies: Rhetoric, Gender, and Property. London and New York: Methuen, 1987. Print. p. 15-16.
Mad Men (Matthew Weiner, Creator and Executive Producer, AMC, 2007 to Present)
“We were one of the last people to stop cutting on film. And when we stopped, people would say, ‘Why?’ Honestly, the answer was because we couldn’t find assistants who knew how to work on film. They didn’t exist anymore. I mean, it was — I remember being in Ken Loach’s cutting room around then, and I said — he was cutting on a Steenbeck back then — and I said, ‘How do you do this?’ And he pointed like that [points] and there was this, like, 96-year-old guy on the rewinds.”
“Writing is an act that refuses to be efficient. This is the strength of writing, not its liability. We make new connections and learn what we want to say, even make new discoveries, in the act of writing itself…. The ‘inefficiency’ of writing is that these acts of cognitive discovery… can make the act itself halting and non-linear…. it can be maddeningly impossible to predict the time we need to complete a particular writing task. Some days the discoveries and words roll out, and on other days they must be wrenched forth.
“Waiting until you know precisely what it is you want to say to begin writing is low-productivity, low-discovery writing strategy. You must write in order to learn what it is you want to say, no matter how sure of yourself you are when you begin….”
Nate Kreuter, “Writing to Not Print”