July 30, 2010

My writing problem? I am so slow.

Not all of us can be fast writers, but all of us can be slow. Slow/good is not a problem, and can often benefit the writer and the story. Slow/bad can blow up on you.

Some stories or some investigations take time. If you report and write them too quickly, you may undermine their rich potential. You may need time for more reporting. You may need time for revision. You may need time to get feedback from editors, then to turn such critiques into improvements in the story. That’s when slow is good.

More often, slow is bad. Slow/bad means missing deadlines. It can mean draining a story of its timeliness. It can be a product, not of hard work, but of unnecessary delays like procrastination. It can be influenced by experiences outside the writing process, such as illness or family distractions or office politics. It can be a sign of a broken relationship between writer and editor — an inability to ride the same wavelength.

If you find yourself sinking in the slow/bad writing quicksand, we have got a lifeline for you. (People on deadlines often need lifelines, so don’t feel discouraged.) Join us for a live chat Thursday, Aug. 12, at 3 p.m. ET, on how to speed up your writing and reporting. Bring your own problems, questions and solutions to the table, or tweet your questions ahead of time using the hashtag #poynterchats.

You can revisit this article page at any time to replay the chat.

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=3e94c73a8c” >What Are Some Ways I Can Speed Up My Writing Process?</a>

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Roy Peter Clark has taught writing at Poynter to students of all ages since 1979. He has served the Institute as its first full-time faculty…
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