It Comes With Time

September 22, 2009 at 12:55 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Writing is an individual thing.  There is no set time to write a novel, there is no set age where we will have the skills and the imagination to finish the book at get it published. For some of us, we will have these skills at fifteen; for some of us, we will still be pushing our novels way into our fifties before we even get that far. Is a novel published by a fifteen-year-old any better than a novel published by a fifty year old? Even as I hear the arguments mounting up, I can’t help but say no. Age is used as a clever marketing tool to sell books. The writing process, or the imagination required, is no different regardless of when our first novels get published. Not all of us have awesome grammar or even original ideas right off the bat. It takes time to establish these things, and you shouldn’t compare yourselves to others.

So what if your novel took three years to finish, while Wendy down the road finished hers in three months?

So what if yours if 50,000 words, while Wendy’s is 100,000 words long?

So what if Wendy has more partials then you?

It doesn’t matter in the slightest. Writing is an individual thing – you work at your own pace, and you bring your own things to the table. Most of all, you will always be growing. To emphasize the point, I thought I would show you some of my growth. Below is a story I wrote in primary school. I was six at the time.

The Beetle and the Bee

One day a beetle and the bee started a hike in the forrest. They had a couple of friends living there. Old owl was making stew for tea. Beetle Justin and Bee Glen stayed for tea and over night. They started the hike in the morning. Little possum squeaked at bee Glen and beetle Justin. Elvira the kookaburra went tap tap tap all day long. Glen the bee stung her. Justin found a little cave and Glen made some honey for tea. Justin found some little nuts on the ground. After tea Glen and Justin visited Tehani and Emily the butterflies. They were pink and yellow and they were nice. They like to fly where Glen and Justin stayed. Glen and Justin got lost on the way home. They went right not left and then left not right. Butterfly Emily went right not left, they stayed for a long time. One day after trying to get back home, it was fun but Tehani the butterfly got sick of flying and dived down in a pond. Elvira the kookabura came back because she learnt to fish. The end.

Needless to say, I have improved since those days, but the point is that everybody has their own pace in life. Writing is no different. It is not a competition, where the winner is whoever comes first. Participation credit is enough.

~ Alyce

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4 Comments »

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  1. this is an important point. since I became involved in the writing community, I’ve noticed this a lot — despite thousands of strangers landing agents & publishing deals every week, we feel competitive with the handful of people we sort of know (online, even).

    it’s a lot like high school, when you can’t help comparing yourself with the little fishbowl of your peers — even though there are millions of other teens out there, some worse than you, some better, in every sport and subject.

    ultimately, our only measuring sticks should be ourselves. easier said than done, of course :)

  2. What a great post! You made an awesome point. I’ve been thinking about this recently, too. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. lawl! That Beetle and the Bee story is so cute! And much more original than my childhood drivel. XD I distinctly remember ripping off JKR when I was seven. =D

  4. How true is this? I was reading an interview with author Thomas Randall on the Write for Life blog and the author said it only takes him 3-4 months to write a book. 3-4 months!!! Yeah, I can do that. IN MY DREAMS!!! Needless to say I was jealous. I’ve learned to live with my writing limitations, though.


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