Since I’ve begun writing in earnest, I’ve learned a very big lesson. Slow down. Take your time. Write your work, then let others look at it. Take what they have to say and then rewrite. After that, take some more time to read it over. Keep doing that until it’s perfect.
The precedence is there. Look to the professionals and you’ll see it. While some of my favorite authors are consistently putting out a book a year, that still is a good chunk of time. Which is what scares me about a lot of people that self-publish. They pump out a book every three months or so. That can’t be a good sign of the quality.
In the past, I was like that. Eager to get my work “out there” as soon as I wrote the last work. So, I would write something, read it once or twice, and then throw it out to small digital publishers (i.e. Clarksworld Magazine). Invariably whatever I wrote would come back with a rejection.
Eventually I had two short stories picked up by eFiction Magazine, run by Doug Lance. I was pumped. And that bit of early success is what pushed me to focus on my craft, to take it to the next level.
But, despite that success, those two shorts could still have used a bit more time.
Never before have I learned that lesson as well, as with my current writing group. Since we meet every other week, and not every week I get to submit, I have to spend a lot of time noodling my work. Or waiting for feedback. Once I do get it, I can then spend more time implementing changes and focusing on the work.
As artists we are eager to have people read our work. I get it, I really do. But if we take a step back. Give ourselves some room to breath. We’ll find that the results we get, and the feedback we get, will be much more to our liking.