by Rebecca J. Carlson
The cabin girl sneaked a look at the latest print-out of my unfinished manuscript.
Okay, I let her. I didn't take it away from her when I saw her bringing it out to the car. All the long one-hour drive into town for our monthly Costco trip I listened eagerly for the gratifying giggles that came now and then from the back seat.
After she'd read the last page I waited, breathless, for the verdict. My daughter has no problem telling me when my writing is boring, or lame, or just doesn't work.
"This is good, Mom, but after the first few chapters it feels like you're rushing."
She was right. I had been rushing. Desperately rushing to catch up from the sixth months I'd spent moving my family to Hawaii. Rushing to catch up with my dreams. Rushing to write the book I'd been waiting all my life to write. But day after day, the words only trickled out. I stopped counting words to keep from getting depressed. I pushed harder, tried to put in more hours. Still, I felt bogged down in the endless morass of the middle. Have to get out, must get to climax, must press on...
Wait a minute! Sure, I'm excited to finish this book and get on with my writing career, but what's the rush? The real fun is in the writing.
So yesterday I decided to relax and have fun. Enjoy each and every beat. Stop trying to plow through my outline and get to "the good stuff." It's all good stuff, or it isn't worth writing.
When I stopped driving myself so hard, the words came. At the end of my daily writing session I had ten pages to print out, whereas in these past weeks my daily page count had been five or six.
I'm through rushing. It slows me down.