Persistence Pays the Weary Writer – by Tom Bentley…

on Jane Friedman site:

The pandemic turned me to crime. Well, memories of crime: during the early months of the pandemic, I backed off from other projects and wrote a memoir on my years of teenage shoplifting, my first business success. But those 53,000 words didn’t emerge in singing sentences that built powerful paragraphs that made compelling chapters.

They emerged, as words do, in sputters and spurts. Or they hid behind walls, not coming when called, no matter the plaintive plea.

And yet, a book surfaced. All because of the power of incremental writing, a kind of compound investment. I wrote every workday, five days a week, for a scheduled half-hour. Be in the chair, manuscript up, cursor blinking, even if on that day the word pipe is clogged. A half-hour’s writing might be only 300 words, 500 words, sometimes a mere 100 words. But a half-hour’s writing over 7 or 8 months: a book’s worth of words.

That’s the subtle little secret to traveling from a work’s first word to its last: walk, don’t run. I don’t recommend a pandemic to move you to a long composition, but some of its isolations were helpful, at least in half-hour retreats. The allegorical wisdom of the tortoise vs. the hare—wise indeed.

Continue reading HERE

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